Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

These dollar store calendars are hanging on the wall beside my desk at work. The last couple of weeks I have had one foot in 2011 and one foot in 2012. I am ready to let go of 2011!

How about you?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Mystery Gift

My hubby has had a gift hidden in the spare bedroom for a couple of days and I was forbidden to go in there. I was so surprised to find out what the gift was! He had the old treadle sewing machine cabinet that belonged to my grandmother refinished! I really, really love this gift.

This is one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received. It means so much to me that he would go to the trouble to have this done and keep it a secret.

Here are a few before pictures that show how bad the condition of the cabinet was.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From Homemaking Dreams:

I hope that all of you have a very Merry Christmas... and

May your homemaking dreams come true in 2012!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Special Tree

***** update on Mama: She is improving, but far from well, and has been transferred to a rehabilitation/nursing center. Our hope is that she will be able to go home in a few weeks. She was very, very sick last week. I honestly did not think she would make it for a little while there! Thank you so much to all who were concerned for her and me.

I haven't had time to or the desire to do much Christmas decorating this year. My daughter, who is always so thoughtful, brought me this pre-lit tree, fully decorated. She knows I love snow, so the tree is decorated with a snow theme and even has a snow tree skirt. She, my son-in-law and grandson snook the tree in and surprised me.

I love this tree and..... my daughter!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


A few of you have asked how Mama is, so I thought I'd give a small update.

She is very sick this week, in the hospital with Shingles. This has really thrown her for a loop. The combination of her age, being on dialysis and her other health problems have made for a very sick lady.

I thank you in advance for your, care, concern and prayers!

Debbie J.

Monday, November 21, 2011

How to have a 48 Hour Day

First an update of my mother: Dialysis is very hard! She is adjusting to it some, but I don't know if anyone ever fully gets used to it. However, she is feeling better. On the Monday after Thanksgiving, she will have her permanent access for dialysis put in, which is called a fistula. This will involve a couple more days spent in the hospital.

Since my schedule is even more busy now, I've not had time to post too much on my blogs, but I'm trying to get more organized and hope to get back into the swing of things.

Having a 48 hour day is not my idea, but I love the book called, "How to Have a 48 Hour Day by Don Aslett, as seen HERE.

My favorite concepts from the book are to have a front log, be early and not procrastinating. I am trying to incorporate these ideas into my day to day life. Since I work full time, help care for an elderly parent, and try to maintain my home life, I can use any help I can get!

My hubby has been a lifesaver! He has been doing almost all of the cooking and has been my support and my rock throughout this "new normal".

I am making lists, lists and more lists!

The front log is simply a list of all the things you need to do, whether they are recurring things, or projects that need to be done once. Then you just keep chipping away on the list when ever there is a spare minute or block of time available.

Thanks to this method, I have already finished my Christmas cards! I did this while hubby was driving my mother and me to one of her appointments. I was sitting in the backseat and worked on them while were going down the road. Then when I had a few more minutes later that night, I tweaked some of the addresses. I didn't seal the envelopes because I would like to include a picture of my grandson in some of them.

I am also benefiting greatly by not PROCRASTINATING! I never thought I had a problem with this until I started noticing that I would think I could just wait and do certain small things later. Now I am trying to do things RIGHT NOW while I am thinking about it.

Recently this has included: answering emails, folding and putting away clothes from the dryer, , doing some chores from my front log, even if there is only a few minutes available. Little minutes add up to hours!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Small Town America - The Dialysis Center Waiting Room

(Not my mother's walker, but a nice one!)

My mother has shown some improvement in that now she can get around with her rolling walker and not the wheelchair so much. Our current problem is that its hard for her to get into those SUVs and pickup trucks that most of my family own. My Little Ole Lady car is the only one she can get into without the help of angels.

Who are the angels, you may be wondering.

...The van driver who helped me the first time I took Mama to dialysis qualifies as one. I was not used to dealing with wheelchairs. I parked too close to the curb. I didn't know you could push a button and open the door. But he did! I don't know what I would have done without him.

...A brother who works nearby and shows up at just the right time to help get her in and out, is another angel.

...My husband who has offered to drive us to dialysis on Saturdays and then to help me run errands and pass the time while waiting for the treatment to end.

....The two ambulance drivers who teamed up to put her into the front seat of a small SUV are also angels in disguise.

".... I was sick and you took care of me... (Matthew 25: 36)"

There are so many personalities in the waiting room at the dialysis center. Most of the patients are not able to drive themselves there and back, and the length of time of the dialysis treatment is unpredictable.... and so they wait... Because of this they all get to know each other and they love to talk. Kidney failure doesn't care what your walk in life is, so all kinds of people end up in one small room.

You can learn all about a person in just a few minutes, when that person is eager to talk. One recent new friend from the waiting room is who my husband has dubbed "The Cowboy".

The Cowboy is a small man wearing jeans and boots, probably about 70 years old, with a weathered face After about 15 minutes I knew his heart. He loves horses, riding horses, teaching kids how to ride horses. Sadly, dialysis has taken a lot of this away from him.

When I asked The Cowboy how many horses he had and if he still rode them, he said, "They ain't goin' to take everything away from me!". I hope the cowboy can ride horses for a long time to come...

An 11 year old neighbor girl, named Australia, is another love of his. Her mother was killed in an automobile accident in Texas when she was only 2 weeks old. So, he and Australia's grandmother, Ms. Helen, went to Texas and brought her back to North Carolina. Australia can ride a horse like nobody's business, right through the middle of town, in the mountains or anywhere, thanks to The Cowboy. She loves the cowboy and he loves her.

I caught a glimpse of Australia when she came to the door of the dialysis center to let him know his ride was there... She is as pretty as the place she is named after.

When a dialysis patient exits the treatment room to the waiting room, they look pale and weak. Some of them are nauseated and some of them experience cramps. Some of them have a loved one waiting for them and others ride a van or on a gurney in an ambulance. Some are amputees and use prosthetic legs. They are all ages.

But they all have one thing in common. Dialysis is their job. It keeps them alive and so they go.....

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sunshine and Shadow

Life is a little hard right now. Mama is home and undergoing dialysis treatments on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday of each week. She is not doing well with all this. She is weak and has to be moved around in the wheelchair instead of her trusty rolling walker. She can't be left alone and so our family is taking care of her. The good thing is that she is eating well and we have hope that this is only a temporary thing and that she will get stronger. At 86, its not that easy to bounce back!

No matter what we are going through, the seasons keep rolling along.

This picture is of my daughter and grandson enjoying one of the last warm days of fall:

The cotton is gone! I have really enjoyed having it right outside the door all summer and fall.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Our Fall Garden

*** Update on Mama. She is still in the hospital and the dialysis treatments she has had in the hospital have been going well, except for the fact that they wipe her out afterwards. I hope that the side effects will get better when she gets used to having the dialysis. Fingers are crossed that she can come home today. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers.


We still have a few veggies growing outside. These squash are almost ready to start picking. It won't be long before we have a frost, maybe 2 or 3 more weeks, so we need to eat them while we can!

This is the fall garden. These plants are the squash from above, turnips and rutabagas.


These are Bell peppers grown in pots that I grew from seed earlier in the summer. The good thing about them being in pots, is that I can protect them from frost by moving them inside a building or under a shelter.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Small Update

Update on Mama: Her Nephrologist made the decision that she does need to go on dialysis and so today the surgery to insert the Portacath will be done. I'm not sure how much longer she will be in the hospital, but I suspect at least 2 or 3 more days. As much as I dread this new burden for her, I realize that it is a blessing that dialysis exists to help her live a much longer life. So, "it is what it is!".

Thanks for your comments, thoughts and prayers!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Couple of Updates

I haven't mentioned my mother lately, so I thought I would give a little update on her. She is 86 now and slowing down in the things she is able to do. She is still able to attend church every Sunday, but other than that is pretty much home bound.

This week she is in the hospital with kidney function problems. We are hopeful that the doctor can stop the rise in her creatinine levels so that she doesn't have to go on dialysis. For three weeks now the level has hovered around 6 and so her doctor is highly recommending dialysis if the number doesn't come down in the next 2 or 3 days. We could really use your good thoughts and prayers right now! Dialysis would place a great burden on Mama and we are hoping and praying to avoid it.

I will be scarce on the internet this week, both in posting on my blogs and leaving comments. But, I wanted to show you the finished "Razzle Dazzle" quilt. I apologize to those who may have already seen this quilt on my quilting blog.

I can't for the life of me get the pictures on my camera to download to the computer, so I had to settle for these taken with my camera phone, and then sent to my email address.

It was very windy when I was trying to take the pictures.

I hope all of you have a great week. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and prayers. I will give another update on Mama when more is known.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Octoberfest Chili

Here's how I made our chili for our private Octoberfest last weekend:

Octoberfest Chili

1 lb (or more if you like it meaty)Browned hamburger cooked together with cut up onion and bell pepper. (drained of course)
1 can of original rotel tomatoes
1 regular sized can of diced tomatoes (mine were flavored with garlic, or italian herbs or something)
2 regular sized cans of white beans (navy, great northern, etc.)
2 regular size or 1 big can of pork and beans.
1 large dollop or big rounded tablespoon of tomato paste ( I freeze individual portions of canned tomato paste, because a whole can is too much.)
1 scant tablespoon of chili powder (I pour what looks like a little tablespoon in the palm of my hand and toss it in. It may be less than a tablespoon.)
Sprinkle in some Cumin (optional)
1 cup of water

I'm sorry some of the ingredient amounts are so vague, but chili is one of those dishes that I throw in a little of this and a little of that. Each time its a little different.

Let simmer until flavors have mingled awhile.

We still have three more October weekends, so lets celebrate!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


We had our own little private Octoberfest last weekend. We had really nice cool weather and it was perfect for making chili and sewing!

These Hamburger Pinwheels went well with the chili. The recipe can be found HERE.

Quilting progress:

Sorry, but we didn't have any Octoberfest dancing! Maybe next year......

I hope your October is going well!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Barn

We've been living in the farmhouse for a year and a half now. The house had been renovated, but the outbuildings were in need of some serious repair. This barn was a solid structure, but needed a lot of work. Here are some before and after pictures.

Those plants beside the barn are our okra.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The sky

We have had the most beautiful blue skies and puffy white clouds lately. Another one of those things you might not notice, but if you pay attention you will be in awe!

Here are a few pictures.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Early Morning, Early Fall

I was enjoying an early fall morning recently. It was hovering between mist and fog. The outdoors isn't looking like fall yet, but the summer look is fading. The transition from summer to fall can be seen in the fields as the farmers finish up their harvests. I've seen some tobacco fields that haven't even begun to be "cropped". I would think the farmers are feeling a sense of urgency to get all the crops out of the fields before the temperatures begin to dip lower in October.

It'll only be a couple of months before this Thanksgiving Cactus that has been spending the summer outside will be blooming.

Before first frost I will cut back this Mandevilla and overwinter it in the house.

Our one lone pine tree with the mailbox in the background.

We have been regularly seeing deer gleaning the corn in this recently harvested cornfield.

A few Crape Myrtle blooms are lingering on these trees.

I hope to be observant of the changes that will be occurring in the upcoming months outdoors.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Joys of Being Stocked Up

Having a well stocked pantry makes me happy. Its so nice to make a grocery list and realize you need very little. I check off in my mind.... sugar,, no....flour, no...., rice or pasta, no... toilet paper, no....

Any time there is a god sale of toilet paper I pick up a couple. Last week Food Lion had Charmin Basic on sale and I picked one up. BUT, when I got home there was no toilet paper in my car. I checked the receipt and I paid for it, but it just didn't make it home with me.

On my next trip to the store, I asked the cashier what I should do about it and she said to just go get another pack, which I did.

The following Monday, one of my coworkers brought me a big pile of toilet paper that her family didn't like. I gladly accepted it.

Even toilet paper can be a blessing!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Slice of My Life

Here is a little bit of fall. The Purple Fountain Grass bought for a dollar each on the clearance rack at the garden center have taken off. My hubby brought me two pumpkins recently. I like the way this one is tucked into this little nook.

Our Okra are doing well. I planted them from seed in cups mid-summer and then we transplanted them here. Hubby cuts them every couple of days or so and stores them in the refrigerator. When we accumulate enough to cook, I usually fry them. Yesterday he cooked lunch and fried 2 pans full. I have to admit that his were better than mine!

This is my current project. I finished all 72 blocks yesterday and started sewing the blocks together into rows. I have been posting about it and some other quilting projects on my other blog, ANGEL SCRAPS QUILTING.

I had to laugh when I saw how tall these Lantana bushes had grown in front of the drive through menu at McDonalds. Anyone who needs to order from the bottom will have a hard time. I've totally kicked my sweet tea habit. Drinking Diet Cokes isn't the healthiest alternative, but at least its better for watching my calories. I need to switch to water, I know, I know!

This picture was taken out the back door of our home. The cotton is very sparse in this field, as we did not have much rain the entire summer. In fact, I've seen fields that have already been picked with this much cotton left over.

I have to tell you this story. My hubby was mowing grass a week ago, when a car stopped on the side of the road. Three young people got out and proceeded to take pictures of each other in the cotton field while pulling their shirts up and revealing their bare chests. They were far enough away from him so that he didn't see the "details", but he could tell what they were doing. OK, whoever you are, that was kind of weird!

Well, that's a slice of my life for this week. Fall begins later this week. YAY!

She's Here! Victoria!

Its been an exciting week! Victoria arrived on Monday and I kept her brother for 3 days. Only bad thing is that today I am home from work ...