Archive for the ‘Family & Friends’ Category

Are you ready for Christmas?

Usually I do not know how to answer that question because I do not do a lot of decorating at Christmas, and gift buying is limited to a few special little ones.

This year I am ready.  I went pink. 

No, I didn’t put up a pink Christmas tree.  The photo did remind me, however, of how I do my shopping.  For the grand daughters, and regardless of what I set out to purchase, I end up with bags full of pink fluffy things.  You know, the comfy girly items from slippers to nightgowns, to soft fluffy pink blankets to snuggle under. 

Today I will be putting up our tree.  Guess what? It isn’t pink.  It is a large ceramic tree, hand-painted, with beautiful boxers doing all sorts antics on and around the tree, along with garlands made from dog bones and other treats.  After my first boxer got busy with the Christmas tree about 7 years ago, and I still have the ornaments (many broken), I opted to go with a permanent tree that wasn’t in harm’s way. 

I may just bring out my Christmas village as well.  My favorite pieces are the church and stable. 

My husband has a head cold, and I am down in my back.  Funny how when I walk I feel as if my legs are going in one direction, my waist and back in another.  But, sales and soap making are right on target.  My in-store sale ends tomorrow, and the last day for priority shipping (to deliver by Christmas Day) is 12/21/09.  So…I am winding down in that respect.  I am blessed, absolutely blessed.  Very happy.  After Monday…I am going to recuperate at the desk, making business plans for 2010!

And…of course, I am going to enjoy my Christmas, with those that I love, and with the true meaning of CHRIST-mas close to my heart!

Have a wonderful day!


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My Laughing Buddies...Nieces...During A Pouting Moment

I have a rather warped sense of humor.  When something tickles my funny bone there is no stopping my laughter.

Some of my best Thanksgiving memories are those spent at my father’s house, with my sister and nieces in attendance.

My father didn’t like the giggling…honestly, he was a grouch.  He actually was proud of being grouchy, which was funny on certain days.  I respected my father, but I had a good time with my family despite his grumpiness.

After a long day of visiting and shopping on Black Friday, my niece and I got the hysterics when we retrieved the leftover gravy from my father’s refrigerator.  It definitely had the appeal of brown gelatin.  I looked at her, she was watching me, and the laughter began.  Silly for hours.  Thanksgiving always brings up the discussion of the Jello gravy.

One Thanksgiving at my father’s house included Samson, a male boxer that had just entered our lives.  I believe he was 9 weeks old.  He snorted, played with every toy he could find, he had a grand time.  My sister said, “Mary, I think that dog needs some sinus medicine!” All of us were getting used to the boxer puppy.  Ahhh…boxer love began.  And he was part of the family too.

I’ll never forget the day when my husband, the silly nut, patted the wrong person on the tail end.  I have NO idea how he managed it.  But he got my step-mother instead of myself.  She was thrilled.  I was in hysterics.  She used to flirt with him something terrible, ha! I rather enjoyed seeing her delight, and snickered at my nutty man!

My family is now spread pretty far apart, we are in three states.

This holiday we are having dinner with our best friends.  And yes, we all have a sense of humor.  The stories I could tell…but they fall under the category “you would have had to been there.”

I am thankful for my fond memories, and I am sure there will be many more.  Laughter and love, nothing better in life.  I hope the same for you.

Blessings to you all!

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Misc 001

I am having a busy Saturday in the office as well as in the shop.  But what I have not failed to notice is the beautiful color!

Have you caught yourself this season, even on the darkest of days, stepping out the door, sensing that something was different? I admit…one day I was deep in thought, walking down the front walk, and suddenly sensed fire.  It was the large autumn adorned tree that hovers over the slope above the pond.  Extremely bright colors.  No fire.  A gentle reminder perhaps to remain appreciative of the change in season? I thought so.

I am not fond of autumn because of what follows, winter.  What I do love are the cool temperatures, the color, and I dearly love to see the harvest going on around us.  The grain trucks have been rolling up and down the road.  I can hear the grain elevators and dryers running through the night.  Such a blessing…a reminder, life is very good.  A bounty of blessings!

Speaking of blessings…in a short 1/2 hour I am shutting down the office.  This is a weekend for peace, relaxation, and re-connection with friends.  I hope you can do the same.


“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”  – George Eliot

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Bascal Italy Aluminum Glasses

These poor items collected some dust! They were sitting in a vintage Coca Cola crate in the corner of my dining room. 

1950’s aluminum glasses bring back a lot of memories.  Memories of my childhood, my grandmother’s kitchen.

Grandmother had very few kitchen cabinets.  They were white metal cabinets, with one large shelf that ran above her kitchen sink.  On that shelf was a set of 8 aluminum glasses, all stamped Bascal, Italy, very much like the ones that I have.  Grandmother’s glasses were in perfect condition, mine are a little worn (picked up piece by piece in antique shops). 

I just saw a set of 6 Bascal, Italy aluminum glasses online, $98.00.  Oh boy…I would love to have them! Bright purple, blue, green, silver, red, orange, gold and pink!

My memory takes me back to the front yard where grandmother served homemade lemonade out of a Bascal pitcher.  Oh, how nice those aluminum glasses were to a child on a hot summer day, filled with ice and lemonade.  And to visit on the front porch of the house, or under the trees in the yard.  Of course, we sat in metal lawn chairs.  I think they might have been called fan chairs.  My brother and I would count the train cars as they passed (down hill from the house).  The town was a stop for the trains.  My grandfather retired from Cottonbelt many years ago.  He snuck me on a train once, drove down the tracks about 100 feet.  He said to me, “I am not supposed to be doing this!” Wow, the power under my feet in that engine, and we were only inching along!!

Some of my fondest memories come from grandma’s kitchen.  Here was a lady named Minnie.  Her little body matched that name.  Her perfectly starched house dresses, full aprons, hair pinned up, and tiny wire rimmed glasses all fit to a tee.  And her kitchen was her kitchen! From the pink tiles, to the green formica topped table with chrome legs.  Nothing was fancy, but all was memorable.  And in the oven was her wonderful cheese and macaroni.  One the side cabinet were cakes and pies.  Always something to put the weight on the bones (except her tiny frame).

When grandpa hung around the kitchen too much, grandma would let  him know, “Get out of my kitchen, George!” That was the only time I would hear my grandmother’s voice go into a serious note!

Wonderful memories…and aluminum glasses.  Makes me sad, happy, and blessed to have the memories that I do.

Have a beautiful day!

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Misc 001

September Sunrise

From enjoying the sunrise…to treasured time with friends…working on the tractor project.
I hope you are also having a relaxing Labor Day Weekend!
Massey Harris 50 Taking A Bath

Massey Harris 50 Taking A Bath

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Pink Ladies 001


(Grandma’s) Copper Penny Carrots

2 lb pkg fresh carrots

1 onion

1 green pepper

1 can tomato soup

3/4 c vinegar

3/4 c vegetable oil

1 c sugar

1 tsp prepared mustard and Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper

Peel and clean carrots.  Cook until tender, drain and slice.  Place in a bowl.  Mix the rest of the ingredients in pan and cook until heated, then pour over carrots.  Let set overnight.  Salt and pepper to taste.


Grandma has been on my mind this week.  I miss her! Oddly, I do not remember these flowers ever popping up before, 3 of them did this week.  Grandma had flowers such as these in her yard.  She called them Pink Ladies.  She told me that they only bloom once a year and they bloom for only one day.  I guess I am about to find that out. 

By the way, I did a search on Pink Ladies and found Pink Ladies Slippers, which could be another variety of these flowers.  They apparently also grow on long single stems.  Whatever the true name of the flowers are, they are beautiful.

The copper penny carrot recipe was grandma’s.  Each time I visited her home she would tell me, “These are Father Pat’s favorites.  He always asks me for them when he visits.”  I would imagine he did. 

The last time I visited grandma in the nursing home, she talked to me about Mary, the grand-daughter named after herself (and her mother).  She also talked about her visit from Father Pat.  As I left she hugged me and said, “You are such a sweet lady, you will come back and see me?” That was good enough for me.  She remembered Mary, she just could no longer link her to me.

A few days later I received the call.  Grandmother was in the hospital, and it was not good.  I walked into the hospital lobby and was greeted by a man that I did not know, a pastor, a man also declared legally blind.  He really could not see me, he later told me.  He walked up to me, held my hand and said, “I am father Pat.”  I thought my heart would stop right then and there.  I thought I was too late.  “I am going to lead you to her room.  You need to pray for her, she is at peace.”  He walked me up and down the corridors.  We took the various elevators.  He knew his way around.  He talked lovingly of my grandmother.  I then knew why grandmother spoke so highly of Father Pat.  He also told me that several days before her hospitalization he had visited her and she asked him to pray with her.  She was able to recite everything that she knew, and spiritually she was ready to leave this earth apparently.  And at those words my heart was broken, but I was at peace because my grandmother did the right thing.  It gave me strength that was immeasurable.

I stayed with my grandmother until the end that day.  I held her hand and talked to her about letting go, and even though she did not answer me, we talked about where she was going.  It was beautiful.

So…there is my story about copper penny carrots (almost the color of Father Pat’s hair), big grin!!!

By the way, the recipe calls for Mazola oil.  And 3/4 C is a lot of oil…in my opinion!

Have a beautiful Tuesday!




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Tractor Project 009

You will not find the B&B Gallery Of Fine Art in any major city, in fact, if you do a Google search, you will only find it here. 

As the parts were hung on wires today (to paint and dry) I saw it as some crazy looking modern art work, perhaps a mobile of some sort.  Love the red headlights?

If you are interested, there are numerous posts regarding the tractor project(s) published to this blog.   Just click on the tractor project tag located at the bottom of this blog post if you wish to see more. 

Weekends are enjoyable, especially when they are with our friends and working on these projects (Bob and my husband, Bob)!

This particular old gal (Massey Harris model 50, year 1956) is really shaping up.  She runs like a dream and she is slowly receiving a fresh coat of paint. 

And here is my good friend, Bob, sanding away at a side panel today.  He definitely was having the hand cramps!

Tractor Project 007

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