A poem by J.F. Conant

He who loves an old house never loves in vain. How can an old house used to sun and rain, to lilac and to larkspur and an elm above-ever fail to answer the heart that gives it love?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Autumn is here!

Fall is my favorite time of year! I love the cooler weather, sweaters, football, wood fires...pretty much everything.  This week I am busy with 2 of the annual chores: gardening and canning.

The garden is winding down, there's still too much to eat all at once, so I have been canning all week. Tomatoes and green beans, mostly, but there were beets and chard and peppers as well. The apples an pears are not quite ready yet, but they will be soon and then the canner will be back in business!

I have also been cleaning up areas in the yard, preparing for fall planting.  I am expecting mock orange bushes and a curly willow.

I am also ordering Japanese Iris and Azaleas for the wet area in the yard.  What was rather a useless area on the property is turning out to be a beautiful feature!

Last weekend we took some time to enjoy a local state park. We went GLAMPING!! What a hoot! I can't wait to go again!

What are you doing during these glorious, but all too short, autumn days?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Decluttering and Simplifying your life: A few basic questions to ask yourself

1. Do I have some possessions that complicate my life?

2. What are some things that do bring me enjoyment, but may not be worth the cost in time, money, and concern?

3. Do I buy things that I don't need, won't use, or cannot afford?

4. What do I really need and what do I merely want?

5. Am I consuming more than my fair share of the world's limited resources? What am I doing to help those less fortunate than myself? Is
there some of my surplus that could benefit others with less?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

What's the difference?

  Today, on Facebook, yet another liberal minded friend, put up one of those nasty, snide, condescending gifs aimed at slamming conservatives.  I am so sick of that kind of crap.

First of all, why is it o.k for her to judge and insult people based on their political leanings, but when I do it, I'm a fascist, a racist and a homophobe? People aren't their political party, anymore then people are their skin color or sex or hair color. People are individuals and as individuals have their own beliefs and values.  How dare you demand I not only  that I validate  but approve of your beliefs with one breath, and then defame and insult mine with the next?

  1. Yes. I am a conservative. I am a practicing Catholic. I believe in the 10 commandments, family values, and the golden rule. I will guaran-damn-tee you that there are TONS of things that other people do, that I do not think are  what God intended . That's why I try not to do them.  I'll bet there are some things that I do, that you don't like. DON'T DO THEM, THEN! How about lets both live our lives and judge who did it better that way. How about that? 

 AND  guess what else? I vote my convictions. JUST LIKE YOU SHOULD VOTE YOURS, instead of just running your mouth, shouting down anyone who doesn't agree with you and whining and complaining when things don't . How about rational speech instead of name calling an emotion. How about good manners and fair play?

 Never, have I ever demanded that you believe the same way I do. What I am demanding is that you stop the insults and the name calling and allow me the same rights to my own thoughts and feelings  as you demand of me.  How about that? How about ending the hypocrisy?

You want the same government that runs the VA system that has  lied, cheated and, literally, killed  men and women who sacrificed to keep this country free, to run EVERYBODY'S healthcare? REALLY? I don't.  This does not mean I don't agree that we need to  improve the health care in this country.

I think that in the same country where you cannot get a driver's license, passport, or open a bank account without showing appropriate  I.D., it's perfectly o.k. to be required to show an I.D. to vote.

You think that if you choose to use birth control or have an abortion, I should help you pay for it? If you choose to shoot poison into your veins, that I should make sure you have nice, clean needles to do it? Not happening, babe. Not if I can help it.

Or,  that if you choose to have a child (or several children), but cannot support them,I should pay for their housing, food, schooling and medical costs? When my husband and I had children, we sacrificed and scrimped to pay our own bills and raise our own children. But YOU feel I should pay your child care bills? If you weren't able support your own family or you don't want to raise them yourself, why in GOD's name did you have them at all?

If I work hard and do alright and at the end of my working life I want the benefit of the social security program  that I paid into for 60 years,  you say I should not be allowed those payments because I did better than you did financially and I don't "need" it like you do?  So, I should let you have it?  Ha ha ha! No

I do not think I am better than you.  I think I am trying very hard to live a life that I am proud of. I expect you are doing the same. I make mistakes. You make mistakes. The difference between us as I see it is: When you screw up your life, you expect someone else to pay for it...to fix it. I don't. It's called personal responsibility. Look it up.

My God demands that I help the less fortunate. This means a hand up when their down, not taking them to raise.I kinda think I should decide who needs my help. Why don't you do the same? In the meantime, we'll let him be the judge who's doing it better. His opinion, I trust.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

                  The happiest sight the Mom of a soldier can see!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

So many changes since the last time I wrote. That red head in the photo, is my daughter in law, Ashley. She and Jim were married a couple of months back in a civil ceremony. The "real" wedding is in August. Jim is stationed at Ft. Benning, GA and is getting their home set up, while Ashley is here, getting the wedding details taken care of and winding down everything here. She's a lovely girl. We love her to death.

The pretty blond is her bestie, Vee. She is Joey's girlfriend. So pretty and so smart. She speaks 4 languages! Wow! Joey is a luck man! (He's finishing up his Bachelors and working full-time as well as writing novels and short stories. Watch out Stephan King!)

My Ben, is back from his deployment in Afghanistan. Thank God. He should make Sergeant in the fall. He's living the bachelor life at Ft. Meade (any nice Catholic girls out there?)

Matt will graduate high school in a few weeks. He works as a life guard at the Y and for the county. He has elected to put off college and serve in the Army first. He will be leaving for boot camp in September. 
One more of my boys, gone to be a soldier.....

That will leave me with my beautiful Gillian. She is so smart and getting smarter and prettier every day. She's also good company!  I am making a list of all the girl stuff we can do when it's just us! I'm sure she will find time for me in her busy social schedule next year.

My sweet man  continues to travel.  He works so hard and I just miss him so much when he's away, but, I guess, that only makes his time at home,  with us, sweeter.

And me? Well, I just got back from a trip to England and Ireland with my friend Brenda. It was a treat from Joe and so wonderful! 
The only way it could have been better is if Joe had been able to come too!  My favorite places were: Covent Garden, Abbey Road, 221-B Baker Street and the Old Jameson's Distillery.  But it was all so interesting and the gardens and the weather were beautiful. I would go back in a heart beat!

Well, I guess we're all caught up again.  Drop a note, if you like, and tell me how you've been doing!
That's the part of blogging I always liked best anyway.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Internet friend are "REAL" friends

 My family and I spent Thanksgiving week visiting with friends and family down in Maryland. Lisa and  I were able to get away from family obligations to meet up with some dear friends. Internet friends.

You know, I live kind of out in the boonies. I have friends, certainly, but my internet friends are the friends I talk to every day. They are the ones who console, uplift, cheer me on and calm me down.  I love them so much.

So it's a special pleasure when we are able to meet in person.  This time it was at my friend Brenda's house. She threw a spectacular tea party just for us! A couple of the other girls from our on-line group were there too. It was so lovely.

And you know, it was like coming home. No awkwardness. No nervousness. Just jump right in and continue the discussion we were having just yesterday.

So, here's to the internet! Where you're able to catch up with old friends that you've never met before!

Our hearts are sore because our Ben will be deploying in a week. I knew this day might come. I married into the Army. I have 2 sons currently serving and I am so proud. But my mother's heart wants to wrap my arms around my child and keep him home and safe. But that's not how it works. So I ask our heavenly father to wrap his arms around my baby and to keep him safe.

I love you, pal. We will wait for you to come home before we celebrate Christmas again.  You know how cranky that's going to make your sister, so hurry on up!!!  God's speed!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Happy New Year!!!!

 Wait! It's only November, you say?  Well, that may be true, but I figure why wait 2 more months to get started on improving your life?

It's been a busy year for us. Jimmy graduated H.S. and joined the Army. Ben graduated AIT and is stationed at Ft.Meade. Joey is finishing up his Associates degree and getting ready to move back to Buffalo to attend UB.

The younger set have kept us hopping too! Gillian is in High School now!! Matt is a junior and constantly doing some sporty thing or another. (He has just finished Cross Country and is about to begin swim team).
Joe has been down in Colombia all summer. We have enjoyed REALLY fresh roasted coffee for months! LOL 

We've run 5Ks and and used our canoes (and later a sweet little speed boat, Joe's dad gave us).
Now we're training for a mini marathon in the spring! (OMG!!)

The garden didn't do so  well this summer, so this fall I started a raised bed and enjoyed broccoli and snow peas and am waiting on cauliflower and brussel sprouts.

We worked on painting the outside of the house (still some to do....it's BIG house!) We have begun choosing the the  pieces for the master bath and work should begin directly. (YEA!! A bathtub again!!)

We visited friends and enjoyed  many bottles of Finger Lakes wines. We've hiked and swam and just enjoyed our lives, work and family.

But there is always room for improvement.
While I did go down four dress sizes, I some how managed to do so without out losing much weight!  SO, I am running 3 times a week and starting this week, I am returning to yoga and adding Pilate's to get those numbers on the scale DOWN.

I've been praying more and worrying less. I want to continue in that vein. Trying to look on the positive side of things....being more upbeat and proactive....

We are planning to travel a little more this year, beginning with a trip to the Keys after the holidays
I am still looking for classes that interest me on a schedule I can adapt to.  I like learning new things and meeting new people.

The holidays are coming up quickly and it looks like I will be blessed with another year of having my whole brood under one roof . I realize that these occasions will most likely become less and less frequent as the children grow up and leave home, so I vow to treasure every moment I can, because those loud, obnoxious, vexing completely wonder children and their dad are my favorite things in the whole world.

 I'm sure I'll think of more things to work on, but the whole point is don't wait til New Years. Start now and by New Years just think how much MORE fabulous you will be!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Last week I journeyed to far off Philadelphia to visit the Philadelphis Museum of art. It was the closing week of their Van Gogh exhibit. It was organized chaos, but well worth for me!

At the beginning of the tour we were given audio devices. Several of the paintings had numbers. You simply typed in the number and the appropriate narration played. Really well done!

Vincent is one of my favorite artists so many of the painting seemed like old friends.
Others were completely new to me. This one is said to be his last painting. It broke my heart:
It was a wonderful adventure. And we even had time to see the liberty bell, independence hall and Ben Franklin's grave.

Thanks Philadelphia for such a wonderful day!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

                                        I planted10 birch trees today. What did you do??

Saturday, March 24, 2012

In the vineyard

Saturday, Joe went out to our little vineyard to prune our now 3 year old vines.
He brought me along to cheerlead, I suppose and gave me a glass of port to sip while he worked.

Puffing on a cigar, he cut back the vines  according to the book Wines and Vines directions. Hopefully this year, we will be able to harvest some grapes, and, perhaps, even be able to make our own wine.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Always wanted to try this...

I have always wanted  to try making  artichokes....it was easy! And delicous! If you are eating low carb, give the recipe on this site a try: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_cook_and_eat_an_artichoke/

Friday, February 3, 2012

I feel like we were duped

In the past my husband and I have given to the Susan G. Komen foundation to help fund a cure for breast cancer. Imagine our surprise to learn that they were giving money to Planned Parenthood, this country's number one abortion provider!

When PP learned that Komen was going to stop their funding, they threw a great big hissy fit! And Komen made a big fat U turn and will continue giving money to them.

We are pro-life. If we give money for cancer research, it should be for cancer research. I feel duped and angry. I wrote to the Komen foundation and let them know that our donations will go to St. Judes from now on. A place where they try to cure children, not kill them.

If you feel that your donations for cancer research should GO to cancer research, I hope you will take a few moments to let The Susan G. Komen foundation know.

In the meantime, here is a link to St.Jude's:   www.stjudes.org/   God bless you.

This still cracks me up! LOL

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fun link


Give this link a try. Type in your birth year and sit back. The words scroll down by themselves.