Monday, November 14, 2016

Let's see ...

It's been an eventful autumn for us all.  I've been busy doing lots of stuff -- as much as I can do!  We've had some work done here by contractors, family and ourselves.  We're proud of what we've been able to accomplish together this fall, and thank God daily for giving us the strength and energy we need to get the job done.  I'm having good days and not so good days with my sore knee and I promise that next spring I'm going to get it "fixed".   

Some of the things we accomplished included: Finished cleaning out the flower beds.  Removed one flower bed completely and sowed grass seed.  Wendell removed two old evergreens and seeded those spots.  Got the garden shed re-roofed.  Painted the propane tank.  Got some landscaping done on the west side of the house.  Got my work room 'stuff' moved from the garage upstairs to the house basement.  Normal fall yard work including dumping all those now-frozen outdoor flower pots.  And we threw in some fun times, too.

We went to Cliff Stream Herb Farm near Commiskey, Indiana recently and had a WONDERFUL day! The drive, the weather, the place!  It was just great.  We were almost too late to shop for plants and herbs but we enjoyed lunch, walking through the gardens and greenhouse, shopping in the antiques building, and wine in the tasting room.  Just a great place to visit and I recommend it.  Here's some other pictures I took there ....

I was so proud of the work that Corey Mauder and his crew did on the west side of the house.  Wow!  Very well pleased and I'd recommend his company to anyone in our area who needs some help.  We needed something to mask the foundation there and prevent erosion, and when this grows I think it will do the job of moving the eye from the blank wall to the beautiful plants.  Got arborvitae, hydrangea, ornamental grasses, boxwood, rose bush and some small perennials.  Here's what it looks like ...

Last week we were driving out our road and about half way down the road saw this beautiful immature eagle, and his brother or sister who flew into a nearby tree when we drove up, but this one stayed and worked on his lunch.  Mom and Dad hovered overhead.  I turned off the ignition and we just sat and watched for some time.  So glad to see that an eagle pair has raised at least two 'kids' nearby -- probably along the river -- this summer!

(he's looking right at us!)


I 'think' I told you last time that I got a pothead (from S.D. Meadows Folk Art Gallery in Palestine IL) for myself for my birthday.  Well!  I was so inspired by Steve's work that I made my very own panhead for the side of the garden shed.  What do you think?
Finished this scrappy rug recently.  I'm giving it to a special person for Christmas.  Hope she'll like it ... 
We have gone for some interesting drives this fall.  Just to enjoy the color.  We hadn't been to the Gasthof Restaurant for a few months, so we drove down to Montgomery recently for a fried chicken lunch and a drive through Amish country.  As we were coming home, going by Graber Post, there in the field on our left was this team of work horses pulling a disc!  Wow!  A team of 8 belgians!  I was thrilled to get several pictures of these big guys at work.

When Mom died, my friends Jan and Jane gave me this beautiful mum plant.  I don't think I officially thanked them for this.  Thanks Jan & Jane!  It meant a lot to me and it's still out there (though a little worse for the freezing nights recently).  Every time I walk in or out I think of mother.
Also we've had a national election and that's been exciting, too.  I'm curious to see how it will all work out, but I know it will.  We have a strong country.  I was reassured to see the red and blue county-by-county U.S. map following the election.  Check it out online if you're interested.

And with that I'll call it a day.  May God continue to bless y'all.  And may God bless America!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Time has slipped away! Sorry ...

Yes, time has slipped away from me and I've got a lot to tell you about what's been up with me lately. As usual I'll try to describe it in pictures ... I think that helps.

Couple weeks ago we went to West Union CafĂ© (Illinois) for lunch after church.  Wendell had heard on the news that there was a festival in progress on up Highway 1 in Marshall so after we finished lunch we drove on up there.  What a great surprise to find three blocks long -- both sides -- full of old cars! We love car shows so we walked the distance and it was well worth it.  Also went around the courthouse square and checked out the booths ... Here's a few pictures of my favs (cars, not booths, LOL!).  I took lots more pictures than this but just wanted to show you a few:

There's always some little interesting things I see that I just have to take a picture of ... for instance, here's a worm of some sort that I found on the outside grill cover.  What in the world is it? ...  What big eyes you have wormy!

One morning I got up and looked out the north window and there were our turkeys all around the garden shed!  They hung out there for quite a while.  (Sorry about the quality of this pic taken through the screen.)

We had some freaky weather two weeks ago with a brief downpour of small hail in mid-afternoon, followed quickly by the sun!  It was about 83 degrees at the time.   Global warming???
Well, here's another aspect of Mother Nature that I thoroughly enjoy -- the wonderful sunsets we've had recently.  I'm here to tell you though that the real thing is 100% better than my picture!

I finally got around to painting the gate on the lower drive.  Since it sits on the corner of our property, it's our responsibility to keep that area neat & tidy.  It looks so much better now (I should have taken before and after pictures!)
My birthday was last Friday; here's the flowers my sweetie sent me!

Now, about my birthday ... it was the best day ever! One of those days you don't want ever to end. Really!  We started out by taking some food to a funeral dinner and coincidentally had a very nice visit with some farmer neighbors there as we dropped off our salad. Then on to Vincennes and picked up some stuff for the house and grounds. Left there for Illinois where we took a great (!) drive through the country up to Robinson for a barbeque lunch at the Back Porch Smokehouse.  Wendell said it was my day to do whatever I wanted to do, so we followed lunch by a trip downtown to Antiques on the Square. Nice little shop. Also visited another one next door that was an eclectic mix of antiques and junk (heavy on the junk). My main objective though was Palestine, just east of Robinson. We went to S.D. Meadows Folk Art Gallery. My goal was to score my very own pothead! My how that place has grown since I was in there last! I was overwhelmed with the selection I had to choose from! (A thousand "!" would not be enough.) We toured the entire place; both floors. And I was more confused when I finished than when I began. But I finally agonized long enough (Wendell actually had to sit down) and picked my very own pothead!  Ta Da! .........

I know; after seeing this some of you are probably saying "big whoop" but I've always wanted one of these. You really need to see these in person to appreciate it. Well, also I guess you really would have to love folk art to appreciate it. You can read more about him online; if you just search "s.d. meadows" he'll pop up first few things. I'm keeping this one in the kitchen until next Spring, then I'll move him outdoors somewhere (?). ANYWAY ... after the trip home through Hutsonville, and stopping for a frappe at McDonald's along the way, my day was complete. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

I hope your day today is just half as good as my birthday was.  Remember: God is good, all the time.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Going forward ...

The last few weeks have been sort of up and down for me.  Feels like I'm marking time some days, in a way, but other days moving onward.  I had some time the week after Mom's death to re-read her old letters to me, written over the years.  For some reason I saved them.  So when I finished, I put them altogether with the few old pictures that I have of her, and put them away.  So it's time to move forward ...

We had a great day yesterday.  To church then right on to Elnora for a visit to the last day of the WRVAA antique tractor show.  We enjoyed demonstrations, looking at old tractors & equipment & steam engines, shopping the consignment barn, visiting with Becky and Sara in the log cabin (where they weave & spin), taking the shuttle all the way around to see what we needed to get off and look at more closely, watching people pick up hams and sides of bacon from the smoke house, ate a fish sandwich and had home-made ice cream, chatted with some old friends and some perfect strangers, then wandered off to the car and came back home.  It was beautiful, weather-wise, and good to be outdoors.  When we got home I showered and sat out on the porch and finished a book from the 44 Scotland Street Series by Alexander McCall Smith.  Really enjoying this series!  Listened to the Colts get beat (heartbreaker); so glad we sold the rights to our season tickets -- I think we chose a good time to do so.  After a light dinner of cheese and crackers and wine, we sat out on the porch and listened as the turkeys went to roost 'just' east of the house!  Wow, do they make a lot of noise.  It was a wonderful experience.  They get up into a tree then flop their way from branch to branch, up higher.  This is how high they went to roost: when I got up this a.m. I went out on the porch just in time to watch one fly over the top of the house and land right out by the round flower bed!!!  Honest!  You can't not love living here when something like that happens.

Well, even though Wendell's been suffering with a sinus infection we have been out and about, and enjoying the country life, so here's a few pictures of what's going on ...

One Saturday recently we went to Spencer to the car show down along the river.  We really enjoy looking at old cars ...

That same day we found that also in town was an all-VW car show at the courthouse square.  I took lots of pictures but here's a few. Some old and restored, some fairly new and tricked out.  There were bugs, things, buses, trucks ... It was great fun!

We've really had a super abundance of butterflies this summer.  And hummingbirds.  Maybe because we got so much rain and the flowers bloomed like crazy?  I don't know but I took tons of pictures of them this summer!
Here's some pictures I took yesterday at the Elnora WRVAA Show:

They've got a really neat old gas station ...

Remembered that Jeff once had an old Studebaker pickup truck when I saw this one.

Saw some weird paint jobs ... not a factory color!

And another odd-ball color ...

It was fun watching people carry away these large hams and sides.  They had tasty samples for people to try!

An old wagon from Swartzentruber's ...

The saw mill was very popular; the steam engine was making it all happen!

Horses pulling making the hay-baler work.

All in all yesterday was a very good day ... God is good.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Mom ...

My mother died last week.  We buried her yesterday.  It was sad, yes, but at the same time glad because she was so ready to go rest.  She celebrated her 98th birthday on the 13th.  I drove up to see her two days before she passed and she was truly all smiles while I was there -- awake and aware, not in pain.  She expressed a regret that she wouldn't get to see her newest great-grandchild (due this December).  And she stated that she "didn't know exactly what to expect".  I told her not to fear that I was sure that all was well with her soul.  We had a good visit, all things considered.

Here's an homage to Mom in pictures ...
Mom.  Probably about 3 or 4 years old.

Uncle Keith, Aunt Rosie & Mom.  On the back porch steps.

About 11 years old (4th grade).

Dad (Everett Schooley) and Mom (Nina Lee) in high school.  She's 16 and he's 17.

The original "Friends" ... dad & mom snuggled down in the back seat together (Dad's hangin' out wearing work shoes, white socks and rolled up dungarees).

On the back of picture it says "My boy-friend off and on in high school. Then I ended up marrying the guy! Ha!"  

Mom with me, just home from the hospital.

Skipping several years, Nancy, Mom, Dawn & Madeleine.

Mom with her brothers Roger & Keith and sister Rosie.

Mom and Dad with all their grands (at the time).

At their 50th wedding anniversary.

Just a few short years ago at the Lee Reunion with Gloria.

Happy in her cozy apartment at River Terrace.  This is how I'll try to remember her.  That smile.
1918 - 2016 ... She worked a whole lot of living into that dash.