Tuesday, November 29, 2016

What DID We All Do?

What did we all do before the Internet? If you’re like me, I’m sure you don't remember those days before technology became a part of our daily lives.
I ask this question because I have heard others say that the “Internet is their life” or their “lifeline to the outside world” and I wonder how we all managed before personal computers, smart phones and the like?
Was the world a bit kinder? The pace a little slower? Our lives a little fuller? Wouldn’t we visit with nearby friends and family in person or actually talk to them on the phone? Wouldn't we refrain more often from hurting others with our words? 
The Internet is a great tool for learning new things, I know we’ve used it to repair appliances, look up information that otherwise would have required a trip to the library and to stay in touch with friends far and wide. 
Please realize I’m not knocking the Internet, only my or our almost addiction to it. How many hours are wasted sitting in front of this screen and riding the super highway to the world? Facebook, Pinterest and sites that hold our attention often far to long to where before we know it the time has gone by and we’ve missed out on “living”.
Many mornings I’ve been on the Internet and not realized the  hours that have slipped by and when I started to notice that was happening is when I began to question if reading about life through a screen was equal to experiencing it?  I guess I’ve decided that it’s not. My house isn't cleaner, my crafts or sewing projects aren’t being completed, the pets aren’t getting as much attention, I’m not going outside to enjoy the fresh air and see the sights of geese flying, horses running in a pasture or any of the little things that bring joy to my life and yet are easily taken for granted. 
So, I’ve decided to step back from the Internet, some days I may dip back into my “favorites” or write a note now and then to a friend, but for the most part I’ll be re- learning how to live my life without so much time sitting in front of this computer screen or even the TV screen for that matter. 
Thanks for all who read or left comments on my blog, I appreciate that you were here. Enjoy the holiday season and remember to take time to experience the simple beauty and joy that comes from life itself!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Simple & To The Point....


Wishing all who read this:
~ * ~ A Very Happy Thanksgiving! ~ * ~
Taking time away to enjoy the holiday with family!


Monday, November 21, 2016

Snow on pines from www.takegreatpictures.com.  Good article with tips on how to take great snow shots.:
Living in Central or Upstate NY we are used to wintry weather but the first storm of the season is always a bit uneasy. Once again we bring out winter jackets, shovels, snow blowers, ice melt and regain driving skills. Usually the first snow is light flakes with maybe an inch of accumulation and without strong gusty winds.  It gives us a chance to practice for winter (driving on snow covered roads with white-outs takes patience) and we have time to ease into the season.
This time the storm came on the heels of a warm, sunny Saturday. As the afternoon waned the winds picked up and the temp began to fall. All night the winds blew in strong gusts and a light snow  began to cover the ground. By Sunday night the snow fell heavier and the winds continued.
This morning we woke to snow and winds, schools closed, some business' closed, libraries and meetings closed or cancelled. Cold, snowy and very blustery conditions greeted us and stayed throughout the day. We are thankful because as of a short time ago we had just about 10-12" of snow.  Area's west of us have more than double that amount!  We were blessed to not be in the path of the heaviest snow bands. The storm will continue through the night and is said to finally move off by tomorrow afternoon.
We are hopeful that the weather will clear for those traveling to join family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Speaking of which, our turkey décor out front is sure to be shivering, just like we will be when it comes time to bring him and the other decorations inside and bring out the Christmas décor.
So much for waiting until Thanksgiving is over before stringing lights and wreaths!
(PS. Photo from Pinterest...weather forbid actual photo of outside.)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Oh No Doc, Not As The Holidays Near!

This represents my confused face and mind. Why not wait and see just a bit longer before jumping on a bandwagon that I don’t want to be on?
Okay, I know I’m not making sense but let me just say that there are some in my family who struggle with Type 2 diabetes.  All along I knew I had a risk of joining this rotten disease.  For the past two years I have been on pill medication for diabetes and now just as we’re getting ready to enjoy the delights of the holiday season the doctor decides it’s time to start on insulin shots each day. 
Oh no, not right now….let’s wait until after the holidays…I promise I’ll try to be good!  It won't be easy with all the homemade cookies, candies, celebrating and festivities of the season, Lord no!  I’m protesting the timing of this, it’s not fair, I’ve been looking forward to the goodies all year. 
Well, I know the needle is heading my way, it’s only a matter of time if I don't get control on myself and get back to exercising and eating better but oh how I love the homemade cookies my sister and I bake together, the homemade candy, special ice cream treats, pies, cakes, eggnog and meals along with everything in between!
I know I’m being silly and that my health needs to come first above these delectable goodies that come only with this time of year.  I have to be good, I gotta be good and yes, I must be good if I’m going to avoid insulin shots and constant blood sugar readings. 

It’s hard, it’s frustrating and it’s crap but it could always be worse, I tell myself because it’s true….it could be WORSE.  I’ve known others who struggle with serious diseases that require hospital stays and live in pain each day.  Diabetes is a mere inconvenience as long as we keep it under control and if that means forgoing some foods or eventually facing the needle, then so be it.  Still, everything in moderation when it comes to food, right? I think so, but I’ll try to do better in my choices and portions.  I’m sure it’s good-bye to my favorite red licorice sticks….they are nothing but pure sugar even if they are low in fat….and oh how I love them but I know they won’t love me back anymore. 
As someone sang in a song, "The times they are a changing" but I can handle whatever lies ahead, it’s just that it doesn’t seem fair to happen right now as we’re only days from the start of the holiday season.  Ooh, the turkey, the dressing, sweet candied potatoes, homemade applesauce, cranberry slices, apple and pumpkin pies, oh my! I knew I should have postponed my doctors appointment until after the holidays but oh no, not me! I didn't listen to my gut feeling to cancel and reschedule and now I have to face the piper and it just doesn't seem fair this time of year!
Wishing all who are reading this post nice days leading to Thanksgiving, the biggest meal of the year and for those who also have diabetes may we remember to take good care of ourselves and try hard to not indulge too much as we begin this festive time of year!

~ "The Apple Man"~ (A Story From My First Blog...Years Ago..)

The story I shared today was written on my 1st. blog back in 2005. I lost that blog with computer troubles and just recently found out that my Mom had printed and saved those entries.  Thanks to Mom I am able to share these stories and feelings once more with you!*
"The Apple Man"
One autumn day an old rusty van pulled into our driveway and a very chubby man dressed in tattered shirt and overalls with a very torn and dirty looking hat slowly climbed out of the van. His boot leather was all crackled from wear and his face shadowed by what looked like several days beard.

I remember this old man because from the looks of his rusty van I judged him with my childs mind as a hobo.  I watched as he want to the back of his van and opened the rusty door which creaked with a mournful sound.  What he took out of the van was a bushel basket full of the biggest apples I had ever seen! He went to the door and knocked politely, and when Mom appeared he asked if she would like to buy a bushel of his wonderful apples.  I was sure she would nicely turn him away and not purchase his apples just based on his appearance and that of his rusty old van, but to my surprise I heard Mom say “yes” and watched as she gave him the few dollars he requested.  He left the bushel basket, closed his van then drove off, engine sputtering and choking the entire way.

After he had gone we kids each were given one of those huge apples and with the first bite discovered they were as sweet as could be! Never had we ate an apply as mealy and sweet as these, they were delicious!

That day I learned a valuable lesson…..never judge another person or turn them away based on appearances alone.  That tattered old man was obviously a farmer who went door to door in hopes of selling his apple crop.  I was so glad that Mom had looked beyond appearances and saw the good inside.  Of course this was many, many years ago when times were simpler and a whole lot safer, neighbors knew each other and folks were friendly.  I’ve never had as sweet an apple since the apple man appeared that fall and regrettably that was the last time we saw the old man with his tattered clothes and van full of the yummiest apples I had ever tasted!
* * * * *
Thanks for visiting!


Sunday, November 13, 2016

~ Sharing A Memory ~

I was chatting with a friend and she was telling me how the wall near her bed was cold.  It was then that I remembered one of my favorite memories from years past and I shared it with her as a possible suggestion to keeping her room warmer. 
Years ago, our homestead was next door to a dairy farm.  We kids played with the farm kids since living in the country there weren't many other kids close by.
One winter afternoon, I was invited to come to the farmhouse to spend the afternoon with one of the girls who was near my age.  I walked across the fields between our house and the farm.  The field was covered in brush and saplings. I knew when I reached the far end of the field and the beginning of the pasture land that I would have to carefully crawl under the barb wire fences and make my way to the house. Not an easy feat with boots and a bulky snowsuit, hat and mittens!
When I finally reached the side door which was the kitchen door of the farmhouse I was greeted by a rush of warm air and the aroma of cooked bacon wafting through the room. Inside was a large black wood cook stove with cast iron skillets and a large soup pot simmering on a back burner. 
As I looked around the large room I could see an old cot with blankets layered upon it behind the stove. Napping on the cot was the old grandfather. On the exterior wall between the cot and wall a quilt hung from near the ceiling to the floor.  At the end of the cot facing towards the door was another quilt folded over a string as a hanger that went from the wall by the cot to the wall near the door. This quilt was able to be closed to keep drafts off the old grandfather. His little nook looked so cozy and warm, what a wonderful place to nap and dream the wintry days away!
This kitchen was completely different from the one I grew up with. It was then that I realized I had a fondness for wood cook stoves and the charm and warmth of a farmhouse kitchen. 
Granted, I've never cooked on one or ever had to rely totally on wood nor have I any idea how to adjust the temperature for either stove top or oven like our modern stoves we cook on today.  
These days kitchens are built smaller, those wonderful old black wood stoves would no longer fit in.  No rocking chair, no cozy area to nap, no quilts hung against walls or folded over string to ward off chills or the aroma of bacon mixed with the scent of smoke in the air.  Days of old are long gone and nearly forgotten. 
In my bedroom, I have an old quilt found on CL's for only a few dollars.  It has a very thick batting and is heavy. I asked Hubby to hang it up near the ceiling for me to add a coziness to my room.  In the picture it is folded to keep kitty from pulling at it.
On cold winter nights when the snow is falling and the winds are howling up the knoll and around our little house. I look at the old quilt remembering fondly that winter day when I visited the farmhouse next door so many years ago. Sometimes I wish we had a large kitchen to fit a wood cook stove and a rocking chair to sit near the stove.  Someday when the budget allows I would like to have a braided rug near the sink and one by the door. I like my burgundy/tan plaid curtains but someday may change them out for lace curtains and if kitty would allow it I would have a red geranium in a tin can sitting on the windowsill.  All the things that remind of that cozy farm kitchen with it's welcoming and warm atmosphere. 
Oh btw, I don't know if my friend hung a quilt on her bedroom wall to help keep her room warmer or not. But I've enjoyed sharing a favorite memory with her and with you!
Thanks for visiting! 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Does Anyone Still Look Forward To This???

...Or is it just mostly me and a few others that look forward to Thanksgiving?
With the stores stocked with Christmas decorations, TV commercials promoting new cars as gifts, Hallmark's TV channel showing Christmas movies and all around us we are being aware of the Christmas holiday. 
Somehow, stores have jumped from an over array of Halloween decorations right to Christmas but as I search for a few Thanksgiving decorations there is little to be found aside from paper plates, plastic tablecloths and paper cups! Where are the turkeys, pilgrims, Indian corn and decorations that I remember many homes having to welcome a holiday of family gatherings, blessings and thankfulness?
When did Thanksgiving no longer really matter except to those who anxiously await the start of Black Friday sales, and now stores here are holding special early sales even on Thanksgiving!
I can't help but think of the people who have to work those sales and deal with the crowds after their Thanksgiving dinner or in the wee hours on Friday morning!
We have a small family now where not too many years ago we would have a large table brought in and set up for all the family and friends to join us in breaking bread and sharing in the feast of Thanksgiving. 
It was a time to gather together and be thankful for our many blessings. We visited, laughed and shared in the specialness of the day. There was no rushing to stores yet for we knew how to wait and enjoy each holiday for it's own purpose.
Now our family will gather together with full hearts to feast and to share memories of loved ones who are no longer with us but always in our hearts. We will be thankful to sit together once more and share in this special day. After the dishes are washed and put away we play cards and board games, maybe watch some football or just take a walk.  Later the festive paper Turkey plates will be set out along with homemade pies and ice creams!
As the day draws to an end and with hearts and tummy's full we'll pack up left overs and make our way home.  Content and thankful to have shared in this special holiday together once more! This is what Thanksgiving is to me. Friday is a day that we stay home, eat leftovers and maybe begin to think of bringing up lights from the cellar to check and see if they still work in preparation for stringing outside. There is no rushing around, fighting traffic or crowds to try to win at special sales.  We've heard how stores will advertise a certain item or items at a big discount only to have a small limited stock in supply.  Also, those items may be knock offs from a popular brand and lack features of the "real" item.  It was disgusting when a shopper at a big box store was injured purposely because another shopper wanted to get in ahead of him in a long line!
If you enjoy the rush of the early beginning shopping season that's fine.  But it's not for me and to each his own as the saying goes. 
For me, I thrive on seeing and feeling the joy that comes from each different season and holiday as it arrives. I love to walk through the leaves and hear them rustle at my feet and give off their scent of fall or watch the Geese as they fly in V formations on their way to warmer climates. Truly, it's the little things in life that bring the most joy!
With busy lives it is my hope that we may all stop for a moment to see, feel and enjoy each season, each holiday and each other, in that there is a true feeling of Thanksgiving, Blessing, Contentment and Peace!
Thanks for visiting,