Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving

 Saw a nice prayer in our paper:

Oh Heavenly Father

We thank Thee for the gift of food, as we pray for the hungry.

We thank Thee for the gift of health, as we pray for the sick.

We thank Thee for the gift of good friends, as we pray for the friendless.

We thank Thee for the gift of freedom, as we pray for the imprisoned and enslaved.

May these prayers of Thanksgiving stir us to service, so that Thy gifts given so freely to us may be used to bless other.  Amen

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and stay safe!

Friday, November 20, 2020

Fun Easy Post with Pictures!

I took these photos back in early and mid summer as I laid out stepping tiles and planted grass in between and then got our fountain set up.  

I thought this would be a fun post to reflect back on how much I love spring and summer and how I still like fall, but as the leaves all get brown and fall off and it is all brown and gray outside, and then the darkness comes...yuck not so much.  LOL.  

This area of my yard is between the back porch and our deck where grass is sort of hard to grow because of the shade and because it is high traffic area.  Plus, I knew I wanted to put a fountain here, and I considered doing completely flagstones, but that was going to be too expensive and too harsh looking anyway.  I don't really want to do much landscaping here, because the leaves really get thick in here and it is so hard to rake out of all these corners.  So, I thought these pavers spread out would help with the traffic and minimize the effect of the non consistent grass growing.  Plus, it gives us a platform for the fountain and i just mow over it as if it were all grass.  I think I like it.  I put a groundcover over lining the deck, so it will fill in and i won't have to trim up by the deck, just let it grow.  I can't wait to see how it does next spring after it gets going.  This is the light green moneywort and it is very low maintenance.  Around the edge over next to the patio I am going to get large river rocks and just make a nice border, where i can rake or blow the leaves off easily and it will look nice since we don't have gutters on this side and the rain just drips.  

Oh, how far away spring feels...


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Work, Work, Work

 So, I am doing ok at my new job.  Finally getting into a routine and developing some systems around how to do my job and be most efficient and effective.  The learning curve was the first couple weeks and now I am settling into a way of working that seems to be working pretty well.  I think I will even come to enjoy it, once I feel more confident. 

Although the money is nice (got my first paycheck), I hope that the mandatory 60 hours a week does not go on too long.  I mean, I have done 60 hour workweeks before - and NOT at home, but it is a lot and gets old after a few months.  We figure with the pandemic ramping up all over the country, we will probably have to continue this schedule through winter, and maybe through spring.

I had a treadmill that I found used.  I used it probably not even 20 miles and it went kaput.  So I ordered and received one from Sams.  It was very heavy in a huge box.  DH and I opened the box in the driveway and took out the pieces we could.  Then we dragged the bottom half of the huge box into the house and down the hallway to the spare guestroom.  DH spent about 3 hours yesterday putting it together.  Today was nice, so i did couple miles at lunch.  I am going to do 2 more miles on my new treadmill after work today.  I have been conditioning so well, hiking and such, i don't want to loose my strength I have built up.  Plus, I still need to lose about 15 pounds to be more comfortable in my clothes.  Good luck during a pandemic!

Anyway.  Just pretty much working and getting my routine down.  On my only day off that I did not have to go anywhere, Sunday.  I raked my front yard and tore down my raised veggie garden.  Then i had a nice long walk inthe sunshine and listened to my newest library book on tape.  Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance.  The subtitle is "A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis".  He is a young man who grew up pretty poor in Appalachia with a mother who abused pain medication and a father he did not know who managed to get through law school and graduate from Yale Law.  It is really good.

Well, I hope all you out there stay safe and aren't running out of TP.  Our Sams was out on Sunday.  Here we go again!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Quick Post


Yesterday we buried my Dearest Granny.  Due to Covid concerns, we were limited in what we could do and as it turns out, my Granny just wanted a very limited service, did not want a sad affair.  So, we met just small extended family, and then we held brief but very beautiful graveside.  It is about a 4 hour drive for us, I left at 5:50am with my niece riding with me.  DH went up the day before we our friend, J, from Florida.  He got on a plane from Florida and came just to be with us and help in anyway he could.  His wife had to stay in Florida - she is a busy nurse.  J and DH drove up Sunday to check on J's lake house.  The weather was sunny and beautiful - low 70's.  Today, back home I woke up to high 60's and it go up to 73 before a front moved in and it got cold and dark, windy...pretty soon the rain.  So glad we did not have rain yesterday.  I got some very nice calls, texts, posts and cards from my family and friends.  My husband's family brought by a couple of beautiful strawberry hydrangeas.  I planted them Sunday.  

We were so lucky that our minister from my small town I grew up in was able to travel from his city to perform the service.  He was able to tell nice stories of when he was a new minister and came to our small town, that the 3 ladies on the hill (My Granny and her 2 sisters in law) were his biggest cheering section.  My Granny he was especially close to, because she kept the books for the church.  He has gone on to have a large church in another big city in my 'hometown' state of Missouri and moved on to have an even bigger church in another big city.  He is well thought of in the Methodist church structure.  He and his wife have grown their little family of 4 kids to numerous grandkids, all spreading their wings now.  We were so happy we could do this for my Granny.  We had someone give her service that had known here since 1987.  I know my Granny would have been proud of her family coming together and so that is what I will hold close to my heart, that she is smiling down on us.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

A Very Sad Post

 My very Dearest and Cherished Grandmother died yesterday.

RIP BEL 3/6/1919 - 11/3/2020

Have been so busy dealing with the end of my Granny's last days on earth.  She was moved into her new apartment right next to her daughter end of September.  She fell a couple more times, broke her wrist about 2 weeks ago.  I did not have a chance to get up and see her in the city to tell her about the wild horses and all the springs, like I had hoped.  But once she declined, she declined quickly.  So, after my very first week on my new job, on my day off (Sunday) my sister and my niece drove up to see if she would know us.  She was resting peacefully, but gave signs she might have heard us.  We held her hands and stroked her hair and told her her job here on earth was done and to fly and be free.  We know she is excited to go to heaven and see her parents, sister, sister in law, brothers, cousins, husbands, dauther in law (my mom) and especially her son.  

So, as the entire free world is watching the election results, I am getting her obit finished, her funeral arrangements, her pictures and preparing the picture she painted of me and the afgan I crocheted her to be buried with her.  

Whatever the outcome, be nice to each other out there.  

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Springs and more springs!

 UPDATE:  I heard late last week that the place where my grandmother lived is not going to pursue an extra month rent due to the reasons I pointed out.  I am SOOOOO grateful, I saved her $2000!

I am in orientation and virtual training this week, switching over to my new job.  I took a break today after training, before my zoom yoga class to post some pictures from my hiking trip last week.

We saw 7 different springs.  It is amazing the area in less than 100 mile radius has the type of geographical features that allow the viewing of so many beautiful springs.  This is not all of them, just the ones I saw.

Alley Springs

Cave Spring

Welch Spring

Round Spring

Blue Spring

Big Spring

Mammouth Spring

I noticed on the map there were a few of the springs with the same name, Blue Spring, for instance.  I guess they were running out of ideas.  Maybe Wet Spring or Roaring Spring wasn't considered, LOL.  Many of these springs are close to parking so you can drive and not have to walk too far.  The Alley Spring was the most photogenic - the bright red mill next to it and the walk around it made it easy to photograph.  Big, Blue and Round springs came out from under a rock cliff, making it harder to get a representation in a photograph of the size/color.  The Blue Spring was an amazing blue color, and so deep (over 300 feet?) that it was dark and hard to see.  The Welch Spring was cool, because next to it sits an abandoned hospital.  Eery.  It was about a mile walk.  Cave Spring was connected to the Current River, I was able to kayak into it directly from the river last month - which was much easier than the 2.5+ miles up and down into the woods required to walk to it.  There were a couple want to see next time I am in that area, such as Pulltight Spring.  Just not enough time.

Well, the days are still pretty warm after a brief cool/rainy couple of days - my plants are liking that and so am I because we unhooked our hoses in case it freezes and i left them unhooked so i don't forget and have freeze damage.  Tomorrow is supposed to warm to nearly 80 then drop to 40.  While i was gone last week, DH arranged for a delivery of a rick of wood for us to burn this winter.  It probably isn't quite enough for the entire winter, but we can always get a little more.

My brain is tired after training, esp virtual/online training.  It is so boring and hard to pay attention.  At least they gave us plenty of breaks so we could get up and move around.  I swear that in the last few years, the worst types of soreness/injury I have had are from sitting too much at work and sleeping wrong, lol.  

I am LOVING our new bed though.  I am excited to have our new bed intime for winter and our rik of wood.  What have you out there been doing to prepare for winter?  I have been thinking of getting one of those salt lamps too - I just replenished my vitamin D supply and use LED lights as much as possible due to SAD.  The dark/damp just bums me out.  So, all winter it is important for me on nice days as much as possible to get out there and get a little sun on my face/arms.  "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can".  I have some relatives who are having a hard time with some health issues that i am thinking of, so i am blessed with my lack of problems there.  I hope this is not a long winter and i hope you are safe and well where ever you are reading this from!

Friday, October 16, 2020

Last Trip for a While!

 It is Friday!  I am back working and putting in 10 hours today.  Will only get 20 hours in this week, as we were off Monday and I took off Tues - Thurs for my hiking trip.  But I am glad I worked Sunday so i will at least get partial check!

It was nice having Monday off, but I spent much of my afternoon making a couple of dishes to take to the hiking trip for our pot luck the first night.  I made a bean dip and nachos fixings and made a cinnamon roll/caramel apple "lasagna" bake dish that I found on Pinterest.  It was yummy.  I also put out a few fall decorations like some pretty leaf garlands and a couple of metal pumpkins I put out on my front porch and a couple of wreaths - and that is about the extent of my fall effort!  Felt weird, because it was still mid 80's earlier this week!

Went to bed pretty early, so I could get early start to meet my friend to ride to the hiking trip.  I belong to a hiking club and they do overnight spring trip and a fall trip each year.  Last spring we did the spring trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas.  This was literally right before Covid shutdown.  

The hiking club fall trip was to Eminence, Missouri.  If you read my blog before today, you will recall that I went here a month ago to kayak on 3 of the area rivers and LOVED it.  
This is an area in Southern Missouri about 1.5 hours Southeast of Springfiend.  It is a beautiful area consisting of beautiful pristine forest protected in the Mark Twain National Forest and limestone and dolomite rock caves and springs resulting in rock formations, caves and spring fed rivers.  Very pretty area, sparsely populated, but popular for travelers wanting to hike and enjoy the rivers and look for the wild horses that live here.  

I will probably write and post pictures in multiple different entries on my blog because I took so many pictures and enjoyed it so much, I want to capture a record of it for myself as much as for the blog!  It was a great trip and I am so lucky to have happened across this hiking group that I joined a year and a half ago and have met so many wonderful people and made friends that I enjoy and admire so much.  

The officers of the club pick the hikes and scout the areas, researching and access maps and then doing the hikes before they invite the entire group.  We have suspended carpooling and mask up when we are doing our group photos to be respectful and careful due to the virus.  The officers work so hard to give us interesting and pretty hikes.  They even find lodging and reserve blocks of rooms for our overnight trips.  This trip to Eminence, we stayed at Echo Bluff State Park.  There is a lodge and cabins and RV camping.  It was very nice.  Beautiful setting and wonderful accomodations.

I will post more about our hikes and what pretty things we saw here.  I am just about ready to go for a short walk around the neighborhood with my DH.  The weather is just gorgeous now that I am back home.  I got home last evening around 7 and since there was a frost advisory, we rushed around for an hour trying to fit all our plants back in the house and garage.  We did not get all my cactus from the front porch in yet, but they seem OK today.  So maybe it didn't get below 32 last night.

My DH was glad to be home and I sure missed him too.  I told him how much I want my next trip there for him to be with me, we will just have to fork over some money for dog care, so we can have a little get-away together.  I sure was glad to be in my nice, new, comfy bed last night!  I was the last one in the cabin to pick my room (3 bedrooms) and I got the horrible mattress in the bunk bed room at Echo Bluff cabin.  The dogs sure were glad to see me too.