Monday, May 25, 2009

Freedom Isn't Free...

I often wish that there was some way I could speak to all our Military personnel. I'd love to talk to all our Veterans. I would tell them a few things..
First I'd tell them how much their Willingness to serve our Country means to me. It's a Sacrifice those of us who have never been in the Military don't fully understand. I'd thank their families for the hours and days that they "go on" without their children, husbands, wives, Daddy's, and Mom's. They make a sacrifice too. I fear that there are far to many of us, who forget what living in a Free Country entails. Without the Sacrifice of Many our lives would be nothing like they are..

If I could meet each one of these heroes I would hug their necks and and tell them that they are not forgotten. So I guess My blog today is to those Who Serve our Country. Those "Watchmen on the Wall" who give their all. Who are willing to give even their lives so that you and I can sleep peacefully in our beds tonight.. Our children can play without fear of IED's or suicide bombers. We are free to protest the government, the war, our taxes etc. because many died for that right..

Dear Veteran/Soldier/Marine/Seaman/Airman/Guard,
I just wanted to let you Know that I am thinking of you today. 
I think sometimes we forget that Memorial Day is NOT about cookouts, or picnics, parades, or fireworks. Memorial Day is about remembering those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their Country and our way of life. 
Today I am remembering those I love who have made that sacrifice. Today I Say Their Names.. As long as there is Someone who will Say their Names, They are never truly gone. 
They live forever in our Hearts.

Today I Say their Names: My Cousin, Marine Lncpl. Thomas “Tommy” Robert Tormanen Gulf War, Love you Tommy, miss you...

In Memory of Our Heroes From Genesee County, Michigan. Who gave the last full measure of love in Iraq and Afghanistan for America. Forever in our Hears and Never to be Forgotten

Army - Sgt Michael F. Pedersen April 2, 2003
Army - PFC Jason M. Meyer April 8, 2003
Air Force - Ssgt Scott D. Sather April 8, 2003
Army - Ssgt Brett J. Petriken May 26, 2003
Army - SPC Artimus D. Brassfield October 24, 2003
Army - SPC Richard Kennedy Trevithick April 14, 2004
Army - SPC Randy Stevens April 16, 2005
Army - Capt. Lowell Thomas Miller II August 31, 2005
Army - MSG Anthony Yost November 19, 2005
Army - PFC Allan A. Morr February 22, 2006
Army - Sgt Joshua Youmans March 1, 2006
Marine - L/CPL Brandon J. Webb June 20, 2006
Marine - SSgt Raymond Plouhar June 26, 2006From Lake Orion MichiganGenesee County Recruiter for 3 years
Army - Sgt Robert Paul Kassin July 19, 2006Flint Native Son
Army – SGT Jeremy DePottey September 11, 2006 Flint Native Son
Army - Sgt Thomas G. Wright May 14, 2007
Navy - PO1 Ross L. Toles III June 18, 2008
Navy - SCPO John W. Marcum September 12, 2008

Today I am remembering those whose names are etched on monuments in great halls, on walls of stone and granite, on white markers in great and small places all over the world, and on the hearts of all who loved them. Today I am thankful for the sacrifice that was made so I can enjoy Memorial Day with my family at our bbq's and picnics, at the parades and the fireworks. Today I also want to remember and thank all our Military Men and women for being a "watchman on the wall" thank you for your service to our Country and your sacrifice. You are always my Hero. God Bless you in a very special way.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Stump has flowers...

As some of you may know, We've had a Disaster Recovery Crew here cleaning up Storm debris from the huge Ice Storm of Jan. The storm covered about 930 miles, stretching from Arkansas through Kentucky and into parts of Tn. It has devastated the trees in most of Ky.

I read in *The Crittenden Press Online ( "A U.S. Forest Service official says as much as 10,000 acres of the heavily wooded Land Between the Lakes public forest may have been severely damaged by the January ice storm.Trent Girard, leader of a U.S. Forest Service team assessing damage in the forest, says the northern end of the peninsular public area got the worst of the damage.The Paducah Sun reports that some concerns about the ice storm damage include potential access issues, weakening of trees' resistance to insect attack and potential of fire danger because of broken limbs drying and deteriorating on the forest floor. But LBL spokeswoman Kathryn Harper says on the plus side, the downed limbs could be benefiting wildlife foraging at ground level, as well as allowing in more sunlight to spur the new growth of oak and hickory trees."

The Damage has been unreal.. The crew spent a few days cleaning the limbs and damaged trees out of the state right of way.. one of the Trees that had to be taken down was this old Cedar that sat next to our driveway. You can see from the picture above, that one of the limbs fell and dented in the gate..

The Tree was rotten through the center. I wanted to save the stump and grow some flowers in it.. I got a few suggestions from friends and decided to plant something that was trailing so it would cascade down the sides of the stump.. I headed out to the local Wal-mart. The plants were picked over, so the wave Petunias I wanted, were gone. I bought Moss Phlox aka: creeping phlox. they won't need much tending and should fill in the top of the stump and trail down the sides. I just got two clumps for this year. I figured I'll see how it grows, and then can add more next year or plant something else if it doesn't work out. I can't wait to see how it does.. I'm hoping we can come back for a visit later this fall.
I also planted my "moon Flower" vine.. not in the place I wanted, but our time is limited and Husband doesn't have time to build another trellis.. so I put it on an old fence post near the stump.. I'm using string to tie it to the post. Hopefully it will climb up the post.. it's an annual so I'll have to replant later.. the phlox I planted in the stump is a perennial.. My favorite kind of flowers. I love to stick it in the dirt and then be done with it..
I have another stump.. It is not hollow, so I'll have to think of something to plant in a pot.. I was going to do it this time, but was told someone driving by would just stop and take the pot and all home with them.. that's true.. so I'll have to figure something out.
I wish they could have cut the stump in the form of a chair/seat.. So many sat under it's shade, husband included.. I may see if Husband can figure out how to make a bench out of it..
I'm so glad we will still have a part of our trees left to enjoy.
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Monday, May 18, 2009

One Determined Bird...

This is a new friend.. I haven't named him.. that's odd because I usually name all the little creatures that continually visit us.
Maybe I'll call him Al.. Al is cool.. He has a beautiful song. He sits right out back. As you can see from the picture, he sits pretty close to the window.. as a matter of fact, he comes right up to the window.. he fights himself/his reflection in the glass. He has figured out how to grab on to the side of the window that I keep open.. he has started to sit and peck on the glass, so I quit putting the screen down..
He is one determined bird... He will fight himself in the window from dawn until dusk. Every few minutes you can hear him hit the window.. then he'll sit next to it and peck on the glass... He's been doing it everyday for almost 3 weeks. He is determined.. Now I have really thought about his determination.. He's singing.. so I'm thinking he's looking for a girlfriend... he will sit in the tree and eat.. then head for the window again..
I wonder if sometimes we are like Al.. there are good points to be determined.. He has an attitude of never giving up.. he is determined to defeat the bird in the window.. sometimes having that "never give up, never give in" attitude is what we need..
some examples would be during an illness, working to meet a goal.. etc.. However.. there have been a few times when I've asked Al a question... " How stupid are you?" he keeps beating himself , I mean literally throwing himself against the window every few minutes all day.. I guess he's done it 100's of times.. I know it has to be painful.. but he just doesn't get it.. He makes no progress.. but doesn't realize that the bird he sees in the window does not exist.. Sometimes when things aren't working out the way we want, we need to step back.. grab a limb so to speak.. and look at the problem.. the way Al approaches the bird in the window.. is not getting the results he wants.. he wants that bird gone.. He needs to use a new approach.. but he just doesn't get it...
Am I ever like that? Do I ever get so focused on a task, that I keep throwing myself against the window... but because I won't try another approach, I don't ever get anywhere.. Do I ever sit on another branch and ponder the problem from a new perspective..
Do I ask for help? Another person may have a new insight into my old problem.. maybe that had the same problem and found a way around it..
Determination can be a great thing.. We just need to make sure if we are throwing ourselves against the window.. we are making some progress toward a goal..
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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Why God Made Mom's...


Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is..
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us..
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my Mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts...

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your mom?
1. My Mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between moms & dads?
1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller & stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day...

Mother's Day has always been kind of different for me. I was adopted at the age of 2. I found my Birth family in 1992. I was able to meet my Mom. (the photo of her above is what she looked like when I was born) I've had a chance to talk with her and have learned a lot about her life.. It's kind of weird to say, but I don't "know" her like you do people you live with. I look like my Dad's family.. I have mom chin and her body shape.. LOL all of her girls have her body shape.. Mom taught me that sometimes Love requires you to think of the other person first.. She loved me enough to let me go... to give me a home with two parents.. (she and my dad had divorced) her love was unselfish...

My adopted Mom, as I told you earlier, was mentally ill.. on a good day.. Mom was fun and loved reading to us. She would bake with us, and made sure we had lot's of fun toys. In the early years Mom had lots of good days. I was very thankful for the good days..
She was one who loved to decorate, and make things special.. even a lunch outside was an event that needed to be planned.. it was fun to spend those times with mom.. Mom passed away last month at the age of 82.. I was glad I got to speak to her last winter.

My birth father had passed away when I found my birth family.. My Mom Ella took over just like we had always known each other. She is fun and I've had a blast getting to know her. She lives about 45 minutes from us. she's a great mom.. She has shown me you don't always have to like what your kids do.. but you always love them.. She has also shown me that you're only as old as you feel.. Mom is only 25.. LOL We don't spend as much time together as I'd like.. but We always have a blast when we're together..
The mom I had that taught me what a mom was really like, was My Special Mom, Norma.. She's my sister in law now..she is pictured with our youngest daughter.. Norma taught me how to be a good mom.. I've know her since 1971.. I have lots of stories to share about her. She taught me that you NEVER put your hands in her pickle jar (hey I did it at home, how was I to know you didn't do it at someone else's house?) how to can beets, and how to can tomatoes. She showed me how important a relationship with God is.. and that Love is always kind and quick to forgive.. She also taught me that to ere would get me a punishment.. even if I wasn't her kid.. She showed me what true hospitality was.. there were always 3 or more extra kids at her table for supper.. she never fussed.. just made sure the parents knew where they were.. She would throw another can of veggies in the pot and call it good.. Norma cooked wonderful "Hillbilly" food.. she taught me how to cook for my husband.. I ate Corn meal mush for the first time with her..
I love all my mom's.. for years I lived without one.. they have all taught me things.. I feel so blessed to have them all in my life...
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Friday, May 8, 2009

I Finally Cleaned Off The Front Porch..

I don't know how we let our Front Porch get so junked up. LOL We only vacation here. As you can see we have quite a conglomeration of things. there is the big garbage can that holds extra stuff, clothes, pillows, etc. We leave it in the cabin when we are gone. No room for it if we are here, so it sits out on the porch. Just the garbage can. then there is the "homemade" by husband table. It's made of 2x4's and weighs a ton. Husband found an old bench grinder and mounted it to the table. It sits in side the cabin where we are gone.. When we're here it has to go out on the porch. Husband has never used it. It is there "just in case" he needs to sharpen something.. The two garbage cans in the corner hold grass seed and fertilizer. they are water tight, so stay on the porch year round. "Just in case" we need to sew grass seed.. and if you sew grass seed you have to throw some fertilizer in there too...
In this photo you will see the old Wire spool. This has doubled as a food table, fish cleaning bench, work bench for sawing and repairing of chain saws, tractor carburetors, weed eaters and other assorted mechanical tools. It's a great catch all for anything we take out there, Cups, pop bottles, lube oil, WD40, lighter fluid, etc.. The table has been at our cabin since we bought it. The neighbors brought it over so we could have a place to set our pop when we were down working on the cabin. The first year we had to stay in a motel. We would come back and forth to work on it. Next you'll see the old wheel barrow.. always full of tools. The barn is a hike.. so Husband gathers up all the assorted tools he may need, pruning saws, rakes, pruner, shovels, etc. and puts them in the barrow. Then there is the Orange Chair.. Several years ago a neighbor had the old chair in his truck.. He stopped and brought it up to sit in.. then just left it.. It stays on the porch for our friends to use when they come up to mow.
Then you can see we have gas cans, a kerosene cans, a swing and some plastic chairs.. egad.. there is no room to put those chairs.
I got tired of looking at all the "stuff".. I got everything out of the wheelbarrow, then hauled off the garbage cans, grinder with table, etc.. put them in the old "store" building. The Spool table had started to rot.. so it was carried out on the wheelbarrow to the burning pile. The tools and gas cans have to stay. We are still using them.. but everything else was removed.. Yehaw.. lookie here.. We can set the chairs around and actually sit around on the porch..
I'm so proud of myself. This was one of several projects we did that day. I also put up a new trellis for my Wisteria, The ice storm broke the old one over. Then we headed down the wood line and sawed up the trees and limbs that had fallen.. Tossed them out in the ditch for the cleanup crew to get. More on that later..
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The Blue Bear glass

This is a picture of My Grandmother.. taken in the late 60's...

This is my favorite glass.. I have to admit I have several of them. One here, and 7 at home. I wish I had the original one. It was found at my Grandmother's house. Grandma would fix breakfast and let us choose our glass for juice. Breakfast always included juice. I don't recall having milk. It was juice. Grandmother had a whole set of these glasses. I have a set now too. They are called Swanky Swigs.. they came with Kraft cheese in them. Like other items of the time. You bought Kraft cheese and then had a juice glass when the cheese was gone.
I always chose the blue bear. I love it. The opposite side has a pig on it. There was just something about having my juice in it that made me feel special. Funny how a special glass can make one feel special.

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