Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Come to the New Blog!

Greetings Friends!

I don't reside here anymore.  Found it (mildly shamefully) difficult to post to a blog addressed as "paminflorida" since Pam is not in Florida anymore!

The new address is

I can post thankful expressions from anywhere!

So... please come join me there!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Oh, look out!

Grandma has gotten her hands on a Flip Video camera!

(You might want to pause the blog music on the right.)

Since they take so long to load... I only posted 2.

And... I just realized I haven't posted a still shot of him since he was 6 months! Here he is at almost 14 months. My precious little love bug.

I miss blogging, yet I haven't felt very bloggy the last several months. When I find a plethora of words, I'll be back.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Remember the Rock Slide...

Last November, I blogged about the major rock slide that occurred very close to my home.

Here's that clip again:

They finally cleared it. What was originally thought to take about 3 weeks, took more then 5 months!

I went over there recently to check it out and was rather awe struck by the scar left on the mountain.


I couldn't help but gasp a little when I first saw it.


The DOT guys were still there working. Thankfully, though, it's at least open to traffic now.


They say that the road couldn't withstand the weight of the boulders and it was crushed and swept into the river along with trees and rocks.


As I was walking and exploring, I came upon this suspension bridge. For those of you that have whitewater rafted this river, you'll recognize this area as the drop in. No, you don't go over this ferocious dam!! There's a gentle ramp beside it.

Anyway, it beckoned me. While the entrance was gated and looked like it should have a "Do Not Enter" sign posted, there was none (I looked closely) and the door, rather then being locked, was swung wide open. I took that as an invitation.

As I stepped off the platform and onto the bridge, it was swaying in the breeze and bounced beneath me with each step I took. It was a little unnerving. Nevertheless, I went all the way to the middle.


I stood there for a few minutes, pondering this angle of the mountain and the river as the water rushed over the dam below me. I took a few shots, then looking back toward the entrance I noticed a man standing there waving me back. Uh oh, I thought.

As I got closer I just shrugged and said, "I guess that's a no-no." He grinned and nodded to confirm the obvious. I told him I looked for the warning signs and he said that just the night before it had been vandalized. "I've been posted here to make sure no one enters. I guess I'm not doing my job very well!" We both laughed and wished each other a good day.


It's hard to tell how massive it is from back here, until you realize that driving on the road below it is a black dump truck and blue semi truck. See them? They almost look like they're driving on the suspension bridge I was just on. Now, that's perspective!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Things That Make You Go, "Whoa!!"

Let's talk about my Big George Tomato plants again.

It was April 12th, I believe, when I told you how proud I was of my little seedlings. And how amazing it is that "in about as much time as it took Zeila to "grow" her puppies (in utero), I'd have gigantic tomotoes."

Well, yeah, that would have been really amazing if it had happened. What's more amazing, is that it takes 3 or 4 times longer to achieve mature, fruit producing tomato plants than it does for a puppy to grow from conception to warm, pudgy, furry, precious, yummy-smelling little snugglers! Shows you how much I know.

Zeila could have conceived, birthed, nurtured and weaned her pups by now... and I still don't have tomatoes!

What I do have is super huge plants with dainty little flowers on them.

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Whoa! Those are some super huge tomato plants. They're taller then me - but no fruit yet. Hmpf.

That shot was taken less than 48 hours ago.

This morning I made a dreadful discovery...
Somewhere between yesterday afternoon and this morning, these guys appeared.

(not my photo - see copyright info)

The devastatingly destructive Tomato Hornworm. Whoa! Big, fat and ugly... and very hard to see because they blend so well with the stems and leaves.

In about 14-16 hours' time, they ate half my tomato plants! Amazing how quickly they work.

We (by we, I mean Joe) plucked off 7 or 8 of these guys that were 4 to 5 inches long and as fat as my thumb. Seriously. Eeeew! I couldn't bear to touch them... and I'm thankful for that because when Joe grabbed them (we first confirmed they wouldn't bite or sting), they oozed this slimey green goo. Blech! He didn't squish them, either... it must be some kind of defense mechanism. {shiver}

There are also a couple of these.

(again, not my photo)

Whoa! I had no clue what utterly disgusting, stomach-turning sight this was. Google search reveals that it's the hornworm with braconids. "Braconid wasps are considered beneficial bugs to your garden." These are their cocoons whose host is the hornworm.

Check out this link about them... pretty interesting, though gross. Anyway, we let them stay put.

Ack. Enough of that!

Here's something better.

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Whoa! Look at that size difference!

The first time I saw Kingston's hands when he was just a day old, I was awed by their size. They were such big - wide and long - hands for such a little guy. They immediately made me think of his Grandpa Joe's hands.

Kingston has a lot of growing to do before his hands get as big as his grandpa's!

Then, of course, there is this.

6 months - serious

I last posted a photo of him when he was 3 months old. His mommy took these of him when he turned 6 months. I just love the serious ones... his eyes are so expressive.

6 months - smiling
The smiley ones will melt you, too, though. Whoa! He is one handsome little dude!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Summer Afternoon

I'm out on the porch, reading and absorbing the book I mentioned the other day, A Woman's Call to Prayer by Elizabeth George.

The porch is shaded and there's a faint breeze. One of my dogs is out here with me and he found a sunny spot to lay in. He does adore sleeping in a sunbeam!

Here he is... remember this one?

Every now and then he decides to get up and see if he can get away with wandering off to the woods to rustle something up. He's very trustworthy, but still... that's a no-no, so I go check on him and encourage him to rejoin me. The movement on this upper deck causes the furry ones below us to rouse from their slumber and protest their separation, as they're relegated to the downstairs patio and fenced area. Poor ol' souls!

When we all settle back down I pause for a bit, before picking the book back up, to listen to the music - the music of nature. We're in a wooded setting and the birds' songs are amazing; a myriad of chirps and tweets, near and far. Below our house (we're on a hill) a small creek runs through our property out at the edge.

(early Spring, pre-leaves)

The sound of the moving water combined with the birds' singing and the slight rustle of the leaves from the breeze... it's pure music! Even the drone of the buzzing bees adds depth to the melody. And just for dramatic effect, our neighboring rooster throws in his occasional cockle-doodle-doo! The butterflies, though silent, flutter by and add their beauty to the song.

As I sit here listening and enjoying nature's version of quiet, I keep thinking about this recipe I came across recently. I'm not some big foodie that has recipes swimming in my head all the time - it's just that this one is so bizarre... it's Queen Ann's Lace Jam! Weird, right? I don't know if I can bring myself to make it. I can't get past the "...and somewhat flowery" description of it's flavor. Blech. That doesn't sound appetizing.

Queen's Ann Lace

However, we do have Queen Ann's Lace all over the place right now - and you can bet that I don't pass by it without contemplating harvesting some (about 2 packed cups worth)... just to see!

Oooh, we just had a strong gust of wind. Honestly, those trees in the distance look like they have holy hands lifted in praise to their Creator when they sway like that against the backdrop of the summer blue sky. "... Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy" (Psalm 96:11)

Okay, I'm going to get back to reading.

Happy Summer! ...and may it afford you many opportunities to be still!!

"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him." (Psalm 37:7)

Sunday, June 13, 2010


He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness” Psalm 107:9

Yesterday I started reading a book by Elizabeth George, A Woman’s Call to Prayer. In the second chapter she quoted that verse.

It made me pause and consider the things that cause our hearts and souls to long…

My greatest heart’s desire right now is to live in close proximity to these three.

It grieves me that our daily lives are not intertwined. I can't conceive of the notion that if things stay status quo, that sweet little boy wouldn't be able to come over to his grandma and grandpa's house just for a bowl of ice cream (because he knows we always have his favorite stocked), or that we wouldn't have the privilege of taking him to the park or zoo for the afternoon while his mom and dad do whatever their hearts' desire. That I can't suggest to my daughter on a whim that we grab our cameras and go for a hike, or ask the three of them to come over for dinner and a movie... you get the gist. I don't care if the Lord moves us there, or He moves them here, or He moves us all to Timbuktu - I just yearn for us to be nearby each other.

Some long for a certain job promotion; or for recognition of a job well done and for their efforts to be rewarded. (While the center of my prayers these days is to obtain a decent job, it is not a longing of my heart and soul, it’s merely a necessity… albeit, an important one.)

Some may be lonely and yearn for companionship; a soul mate. Others perhaps have an empty nest and long for children to fill their home.

Some longings may be of a more whimsical nature. I have a few of those!

I long to photograph (nature, particularly, it seems), to paint (with acrylics and pastels) and to write (even if the only thing I ever complete is the telling of my grandmother’s story). Sometimes I think if I didn’t have a creative outlet, I’d just shrivel up. The thing is, though, I don’t want to just dabble in those things, I want to become really GOOD at them (classes, teachers and mentors will surely be required). After all, if I’m going to do a thing, I want to do it well.

The trouble is, our longings and desires can get us out of alignment... and we become so intent on fulfilling them, that we forget to seek God’s will - or at least we seek it only half-heartedly. Sometimes I find it hard to remember that His will is always for my best. Presently, God has me just standing firm in Him, waiting for His clear direction; that is, the longings haven’t changed, but the clamoring has. While I sometimes feel disappointed, I don't feel desperate because I know He is trustworthy, and I’m confident that if I’m never afforded the opportunity to hone my creative skills (what will be will be; these things take time and money, after all), and even if I never again live in the same town as my precious kids and grandkids (this one would require an extra measure of grace), I’ll survive. I may even be content, because… if “I delight myself in the Lord, He will give me the desires of my heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
in the light of His glory and grace.

(hymn written by Helen M. Lemmel)

Whether soulful or whimsical, what do you long for? Do you need realignment?

“Seek first His kingdom and His righteous, and all these things will be added to you as well.”
(Matt. 6:33)

(These guys are at this lake every time I visit. I like that.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Big George Tomatoes

Do you remember me telling you about Mountain Man Bob? It was in this post that I introduced him.

In it, I mentioned the Big George Tomato he gave me... it went like this:

Recently, he brought me a huge tomato from his garden. It's called a Big George and when you slice it for a sandwich, it's bigger than the slice of bread! Oooh, it was tasty. He told me how to keep the seeds so I can plant them next spring and have Big George tomato plants of my own. The plants he's enjoying these days came from plants of his father's decades ago! And where did his dad get his seeds? Get this! From the wife of the man who rode the last horse and buggy mail route in the United States (which was right here, of course... Bob's family was on the route)! 1940s. Seriously. And now I have some.

Well, a little over a week ago I planted some of those seeds I saved... about 18, or so. I've kept them on the kitchen window sill, which is sunny and bright, and have been diligent in keeping the soil moist, but not overly so.

I'm very happy to announce that as of this morning, I have eight little shoots sprouting from the dirt. Right now, they're only as big as alfalfa sprouts, but I'm about as proud as a new mama of my strong little seedlings!

In about as much time as it took Zeila to grow her puppies (8 weeks), I'll have tomatoes bigger than my fist! Nature is super cool... to God be the glory.

You wanna know what else? I made another blueberry recipe today. Blueberry Iced Tea! Ooooh, delicious! Do you like Raspberry Iced Tea? This is even better!

Okay, calling it a day. I think I'll go catch the latest episode of House... I keep saying it's getting too predictable (the "I just had an epiphany" gaze he gets toward the end of every show is getting a little annoying), but I'm not quite ready to give it up... We'll see what the next couple of weeks brings. Oh, and then I'll see the latest DWTS. (I love DVR!!)

I have a feeling that the blog will be sorely lacking photos in the near future... thanks to dial-up. I'll upload when I can... but, whew, it's slow!

Enjoy your evening and when it's time, sleep slow and soundly!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I Love Blueberries

I didn't realize how much I love blueberries until I moved to NC where fresh blueberries are so abundant in the summertime. Blueberry season is just around the corner {happy grin}, yet we're still eating blueberries out of the freezer that I picked last summer... we had piles of them!

Lately, I haven't been using them for more than blueberry pancakes. I don't think I can eat pancakes plain anymore. There's something wonderful about the combination of the tart berries with the sweet syrup.

Since picking time will be here before I know it, though, I went in search of more ways to use up the berries I still have (about 8 quarts!). The other day I found a pie recipe I wanted to try... Polly's Perfect Blueberry Pie. Oh my! Perfect, indeed!

They say that for good health it's recommended to eat 6 smaller meals a day rather than the typical 3... increases metabolism, etc., etc... Do you suppose it's still recommended if 3 of the 6 "meals" are blueberry pie slices? You're thinking, "Oh, no, you couldn't have..." Ah, but I did! I had a slice for breakfast (what... they're rich in antioxidants!), I had a slice between lunch and dinner, and I had a slice between dinner and bed. I couldn't help myself. It is CRAZY GOOD!!

If you can get your hands on a couple of quarts of fresh blueberries this summer... you've got to make this pie.

Polly's Perfect Blueberry Pie

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 2/3 cup salad oil
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
Pie Filling:
1 quart fresh blueberries, washed
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
Dash ground cinnamon
Dash freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 teaspoons butter

Into a 9-inch pie plate, sift together the flour, sugar, and the salt. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together 1/2 cup salad oil and 3 tablespoons milk with a fork. Pour that over the flour mixture in pie plate and mix with a fork until all flour is evenly dampened. If it is still too dry to work with your hands, mix a little more oil with a little milk and add to flour mixture. With your hands press the dough evenly against the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan, allowing the excess to fall on the counter. (This will be the top crumble crust and is about 1/3 of the total crust mixture.) Sweep it into your hand and reserve in a small bowl. Crimp the edges of the bottom crust or use a fork dipped in milk to flatten the crust along the rim.
Berry pie filling:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
To the washed berries add cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon, and freshly grated nutmeg. Stir gently.
Place the berry mixture in the bottom crust and sprinkle lemon juice over it. Then with an ordinary teaspoon, place little 1/2 teaspoons soft butter evenly over the top of the berry filling.
Crumble the reserved crust on top of the pie.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Check it after 30 minutes. If crust is getting golden but pie filling is not quite congealed, tent the pie with aluminum foil to keep crust from getting too brown.

- - - - - - - -

That's how the recipe went... but here's what really happened - By the time I pressed the crust into the pie plate, I didn't have enough for the crumble. You can't have a skimpy crust, afterall. So, I made half of the recipe again and set it aside solely for the crumble. I recommend doing it that way... the crust and crumble is really delicious.

I also added more berries and accompanying ingredients accordingly. Just thought it needed a boost. Whoa. I was in berry pie heaven.

Today, I made a blueberry coffee cake ala Paula Deen. Now, Joe is swooning over it the way I was the pie!

Lookout blueberry season, we're armed with recipes!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Back to Blogging

Oh, my goodness. It's been THREE months to the day since I last posted to the blog. Jeepers creepers. Time flies... whether you're having fun or not.

The last time I was here, I posted from Vermont when I was there to meet my precious little grandson. And precious he is! Wanna see what happens in three months' time?

Check it out...

Kingston on his 1/4 birthday 4-6-10

He grows! And he is still seriously adorable - and he is still the deep thinker he was when he was just a newbie. His mama took this picture of him three days ago... the day he turned three months old. Is he not the most handsome thing?

Okay... wait. I have to show you that he's not always serious; he has a killer smile, too. Here ya go:

smiling 4-4-10
"Hi you handsome smirky smirker!" I could just gobble him up!

So, why have I been gone so long? Changes.

I don't work where I did, and I don't live where I did, the last time I was here.

We have relocated to a lovely home 9 miles down a country road, away from main-stream Murphy (and away from high speed internet), where roosters crow morning, noon and night, rain or shine, light or dark. I really thought they only did that to announce the dawn of a new day. My childhood story books always led me to believe that the farmers woke up to start their long farming day when the rooster crowed, then the rooster's job was done (and I never gave a thought to their role in the chicken coop). But then again, I've always been a city dweller so I'm not familiar with these things.

I have to say that in this environment, the continuous sound of the rooster is appropriate... even comforting. I don't mind hearing them all day (and night) long. But I admit that I am thankful they are far enough away from us not to be intrusive... they're more like a background sound... sort of mood-setting.

Okay, so that's where we live now. As for work; I'm still among the many, many unemployed in our country. But, sparing you, I won't pontificate on that situation.

Our hope is to soon be in Vermont so I can take my own unending pictures of that beautiful boy and his parents, and not have to rely on the pictures his mom takes (which most of you have already seen on Facebook, anyway).

That's that. I hope to blog more often. Although, in our new ultra rural location, we have to contend with a dial-up connection. Here's hoping it doesn't inhibit my ability to hang out here more often!

Time to go make dinner: mushroom swiss burgers, sauted mushrooms and baby spinach, and homemade sweet potato chips. ~Those are good, and so easy! Slice the potato(s) as thin as you can (and it would be a whole lot easier with a mandoline, but I don't have one). Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and put the chips on it in a single(ish) layer. Put a pea size dollop of soft butter on each chip (okay, admittedly, that part can be tedious), sprinkle with salt (and whatever other spices you like) and bake in a 375 oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on how crispy you like them. Mmmmm, mmmm, good.

...till next time.

UPDATE: Forget what I said about pea-sized dollops. In the past I was being OCD about making sure each chip had it's fair share of butter. Thankfully, I'm over that. I didn't have the patience tonight, so I just melted a couple of tablespoons and drizzled it over the pan. So much easier and just as tasty.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Grandma's Little Superstar

I don't even know where to start. The heart is an amazing thing with it's ability to never run out of room for love. It has surely expanded for this little man.

Kingston 1-6-10
Is it any wonder. Look at how precious he is.

Kingston hands
Here's those hands I love. Look how masculine they are... and big for his size. He has really long fingers with long, narrow nail beds. Very, very handsome.

kingston 1-7-10
Oh, my little cherub. He is so good. He has taken very well to nursing, sleeps like a champ, and is super easy to soothe. "Just let me rest against your warm chest and feel your heartbeat, and I'm happy!"

Me and Kingston 2
This is one happy grandma!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

He's Here!!!

This will be short... my heart is swollen and I can hardly type through the tears.

But I knew you'd want to see this precious little boy.

He made his appearance this morning at just after 7:00, weighing in at 8 lbs. 14 oz. Exactly 3 pounds bigger than his mother was! Nic says he has lots of hair and "is perfect!"

These are his pics... I think from his phone:

ko and baby 3
Such a beautiful little bundle!

Ko and baby
This one! Oh my... what a precious moment. The lump in my throat is growing and the watery eyes are starting to stream!

I'm on my way there.... flying at about 20,000 feet, even as I type this. Just this once I indulged in the "in-flight wifi." Had to. I knew there were pictures of my grandson waiting for me in my email!

For those of you that were also following on Facebook. I have not been able to access my profile page to respond to the many comments I received in answer to our request for prayer... but THANK YOU! It means so much.

Okay... I gotta go and just ponder all this in my heart before I really start blubbering and causing a scene in zone 4 of flight 1856!

Love you!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Oh, for heaven's sake!

I thought I'd have a picture of a gorgeous baby boy by now...

Problem with that is the baby boy has not made his grand entrance yet. There are no complications; both mommy and baby are strong and healthy. It's just a long, slow labor. It stalled for a while last night and she was able to get 6 hours of (sporadic) sleep!

Shortly after midnight tonight, my precious daughter will have been in labor for 48 hours. Mercy! I've never heard of such a thing.

I was hoping she'd take after her mama. I had her in 3.5 hours.

Nic tells us she's doing fabulously, though. Remaining calm and managing the pain very well. They started pitocin at noon today and that has helped to kick start the contractions. He said that they are closer and stronger and she's making progress. "... she has to stay in her 'happy place' longer now, though."

More tomorrow... and THEN I will have happy news and an incredible picture to share!

Sunday, January 3, 2010



The time has arrived. I'm about to become a grandma!

Here's my darling girl at the hospital... look at that low belly!

ko in hospital 2

I was hoping to be there in time, but our little guy decided to come a week early.

My son-in-law sent these from his phone. Thanks, Nic!

ko in hospital

He may have a January 3rd birthday, or he could have a January 4th birthday. Either way, rest assured there will be a post sometime tomorrow of a beautiful baby boy.

And soon thereafter (Wednesday) I'll have that precious pun'kin in my arms!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bump Update!

Here's my girl at 37 weeks!!

Bump-37 weeks

Whoa! I don't remember being that big - of course, she was a mere 5 lbs. 14 oz. at full term.

My little peanut grew to be 5 inches taller than me, though!

Here are current stats (as borrowed from her blog...):

How far along? 37 Weeks 3 Days

Total weight gain: 28 pounds!!! [Mom's note: Even though her belly is so much bigger than I remember mine being, she's only 4 pounds heavier than I was] Back to Kristiina: I had a 2 pound increase this week. It kinda washes with the 1 pound increase I had for the 2 week period last appointment. Yeah, that's it! Actually, I think it's because the boy dropped. Since I've had the extra room, my appetite has been out of control. I never feel full anymore. I made myself a 1.5 lb. steak last night and still went back for a giant bowl of cereal. Yeah, cereal has been another big craving lately. I just can't get enough! I told Nic that I could easily see how some women gain 60 pounds! If I felt like this the whole time, I would be a blimp!

Maternity clothes?: Ha! Barely. I rarely leave the house anymore. There's so much to do here and very few reasons to get me out in this winter weather. I have my favorite jeans, several sweaters and shirts to rotate through but at home I'm in tshirts and pj pants. :-D A girl has to stay comfy!

Sleep: What sleep? I kid, kinda. I'm good until about 3 or 4 AM. Then hips ache, arms/hands tingle, full bladder begs to be emptied and contractions kick in. I think the contraction have something to do with a full bladder and lack of fluids those hours that I'm sleeping. As soon as I relieve myself and quench the desert in my mouth, they go away. I do sleep with a liter of water on my nightstand but I don't wake up until the contractions are starting. I still don't know if that's good or bad. All I know is the end is near!

Best moment this week: Nic telling me about his Daddy bonding time with the boy while I was asleep. Such a sweet moment!

Movement: Yes but much less. Of course this isn't a concern to the doctor. He is clearly running out of space in there. I still feel him several times a day and much more in the evening and when I'm getting ready for bed. It wont be a concern unless I feel him less than 3 times in an hour. This boy far surpasses that!

Gender: Boy! Without a doubt!

Labor Signs: What signs don't I have?! I've lost the plug, have dropped, get regular contractions through the night, you name it, I've had it! The only thing I'm lacking at this point is actual labor!

Belly Button in or out? Out by about 1/4 of an inch. Barely anything.

What I miss: Oh many, many things! Belly sleeping, sleeping at all, sitting on the couch comfortably, sitting at all (I can't rotate my hips since he's dropped. I just perch on the edge of chairs) ribs that don't ache, peeing like a normal person, normal sized ankles, hands that don't tingle, feeling my finger tips, typing without a million type-o's, being able to walk upright without back aches, getting out of the house, being productive, having energy, hmmm....I should probably stop now.

What I am looking forward to: The opposite of everything listed above! ;-) Oh and having a precious little boy in my arms.

Weekly Wisdom: The end is hard no matter what! The outcome is worth it!

Milestones: Dropping! Woo-Hoo! Another step closer!

Fundle height: 37cm

Mama's waist size: 42 1/2 inches! Holy crap!!!! It's amazing what a woman's body can do. I look forward to seeing what happens post partum!

I'll arrive in VT on the 6th, she's due on the 10th... I hope our little boy will wait for grandma to get there!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Snow Play!

They were absolutely elated and revved up by our snow fall.

They ran and leaped like giddy children who just learned it was a snow day!



IMG_3542 C2






My Sweet Things - they were so fun to watch!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

All Grown Up

I just thought you might like to see the mature Sara.

The just-born pup from the previous post is a big girl now...

Sara 2

Told ya she was just as pretty and precious as can be!

Okay... here's one of Mama Zeila playing with her grown up pups.


You can't see much of Sara in this one. Her back and rear end is behind Zeila. The three heads you see are Emma, Blaze and Riley. Emma and Riley are both bringing mama a toy to play with (yes, Emma's empty water bottle is considered a toy at our house).

We have Papa, too, and they all play so well together.

In the next day or two I'll post pics of the snow-day play... they had a blast!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I [Heart] Faces - Pets Only

My blog friends, Angie and Amy, started a photography contest/tutorial blog called I [Heart] Faces almost a year ago (wish I knew how to type a heart symbol in here, that's what it's supposed to be). The blog says that this is Week 49! Whoa, time flies.

When they first announced they were doing it... I thought, "Ooo, that will be fun!" Then I realized I don't do faces. Really. I hardly ever get pictures of people unless it's a special occasion ...and then they're not WOW portraits, they're just memory catchers (which is a good thing, but not what you enter in a contest).

This week I learned that the theme is Pets Only... now, I think I can muster something up in that category {{grin}} ...I have pets!

One of my favorite pet photos was taken before I had a DSLR, and while I surely don't expect it winning any awards, it always makes me smile.

See if it makes you smile...

Mama kisses Sara - E

This is my Zeila girl giving her little Sara (runt of the litter) a sweet mama-doggy lick about an hour after she was born. That darling pup is now 2.5 years old and is pretty and precious as can be!

Whew! And I'm happy to say that a full year didn't pass, and 2009 didn't go out, without my submitting at least one photo to the I [Heart] Faces Blog!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Better Late Than Never...

A summary of my Thanksgiving...

(You'll want to pause the blog music on the right... there are videos below.)

Since I'm away from family and Joe is out of town, I thought it was going to be a quiet holiday. I was hoping to find a place - a soup kitchen or shelter - where I could volunteer, but I couldn't find one. Some of the local churches were preparing a charity meal, but they were well covered and didn't need help. Maybe if I had traveled to a larger city I'd have had better luck.

Instead, I decided to invite my co-worker and his family over to our place. Two other friends; property owners at Wilderness Creek Falls, came, too.

Here's our gang: (Oh, by the way, I can't take credit for these pics. I took about 3 all day and they turned out lousy! Mindy and Chloe took these.)

We had such a nice day. A good 10 hours of food, fun and fellowship! It helped me not miss being away from home and loved ones so much.

Here are our property owners... and now friends; mother and daughter, Mindy and Chloe. Dad, Rory, was in Florida. ...oh, and Kody, of course! He just turned 16 years old.

This is Brittany and Josh. Josh is Rick and Cheryl's son... I work with Rick; he's our Construction Manager.

Here is another Brittany... Rick and Cheryl's daughter... with Cheryl. Rick and Cheryl will soon be first-time grandparents, too. Brittany just found out they're having a girl - due in April!

We're having fun carving the turkey!, Dean, and Rick.

We don't have a big dining table... just our round one that seats six. So, I made a make-shift table that would fit everyone. Just added a folding table, but it worked... we ate together.

Here is Rick and Cheryl's youngest, Jake, with Chloe.

What the heck is with my hair? And my rings, where are my rings? ... I don't like to wear them when I'm in the kitchen, but I always forget to put them back on. (They're in my pocket.)
And... have you noticed that our predecessors put wood paneling in every single room of this house?! Maybe someday we'll paint it or replace it. That would be a worthwhile goal...!

With full bellies, we lingered around the table for awhile. Kody loves Rick.

So, somewhere in the midst of our chatter, we talked Chloe into a giving us a song. It was easy... she loves to sing, and she's terrific! What I didn't tell you, is that she's a star in the making. She's already a TV celebrity; your tweenagers may recognize her from Nickelodeon's Slime Time, but she's now focusing on her singing career with a debut CD soon to be released. I'll be in line for one!

Check it out (there's conversing in the beginning, and a futile attempt to get Kody to sing at the end, but the middle...Wow):

Pretty awesome, huh? She's a performer extraordinaire, and also sang Etta James' At Last for us! She said she wished she knew us back when Kristiina and Nic got married... that she would have loved to sing at their wedding (this is after the "At Last discussion" got started), and I said, "Well, guess what song they danced their first dance to?!" Chloe did a bang-up job with it. A cappella, no less!

What a good day we had!

And just cuz I mentioned it... here's that first dance, again:

About Me

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I'm a wife, mom, and grandma living in rural Vermont. I spend 40 hours of my week working outside my home and away from my garden, but am nevertheless passionate about healthy eating and sustainable living. By sourcing nutrient-dense food from local farms and avoiding processed foods, we are realizing how our over health is being impacted for the better. I’m excited to have you join me as I share what we’re learning and invite you to offer your insights in the comments. “…giving thanks in all circumstances…” 1 Thess 5:16-18