About a million years ago when I was a teenager and in love, there was an old oak tree along a hiking path. We hiked then, when we could walk easier, and held hands and talked and laughed and kissed…you get the idea. But, that old oak tree just stuck out in the path a little bit. Each time we’d hike by we’d notice it, because it was almost in the trail.

When you are young and in love you do all sorts of things you don’t have the energy for when you are older. Such as carving your initials in the tree and making a heart around the initials. Now why in the world did we do that? Mercy, I can’t even explain it. Love, I guess.

Not too many years ago, I managed to hike up that trail to find the tree. It’s still there and if you look closely and run your hands across the bark you can still make out the initials and the heart. Just like that old tree our love grows on. It doesn’t quite look like it did a long time ago, it’s probably become more like the tree itself…strong, true, a good shelter from the storms of life and pretty shady most of the time.

Love isn’t only for the young. When you age a little you realize you don’t have to carve initials in trees to prove your love you just have to be there for one another. Love grows!

Garage Sales In February

Do you love finding treasure? Do you love garage sales? Oh My Goodness…I’ve always loved them. Let me tell you a wee little tale (that’s true) about garage sales and my family.

Long ago, over 40 years now when I was married just a couple of years and was expecting Stephen Michael, Thelma (my great aunt), Mom, and I would load up every Friday and head for Rolla to the Garage Sales (capitalized for importance!). Boy, would we have a time! We shopped and found and laughed and looked and laughed and created memories that are still serving me well here in my 60s.

We’d pull up to a sale and Thelma would grab her purse and be the first one out the door. She would peruse the tables and find a treasure or two and then proceed to help me, as I waddled out of the car nine months pregnant, to find some treasures for him. By the time he was born, we had filled a chest of drawers completely with a lovely layette for very little money. Which is a good thing, because we didn’t have much of that stuff. Then, by the time Laura arrived I was a pro and her little closet was full of ruffles and lace. We only purchased the very best and I’d launder and dream of when my sweet babies would wear those clothes.

After yard sales we’d go somewhere for a bite to eat and then head home in time for Mom and Thelma to cook supper. Notice I left myself out, if it hadn’t been for Grandma Pearl and Mom, Steve and I would have starved to death in those days. So, my love for yard sales, garage sales, estate sales, whatever you want to call them goes far back. So, when Steve (garage sale hater) and I ventured out on Thursday I found a Garage Sale sign and after much pleading convinced Steve to take me. It didn’t disappoint!

Garage Sale Finds in February

The Carnival Glass??? bowl doesn’t have a chip and it is so pretty. The letter holder is for a DIY project which I will share with you later. The folding board is for the formidable quilting. So it was great fun. I had a nice visit with the lady selling things and was just as happy with my small purchase as I would have been had I paid $100 at the department store for the same thing!

Moral of the story garage sale fans…Hold on…Spring is coming!

Teeny Tiny Toilets

You all know that I’m a big girl. Always have been and although I’m losing weight I’m not going to lose much height (i.e., big girl forever). But I do have a pet peeve. This women’s bathroom situation has to be fixed. Long ago, we had these.

Outside Facilities

Back in the day you opened the door, turned around fixed your clothing and sat or squatted! Plenty of room for all your business! Now it wasn’t the freshest aroma, but usually there was ample room. I didn’t have one of these at my home, but unlike my girl, I’ve had to use these before.

Now, bathrooms are so tiny in some places that you have to side step in beside the toilet (yuck…what if…I don’t even want to think about it!) because the door swings in and there is barely three inches between the door and the toilet. Heck with “business” you can’t hardly enter the establishment let alone anything else. I know you don’t need to camp out there, but it’s ridiculous. Mercy!

Surely this isn’t just a big girl problem. Those potties at fairs and such are small, too. We need room in here fellows. I’ve never been in the boys restroom at this facility, but it can’t be much larger. What’s the deal? I’m not even a germ phob, but I am so grossed out by having to sidle up to the seat to lock the door, that I can’t EVEN get past that issue. I know there are bigger problems in the world. But hey, big girls potty, too.

Anybody else? (Insert eyeroll)!

A Girl and Her Pups!

A long time ago, when I was a little girl I can remember loving my dad’s old coon hound puppies. The litters were huge, maybe 10 puppies at a time. I’d make a bee line for them after school. My dad would manage to sell them or give them away and every single time it would break my heart. We had blue ticks, red bones, and they all hunted. He’d say, “Don’t spoil them, they won’t be worth anything.” I’d keep petting and playing. One time he brought me a big old sheep dog. It was huge.

Over the years of our married life, we’ve had a many different pets. But right now we have our own pups and we have Grandpups! I thought you all would like to see these sweet babies! Because you know they are a part of the family, right?

This is Whitey Herdog. Are you a St. Louis Cardinal’s Fan?

Whitey is Steve’s dog. He’s a hot mess but boy do we love him.

This is a painting of my King Ted! Kathleen is an amazing artist
King Ted!

We also have Sadie. Sadie is a yellow lab mix and is the best pet of all. She sleeps inside but is fiercely protective of us and travels with Steve all over our farm”ette.”

Then, there’s the Grandpups! You know Laura has always loved pets and at her house they have cows, sheep, horses, cats, and dogs. My Grandgirl K, like me, loves dogs. Here is K’s baby Bella.

Bella has the best life ever!

Then, there’s Pepper, T’s dog. Can you say spoiled and smart!

Pepper enjoying the recliner!

Then my son, that wasn’t going to have any pets and questioned our sanity now has a puppy at his house! Mercy! She’s a mess, too!

Piper is sweet and full of life!

When I’m not spending my time with my Grands and their pets it is an odd day. Today while I worked on the blog and waited on school to end to pick up the Grandsons, I played with Piper. I saw Bella and Pepper before coming here when I dropped off something at my daughter’s house. Ted and Whitey stayed at home with Steve. Just like always I can’t wait until I get home to see them….and, Steve, too, of course!

Do you love your pets? They are great company!

Fred Hamilton Received His Reward Yesterday!

This week our community had to say goodbye to one of the greatest men I’ve ever known. Fred Hamilton. He wasn’t a doctor, but believed in healing. He wasn’t a lawyer, but settled many cases. He wasn’t a teacher, but had a greater understanding of the Word than anyone I’ve ever encountered. He loved laughter. He loved cows. He loved bologna sandwiches. He loved his family fiercely.

When I think back to my childhood he was the guiding hand that kept me on the right track. I faltered and fell and stumbled and waivered, but he was always there to put me back on track and to explain how much God loved me. When I married young, he officiated. When I had problems, he prayed for me. When I had children with health issues he prayed for them. When I had teenagers he prayed for them and me. When I had health issues he reassured me. When I became a teacher he celebrated with me. He was such a positive influence in my life. When I became a grandparent he was as happy as I was…almost. When I needed counseling about a difficult situation, he counseled. He listened. When he didn’t know what to say, he’d pray. He always seemed to know what I needed to hear and he always assured me that God’s got us. And, he was right.

Fred Hamilton you will be greatly missed by me and my family along with the whole community. You made an impact on lives and that is what we are here to do. Thank you for all you did for me. When I visited with you on Wednesday before you left you were still teaching me lessons. Throughout my whole life, I appreciated your candor, your advice, your prayers, and especially your love!

Heaven received an angel. I’m sure there was celebrating and singing, “Build My Mansion…” because YOU made it home. Enjoy, Fred. You deserved your reward!


What is it about love that makes us so giddy and filled with happiness? Having been married for many years to the same person I find that what made me feel loved as a teen bride is very different than a retired woman in her 60s. New love is wonderful, but “seasoned” love that is where it’s at!

Sprinkles of thankfulness on pretty red roses!

When you are first falling in love it is all electricity! All fireworks and glitter and sometimes opposition. You can’t wait to be together and you spend so much time trying to get to know one another that sometimes each individual becomes lost. When you’ve been married for a number of years, you know each other well as individuals. You know how you think collectively, you know what you need, you know your desires and the things that you can’t tolerate. Your shoulder or ear becomes a depository for deepest secrets, grieves, joys, and greatest fears. Your heart’s desire is to see happiness for your mate.

As we approach February 14, Valentine’s Day, I’d like to think that my mate, my Steve, knows how very much I love him. But, in case I don’t say it enough or show it enough, I sure want him to know that I’m thankful for him and all he does to keep our love perfectly seasoned.

Cleaning Up!

My kitchen isn’t fancy, but it is well used and requires a good deal of scrubbing… occasionally… because I am a messy cook! I look for products that work well in a kitchen that is used multiple times daily, is cost efficient, and cleans up messes quickly! I’ve found a wonderful product I’d like to share with you. Are you familiar with the company, BRANDLESS? Click here for more info. I found them by chance from an another link on a blog that I follow. I’ve ordered several items from them that come right to my door and as the name implies it doesn’t include lots of “flashy” packaging advertisement…but the products I’ve tried have been WONDERFUl.

Today I’d like to share the BRANDLESS Multi-Surface Cleaner. I love it!

Brandless – Multi Surface Cleaner

This cleaner sparkled up my stainless steel sink, my counter top, my stove top, my table, and it truly is multi-surface just as it states. No overpowering odors. But it cleans like a dream. I’m lovin’ it!

Also, I’ve ordered cashews, maple syrup, and other items from BRANDLESS. All of the items that I’ve tried have been very good. They are well packaged, arrive quickly, are cost effective, and are wonderful products. Hope you get to try one soon!

What did you do for someone else this year?

Each Christmas in our family we play games, eat good food, open gifts and have a good time together. This year it has become more important to me to create a memory that is not based on what we get, but what we give. So I asked the question…What did you do for someone else this year?

Thankfully, my family is accustomed to my putting them on the spot. Some of them answered immediately. Some said they’d think about it and let me know. Some said I will send you a text because maybe they were uncomfortable with the topic. But, we all need to know the importance of one. The importance of what one person can do to change the world in which they live. One person can do a whole lot!

The end of the year for me is a time to think about the past few months. What did I do that made me happy? What did I do that made me proud of myself? What did I do to help someone else? What did I do for my family? How did I use my skill set to improve the world?

Knowing I’m not the most talented person in the world, I do strive to help others with the meager gifts I possess. I love working with children. So I volunteer and tutor. I love crafting and baking. I share those skills with my Grand Girl. I love reading. I share books and information with my friends. What is your gift?

Everyone has something they do that will help the world. Find yours and share it!

Christmas Is Coming!

The trees are decorated. Most of the gifts are purchased and wrapped. The season is here and really, almost over. How does that happen so fast? One moment we are preparing and it seems the next we are celebrating. This season I prayed for joy, throughout the season, so it would be the best Christmas ever. God was faithful!

All of us that love Christmas are always anticipating the event. We can’t wait for the time with family, the enormous amounts of decorating, the wrapping, the tying up with a bow, the food, the gifting, the fun, and all of the festivities. We scurry around and work to decorate each room and make sure everything is perfect. We wrap the packages and tie them up with a bow. We bake things we only bake one time a year. We plan fun activities and attend as many parties as our feet can handle. It never seems Christmas unless you make something to gift. So, there is another task. But, then as fast as Rudolph’s nose blinks, it is here and gone and here again. My wish today is that time would slow down just a little so that we can enjoy every moment for a little longer this year.

May your Christmas be filled with all you love! May your heart be filled to the brim and running over with the joy that only God provides. May your eyes glisten with the wonder of the season!

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. Psalm 94:19