Monday, July 30, 2012

The Lemonade Maker

Twenty eight years ago, I met a friend whose positive attitude has impacted my life in numerous ways. Teri is the type of person that has made an art form of transforming life’s lemons into lemonade, she doesn’t just make lemonade, she makes cakes, pies, cookies, and lemon bars, then uses the leftovers for potpourri and cleans her house until it shines! Afterwards she invites friends and family over and proclaims “Look at these wonderful treats that I have to share with you. If life had not handed me this abundance of lemons, we wouldn’t have all of these wonderful treats”. Saying that Teri is an optimist, is an understatement. Obviously, she had amazing parents to turn out to be this kind of adult.
The story of Teri’s life may sound like a life of difficulties, but she overcame each hurdle and takes a lesson from each obstacle. Teri and I now share a common bond, that neither of us would have wanted the other to experience. Teri’s Dad has Alzheimer’s.
Our lives are separated by distance, Teri lives in another town, but the experiences are sickeningly similar. We have discussed how others prefer to make this disease, an almost romantic condition. As if someone just gradually fades away like a flower. There are reasons that I refer to Alzheimer’s as a demon. Teri shared with me how she felt about her father’s dignity. Teri knew that he would lose so much of that precious trait; she needed to keep one shred intact, averting her eyes at inappropriate times. Teri strives to maintain that precious shred of dignity for him. She also emphatically states that if there was a need, she would quickly handle the situation, but strives to maintain that final piece, that sliver her father is now unable to maintain. Ignoring the ridicule of others, she forges on, honoring her father in seemingly small ways that others do not understand. This is a position that I relate too. Teri strives to maintain that level for the first man that she ever loved.
Many men would have been proud to call her daughter, but that privilege belongs to Mr. Jimmy, a real man with a real disease. His life counted for something greater, he calls my friend his daughter. The demon takes many things from its victims and their families; it may steal memories, but it can never change the past!
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

I Have an Announcement

Excuse me! Excuse me, is everyone listening, I have an announcement!
Come on, I brushed my tooth before I had this picture made so that I would look extra good, now pay attention to what I have to say!



 

Atticus, wake up, I have an announcement, are you forgetting how important I am around here? I am the dog! Now wake up!

 
Miss Mary, hurry up and come on over here! I have an announcement!


 

Don't stop to listen to him, come on, Are you all forgetting that I am the dog?

 

Little Peep, you can eat later, now listen up!

 
Are you girls paying attention to me?


 
My announcement is about this little kitten, the really cute little black one in the picture below.


 
Yes, that one right there. Well, first of all, it is a she, not a he! But the big news is this, her name is Ebby, short for Ebony!


 
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She now has a name! Guess that she is staying here with us now. Okay, you can all go back to what you were doing, Honey has made her announcement, the dog has spoken.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Where I Live - Saying Goodbye


Saying goodbye is a part of life here. That does not make it any easier, it is still hard.
Late into the night Saturday, Clover laid down under the stars, in her favorite spot and went to sleep. 


 
The heat has been rough on the animals this year. My hens are not doing as well as last year, and last year was hotter than this year has been! Perhaps the humidity is worse this year. Whatever the reason it has taken a toll on the animals.


 
Clover had shelter in her area, fresh water at all times, and room to play. Caring for animals in extreme heat is not easy, and sometimes you are not lucky enough to keep them cool enough, such was the case with Clover. Parasites are a problem for goats, this was not why we lost Clover. The advice from our vet is to use a Famacha chart, it is an anemia guide. The tissue underneath her eye remained red as it should. I don't worm every month, but check their eyes regularly, if the tissue is pink, then it is time to worm.
Goats are susceptible to heat exhaustion. When a goat overheats, it pants. Goats don't have the ability to sweat.


 
The picture above is one of my favorites of Clover, she looks like she is smiling. Clover is the first goat that I ever had. I never knew just how much I would like goats. Their personalities are unique and amazing. Clover had a way with people, and everyone that met her couldn't help but like Clover. As a matter of fact, they fell in love with Clover! Even Daddy liked Clover, when he was able to come to my house, he would visit with Clover. She must have sensed that something was not right with Daddy because she treated him differently. She was extra gentle with Daddy.


 
Clover loved small animals, as long as they were not in her fence! She watched the chickens and ducks and had her favorites. Miss Ceelie and Hoppy were 2 of her favorites. Clover watched Hoppy become a mother, she kept a check on Hoppy when she became broody, and watched Hoppy raise her chick. Another favorite was a mean rooster, she was not happy when this was no longer his home!


 
Clover had nick names, we called her Cloe sometimes. When I was playing with her in her fence, I called her Clo-dean, she brushed against me when she heard that name. Her favorite game was when I put her cookies in my pocket, and got in her fence and pretended not to know what she wanted. She knew which pocket they were in. When she tired of the game, she stood against me, sometimes knocking me down. I can't prove it, but I think she smiled when that happened! She knew it was a game, never would have purposely harmed me.


 
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The day we got Clover, Bruce asked me where I was going to put her for the ride home, and I told him that I would hold her. He laughed, because he knows how I am and placed her in the cab of the truck. I pulled her into my lap, and she looked up at me and sniffed my face. That is the moment that I was hooked! She had me and she knew it. Our friendship grew from there.
Goodbye my friend. My cantankerous, mischievous, silly, loving, compassionate, and faithful friend. I will miss you!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Farmhouse Lunch


Would you care to join me for lunch? The table is set on the porch, we can eat there. Forgive me, but it is so humid here today, I haven't cooked. We will just have a pimento cheese sandwich, some chips and I have a lemon congealed salad made, there is of course plenty of sweet tea.


 
The table was set like many farmhouse tables were set when I was a child. Nothing was perfect, the silverware may not have matched, the tablecloth was old, but clean and pressed.


 
Perhaps these salt and pepper shakers did not match, but they did the job. The shakers and flower arrangement rest on a melamine platter. The platter is a thrift store find, the stamp on the back is Brookmark.


 
This was a popular set of dishes in the 1970's. A local grocery store offered these dishes. I remember that my Gran had a set. She had the plates, cups and saucers. These are a thrift store find.


 
The flowers are in a simple half pint canning jar. If you ate lunch with a neighbor, the hostess would often have a small glass filled with the flowers that she had blooming that day, possibly she would have tucked some herbs in there too. Nothing professional looking, just a simple jar with simple flowers as a centerpiece.


 
The flatware does not match, generally the farm households that I remember used what they had. Flatware served it's purpose, it was about practicality.


 
The dishes are Metlox, and are a thrift store find as well. Love the turquoise in the plates. These plates have been used and it shows, making me love them more!


 
This pattern was used in the 1950's.


 
A simple jelly jar will hold our iced tea today. These glasses belonged to my Gran.


 
Accessories were mix and match in a farmhouse. Farm wives used what they had, an old tablecloth, some dishes and flatware from here and there, flowers from their gardens simple foods, and generous helpings of hospitality were what farmhouse lunches were made of.


 
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Thanks for visiting, and hope that you will come back again soon!

Joining the following parties

Between Naps On The Porch for Tablescape Thursday

A Rural Journal and Two Bears Farm and the Three Cubs  for Rural Thursday

Fishtail Cottage for Cottage Garden Party

Stone Gable Cottage for Tutorials Tips and Tidbits

A Delightsome Life for Home and Garden Thursday

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson for Share Your Cup Thursday

From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday

The Thrifty Groove for Thrifty Things Friday


Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Night Special

The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Mondays

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Where I Live - Irrigation

The mornings have been cool enough lately, that I can open the front door for awhile. Atticus likes that, he can watch what is happening outside.



 
The irrigation is running in fields now. We need rain desperately.


 

Yesterday afternoon, I watched the radar as rain circled our area, leaving the center dry. It did cool the air and provide some welcome relief, that was our only benefit.


 
Those clouds in the pictures did not produce rain for this field. 


 
We do not farm, thank goodness, but I understand that it is hard work. I remember seeing Daddy come in from the field and sit on the porch with a tall glass of tea, watching the rain and hoping that his fields would benefit. Sometimes it happened and sometimes it didn't. There were years that it didn't happen often enough.


 
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I am the daughter of a man that farmed and ran his own business. I have discovered that I am not happy away from this farming life. Even if my husband and I are not farming, I am able to watch what happens in these fields, and remember happier times when Daddy farmed.

"This little patch of earth and this little pile of stones; I can wash the dust off my face and skin, but this earth is in my bones."
Ralph McTell

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Musing - The One Who Adores Me

 
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Atticus has the perfect life, and he knows it. His days are spent sleeping, dreaming of new ways to cause mischief and demanding food at odd times. He wakes up to eat, puts his new plans into action, and then quickly returns to his nap. If I scold him for his behavior, he stops, walks towards me and rubs against my legs.
Why would anyone tolerate this behavior you may ask? The answer is simple – Atticus adores me. I am the most important thing in his world; almost everything that I do is wonderful to Atticus. If I go outside, he finds a window to watch me. When I shower he sits and waits for me, occasionally checking to make sure that the water is not too hot. He likes my singing and enjoys hearing me play the piano. Atticus hops up onto my stool and stares at every painting that I do as if it were a masterpiece. Atticus sits in my lap when I type, sleeping contentedly. He doesn’t care how my hair looks, ignores my morning breath and could care less if I am wearing my favorite t-shirt and painting jeans. He loves me as is, imperfections and all. I am a wonder in his eyes.
Atticus would have been a handsome man, except for the fact that he is slightly cross eyed. If Atticus had been a man, I would have said “Kevin who”? Because my husband does not do the things that Atticus does. He has yet to sit at the window waiting for my return, pretend that my paintings are masterpieces, and he does not sit in my lap when I type – thank goodness. Kevin also accuses me of treating Atticus like “a big old baby”, those are his words, not mine.
Perhaps the question should be why does Kevin tolerate this mischievous feline? The answer is actually simple, why does any man tolerate a woman’s pet? There are 2 possible answers. One is that they love us. The other possible answer is that they do not want to risk being on the losing side of a show down. Atticus is not concerned about either answer; he is secure with his position in our household. He will continue to spend his days in the same way, and I will continue to enjoy my status as Queen of his world.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Symbol of Southern Hospitality

Pineapples are often found in southern homes, the pineapple is considered to be a symbol of hospitality.
Pineapples were once the food of kings, and are now available to everyone.

 

Pineapples have graced the entries to southern homes and the wealthier homes often served pineapples to guests as a treat. If you were served pineapple, you knew that your hostess had gone to great deal of expense to make guests feel welcome and comfortable.


 

You will often find a sign greeting visitors with a pineapple symbol and "Welcome Friends" greeting visitors to a southern home.


 

Pineapple sandwiches are served during the summer at church functions, ladies luncheons, or simply a meal or snack. It is important to note that a simple pineapple sandwich tastes a little more special if placed on slices of bread that are round!


 
The decor is found throughout homes. Everything from a simple key rack near the back door, to the pineapple finial on the bedroom lamps, and the pineapples that greet a visitor at the front door.



 
Congealed salads are a popular dish served in the summertime. Many recipes call for pineapple in these cool and delicious salads.



 
Whether you are a front door guest, or a back door guest, my pineapples are waiting to greet visitors.



 
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Come in and sit down, I will get you a glass of tea and make you a pineapple sandwich!

Linking to the following

A Delightsome Life for Home and Garden Thursday

Stone Gable Cottage for Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits

My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Musing - Life is a Precious Gift

Occasionally I experience times that the words do not flow easily. This is one of those times. The happenings that break our hearts and send us to our knees have brought a halt to the free flowing words that my fingers type. My heart aches for those grieving, and I do not have the words that could make their pain disappear. There are many things in life that are completely out of my control, as I am not able to control all of the things that happen in my life; I will control how I react. Lacking the ability to change hurtful circumstances, I have made the decision to greet each day as the gift that it is.
The choice was made to celebrate each time that my Daddy looks at me and says “well hey there sugar baby” because I don’t know how many more times I will hear him say that. My heart will shout each time my daughter calls me and we share a laugh that no one else would understand, which can happen at any time of day or night, and some days it can happen numerous times. Every time my husband calls me just to check on me should be treated as a special occasion. I will smile broader when my brother jokingly tells me “if you need me, then I will call you”.
We are not promised another second in this life, and need to take advantage of each one that we have. Life is a reason to celebrate. I will do these things in spite of the fact that my daughter threatens to write her own column and set the record straight. In spite of the fact that when my husband calls, there is always some sort of emergency happening at our house, usually involving an animal, I will treat his calls as a special occasion. In spite of the fact that my brother sometimes reads what I write, and may possibly read these words, I will smile and in spite of the fact that each time I greet someone I love, it could be the last time I have the opportunity. The saying “Life is fragile, handle with prayer” has a lot of wisdom in it. Life is a precious gift, what are you doing with your gift?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Where I Live - July 4th

This morning the air is cool and humid. There was a thunder storm last night. This afternoon, it will be sunny and hot. Perfect pool weather!


 

Where I live we are observing the birthday of our nation!


 
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I am thankful that I live in this country! It is a privilege that I am grateful for everyday.


Happy Birthday America!!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Musings - Summertime and Iced Tea

 
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Iced Tea and summer go hand in hand. It is difficult to imagine one without the other, in fact it just may be some type of crime. That probably is not true up north, but in the south, it is just downright disrespectful and wrong. I am truly concerned about the character of a person that does not drink iced tea. Perhaps their disposition and character could be greatly improved by this beverage. If you have rocking chairs on your porch, then you need a glass of iced tea to go with them, and a few moments to stop and enjoy that cool glass of deliciousness. A pitcher of this heavenly drink is made daily at our house. The problem is this, my husband claims that someone apparently sneaks into our house in the summer and drinks all of our tea. It obviously is not him drinking all of the tea. Whoever this person is, they take the last brownie, cookie, slice of cake, and get the very last scoop of ice cream too. I am only guessing, but the tea bandit probably looks exactly like my husband. We have a swing on our front porch, and that gentle swinging motion causes iced tea to taste even better. It is the same way with a rocking chair. If a cool breeze is blowing while you are doing either, the tea is more refreshing. A carbonated drink just does not quench your thirst in the same way. Sweet tea is often called the house wine of the south because it is served everywhere. It is hard to find a home where iced tea is not served. Iced tea is served at our house in Mason jars. It is my personal belief that this affects the taste of the tea. Each cook has their own method of making tea; the time for steeping varies as does the choice of sweetener, and each person’s tea tastes different. Whatever the preferred method, each cook knows how the tea should taste. As for Kevin and me, we will enjoy our iced deliciousness on the front porch in the swing. Blow the horn if you see us out there. I would offer you a glass but those tea bandits have probably drank it all if my husband is around. So if you drop by, just make sure you brought your own tea.