Thursday, December 31, 2009

For Auld Lang Syne

2009 for me was the year of (attempted) heirloom gardening & starting my own plants from seeds, the foiled straw bale garden, torrential rains which virtually destroyed the vegetable garden, the loss of three beloved pets (more on that below), the construction of our long-awaited Barn/Cottage, the mysterious arrival of the Barn Cats, Wild Goose Chases which finally ended in Grady Gander coming to live with Greta Goose, and my entry into the blogging world on January 1st.

As the song inquires -- Should old acquaintance be forgot? Never! And neither shall the wonderful new acquaintances I’ve met through the blogging world. I’m so thankful for all of you! It’s one of the really GOOD things I will always remember about 2009.

Last week I posted about Harley cat and her miraculous recovery from her post-surgery complications. She was our little Christmas miracle. Today it’s with a heavy heart I tell you that she suffered other mysterious complications early this week, and went to the Rainbow Bridge on Tuesday afternoon.  Thanks so much for your kind comments about her on the last post, and I truly wish there were a happier ending to her story.  Some things we just can’t understand, but I do believe that she was a special little gift,  and that we (and the vets) did all we could for her.  Really hoping that 2010 proves to be a better year for our pets! Enough already! ;-)

Onto the lighter note ~
This is why I don’t mind washing dishes. A few inches from my kitchen sink there is this activity to watch. It somehow makes doing dishes a lot more bearable.


Here’s wishing you a VERY blessed, healthy & prosperous 2010.  Happy New Year!!!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Little Christmas Miracle

Caution: Not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach :)

Last Friday I picked up Harley and Hazel cats from the Vet, a day after their spaying. Harley and Hazel are two of our barn kitties. We’re taking two at a time for “fixing” purposes.

All seemed well with the little feline girls post-surgery. I was told that Harley’s uterus was nearly disintegrated prior to surgery. The vet seems to think she has given birth to several litters. I brought them home and put them both in a big pet taxi with all their necessities.

During the late afternoon check, I noted something was not right with Harley. Upon further inspection, it appeared that Harley’s insides were indeed *outside*.  The incision was completely un-done, and intestines and goodness knows what else, were hanging out. Not good! Thank goodness for Mr. W who helped me through my panic. He literally held Harley together while I called the vet, who said to meet at the clinic as soon as we could get there.

It was unclear what happened. Perhaps she chewed the incision. Perhaps she strained really hard. Nonetheless, amazingly, she did not appear to be in a lot of distress. She was anesthetized upon arrival, then all exposed parts were rinsed off in the clinic sink. Trust me when I say – it was not pretty.

All this time I was thinking maybe what I had taken Harley in for to help her… may have really hurt her. All my fault. All my fault…

The trust I’ve gained with this cat over the past few months has been amazing to me. She has gone from a wild, growling, scared cat to a purring, loving, trusting cat. Completely amazing.

Mr. W assisted with the procedure. He has been in on a lot of vet assists over the years, so this was no big deal to him. I, on the other hand, felt a little queasy and uneasy about it all (and my dream of younger days was to become a veterinarian?). All parts were carefully RE-placed, and Harley was stitched back up. We took her home, along with 5 syringes of antibiotics.

With each day, I saw a stronger Harley. Purring, meowing, walking, bumping up against my leg.  I fed her soft food in limited amounts, and still worried about her intestines after their “coming out party.” She seemed like she was recovering, but there was still no evidence that she was digesting her food properly – are ya following me here? ;-)

Tonight, day 5, we gave her the final antibiotic shot, and lo and behold, I found the proof I’d been looking for – the proof that Miss Harley was gonna be okay. It appears all parts are in working order. Praise the Lord for small miracles!

Anything is possible, and we can be reminded of this in even the smallest, most humble ways.

So, amid the hustle and bustle of these last few hours before Christmas, I hope you will find some miracles. Maybe big, maybe small, but may they bless your heart in a big way.


Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We have a Giveaway Winner!

After carefully checking, double-checking, and triple-checking everything -- I traveled on over to, entered the range: 1 – 71 (the total after all followers received TWO entries). I kept everyone’s comments in the exact sequence received. And here is what came up--


Number 59! Ok, drum roll please…

"Growing Up a Country Girl"(Living It Up Country blog) -- You’re my winner! Congratulations!! Please email me as soon as you can and I’ll prepare your package for mailing. Our email is listed on our profile page.
I’m new to her blog and enjoying it! She traveled on over to this blog from Misha’s blog. Isn’t it cool how this whole network thing works? I love it. If you have a moment, head on over to Living It Up Country blog for a visit. She is all decorated up for the holidays and I see some darling critters and beautiful horses as I look around!  I also see she has another blog - Living It Up Out West geared toward horses and ‘out west’ stuff. How cool!

Thanks to all who entered. I wanted to send something to each of you. It was hard, knowing only one person could win. I plan to have another giveaway, hopefully sometime early in the New Year.

Have a great day! Back to the hustle and bustle of the season I go…


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009 Giveaways & a little “Honest Scrap”

In my true procrastinating nature, I have been remiss in officially and publicly thanking so many for some giveaways won the past few months. My blogging journey really began back on January 1st, 2009. It took me a few months to really get going. And boy, I’m so glad I did. I’ve made so many wonderful friends along the way, near and far.

One thing I learned about blogging is someone is always hosting a giveaway.  Here are some fabulous giveaways that I’ve been so blessed to win over the past few months, along with the all-important linkages to the Givers. Please be sure to visit these blogs ~ some of my very favorites.

Mary at Neat and Tidy ~
I already posted about this one, but I must mention it again. What wonderful handmade items! You can check the picture out HERE. On that post, you’ll also see a very cool wind chime I won last year from another blog (when I barely knew what a blog was).

Walking on Sunshine ~
Looky at these cute items! Lois, I borrowed your photo here. Please visit Walking On Sunshine ASAP if you haven’t already. They are a military family, and I know that a show of support at this particular time (and the course of the next several months) would really be appreciated.


Country Pleasures ~
Kicking myself because I haven’t taken a picture of the wonderful items she sent. Sue sent some wonderful scrapbook and other darling items, including a cute gardening hanging pillow. I’ve already used the little scrapbooks! Visit Sue for wonderful recipes and inspiration (a Sister Missourian too).

Prim Rose Hill ~
A beautiful magazine called “Somerset Life”, which I had never heard of, but quickly fell in love with. I pore over it again and again! Visit Sheri for a wealth of inspiration, patterns and fabulous recipes.

Linda at Prairie Flower Farm ~
An adorable chicken curtain! I have Linda’s permission to use it to decorate my future (Spring 2010) chicken coop! In fact, this was her inspiration for the chicken curtain giveaway.. redecorating her hen house. If you haven’t visited Linda, you’re missing out. In fact, as I post this, it looks like she’s having another giveaway. Linda, I hope you don’t mind I’m posting your picture of the curtain here – my chicken coop isn’t ready yet ;-) Also note that Linda has her own line of fabric, among many other things. In fact, this chicken (Farmer’s Market) fabric is part of her very own line. A true Lady Farmer Kansan Entrepreneur.


Handmade by Mary Ann Miller ~
Her special Sugar Pie Pumpkin Seeds in the most adorable packaging! I can’t wait to plant these next year. Please visit Mary Ann for loads of handmade inspiration and a look at her adorable new grandbaby :)

My most recent win was a wonderful “SOLO” devotional from Jackie at Embracing My Blessings. She also tucked in some other special gifties. I’m always inspired by Jackie’s blog, and she happens to “almost” be a neighbor. We plan to meet for lunch someday. I hope we can do that in 2010. If you haven’t visited Jackie yet, check out her wonderful inspirational blog.

That’s it for GIVEAWAYS. But you can bet I’ll keep entering a few here and there. Too much fun!

Oh, and when I’m “showing off’ my goodies I always have to include this special gift from Patti. Will I ever get this talented girl paid back? I tell ya, this little quilt always makes me smile. Isn’t it the cutest? Now I see Patti has her latest “Sisterhood” post up. I think we all need to go check this out.


Along my blogging journey, I’ve also been the recipient of a couple of  fun awards, through the kindness of my blogging buddies. Today, I’ll mention this one…

A long time ago I was awarded the Honest Scrap Award from Misha at From My Front Porch in the Mountains.  Thank you dear Misha! I’m SO sorry it took me so long. Believe me when I say I’m a hopeless procrastinator :) If you haven’t checked out her beautiful blog from the mountains of Tennessee, zip on over there now! You’re missing out! Be sure to check out the most adorable foal in the world. Definitely a “feel good” blog ~ who wouldn’t feel much better after seeing the beautiful Tennessee countryside she lives in, and her beautiful assortment of horses and other wonderful critters?

As the recipient of an Honest Scrap award, I was supposed to list TEN HONEST THINGS about me (I think? but it’s been so long ago…)--

1. Our current profile picture is from a cruise 10, almost 11 years ago. Eek! Really need to update that. Haven’t changed a bit. Sorry, I was tempted to not be honest there for just a second!

2. I have a very soft spot in my heart for animals. Wow, how did you figure that one out??

3. The late great, super-cool actor Steve McQueen is/was a 4th or 5th cousin on my dad’s side. Just so ya know, I did not inherit the McQueen daredevil gene.

4. I love to make almost anything. Jewelry and basket weaving are two of my favorites.

5. I’d rather do anything but clean house. Every once in awhile I try to trick myself into enjoying it, but it never lasts for long.

6. One of my favorite movies is “Fly Away Home.” I love geese! And all animals, really, but.. oh I guess that was #2, huh?

7. I play these musical instruments: piano, guitar, mountain dulcimer, cello (most of them not well!).

8. All the way through school I was known as “that quiet girl.” Being around Mr. W for 30-some years has helped me a lot in that department. He owns the gift of gab, and doesn’t know a stranger.

9. We have some interesting pets, but perhaps the two most interesting house pets are hedgehogs “Moxy” and “Templeton”. They’re really our “grand-hogs” and officially belong to the Fiddler.

10. I had a near-death experience at about age 4 or 5, where I was in a parked car that started rolling down a hill toward a river. The Good Lord, and my Dad were watching over me and made sure I lived to see another day.

Also, I am supposed to award this to other  bloggers. Trouble is, I can’t pick just a few so I’m taking the easy way out and awarding it to each of you. Take it, pass it on if you like. Thank you again, Misha!

honest 4 

Now, please don’t forget to enter our first GIVEAWAY! Post your comment for entry under the giveaway link if you haven’t already. All the details are there. You have until 8 a.m. CST Wednesday 12-16 (yikes, that’s tomorrow).

Good luck!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Time has come for a… Giveaway!!

This very post is my 100th post. In person, I’m usually a person of very few words, so this is still a little unbelievable even to me.

Who … me? I came up with 100 posts? No way!

In honor of this momentous occasion, I would like to announce our first blog giveaway.

First, I want to say a big, heartfelt Thank You to each and every one who has followed our adventures, (and ups & downs) here over the past year. I truly have made some wonderful friends out there (near and far), and you all mean a lot to me! I enjoy keeping up with all of you!

So, without further ado, here is the scoop on the giveaway. The whole family contributed…

Mr. W, the Blacksmith, has generously donated one of his super efficient, sturdy garden trowels. They are recycled from authentic railroad ties (correction: railroad spikes! see below!). These babies are as tough as they come, and they just “fit well” in the hand too. They will NOT bend ~ don’t ask me how I know ;-) He has sold a few on Etsy, however the shopkeeper (me) didn’t realize you had to “do something” periodically to keep the Etsy shop open. Oops… we’ll try to get some more listed after the holidays. Edited to fix my typo: These trowels are made from authentic railroad spikes. Some of you may have caught this already! I posted this too late at night and I was sleepy!! :)


Our son, the Fiddler has also graciously donated his CD of old-time, Missouri-style fiddling. His only request was just to mention his website and the fact that these CD’s are available for purchase HERE. They also make fabulous Christmas presents for anyone who loves old-time, toe-tapping music. I don’t know about you, but there’s something about fiddle music that truly makes my heart sing. It can seriously turn a really bad day into a good one for me. Now, please allow me a shameless ‘mom’ brag – after all, I’ve contained myself for a long time! (copying and pasting this little snippet of his bio).

Nominated for two Grammy Awards for the "Fiddling Missouri" album in 1998. Traveled the Lewis and Clark trail from Missouri to Seattle to sit in on a recording of fiddle tunes titled "Fiddle Tunes of the Lewis and Clark Era."


Grammy-nominated, indeed! Ok, so we’re a little proud of him :) There’s also a preview of some of the CD tunes over on the sidebar.

Lastly, I’m including a pair of my “Christmas Lights” earrings that I’ve been making for gifts. These are for pierced ears, and fashioned with Swarovski crystals and gold-filled findings, or sterling silver. (Winner may choose gold or silver.)


So, that’s the scoop. One package filled with trowel, CD, and earrings will go to one entrant. You may enter by simply leaving a comment. If you’re a follower, please leave a second comment telling me that you’re a follower, and your name goes in the hat twice. will pick the winning number on Wednesday, December 16th and I will announce it soon thereafter. You have until Wednesday 8 a.m. CST to enter. Also, I’m not limiting the boundaries on this giveaway ~ worldwide entrants are welcome.

Sometime between now and then I will try to do a catch-up post of Blog Giveaways I’ve won over the past few months. I’m behind! Giveaways are fun! And I’m excited to host our first one!

I’ll leave you with our 2009 edition of the Ruby & Gracie Christmas card. It’s a tradition around here, and is an important enclosure in each of our Christmas cards to friends and family.

All the best to you and yours!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday Walkabout ~ Simple Beauty

The neighbors started harvesting their corn this week. This is the first year we’ve had a cornfield next to us, so the whole process has been very new and interesting to me.


We’ve had some really beautiful weather this week – until Wednesday, when things turned sharply colder. We enjoyed some nice outdoor walks early in the week.

On Monday, the blue sky reflections in the ponds were gorgeous. Here, you’ll also see one of my little blue hydrangeas (oh yes, again!), still blue and beautiful with only a slight amount of frost damage. And the almost-full daytime moon…


Winter berries and greenery, and birds nibbling seeds off the tall fountain grass in the yard. Bottom right - some deer (and people) tracks…berriesBirdsGreens&Tracks

The dogs enjoyed our walks immensely. “What’s that critter in there??”


Banjo, with after-effects of digging in the clay…


Oh, and Banjo turned 8 years old this week! Happy Birthday, our sweet Jack Russell Terrier girl! She’s also known around here as “Human Dog.” I’m tellin’ ya, she is just too smart.

Dear Bloggy Friends, I hope this week is going well for each of you. Please stay tuned for our first Flat Creek Farm Giveaway. Soon, very soon :)


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