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Vacation…All I Ever Wanted

Hello!

It’s that time of year.  When all your friends and family are taking vacations.  It begins as soon as school ends for the summer.  First, Facebook is full of graduation pictures from Preschool to College.  Then before you know it, everyone is talking about going on vacation!  Where they’re going, who they will see, where they eat, what they eat, the beach, the sun, the fun.

Well, now it’s MY turn!

We are leaving tomorrow to go visit 1) A daughter and her family and then 2) Good friends who are about to be stationed in Germany for maybe three years.  We’re going from the Midwest to the East Coast.  It’s going to be a beautiful, fun and busy trip and we’re so looking forward to it.

Now, my boss has a little tradition that he has to do before he goes on vacation.  He has to have a little in-office celebration (rubbing it in?) by playing the following song and having a little dance (remember it from National Lampoon’s Vacation?):

Me? I’m more of a Go-Go’s kinda girl:

Either way, I’m outta here.  Glad to be off work, traveling with my hubby and seeing family and dear friends!  And yes, if you are “friends” with me on my personal Facebook, there will be pictures of it all! 😀

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Hello everyone and HAPPY SPRING!!

It’s been a wonderful spring in our family.  We were all reunited with a grandgirl we hadn’t seen for four years!  She’s now 10-years-old and just as precious as ever.  It was a blessing to have 10 of the 11 grandchildren together just before Easter.  We hope to see much more of her this year.

Our yard has been alive with flowers and trees.  Although, not nearly as many tulips as we used to have (see this page’s top photo).  They just seem to have disappeared.  The daffodils were plentiful and beautiful.  And the lilacs! Oh the amazing lilacs!  (I hope Heaven smells like that.)  I’m even adding a few new bird feeders.  Later this spring or summer I’ll tell you about my birdbath project.

If you recall, last year my husband built a brand new raised garden.  This is probably the biggest project we’ve ever undertaken.  Also, a huge blessing to our family.

This year we are adding to the garden space and putting up a new fence.  And when I say “we” I, of course, mean “my husband”.

Planted so far in our raised garden are (in no particular order and some plants/some seeds): lettuce, green beans, carrots, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, jalapenos, kale, arugula, onions, cucumbers…gosh I must be forgetting something.  Yet to be planted are: tomatoes, asparagus (which we will hopefully harvest next spring), spinach, Brussels sprouts, and all the herbs.  I’m also planting peanuts in two large containers and strawberries in a great salvage yard find which you’ll see in the pictures below.  I know it’s late for the strawberries, but we have the plants and should get a nice crop next spring for sure.

So, are you planting anything this spring?  Do you have raised beds or containers?  Or a good old fashioned garden patch right in the ground?   I urge you to plant SOMETHING this year!  Even if just one tomato plant in a container.  Be sure to give it something to vine on.  You won’t regret it!  PLEASE share your gardening stories and photos with us on my FACEBOOK PAGE!

HAPPY GARDENING!

 

Our beautiful spring tree.  It seemed to be much fuller and lush than usual.

Our beautiful spring tree. It seemed to be much fuller and lush than usual.

 

The lilac!  This is a very old bush that faltered for a while.  But the last few years it's been glorious!

The lilac! This is a very old bush that faltered for a while. But the last few years it’s been glorious! Yes, the little dog is cute. You want him? No, seriously.

 

I hope Heaven smells like this...

I hope Heaven smells like this…

lilacs 02

 

We get our plants and seeds at a local Heirloom market.  I encourage you to search for heirloom seeds and plants in your area.  No GMO!

We get our plants and seeds at a local Heirloom market. I encourage you to search for heirloom seeds and plants in your area. No GMO!

 

 

One of our little helpers.  She did a great job digging the little holes and getting the plants in the dirt just right.  And, she's little enough that she can stand right in the garden to get it done.

One of our little helpers. She did a great job digging the little holes and getting the plants in the dirt just right. And, she’s little enough that she can stand right in the garden to get it done.

 

It won't be long and this lettuce will be much larger and on our plates!

It won’t be long and this lettuce will be much larger and on our plates!

 

We had a couple of onions reappear on their own this spring.  But had to plant new seeds.  My daughter talked me into buying kale this year.  Wish me luck.

We had a couple of onions reappear on their own this spring. But had to plant new seeds. My daughter talked me into buying kale this year. Wish me luck.

 

And THIS is our fun salvage yard find!  A large metal gutter-type contraption.  I'm told it's a chicken feeder.  It's going to sit there on our NEW FENCE and be home to our strawberry patch!

And THIS is our fun salvage yard find! A large metal gutter-type contraption. I’m told it’s a chicken feeder. It’s going to sit there on our NEW FENCE and be home to our strawberry patch!

 

We have this great space available now too!!  But for this year it will be hold a row of sunflowers and the containers of peanuts.  We'll mulch over it this year.  Plenty of other projects to keep us busy.

We have this great space available now too!! But for this year it will be hold a row of sunflowers and the containers of peanuts. We’ll mulch over it this year. Plenty of other projects to keep us busy.

 

Don’t forget to visit my Facebook page and let me know how your garden grows! 🙂

 

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Hello everyone,  I have a few new followers, EXCITING!  Welcome to all!

The final countdown begins.  Two weeks from tomorrow I have (another) total knee replacement surgery.  My first was in April of 2012.  Every day I think “I don’t want to!  I don’t want to!”  But my knee reminds me each day in it’s own special way that I must go through with it.

I’ve done the MRI and X-rays, the pre-labs and pre-registration.  And today I scheduled my first week and a half of physical therapy (PT) appointments.  Dread.

And that’s all I have to say about that.  Except to request your prayers.

OTHER STUFF

Let’s see, what else is going on?  Yesterday was hubby’s 50th birthday.  Now we’re the same age again.  Shhh, don’t tell anyone!  I look so much younger than him.  Giggle! No gray hair here folks!  Ask my stylist.  🙂

Anyone on Twitter?  I follow Melissa Gilbert (of Little House on the Prairie fame).  She’s just like the rest of us on Twitter.  (@MelissaEGilbert by the way).  She’s humorous, shares pictures of her life and food as we all do. And passionate about the things she believes in.  Recently she began blogging and disclosed that she’s beginning the hormonal stages of menopause.  IT’S LIKE WE’RE TWINS! haha I highly recommend you follow her.

GARDEN UPDATE

The weather in Iowa is hot and humid.  Which means the garden is in heaven!  In a days time we’ll have ginormous zucchini where there was just a flower.  It’s hard to keep up with this time of year.  A little overwhelming for us.  But then we knew it would be.  Maybe we’ll set up a fresh produce stand in the front yard?

That’s really all I’ve got today.  Some random A.D.D. thoughts.  Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to find me on Facebook.

You've all seen it before... but it makes me laugh every time!  Have a great week.

You’ve all seen it before… but it makes me laugh every time! Have a great week.

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Hello! Life is running at a very fast pace these days.  Just a few things on my busy mind today:

  • My MRI got rescheduled AGAIN!  This is the third appointment I’ve had for this.  All changes coming from their end.  I guess the machine isn’t working properly.  At the risk of being redundant I want to tell you… NICE MATTERS.  I spoke to this same woman (see “Perspective”) yesterday.  She repeated that it’s a relief that I’m at least nice to her.  Poor lady must have really been attacked a lot lately with all their issues.  Even the X-ray department at the same facility isn’t being very understanding with her.  So now I have X-rays and MRI on Tuesday.  If they don’t get their machine issue fixed by then, I’ll have to reschedule my surgery until later in the summer.  They need 4-6 weeks between MRI and surgery to create the new knee.The lake looks like a cat to me. Does anyone else see it or am I crazy? Don’t answer that.
  • Next Friday my husband, our oldest granddaughter (almost 11) and I are going on vacation.  We’ll be traveling to a little lake in Michigan where my uncle owns a
    The lake looks like a cat to me.  Does anyone else see it or am I crazy?  Don't answer that.

    The lake looks like a cat to me. Does anyone else see it or am I crazy? Don’t answer that.

    small cabin.  I’ve heard about this cabin at the lake most of my life, but never been there.  Wasn’t so sure it really existed! 🙂 Not only do I get to finally see this famous location which is rich with family history, I will also be reuniting with many family members!  Family I haven’t seen since I was a little kid.  I saw a few of them 10 years ago when my dad died.  But that wasn’t exactly a nice visit.  Far to brief and hurried.  I’m very emotional about the reunion and the lake.  More on that later for sure!

  • As I said, my almost 11-year-old granddaughter is going.  I’m so excited about this too!  It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for her.  And she’s my Wilderness Woman and will love the lake.  Last night I asked her to model her swimming suit for me.  I knew it was a two-piece and I needed to see it on her to know if it was appropriate for a family reunion.  It was very disturbing on different levels to see my little girl in a bikini!!!  Disturbing first of all because, well, my LITTLE GIRL WAS WEARING A BIKINI!!!  Equally as disturbing is the fact that it flipping looked good on her.  I’m so used to seeing her in jeans, tshirts and jackets that I forget she’s already…well, you get the idea.

What’s new with you?  How are your gardens doing?  Remember to find me on Facebook and share your pictures!!

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Hello everyone!

Anyone else still reeling from a busy week?  Everyone?  Sounds about right.  Many trials and stresses raised their heads this week.

A few things we did this past week:

  • Last Saturday, hubby had a minor accident at an intersection near our home.  Had he not been paying close attention he could have easily been T-boned by a driver who ran a stop sign. God is good.blessed
  • Work was crazy.  One of those weeks where we needed a revolving door to the building.
  • Our family did Father’s Day Thursday evening since hubby is working this weekend.  My youngest daughter organized this and it was wonderful. We had eight grandkids ages infant-10 playing in the back yard.  It’s an amazing sight and feeling that I’m not sure I can put into words.  They’re wonderful children and we are so blessed.
  • My knee replacement surgery was rescheduled (by doctor’s office) and will now be one week later on July 31st.
  • On Friday, I was scheduled for the first of many out-of-town appointments that prepare me for my knee surgery.  I was to have the MRI (then x-rays) from which they construct my new knee.  I got a phone call Friday morning while in the shower.  The message told me that my MRI would have to be rescheduled because their scanner was down.  (End of list and on to my main story)

FRIDAY…

It takes a lot of mental work to prepare yourself for a surgery such as total knee replacement.  The first time around I was dealing with the fear of the unknown and an over-active imagination.  This time, I’m dealing with fear of the KNOWN and dread of going through it again. Even though it’s ONLY an MRI I had to remind myself all week that “this is the easy part” and walk through the first MRI in my mind to reinforce that it is, indeed, the easy part.

So when I learned that I had to reschedule this appointment…the one that gets the ball rolling… I was pretty upset.  And how odd that this is being rescheduled a week after my actual surgery was rescheduled!

I allowed myself a few minutes to have my emotion and talk to hubby about this change in our day’s plan.  Then I called back the MRI lady who’d left the message.  She was very apologetic and I could just hear in her voice that she’d been verbally beat up more than once that morning as she contacted everyone on her schedule.  And it wasn’t even 9:00 a.m. yet.  It was that moment that God chose to thump me along side the head and instantly change my perspective.

It wasn’t this woman’s fault that the machine was down.  I became sympathetic to her  instead of focused on me.  As I got the new MRI date set I kept the mood light and smiled as I spoke to her.  I could hear her mood shift a little and her voice lightened (does that make sense?).  I asked if she would also be contacting X-ray and rescheduling that for me.  When she said she would I told her “you’re the best, thank you”.  I could practically hear her shoulders drop as she signed the words “No one has said THAT to me today”.  God bless her.  By 9:00 she was ready to be done with people for the day.  She said how everyone was pretty mad at her when she called them I said, “Well, I was at first, but I’m OK now.”  She said, “At least you’re honest, that’s nice.”

As the thoughts came into my mind I shared with her how the Nina and the Pinta ships are currently docked at our town’s Mississippi River Marina.  I continued as I realized that our afternoon would not be spent at the MRI facility, but rather on the outside deck of our riverfront restaurant enjoying the view of said ships.  Lunch and a Friday special margarita were surely in my new afternoon plan!  At that point she said “OK!  Stop right there! (humor in her voice)  Now I just hate you!”  To which I slyly replied, “Oh, so now the tables have turned!” haha  We also agreed it was very odd that my surgery was delayed by one week and now my MRI has been delayed by a week as well.

I believe we ended our conversation with both of us feeling much less tension and stress.  God had instantly shifted my focus and my perspective.  He had seen to it that my words and attitude gave someone else a little lift.  I hung up the phone and looked at hubby who was present for the entire call and I just chuckled.  I repeated my standard saying “Because Nice Matters”!  People, IT JUST DOES MATTER!  I could have been just one of the many who were pissed off at this poor woman that morning.  But I took a few minutes to feel my emotion and deal with it privately before I called her.  And as I talked to her I spoke politely and with kindness.  It made all the difference!  And here’s the great part.  It made all the difference to HER and ME!

So on I went to work for the morning as planned.  But the timeline of the day had changed dramatically.  I could slow down a bit; I didn’t have to be in another town by a certain time.  After work, instead of laying in and MRI machine for an hour, I sat quietly with my husband on a deck overlooking the river and the beautiful historic Nina & Pinta.  Watching people enjoying the perfect weather and touring the ships.  Eating lunch and sipping a margarita.  God is good.  I am blessed.  And my appointments and surgery will happen in His time.

And now a few photos from my life.  Have a great weekend everyone!!

A common find in our yard.  Too bad our Snake Whisperer granddaughter wasn't here.

A common find in our yard. Too bad our Snake Whisperer granddaughter wasn’t here.

I'm here to tell you that my hubby makes THEE best grilled salmon anywhere! Add another garden fresh salad and you have a delish supper.

I’m here to tell you that my hubby makes THEE best grilled salmon anywhere! Add another garden fresh salad and you have a delish supper.

06-15-13 01

Hummingbird attracting flowers.  Yet the birds are scarce this year.

Hummingbird attracting flowers. Yet the birds are scarce this year.

The Pinta docked at our marina for the weekend! (see http://www.thenina.com for more about these ships)

The Pinta docked at our marina for the weekend! (see http://www.thenina.com for more about these ships)

The Nina docked at our marina.  With the Twilight riverboat from LeClaire, Iowa passing by!  What a wonderful afternoon.

The Nina docked at our marina. With the Twilight riverboat from LeClaire, Iowa passing by! What a wonderful afternoon.

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I haven’t written since last week.  What’s new?

Last Wednesday we buried our beloved Robbie dog.  (See The Saddest Day)  We had EIGHT of our grandchildren and  a couple of their mamas present.  It was pretty unceremonious as most of the kids were running wild in the yard.  It was the last day of school for them and they had energy to spare. Hubby had the hole for the burning bush dug and emptied Robbie’s “ashes” into said hole as we watched. Our young Bruiser dog was very interested!  After that the kids scattered.  It was the oldest and youngest grandgirls who stuck around as grandpa planted the bush (except for the infant who had no choice).

Side note to anyone who has never had a pet cremated: “Ashes” are NOT ashes!  More like fragments.  And that’s as specific as I’ll get here.

Hubby got the bush planted and mulched.  It looks nice and will be beautiful in the fall when it turns bright red.  No words were said.  No tears.  Kids running and annoying bugs flying.  We stood for a minute more and then went back to the house.  It was done.  Time for cookout and to feed the hungry masses.

R.I.P. dear Robbie.

R.I.P. Dear Robbie.

R.I.P. Dear Robbie.

Ashes are placed, then the burning bush was planted.

Ashes are placed, then the burning bush was planted. Bruiser was very interested.

This little girl was the one who lingered the longest.  She watched intently as grandpa finished planting the bush.  So serious!

This little girl was the one who lingered the longest. She watched intently as grandpa finished planting the bush. So serious!

And there it is.  In the fall it will turn bright red.

And there it is. In the fall it will turn bright red.

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Haven’t blogged for a while, and when I have it’s been pretty much just fluff.  Sorry about that.  Everyone has a dry spell I guess.  Here are a few Bits and Pieces thoughts on this bloggers birthday:

  • Yessss, it’s my birthday.  And no, Facebook did not tell you.  haha  If you know me well enough, you knew.  And if you forgot… SO WHAT?!  Life is far too busy.  It’s not as if I’m five-years-old.  I know you love me because you tell me on REGULAR DAYS!  That’s what counts.
  • Don’t even ask about my age cause you won’t get the truth! 😀  However, it did occur to me that I have lived in this old house for half my life!  When I moved here I had three small children.  My oldest was only in first grade, the others not yet in school.  I was younger then, than my Baby Child is now.  Oy vey!  Next subject…
  • It’s been a typical winter in the Mid West, USA.  We’ve had it all.  Record cold, big snow, thunder snow, a hint of spring.  There have most certainly been worse winters!  Let’s not complain.  But yeah, we’re all ready for real spring. 
  • I use the UberTwitter app on my BlackBerry phone.  Love it! It’s even better than the actual online Twitter.  Last weekend it was shut down by Twitter for some kind of violations.  Now it’s back under the name UberSocial.  It’s all good.  Except, it’s still not working quite right.  That Twitter to Facebook connection is making me crazy.  It either posts only to my FB wall, or it posts two or three times all over Facebook.  Or not at all.  #frustrating (little Twitter hashtag joke there folks)
  • When can a dreaded thing like diarrhea sound cute?  When a precious two-year-old who has been sick tells you “I have di-a-reah.”  Awww, poor little Mia!  Another round of the cycle-of-illness makes its way through my oldest’s household.  When has there ever been such a “sick winter”?!
  • Speaking of illness…Hubby is so sick!  He usually manages to fight off the colds etc.  But this one has got him big time.  Sinus infection for sure.  Poor guy is at work as we speak just suffering.  Factory work sucks, I don’t care who you are.
  • I don’t know about you all, but there are a lot of people to pray for in my corner of the world.  I have a deal with a few friends which goes like this… “I’ll pray for you and yours and you pray for me and mine!”.  Sound like a good plan for blog readers too? 
  • We’re excited to see some great concerts in the next few weeks.  This Friday it will be Sanctus Real and on March 12th it will be Third Day.  Yes, Third Day AGAIN! haha 

It’s late.  Probably past this old woman’s bedtime.  Have a great end to your week blog friends!!  Leave me a comment and let me know how you are REALLY DOING!  Even list a prayer concern!  It’s all about being the Body of Christ right?  Right!

Have you seen this girl?!  I want to be this faithful child of God!

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