Thursday, December 25, 2008

A few of the hits this Christmas

As the kids get older it gets increasingly difficult to find something to get them for Christmas. Not because they have everything or because they have difficult tastes but because they have simple tastes and they really don't like getting gifts, they'd rather give. It is always gratifying when you think of something that is not only popular but that they REALLY seem to like. I think we hit the nail on the head more than once this year.
Mary-Kate made Matthew this Jedi knight costume this year. Now in this house it is difficult if not impossible to sew in secret. He assumed all the time that she was making it that she was making it for herself. It was obvious to see that he wanted it too. We knew that it would be a success before he even opened the package.
Mary-Kate made Doug this fleece and Matthew gave him the hat and mittens. He is always needing warm things for work and they both did a good job finding just the right things for their Dad who was not only surprised but pleased with their choices.

When I saw these thigh high socks at Target I knew that they were for Mary-Kate. Her nickname is Colors at school and I don't think these socks will let that die too soon. You can also see the flowered fleece and the cow print hat and scarf that I made for her in the background.

Ian has a Carhart coat that we bought him last year. He wears that thing everyday. I have put patches on it and put a new zipper in it. When he brings his laundry over he practically sits by the dryer until it is done, he likes it so much. His dad and I decided that he should have another so that he has two to rotate. The camo fleece that he is wearing Matthew made for him also. Ian is definitely a one coat and one sweatshirt man but the way he works and get dirty we thought that he was definitely deserving of a second one of each.

All my children together in one place?

After all the presents were opened and all the food was consumed I thought that I would take a picture of all of my children together. It is getting to be a rare thing to have them all home at the same time. Wait..... who is the hairy one in the middle? actually, Adam is in Iraq at present so we just put his dog Lupus in the picture to represent him. If Adam were here his comment would probably be, "it works! Lupus is a member of the family after all!"

How to make your mother cry on Christmas...........

........... without spilling the veggie dip on the carpet or set the house on fire


My three sons in the Army went out and had their portraits taken professionally. That is enough to make this mother cry, and the rumor going around is that it was initiated by the very one who coined the phrase, "at ease the camera, will you!"

Thank you boys, this is better than all the silver and gold in all the universe.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


On Monday, 15 December, 2008 I went into the hospital for surgery on my back. Thanks be to God it went just as the Dr. described to Doug and I in the pre-operative visit the week before. He trimmed away the bulge on the disc between L4 and L5 and reamed out the holes that the nerves pass through to get to my legs. Then he put screws into L4 and L5 and put pins in to stabilize the bones so that there will be no more forward and back motion which was pinching on nerves also. Then he drilled into the back of those two vertebra and put in a titanium "cage" which stibilizes the bone so that it will no longer compress. Finally he took bone and marrow from my right hip and made a paste of that and surgical adhesive and spread that all around so that all would stay in place during the healing process.

I am pleased to say that after a couple of days of pain and having to find a combination of pain meds that would work for me I am now at home and very comfortable. The next obstacle is getting past the constipation that is resulting from all of the and the anesthesia. Then I must just continue healing.

I get around here pretty well with my walker and I have my potty chair that helps me go by myself. Tomorrow Doug is going to get me a shower chair so I can finally take a shower. I haven't had a proper shower since before the surgery.

Please continue your prayers as there is still a few obstacles to overcome and the inactivity is difficult.
I will offer Christmas Mass for all of you.


I feel today, after reading many posts about the series and books entitles Twilight. On both blogger and Xanga there is much discussion pro and con. It all brings back the controversy over the Golden Compass and Harry Potter. Along with these books and movies one can also bring up the controversy over such fads as Pokemon and to for the older kids Dungeons and Dragons (this dates back to my growing up years).

I have not read any of these books nor have I seen any of the movies beyond the first Harry Potter movie, which I thought was poorly acted and had a dismal plot line). My feeling is that it isn't necessary for parents to read a controversial series of books or a questionable movie to pronounce it something that they will not be taking their children to see.

I think there is something more basic and fundamental that can and should help us, as parents, decide whether something should be seen or read by our children or whether they should be a part of a particular "fad". My husband and I use the question, "Is this going to help our child/children get to heaven?" Sound over simplistic? Lets look deeper into what this all means and maybe you won't think that we are being overly childlike in our trust in God when it comes to choosing good reading and viewing material for our kids. Let me add a disclaimer that we have and do make mistakes, we are only human, but even then I think God helps us to "mop up" the mess afterward because our intentions are pure.

Our first premise is that every book and movie that comes out does not have to invade the "womb" of spiritual safety that we try daily to maintain in this household. Even if it is "good" full of virtue and lots of fun and maybe even has a moral that is worth presenting to our children doesn't make it, the book or movie, worthy of being allowed into our sanctuary. A home is a sanctuary that is meant to keep the world out not a "vacuum" that is meant to "suck" the world in.

Our second premise it that each child must be trained. Their conscience and free will need to be trained every day. This means often saying no to the things that one desires which may be okay to experience, for instance a certain book or movie. In that training we also stress that if something is "questionable" when it comes to faith and morals, whether it is fiction or not, it is a good thing to deny yourself. The phrase "everyone else is seeing it" or everyone else is reading it" or "so-and-so's parents let them read it or see it" don't get said around here. My pat answer, while my husband is smirking in the background, is "their parents aren't responsible for your salvation, I am. If they are willing to adopt you and take on the responsibility of raising you then you may indeed read that book or see that movie." They know better now not to say those things to me. The bottom line is, is it a want or a need?

Our third and final premise is that one doesn't need to see, read, experience everything out there that there is for the human to experience. Not only is it impossible but it is also sinful to make the attempt. We have a good better best scale when it comes to books and movies. Obviously we fail often in this area but not in the way that you think. Best is, of course, reading classics. Reading is invaluable to developing the person. In making the mind, heart and soul both well rounded and in conformity with the will of God. The greatest minds of the Catholic church never made a movie. Better is to see classic movies and movies that come from the classics that you have read. Never before but after. The older the version the better. I could go into pages and pages about the loss of truly good acting and that art form but this is neither the time or the place. Good is to see movies and read books that have been perused by the parents or someone who is trusted by them first and reviewed for the parents. Books and movies that have controversy attached to them before they even come out are suspect and needn't be seen for that reason. That is a fad that only feeds itself and thus should be put under the category of self denial if only for that reason.

We don't need to see and experience everything that comes along but we are made for heaven and every and all decisions should be made for that reason so that nothing that is sullied can be presented to God for entrance into heaven.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Mother's Pride

For the past three months we have been attending the Tridentine Mass in another parish about 20 minutes away from here every other Sunday. After Mass Father Castronovo has been taking the time to train Matthew and a few of his friends so that they can serve the Mass alongside of Father.
This morning two of Matthew's friends served with Father and Matthew sat on the side of the altar. Next Sunday morning Matthew will have the opportunity to serve the Mass.
How proud I was to sit there and see my son on the altar with Father making the responses along with the man who usually serves for Father.
We also had the opportunity to say the rosary in latin before Mass started. What an opportunity also for Matthew to participate in two such devotions of the church in her native language.

Thank you dear Lord for giving us this wonderful chance to have Matthew trained to serve you in this traditional devotion and to serve you on the altar beside such a holy and giving priest.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Prayers Please

I am asking for prayers please, for myself. Monday morning I am going into the hospital to have my back repaired from a fall that happened over a year ago.

Nothing medically has worked so they are going in to try and fix the problem surgically. I would appreciate prayers that God guides the hands of the surgeon and gives him wisdom.

Thank you all.

Monday, December 8, 2008

There will be no Nativity Scene in Washington, D. C.
The Supreme Court has ruled that there cannot be a Nativity Scene in the nation's capital this Christmas season.
This isn't for any religious reason, they simply have not been able to find Three wise Men in the Nation's capitol.P.S. There was no problem, however, finding enough asses to fill the stable.

Friday, December 5, 2008

There Are 0 Gaps in Your Knowledge

Where you have gaps in your knowledge:

No Gaps!

Where you don't have gaps in your knowledge:








Shopping in my daughter's closet

Ten more pounds down and ten more to go. I am now able to "shop" in my daughter's closet for clothing.

The blouse and the jeans I am wearing in this picture are both courtesy of Mary-Kate.

What is this woman thinking of?

An article I just read from Bill O'Reilly's web page. This governor certainly likes to make her constituancy feel that she is on top of the latest controversies.

Jesus vs. the Atheists
By Bill O'Reilly for BillOReilly.comThursday, December 4, 2008
Just in time for the Christmas season, the Governor of Washington State, Christine Gregoire, has insulted Christians all over the world. Inside the state capitol building in Olympia, there is a traditional holiday display featuring a tree and the Nativity scene-perfectly appropriate since the Christmas federal and state holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.But this year, Governor Gregoire decided to add another item to the display. Standing alongside the baby Jesus is a giant placard designed by atheists that reads, "There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."You read that correctly. The governor of Washington State has permitted an attack on religion to be displayed in her office building as part of a Christmas presentation.Now, even the producers of 'The Twilight Zone' would have rejected this script as being too far-fetched. Governor Gregoire's behavior is offensive, insulting to all people of faith, and totally incomprehensible.Unless you know what's going on in Washington State.Seattle now rivals San Francisco for secular-progressive nuttiness. The city fathers are allowing public ness in city parks, bike riding, and in Fremont, a Seattle suburb, they actually put up a statue honoring Lenin, the father of communism.Some on the Seattle school board actually supported denigrating Thanksgiving by teaching children about the atrocities against Native Americans by the Pilgrims.In addition, Washington State voters have passed assisted , and the state gives out free birth control pills, including the "morning after" pill.On the quality-of-life front, the streets of Seattle are full of homeless people, but they don't have to be out in the rain. The city will pay to house alcoholics and addicts if they want it. They can actually get free furnished apartments. Taxpayers, of course, pick up the tab. Outside of the Seattle area, Washington State is fairly conservative. But the big city population base rules, and far-left zealots are running wild. However, they may have overstepped on this Christmas deal.I believe that most Americans, even those living in far-left enclaves, respect uplifting traditions like Christmas where peace and love are the theme of the great day. Calling religion "enslaving" doesn't exactly fit into the peace and love scenario, does it? Can't we all just get along for a few weeks in December?The answer to that question is "no." Not in Washington State, where the governor believes a few nuts have a legal right to run down the Christmas tradition in the lobby of the capitol building. At this point, there is little left to say except this: Where are the wise men when you need them?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Part and parcel of the mother gig

That's a line I say to people who ask me why do I do this or why do I do that. It beats having to go into long explanations about love and sacrifice to someone that I know isn't going to get it or at a time when I know that I will go into sarcastic mode if I go into long explanations. " So, there I was in my kitchen minding my own business, cooking a bunch of fantastic tasting food to give away to anyone who needed it when the phone rang." That's how I would start out the story of my Tuesday if I was inclined to write a story about it.
I was indeed in my kitchen minding my own business when the phone did ring. It was my 20 year old son Jason calling from college. If it wasn't for caller ID and the fact that he called me "mom" I would never have known that it was my son on the line. This is significant because this is the son who tells me that "he has been taking care of himself for ______ months" (fill in the blank). Basically he can do it himself. It's what I call the "grown man manifesto". The more they protest the harder they fall, this is a case in point.
Anyway, I digress. With a barely there voice he lists his symptoms and then comes the coup de gras, the magic line, the words that lets every mother know that her son is still in need of her at least some of the time, "what do I do".
Long story short, after a bunch of phone calls, Doug and I drove two hours to school to get him and took him to the hospital emergency room. Five hours later we find out that he is severly dehydrated, has a sinus infection, and strep along with a migraine headache probably caused by the sinus infection.
So home comes my "grown up" son to be taken care of by mom.
So, when asked why I drove four hours to pick up my son and brought him home in the middle of a very busy day for me, why did I spend five hours in the ER with him, and why am I taking care of him now? My answer: It's all part and parcel of the mother gig. I love the dude and of course I would do that for him. Wouldn't you?

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Marilyn!


You are a Marilyn -- "I am affectionate and skeptical."

Marilyns are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family, friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved and timid to outspoken and confrontative.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Be direct and clear

  • * Listen to me carefully

  • * Don't judge me for my anxiety

  • * Work things through with me

  • * Reassure me that everything is OK between us

  • * Laugh and make jokes with me

  • * Gently push me toward new experiences

  • * Try not to overreact to my overreacting.

What I Like About Being a Marilyn

  • * being committed and faithful to family and friends

  • * being responsible and hardworking

  • * being compassionate toward others

  • * having intellect and wit

  • * being a nonconformist

  • * confronting danger bravely

  • * being direct and assertive

What's Hard About Being a Marilyn

  • * the constant push and pull involved in trying to make up my mind

  • * procrastinating because of fear of failure; having little confidence in myself

  • * fearing being abandoned or taken advantage of

  • * exhausting myself by worrying and scanning for danger

  • * wishing I had a rule book at work so I could do everything right

  • * being too critical of myself when I haven't lived up to my expectations

Marilyns as Children Often

  • * are friendly, likable, and dependable, and/or sarcastic, bossy, and stubborn

  • * are anxious and hypervigilant; anticipate danger

  • * form a team of "us against them" with a best friend or parent

  • * look to groups or authorities to protect them and/or question authority and rebel

  • * are neglected or abused, come from unpredictable or alcoholic families, and/or take on the fearfulness of an overly anxious parent

Marilyns as Parents

  • * are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty

  • * are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence

  • * worry more than most that their children will get hurt

  • * sometimes have trouble saying no and setting boundaries

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz
at HelloQuizzy

Monday, November 24, 2008

You Are Lemon Meringue Pie

You're the perfect combo of sassy and sweet.

You always know how to brighten someone's mood, but you're not overly sappy.

In fact, you can be a bit too honest at times. And most people find that refreshing.

While you're always true to yourself, you keep things light. That's how people are able to stomach your slightly bitter outlook.

Those who like you have well refined tastes.

You're complicated - and let's face it - a true enigma.

You enjoy defying expectations, and there are many layers to your personality.

There's not one easy way to define you.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Excitement Ian Style

Monday we had our second big snowfall of the season. As a mother you are generally concerned when you have teenagers driving especially when the weather is like this. When your children get into their twenties, though, and have survived two tours of duty in Iraq, you have finally learned to ease up a little in the concerned area.

When the phone rings at 10:00 at night and you hear your husband say, through your sleep fogged mind, "Your truck is totalled, Ian!" You start to rethink that relaxation of the concerned thing.

On his way home from fire school, on slippery, snow covered back roads, Ian hit a heifer that was standing in the middle of the road. The heifer happens to belong to some friends of ours which made it a little easier when he had to knock on the farmers door.

And Ian is the son of a farmer which makes it nice for the farmer who owns the heifer. But in the meantime Ian is short a set of wheels while this one goes throught he insurance red-tape and he does some work on his big red truck to get that on the road.

Thanks be to God he is fine but the heifer has a broken leg and is not expected to make it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


The snow is trying to come back to Central New York. The question keeps coming up about whether I like snow. I know that my family keeps asking me to get a rise out of me since my feelings about snow are well known to all who live with me.

But actually I must confess here that my feelings about snow are a little more complicated than those that I have expressed in the past. True I do get a little crabby when there are several inches on the ground and more coming down and I have to go somewhere. What sane thinking person wouldn't, I ask you?

Conversely, when I am home and have no place to go. When there is a nice blaze in the wood stove and I am cozy and warm, what could be more lovely than the sight of big lacey flakes coming down outside. It is also a pleasure indeed to wake up in the morning to a blanket of white covering the traditional mud that generally covers our yard. Why at these times even I can wax poetic about snow.

I have been known to declare a particularly lovely snowy day a day off from school so that we might go out and do some sledding and perhaps build some snow people. I have done my fair share of ice skating and have even ventured onto the slopes for skiing and snow boarding. Now that the children are older and they are in charge of their own mittens and snowsuits going out into a winter wonderland is a stress free adventure.

It is only when we have winters where the snow just doesn't know when to stop. When the roads become impassable and the other drivers on the roads seem to forget how to drive in the white stuff, that the part of the love relationship comes into play.

I guess as long as I can find my way to the outhouse through the deep snow and I can stay warm, snow is alright with me.
Bring it on!

Veterans Day

I have been reading not a few posts about Veterans day and what it means to people, encouragement about flying the flag proudly today, and about the cost of freedom. There have even been a few with a history lesson thrown in telling about the fact that Veterans day originally started out as Armistice Day and, I think in Canada, it is called Remembrance Day. But no matter what it is called or how it is "celebrated" I feel the need to throw my two cents in here.
Veterans day is a day that was originally set aside to honor our fallen who had sacrificed their lives to keep this nation free from tyranny. Very few of our young people are aware of the reason for Veterans day anymore, they are just grateful for a day off from school. The whole concept of patriotism is no longer being taught to our youth. There is a great deal of talk today about thanking the Vets for the price that they have paid for our freedom. But if you ask young kids what freedom means you will get many answers that boil down to one concept; the ability to do whatever you want to without anyone stopping you. That is most definitely not freedom and is not what our soldiers fought to preserve.
Freedom, true freedom comes at a high price, and I am not referring to the giving of your life. I am referring to the price that each of pays day in and day out who are striving for the freedom that God promises. The freedom that comes from doing His will. That is the freedom that our military men fought and died to preserve. The freedom to persue God's will. The freedom to, each and everyday, examine our decisions in the light of God's revelation, and decide based on what He wishes for us to do. The freedom to act according to His plan for our lives. The freedom to work and play according to His design for our lives. The freedom to form our consciences based on His teachings and then to follow our consciences. This is what our veterans fought and fight for.
So, when we are encouraged to fly the flag proudly that is what we are seeing. When we see a veteran who is working at WalMart greeting people wearing his war medals or sitting in MacDonalds having a coffee in an old style uniform, we shouldn't just pass him by or give him a smile and then walk away. But instead stop and extend a warm handshake with a heartfelt thank you. Perhaps an inquiry and listen with interest when he explains his part in the history of this country, after all what does it cost you but a few minutes of your precious time compared to the risk of his whole life.
That is what Veterans day means to me. That is what freedom is. That is what I see when I see a flag flying. That is why I will hold up your line at the store to chat with that old man in a uniform. This mom of three veterans.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A little selective theology going on here......

Before anyone reads this let me warn you that I am not as good a writer as my son Ryan. So, without further eloquence.....................
Yesterday one of my second graders confronted me as only an outraged seven year-old can. He came up to me with outrage written all over his face, arms folded across his chest, feet planted firmly and said "You told me that God answers our prayers, Mrs. K." I looked at him quite shocked and answered "Yes, I did indeed tell you that." Before the answer was completely out of my mouth he rebutted with the following, "I prayed for 100% on my math test and God didn't give it to me. You were wrong!" There goes the text of my lesson for the day. I, of course, had taught them that God does indeed answer prayer but I had also predicated that with the fact that He answers with what He knows to be best for us. I also used the illustration that if you pray for a 100% on a test and then don't study for the test and count only on God and your prayers to get that good grade then God may not answer your prayer the way that you want because He is counting on you to do some work as well. (I know this boy well and I am willing to bet the rent that is just what he did)
This whole situation got me to thinking about the election. Many, many people have been praying fervently about the outcome of the election. This is a good thing, I am not criticizing or making comment about that. But already I have heard sour talk about the outcome that we have realized and how "we prayed so hard" and "we didn't get what we asked for" or words to that affect. My thought is just this. What work has been done to go along with the prayers? And I am not talking about in the short term. In the long term, what are the good people of this country doing to back up the prayers that have been said for the outcome of this election? And why only the prayers for this particular election? What about prayers day in and day out? God is counting on us to do our best day in and day out is what I am saying.
I have an exercise that I do with the kids in my class that is proving to be a good teaching tool. Each week I secretly choose someone from the class to be my "chosen" person. Someone who has to be good even though the rest of the class may is being not so good all around them. Just like after the fall when God's chosen people were supposed to be good while awaiting the Savior while everyone else was being bad all around them. Sometimes they fell too and gave in to temptation and became bad themselves and God had to punish them. Anyway, the next week the "chosen" person gets a reward if they succeed. The people of our nation have to be the same way. We have to be good as an example to the rest of the world. It says in the bible that to those who have been given much much will be expected of them. Much has been given to this country and, hard as it is to take, we are looked up to for that reason. To pray only when the chips are down is not good enough. To rally when we come under attack, like after 9/11, is not good enough. We have to be united as a nation at all times.
So what do we do? We have a new president. You may not like him, so what. You may not agree with his policies, who cares. He is our leader. You can rally behind him without compromising your beliefs and principals. You can show unity without giving up who and what you stand for. There are means and methods in place in our Constitution for showing when and where you disagree. Do I sound idealistic? Maybe it's about time this country got a little idealistic and began to practice the principals upon which it was founded.
Keep praying!!!! Start being the type of person and citizen that God wishes of us and perhaps He will again reward this country as He has so richly done in the past.
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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I feel warmer already!!!!!!! Thanks Ian and Adam.

Friday afternoon I came home from picking up Mary-Kate and there sat this lovely pile of logs courtesy of my loving and generous sons Ian and Adam. They don't want their family to be cold this coming winter so they purchased this load of logs for us. Now we just need Ryan to come home on leave to saw and split it up into stove lengths.

If its a marshmallow world in the winter, what is it in the fall?

The snow has come to central New York. Last night my daughter got 12 inches of snow just 20 miles south of where we live. Here in Vernon we got a dusting overnight. Either the plow or the sander went through at 4:00 this morning. How wonderful it is to have a son who works for the town highway department. This calls for another pie or maybe a cake.

Today after we get home from Mass, Matthew and I will just stay home and keep warm. The wood stove has a roaring blaze in it and there is plenty to do with schoolwork and sewing projects.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thank You Ian For Fixing My Brakes

Recently my car needed new brakes. I gave a call to my favorite mechanic, my oldest son Ian. He had me go to the auto parts store and get the parts that he needed. Then he set to work fixing them. I tried to think of the best way to say thank you for fixing my car and what I came up with was to make him his own apple pie.
He took it to work with him and shared it with the guys at the town barn. They liked it but they all declared that I need more practice making pies. (their way of saying, make more)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mary-Kate's Grades

Mary-Kate emailed me her mid-term grades. I am very proud to post them here for all to see.

Computer App. Precision Farming A-
Computers in Ag Research A
Human Biology B-
Human Biology (Lab) A-
Nutrition Dairy Cattle B
Composition and Research A
Elementary Algebra A
Ensemble (Choir) S

Why you may ask is an Ag student taking Human Biology. The biology that she needed was full up so they put her in this biology class. She'll be able to take the other next semester I guess and count this as an elective. She gets so nervous when she turns in a paper or has to take a test but I'd say she is doing very well. Keep it up Mary-Kate, you'll make an excellent Vet.

Monday, September 29, 2008

How We Spent Our Sunday......among other things

Ian's sow, Carolina Ruby, gave him eight gifts for his feast day, one day early. Thank you Carolina Ruby for these lovely little piglets for the feast of the Holy Archangels.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I thought you were supposed to use your feet for that.....

This morning Matthew got up early and set to work pressing the grapes for me.

Around and around he goes turning the screw and making the follower go lower and lower into the oak bucket.

Out of the bottom comes the grape juice. He was able to press 1 1/2 gallons of juice from the grapes that we picked off of our grape arbor by the machine shop.
When he was done he started to clean up the press like the good boy that he is.
I think that the cheese cloth is a bit stained. Maybe that is why Matthew doesn't use his feet to press the grapes.
Anyway, the juice is in the pail. I mixed the campden tablets in and I will stir the juice daily for the next five days. The campden is to sterilize the juice and to prevent oxidation. When my neighbor comes home on Sunday he will tell me the next thing to do. This is the first time that I have ever made wine. I make cordial every winter but never wine. Matthew wants to try his hand with apple wine also. Should make for some interesting experimentation.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's Ready To Go Back Into The House

This wood stove was taken out of our house after the barn fire that we had. For twenty-one months it has been in our garage. We have decided to put it back into the house.
So, over the weekend I sanded and sanded to get all of the rust off. Then I got some stove blacking and blacked it. Today I built a fire in it and let it burn for the whole day to cure the paint and to get rid of the smell.

I am looking forward to having fires in the morning and to being able to make the house as warm as I like to keep it. It is a very cozy thing to have that stove in the house.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook Monday 22 September 2008

Don't forget to stop by The Simple Woman for all the links entered in this weeks Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window..... it is cool and misty and the temperature is only 53. No laundry is getting hung out today.

I am thinking..... about my SIL who just had surgery. I have been praying for her and my brother a lot lately. May God grant them the strength to weather whatever comes along.

From the schoolroom...... all is silence as Matthew and Brett take their biology test. Then there won't be much schooling going on as Matthew has to work Wed. through Sunday this week. Good time for me to get some much needed sewing done.

I am thankful for..... a hardworking husband and children. We managed to get a lot of work done this past weekend in preparation for the coming months of cold weather. It is important that we do this together so that we remember that it is for all of us that we are doing it, not just mom and dad.

From the kitchen...... sausage, peppers and onions for supper. I need to use up the last of the peppers and tomatoes from the garden. I also need to do a baking of bread.

I am creating..... a peaceful and loving home where all who enter feel welcome. (I hope!!!)

I'm going..... nowhere today, I hope. It is a good day to stay home and doing inside things.

I'm wearing...... jeans, a pink tee-shirt and a green sweatshirt jacket

I am reading..... school related stuff. Have to keep up with Matthew in English literature and biology

I am hoping...... to get my sewing comissions done this week since I got a call about some more. I also want to get some apples to make some pies to freeze and some applesauce.

Around the house..... the sound of the washer doing it's job, the smell of freshly mopped floors.

One of my favorite things.... the sights, sounds, and smells of this season

A few plans for the rest of the week..... pick the last of the grapes and get them pressed so I can start a new batch of wine, cut the hops back so they can go into dormancy, buy bushels and bushels of apples for my family's apple eating pleasure, get the sewing done and the new projects started.

A picture thought that I am sharing with you.....

My favorite sight in the world. Three of the men in my life working together. I like to hear their deep voices and see the funny things that they do when they work.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Splitting Wood

I don't know what happens to my men when wood splitting time rolls around each year. Believe me the same disease doesn't afflict them when it is time to shovel out the pig pen or when it is time to mow the lawn. Only when there is a pile of wood that needs splitting. I often think that I should buy each one of them their own godevil; but I have a sneaky suspicion that it would cure them of the disease instantly and then I would get no wood for the stove and furnace.

Ian brought home a pile of wood this week and dumped it in my driveway. Wednesday evening the disease began to take hold of them.

They start talking about splitting wood. What is the best way to do it and what is the best tool to use.

Then one has to grab up the godevil and begin to show what his technique is. Ian is usually the first one only because he is the oldest and so he has been at this longest, except for his father, of course.

He would go at it all night if Matthew wasn't persistant enough to wrestle the godevil away from him so that he can get his chance to show off his stuff.

Now he hasn't been at it as long as Ian but he has determination to spare.

If nothing else that will carry the day for Matthew. (personally I don't like his choice of footwear)

Matthew is the only person I know who can talk and split wood at the same time. It must be all that excess energy.

After all of this talk, the patriarch cannot help but be inspired to visit his teenage years and set his hands to the task.

Move over teenage sons, the old man still has you all beat. He splits his fair share and reminds them all who it was that taught them.

There is a hint of the young man that I fell in love with.

Fortunately this disease is predictable and repeatable so I am assured of enough split and stacked wood to last for the whole of the winter. Thank God for testosterone!!!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What Should We Call Today?

The sun is shining it is calm outside and the temperature is a beautiful 49 degrees. Such a change from yesterday. Did I mention that we have electricity and water?

Laundry is done and everyone has been able to take a shower this morning. What a different outlook when you are clean and we have been to Mass this morning.

While I was at Mass I kept meditating on the fact that Our Lord and Our Lady certainly didn't have electricity and didn't take showers every morning and yet they lived holy and tranquil lives. So what is my problem? Why did I let yesterday's bump unsettle me so much? That should have be nothing to the peace of my soul, to the outlook of my life.

My reliance on God and my eyes always lifted up to him should be all that influences my day. Unfortunately each one of us has become so used to the conveniences of our modern world that the loss of any such is often enough to through us into a tail spin. Myself included. In retrospect I realize it is only just that, a slight inconvenience that I experienced. Had I wanted, or even needed to wash myself all I really needed to do was to go get water from the spring out back and I would have had all I could have needed and more. Sure it would have required a short walk outside of the house instead of to the kitchen sink or to the bathroom and it would have been cold instead or hot as I am used to. I could have lit the camp stove to rectify that situation if I had really wanted to but that would have required time which I really had if I had only gotten up a little earlier. All of these things our ancestors used to do without thinking about but which we find so burdensome. And so, again, why should I let any of this disturb my peace and tranquility?

Now if I can only remember this should the power go off again and I be without water and electricity another time. Then I know that the lesson will have been learned.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook Monday 15 September 2008

Don't forget to stop by Peggy's for all the links entered in this week's Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...... I don't know because I am at the local library (we have no electricity) we had to flee our home this morning. It is windy and chilly with mist in the air.

I am thinking..... It is Monday and none of the usual Monday things are getting done since we have no power and consequently no water. You all can guess what that means.

I am thankful..... that last nights high winds did no more damage than a few branches down and the electricity out. I have heard no news of any injuries either.

From the kitchen...... oh wait we don't know what is happening in the kitchen, guess it will be Mc Donalds today

I am creating...... lesson plans for my second grade religion class at St Joes and my 5th grade religion class at Our Lady of Good Counsel

I am going...... to take Matthew for lunch and then back here for the rest of the afternoon's classes

I am wearing...... jeans and a green eternity is better shirt

I am hoping...... the power comes back soon so that we can get caught up with the laundry

I am reading...... the Baltimore Catechism

I am hearing...... the other patrons of the library

Around the house...... it is dark and quiet and cold

One of my favorite things..... the fact that Matthew and I are so adaptable

I have no picture thought to share with you. My camera is at home and I didn't take any pictures of the storm damage

Thursday, September 11, 2008


But not for the reasons everyone usually has. Tomorrow I have to go to Morrisville to pick up MK for the weekend. She called and barely had a voice so I bet she has a cold or the flu. I hear it is going around. So in honor of her visit and her illness I shall be surprising her with a supper tomorrow night of her favorite, tomato soup with cheese tortellini and toasted cheese sandwhiches on homemade bread. I think I can even save a piece of chocolate zucchini cake for her. I also made another of her favorites tonight which she can have as leftovers on Saturday, cheesey corn casserole. I can't wait to see her and give her a big hug and take care of her for a few days.

Monday, September 8, 2008

On Friday Mary-Kate started taking riding lessons from our neighbor Stephanie. This is a big event because a year ago on May 8 she had surgery to repair a fractured spine. When she consented to having the surgery one of her most important questions was "can I ride a horse afterward?" Her surgeon said yes if she followed all of his rules during the recovery process.

She has been very good about wearing her brace when she was healing and about doing the exercises after she was allowed out of the brace. Even now she still has to do exercises to strengthen the muscles that she lost during the time in her brace and to strenghten those that help keep her back safe.

We are very proud of how hard she worked and how she was so patient with her healing process. We are also very thankful to Stephanie for being willing to teach her to ride and for being so careful with our .

Simple Woman's Daybook Monday 08, August 2008

Don't forget to stop by Peggy's for all the links entered in this week's Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window..... clear and cool and sunny. Nice day for drying the laundry outside.

I am thinking...... how am I going to get Matthew and his friend Brett to get serious about their biology?

I am thinkful for...... the wonderful weekend that we just had with Mary-Kate home.

From the kitchen..... leftovers for lunch and cheesey corn casserole for supper.

I am creating...... some new skirts for me (my daughter is surprised that I am sewing for myself)

I am going..... to a teacher's meeting at St. Josephs tonight.

I am wearing...... blue jeans and a white tee shirt (think I need a sweatshirt too!)

I am reading....... Quest for Love by Elisabeth Elliot and The First Patient by Michael Palmer (I need to indulge my mystery desire for a change)

I am hoping...... that Ian has a better week than he anticipates and that we get to see him at least once before he leaves for drill on thursday night.

I am hearing...... Matthew and Brett doing their spanish video

Around the house...... everything is neat and clean (we did the housework before we started school)

One of my favorite things...... having my daughter come home for the weekend and having nothing pressing to do so we can spend a lot of time together

A few plans for the rest of the week..... start getting things outside put away for the fall, school, laundry, lesson plans for my 2nd grade religion class

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you......

My very happy daughter who is now taking riding lessons a little over a year since she had her back repaired. That was her goal and she is realizing it. God bless our neighbor for taking on this task and making her so happy.

And my youngest son Matthew who now has permission to use his brother's bow and took his bow hunters safety course on Saturday and passes with flying colors.

It does my mother's heart good to see my children so happy.

Friday, September 5, 2008

When Hop Was King in New York State

Last September Matthew and I went to the hopfest which is held near us every year. I bought this hop plant and look at it now!

The vine is now taller than I am and loaded with flowers. (What you see on either side are the morning glories that MK planted.)
The hop flowers have a beautiful earthy, musky odor reminiscent of the smell of . (I wonder why)
The flowers don't look very "flowery" but this is a hop blossom. These are harvested, dried in kilns and used in the brewing of .
The lovely sunflowers that Mary-Kate and planted last spring. The make a cheery sight by the road.
I think MK will like these that I brought inside for her visit home this weekend.