Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!!!!

It's 10:45 pm...rapidly approaching the New Year.

It's been a great year. Each month has brought challenges and changes, some joys, some sorrows. Lots of changes, lots of learning.

I'm looking forward to 2011. I hope to make more changes, learn more, get out more, do more things, and of course, the standard, exercise more!

I hope your New Year's Eve is safe and sound and that 2011 will bring you lots and lots of happiness and joys. Don't forget to count your blessings....they're abundant!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Recent Happenings

The cypress tree is gone - gone - gone!!!! I know all you tree huggers will think it's just terrible to remove a perfectly good, live tree. (See photo of full tree a few posts earlier than this.) Get a long-haired Shih tzu and THEN talk to me. Schiz loves to be brushed...and she doesn't go outside more than 2 or 3 times a day unless we're just goofing off outside together. But cypress leaves (? - are those called leaves ?) are highly attracted to all that hair. Cypress "droppings" are kind of like little cedar branches..not really sticker-y, but when you try to pull them loose they come off in pieces. I hated that tree!!! So earlier this week a friend with a couple of chain saws and a trailer came by and we removed it. This is all that's left...hopefully in the spring it'll be rotted enough to remove most of it (we've treated it to kill it and will do more in the spring to tear it up.)
And, speaking of "tearing up"....last Friday some jackass ruined a tire on my car....oh yeah...that was ME!!! I was on a schedule, you know: places to go, people to sniff....and it was about 10 after 11. I had lunch plans with a couple of friends at 11:30 on the northeast side of town. I was downtown, needed to go to Dollar General (and I won't go to the one that's close to me because the manager is a ........oh you know!). So I was going to run by the one at Sherman and Adams. Well....there was this "person" that was poking along in front of me and so I decided to turn in an earlier driveway to get to where I was going. Honda Fit Sports have a spoiler on the front end so they're low anyway. The driveway has always been pretty smooth there. I'm 99.9% sure I did not hit the curb...but I did take the driveway a little faster than I probably needed to. Anywho...BANG!!!! By the time I tried to park in front of Dollar General, I knew I had a problem. Hopped out, looked, hopped back in, and eased it across the street to Cooper Tire.
Now, Cooper Tire has EVERYTHING anyone would ever need for tires!!! They've always been my "go to" place. They got my car right in and pretty soon the guy came back and said, "I've got good news and bad news!" (I was honest and told him what I'd done to cause this problem.) So, I didn't ruin the wheel or anything else, but I ruined a tire. AND they don't have that tire, can't get that tire, etc. He had a used tire, different brand, little bigger, that he could put on the back and put one of my originals on the front. I suggested we call Conklin Cars (local Honda dealer). They did...and Conklin has that size. So Cooper put on my spare (ha ha about a donut!!!) And...typical Cooper's....they didn't charge me a single dime for all their work!!! Good place...good people!
I went on to lunch with my friends...then to Conklin's to get a tire...which turned into two tires! Seems they didn't have a matching tire (Dunlop 185 55R16)...but they did have the right size. But I had two years wear on my original tires (23,000 miles) and if I put on just one the difference would cause the differential to do something weird. And to this I say, "Yeah. boys...I'm a mere woman...I won't know if you lie to me....." I called a guy I know for advice and because he's male he knows everything too, he said I'd probably be better off to get 2 new tires. So I did. $356!!!! And I didn't even get kissed first! They're not Dunlop's, they're Bridgestones, but I guess they'll do the job just the same. Today I went online and probably could have bought exactly what I had had for $94 each. Oh well..............'s December in Kansas. Today is supposed to be 58 degrees!!! I'm going to get my car cleaned up and go for a bicycle ride before the day is over! Christmas is less than a week away and it's a beautiful time of year! And next Sunday I can take all the Christmas decorations down and clean house! I love the way the house looks all decorated and pretty....but by Christmas day I'm SOOOOOO ready to get back to normal.
Have a very Merry Christmas and please....count your blessings!!!! I do every day!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December & Craft Fairs

Ahhhh....'tis the season. I've been doing LOTS of craft shows lately. I did three shows in October, then the Prairie Patch at Gypsum on November 13th, followed by a two-day show on November 19th and 20th called Christmas in the Foothills held in the Domestic Arts Building at the Kansas State Fairgrounds. Another GREAT show! Then this past week end (Dec 4) I was at the Hutchinson Recreation Commission Christmas Fair at Memorial Hall.

There's just something about getting out and doing these things that draws me. I genuinely enjoy getting to meet to all the people. Because it's getting close to the end of the year, my inventory is way down, so I asked my friend Mark to supply me with some more of his wonderful goats' milk soaps for this last show. (I also had those at the Gypsum show.) Again...a very very successful show.

So now there's just one more before year end. Last year some friends and I decided to have a craft show at my home. Well...since then I've moved and downsized considerably. So when the subject came up this year, I was hesitant. But....we're doing it again. I agreed to and thought we'd have only four vendors (I had 11 vendors last year - and a much bigger house.) So as I talked to people (vendors) they're all the same place I am....low on inventory. So we've decided to have a lot of different vendors...all with smaller inventories!!! So far, I have thirteen people lined up to bring items for our show! Some will stay with them, some will just drop them off and we'll watch their items for them.

Some of the goodies we'll have available will be: plasma-cut metal artwork, goats' milk soaps, Iris-folded greeting cards, candles, Tastefully Simple food products, painted gourds, embroidery work, jellies and salsas, painted screen-art, sterling silver jewelry, beaded jewelry, purses, Christmas ornaments and we'll be giving door prizes and having lots of treats to sample.

All this is on Saturday, December 11th, from 10 am til 4 pm. If you're in Hutchinson, drive out east 30th, watch for signs around the Health Equip area and follow the directions....or email me and I'll send you an address. Should be a fun time!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Perfect Hit!

Patsy's blog this morning makes a LOT of sense to me . See what you think:

Does that sound like anyone YOU know?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

FIRST SNOW!!!!! November 17, 2010

I'm kind of hoping this is just going to pass us by....but right now it's looking pretty serious! We need the moisture. We had 2-3 inches of rain last Friday, but we can still use more! So, Kansas Farmers, be happy!!!!!

Prairie Patchwork - Gypsum, Kansas - Southeast Saline Craft Show

Another day, another craft show! And I'm still lovin' it! It's really a lot of fun...not only making a little money, but even more, getting to talk to people and enjoy the camaraderie of the crowd.

Last Saturday was the HUGE annual craft show at Gypsum, Kansas...actually I think it's just west of the actual town of Gypsum. Southeast Saline School - Prairie Patchwork Craft Show! WOW! I went a year ago as a "shopper"...and immediately emailed Cindy and asked her to put me on their mailing list. I knew it was someplace I needed to be.

To begin with....I was assigned to a parking lot. A nice man directed me to back in...right into the unloading area. Before I could get out of the car, young men were opening the back hatch of my car and getting ready to carry stuff in for me! Honor students, football players, debate team, FFA, FHA, cheerleaders....I don't know all the groups that were involved, but they were wonderful. I think I carried my vendor's kit envelope and my diet Coke. They even set up the tables for me! Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

The booths are a large 12 x 12 feet...and feel even larger. Their aisles are wide and easy to navigate. They boast they are accessible by wheelchairs, walkers, strollers, etc. There are three large gymnasiums, plus a lot of the hallways have booths sponsored/manned by the school teams mentioned above. The cafeteria is set up with food; vegetable soups, chili, pies, cookies, etc.

Prices are wonderful. The people are awesome! The crowd is exceptionally large and friendly. This is the "dream craft show" we are all looking for!!

The show opens at 10 am and closes at 4 pm. There didn't ever seem to be a lull in activity/crowd. I had planned to share the booth but that didn't work out, so I offered to take inventory for two other crafters. Probably a little busier than I wanted to be at times, and probably could have sold more if I could have been two places at once. But, NO complaints!!! I had a terrific day!!!! And my friend's goats' milk soaps went over very well too! He had been at a show in Wichita and on my drive home I spoke with him on the phone. He said he'd had "a pretty good day." So I questioned, "What do you call 'pretty good'?" He thought $70 was "pretty good." When I told him I'd had a VERY good day with his soaps (over 4 times better than his pretty good day), he was one happy camper!!!! As was I!!!! Jewelry sales were up too!

I just have to tell year go to the Prairie Patchwork Craft Show at Gypsum. If you can't find it there, you just don't need it. I saw some really neat Christmas "stuff" that others had purchased and were carrying around with them. I didn't get out of my booth during shopping hours to really look around, but I could see a lot a great stuff even from where I was at.

I think the people who organize and work this craft show deserve a huge round of applause for all of their hard work. Great show!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mixed Bag

It's been awhile since I've posted anything here so decided today should be the day. It's been an extremely good day for me.

A couple of weeks ago (after my dermotologist appointment) I had an appointment to see my "regular" doctor (actually I don't know if she's regular or not :) ) At that time she had me do a fasting lab blood test. I hadn't received the results of it yet.

Also at that time, because I had become ULTRA-aware of every little bump on my body, I had found a small skin tag on my hip, just below my pantie line. I showed it to her and she assured me it was merely a seborrheic keratosis and we'd freeze it off. We scheduled another appointment and that was for today.

I considered cancelling the appointment as the little skin tag had nearly disappeared, however, I'd found a rough spot in the middle of my back at my waistline and decided to have her look at that too. All of a sudden, I'm very aware of these! I also wanted to check on the results of my blood work.

Bottom line: both places are seborrheic keratosis. Neither anything to be concerned about, and I chose not to have either removed/frozen off. Both are in areas that never see the light of day...and anyone who did have the "opportunity" (ha ha ha) would be so appalled at all the blood veins popping out all over my legs they'd never notice a little skin bump!

But the good news: My lab tests!!! My "everything" is great! My cholesterol is fantastic! My bad cholesterol is low, my good cholesterol is high. I've lost about 20 pounds for no apparent reason other that I've been biking a lot more. When I commented that I was happy about my cholesterol but couldn't understand it, as my diet is horrible, she responded, "But you exercise!" She assures me that's what keeping it so good. Ok...a 20 pound weight loss, my lab tests are all good news...I'm one happy camper!!!

So after I got home I called Carol and she was already out on the road. I met her up on 82nd between Monroe and Hendricks and we rode a while longer. Great ride! Great company! We plan to ride again tomorrow if the weather holds.'s a picture of the tree in my front yard. I believe it to be a Cypress. It's just beginning to drop it's "leaves"....and Schiz seems to be a magnet for them. Long haired dog and Cypress leaves are NOT a good match. Luckily she loves to be brushed!
Enough for today! Hope your day's been as good as mine. Count your blessings!!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Basal Cell Carcinoma ...... Oh-oh!

Getting older seems to bring a few not-so-great surprises with it. I had one Thursday.

I went to my dermatologist for my yearly "look-over." (Always makes me think of monkeys looking for bugs on one another.) Dr. Kelly checked my face, my hairline, my ears, my arms, my legs, and then while looking at my back said, "Oh-oh."

No, no, "oh-ohs"!!!! He'd found a tiny basal cell carcinoma on my shoulder blade. At first I thought it was like the ones he'd frozen off on previous visit....once on my upper cheekbone and once at the top of my nose right where my sunglasses sit. But "No," he said, "those were pre-cancerous. This one is cancerous!"

I felt my stomach flip. Thank God I hadn't had breakfast. It just wasn't a very good feeling. I said, "So...what happens now?"

He said, very calmly, "We'll get it out of there...right!"

As it turns out, it was tiny. I got a look in a hand mirror...and had I seen it before I went I wouldn't have thought anything of it. It looked like a tiny pink scratch..about 1/8 to 1/4 inch long...just slightly pink. Anyway, he removed it completely after numbing the area, and they'll send it in for a biopsy. I can call in for the lab results "if I want to" after a week. The nurse said, "If there's anything odd or unusual, WE'LL CALL YOU! But if you just want to hear the lab results, you can call in."

I was assured they don't think there will be anything odd or unusual and that it's GONE and nothing further will occur with this. However, now I go for checkups every six months instead of once a year.

I commented that I'd just a month ago sold the house with the swimming pool and that maybe it was just as well. He said, "Well, I can nearly guarantee you that this was caused by a bad sunburn at some time in your life." 'Nuff said!

Anyway tonight was the first time that I got to see the remnants of his work. Not bad. Kind of looks like I leaned back into a burning cigarette...about that big around and just a nice clean scab (does that qualify as an oxymoron?)

Well, now that I've probably grossed you out completely, here's my message: Go get checked out! Basal cell carcinoma is the most common, is usually caused by UV rays, and if caught early is almost always "fixable." Dr. Kelly said if you have to have a skin cancer, this is the best one to have!

Go get checked out! I counted my blessings that I went! Go!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Happy Birthday to ME!!

Yeah....I'm another year older!!!! SIXTY-SIX!!! How did I ever get to be this old?? I don't remember getting this old. It's been a great day though...full of fun and interesting things.

Started with breakfast with Mary, then ran into a guy I didn't remember who opened the conversation with, "So, who's that sexy old bag?".... and then had to tell me who he was.

Then I ran into my ex-husband at the post office and he was surprised today was my birthday. He always was surprised. He believed it was the 7th or the 12th...and never could remember it's the 5th!!!

I received a bunch of neat birthday especially emotionally moving for me. Sprinkle in a bunch of phone calls and a lot of laughs.

Then this evening the townhouse group went out to eat again....and they sang "Happy Birthday" to me....what a fun group.

After that I came home, walked the dog, decided it was too early to just I went over to a friend's house for a good visit. A great day, all in all. Happy Birthday to me!

Hope all of your's are as nice as mine was today...I count my blessings...and they're plentiful.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Just a brief thing: the "Pat" that passed away was NOT the same "Pat" who I share craft show booths with. Pat that makes iris-folded cards is still alive and well...and ornerier than ever. She wasn't at the Lyons Fair on the Square because she woke up that morning with a sty on her eye.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Well, the weekend has passed and everything is moving on.

Saturday was Pat's was a difficult time. It was a huge funeral and the procession line must have been 3 to 4 miles long. After the cemetary services, I spoke with her husband for a few minutes, then I headed on up to Lyons.

I didn't get to Lyons until nearly 1pm and thought I wouldn't set up, but while walking partway around the square I ran into some friends who questioned, "where are you?" I told them I have a booth but didn't think I'd even set up. Well, they convinced me to give it a shot. So I did. I was there about an hour and 10 minutes when it began to rain. Completely unexpected ... and totally needed! I tossed everything in cases and "hit the road." I'd had a fairly successful show and didn't want to get everything wet!

After a quick stop at the convenience store (for necessities: bathroom, cheese curls, and a candy bar) I headed back to Hutch. And it POURED on me!!! About Nickerson it kind of let up and I thought I'd be fine...just a normal light to medium rain. About 43rd and Plum it opened up again and by 30th and Plum I was doing 20mph and just guessing where the street might be. It was a toad-strangler! Someone said we had about an inch of about 15 minutes! I pulled in my driveway, sat there a minute, then pulled on into the garage. My car was I got out my chamois and started wipin' her down! Looked great! God's car wash!

Yesterday I went for a little bicycle ride (15.55 miles) and stopped by my friend's house to see how he's doing. He's just kind of in a fog - not sure what to do next - or why. Wish there was a miracle, fast cure for this.

Last night the townhouse group went out for dinner again. Dutch Kitchen. I promised myself I wasn't going to have a whole big meal because then I'm just miserable afterwards. So I had sweet potato fries. It was absolutely embarrassing!!! There was a HUGE tray of fries brought to me. I passed them around and still had way too many to finish. And they were delicious. They were served with ranch dressing...and I tried them both plain and with dressing. Much better just plain: I LIKE sweet potatoes and I could really taste them!

Well, that's all for now. Hope your week is going well. Don't forget to count your blessings! Even when you feel down and out, there's always something good. Walk in someone else's shoes for a few hours and you'll appreciate your own!

Friday, September 24, 2010

What a Week!

Don't even know quite where to start. Guess I'll go with chronological.

A week ago last night (Thursday) Mary Lou and I went to the Taste It Hutchinson event. It was a lot of fun, and quite a lot a pretty good eats.

The next morning (Friday) a friend called and told me a mutual friend of ours had had a stroke at work Thursday morning. This - throughout the week - only got worse. She passed away this past Tuesday morning. Tonight was the family gathering at the funeral home and tomorrow is her funeral. It was all extremely fast and unexpected.

The week has been full of thoughts and memories and concern for her family. Her husband and I are good friends from my old Home Depot days. He's about 12-13 years older than she was and has said several times that he always thought he'd go first. It's going to be tough for him, I'm afraid. Just last month they'd celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Hopefully, his faith and time will help him heal. He's a very popular, personable guy so he'll have a great support system there for him too.

On to other topics: The house is beginning to come together a little bit. I've hung pictures and an ox yoke in my living room...although I may change where they're all at yet. Today I deep-cleaned a bathroom, changing out the "picture frame" on the toilet, and using "Goof Off" on some uk-em-puck that was marring the side of the tub and the base of the toilet. It sure looks better! And I hung a shower curtain (we've had liners, but no curtains.) Also removed and washed the venetian blind in the downstairs bedroom. Man, it was filthy!!!!!

Slowly but surely I'm hoping it'll all come together and be home. I just keep telling myself that it'll be here when I get around to it! And sure 'nuff, it is!!! Darnit!

Monday night we had a townhouse association meeting. That was nice. Got to meet most of my new neighbors.

Then Tuesday night we all went out to eat together. We went to Carlos O'Kelly's and I wound up sitting across the table from Lou and Ed. Now Ed is an absolute riot!!! Very sharp, very quick...we were all laughing all the time at his comments! Someone mentioned that Lou does line dancing and she admitted that she'd danced at the State Fair last week. Really a neat couple. My guesstimate was they were probably about 80. She's 10 days older than him (he likes older women!) Well, before the evening was over, it was told they will be 93 in January!!! I would NEVER have guessed that!! THAT'S what I wanna be like!

I really like all my neighbors...I think I'll like it here very much, once I get my house in order.

Tomorrow is the Fair on the Square in Lyons, and Pat and I were to share a booth. Not sure whether I'll get there or not. I've loaded a couple of cases in my car, but I'll have to wait and see. The funeral is at 10:30...the cemetary is north of I may go on to Lyons from there. (From Hutch, it's kind of Hutch-Nickerson-Sterling-Lyons...each about 10 miles further than the last.) Wait and see what time it is and how I'm feeling about it.

Well, enough for tonight. Count your blessings and remember that life is short and should never be taken for granted.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Getting settled....NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Several of you have asked if I'm all moved and settled. Ha Ha Ha!!!! Not even close!

I closed on Friday, Sept 3 and moved that same day. All my stuff is located at the same address. That's about as close as it gets.

On Saturday, Sept 4 I was in the garage, picked up a dining room chair (light-weight) from my left side, lifted it over a tote, and sat it down on my right side, with a GASP! I truly looked upward and said aloud, "OK, OK...I got the message!" But then I brought all 4 chairs into the house. Then the coffee which point I received a second message! Since then I've been to the chiropractor three times! Still hurting, but I truly believe I'm getting better. But no painting, no ladder climbing, not much bending over to pull weeds from the flower beds, etc. I can still iron a little at a time and can still do a few things, but not my "normal". I hate this. Getting old IS hell!!!

I told my doctor yesterday that I was going to try for a bicycle ride this a.m. and he was in complete agreement...but this a.m. it's drizzly here. Maybe later. Plus this is state fair week so the traffic is moronic! (Well...only TO the bike path...the cars don't drive on the bike path...well...they aren't SUPPOSED to anyway!)

Speaking of goal for August was 400 miles. On August 31 I had several early-mid-morning appointments and went out early to get my miles. Rode through an area that I KNEW they had mowed the day before and sure enough, I had a flat. I can change a flat in about 5 minutes (literally) at home, and usually about 15 on the road...but I simply didn't have time nor inclination, so I called my son and he came and picked me up. I wound up with 390 miles for August...short of my goal by 10 miles...but I was still happy about it. However, since then, I haven't ridden..not once...too busy...gotta get back to it! I had lost about 14 pounds and was pretty happy about that. i got weighed this a.m. and the 14 pounds are still gone but they won't stay gone if I don't get busy soon.

Ok...back to the move....the woman (aka "pig" & "skank") that lived here wasn't much of a housekeeper...fresh paint and new carpet show well. But move in to filthy ceiling fans, EVERY ceiling light with 4 bulbs has at least 2, usually 3 different kinds of bulbs. The two spotlights over the fireplace: one orange, one blue. Lots of weeds in the uncared for flower beds. I think (and my son agrees) the new carpet had probably NEVER had a sweeper ran over it...canister filled up rapidly!

So, today I'm going to try to rearrange the living room a little. I may have to wait for J to help with the sofa, but I need to get a chair by a window. Schiz has no window view from which she can see the street...and she's needing a chair to sleep on/watch for company from/etc. Heck of a reason to arrange a room a certain way, huh?

I want to do some faux treatments here and there...not sure where/what yet, but somewhere down the road it'll happen. Not this week, I'm sure. Also my bedroom desparately needs painting. Everything was fresh paint...but my bedroom is a color I don't like AT ALL!!! Fresh paint, yes; color, NO!

I've met several of my neighbors and really think I'm going to like the area. Every Tuesday evening they all go out to eat together. I haven't gone yet. Considered it yesterday, but went to chiropractor yesterday and only craved ice and loafing last night. Maybe next week. Most of them are about in my age range, i think. Neat little group. There's one triplex and 6 duplexes in this townhouse association.

I don't know how many couples/singles yet. I do know the man right next door to me is single. He just celebrated his 96th birthday!!! He walks every day - at a pretty good pace! He's a pretty small man and wears hiking boots. Makes me think of those dolls with the really big feet. He's a cutie! He has a couple of terriers...may be Jack Russells...but I've never ever heard them even once...and that's GOOD!

The couple in Unit C (I'm in Unit A) have a Shih tzu, male, about a year old. First time Schiz saw him she was all set to play. About a minute, she quit. Don't know why. She looks at him and he'll sniff her and get in her face. She just stands friendliness, no agressiveness, no growl, no NOTHING!!!! Just...hmmmmmmm. Maybe they'll become friends later.

Well..if I'm going to get stuff done I need to get I better get after it. Remember to count your blessings. I do count mine...even if I'm griping about a bunch of other stuff. Yeah, my back makes me tired...but hey, I GOT a back and it'll be ok soon. Have a great day!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Big Move

Tomorrow's the day!!!! This place is beginning to look pretty bare. 8 a.m. tomorrow morning I go for a "walk-thru" at the new place; 9 a.m. we close on the sale of this place; 10 a.m. we close on the sale of the one I'm buying.

The woman I'm buying from has movers from 8 am til noon, but supposedly she'll be all done by which time my trailer will get pulled to the new house...and over the next three days unloaded. At 2 p.m. I have movers coming to move the couch and chair, the armoire, and the washer and the dryer.

Currently the buyer is here cleaning out the shed and putting some of his things in it. They're really nice people and have been a delight to work with.

As my dad used to say, "I'm making three tracks!" I slept on the couch...too short...last night and my son slept on the floor in the basement. Beds with mattresses will surely seem wonderful!!!

And on a different note....I saw Carol go by on her bicycle earlier today and so I called and she's back from New York. Will have to have a complete update on that a little later but sounds like they had a really wonderful time.

Well...gotta go....still have a few things to pack and a lot of odds and ends to tie up. See you at the new spot!!!

Count your blessings......this could be you moving!!!!!!

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Yoder Heritage Day

Saturday was Yoder Heritage Day. A big day in a very small town. Yoder is a settlement of Amish people. Many (probably most) of them drive horse and buggies and are very conservative. Some still do not have electricity. They have a very simple, pure lifestyle.

But once a year they have Yoder Heritage Day. And it's LARGE!!!! The estimate this year that I heard was that there would be over 7,000 people in Yoder. That's about 6,300 more than they usually have.

People come from miles around to set up tents and booths to sell their wares. I attended last year and had a booth right about in the middle of things....and it was good!

This year my booth was third from the end..with no one across from me even. A lot of people kind of looked down that way, decided they were at the end, and turned and went back the other way.

First two pictures show what the pathway looked like going toward Main street, and the third picture is the other direction. Big difference. won't hear me I did nearly 40% better than I did last year even!!!! Great day!!! For a community who main residents sport long dresses and high collars and bonnets, they certainly brought in the people who like sterling silver jewelry!

The crowd was great, the temperatures were perfect, and the wind was "do-able." It could have been a little less windy, but it really wasn't bad at all. It was the first time out for my new E-Z Up canopy, and it withstood the breezes and did very well.

My neighbor to the west of me was selling Joe's Special Blend. A spice blend made originally as a rub for meats, but you can virtually put it on anything. I listened for a couple of hours and all I could think was, "I have to go home and cook something....ribs, steaks, chicken, turkey, pork chops...." Then he started talking about putting it on sliced potatoes and putting them either in the oven or on the grill....and he went on to zucchini in butter sauce with this spice combo on it. Yeah...I bought a bottle. It's WONDERFUL!!!! So far I haven't even cooked with it...but I've used it like pepper (only heavier)(his mantra was "the more the better") on a deli turkey sandwich and even on some potato salad. Did I mention it's WONDERFUL!!!! Joe said he wasn't a salesman, just a "griller".....but listen to him for 10 minutes and you realize he's a great salesman....and/or his product is so good that it just sells itself.

The technique he used was something like this: Potential buyer approaches tent. Joe hands potential buyer the "sample" jar and suggests he smells/tastes it. PB does just that....and as the flavor began to melt into his taste buds, his right hand automatically began to reach for his wallet! Gotta have it!!! Joe's goal was to sell 50 bottles that day. By 4pm he had only one bottle left! Plus he was also selling his own cookbook and some really cute aprons! So...if you run into Joe from El Dorado selling Joe's Special Blend, check it out. It's WONDERFUL!!!!

All in all, a great day all the way around. Lots of fun, interesting people at these events and I absolutely love attending them. The negative people are few and far between and usually I find you get back what you put out there. (The only one that really bugged me was the woman who said, "Who does she think she's kidding?".....and...not to her face...but to her fat ass, I said, "You, Lardo! Mooooooooo") All in all, a fun, fun day...and profitable too!!! What more can you ask for? Count your blessings!!!!

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Note from Carol

Wanted to keep you all posted as to where my friend Carol is and what's she doing. (She's the one touring New York state for a month - by bicycle!) Today I received the following email:

Hi Barbara,
We're in Middlebury, VT, right now waiting for Barbara's bike cable to be replaced. We hadn't planned to come this far east, but she needed a bike shop so here we are, an additional 24 miles with hills added to our day.
It is very hilly here, we were through here in 2008 when we did the northern tier so we knew what we were in for. We will spend the night in Shoreham, VT, at the Shoreham Inn B&B.
Tomorrow it's back to New York to go south toward NYC. We plan to be there by 8-25-10, just seven more riding days.
We've had such a great tour spending much of the time on or near Lake Champlain. We've come across some very helpful and gracious people. It's amazing how the local people love to talk about their home town and area.
Keep in touch.

And as I've said several times about Carol, WOW!!!! You go, girl! Awesome!!!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day by Day

Well, things are progressing right along!!! Sometimes I get confused what's happening on which house...inspection here, inspection there. Need to fill out paperwork here, answer questions there. Yesterday, for instance, I was upset somewhat because the termite inspection was scheduled for 10 am and the guy didn't show up until 2:45 pm. Then I read my calendar and found he really wasn't due until 1 pm...still late, but not nearly AS late.

Moving day is September 3, I guess. I've been trying to get early possession and my realtor seems to be kind of avoiding the issue. Finally I gave up and called a friend and am going to borrow their enclosed trailer (which I've used before) and so the 3rd won't be a problem for me. I haven't bothered to tell my realtor that!

Still riding every morning...and I've seen the mama deer and one baby (or maybe it's a whole 'nother family?!) a couple of times. I've been leaving very early because it's been so very, very hot here. I said this morning to some walkers I see each morning, "It's ridiculous to have to get up in the middle of the night to go exercise just so you don't fry!"

I'm still doing 15 miles...and am usually home well before 8 am. This am I did my miles, edged the back yard, took a quick swim, then a shower, and talked to a friend on the phone....and still made it to an appointment downtown by 6 minutes til 9! Yeah...I could use a nap now, but that'll have to wait.

A couple of weeks ago I thought maybe I was losing weight...just seemed like it. I finally brought my scales upstairs to my bathroom so I'd be reminded to weigh myself first thing in the morning. Sure enough...I've lost 11 pounds! I'm delighted. My diet is outrageous, so it has to be the bicycling. Another reason to continue...that and my knees almost don't hurt at all ever and I'm not limping and I just feel better all over.

The heat here is truly oppresive with most days hitting the three digits. My yard is well as everyone elses. It's mid-August so soon we'll be shoveling snow I suppose, but this heat is really bad. I heard the other day if your shadow is shorter than you are, you shouldn't be out in the sun.

Gotta run...boxes to pack..garage sale stuff to find, mark, know the routine. Count your's a beautiful world!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Double News

First an update (a new email) from Carol, my friend who's riding around New York state this month. She writes:
Wanted to send a quick email from the public library. We're enjoying Lake Placid, NY, seeing the Olympic venues here. They continue to be used for practice, ski jumps into special water pools, ice skating great fun to watch. We took the ski lift and elevator to the top of the ski jump facility - amazing! Our trip is going great with short days and lots of sight seeing. Yesterday we did 15 miles. Tomorrow probably 45 or 50 into Port Henry on Lake Champlain.
We will soon head south along the Hudson River Valley back to NYC. We plan to be there August 25th. We so enjoyed camping on the Lake Champlain Islands - Grand Isle, North and South Hero Islands. So many bicyclists there and great day rides.
Hope all is well with each of you.
Keep in touch.

Love, Carol

I just think that is SOOO AWESOME!!!!! She's incredible!

And then, my big news...I bought a new house and sold my current house and it's all happening very fast. Basics: I found ad for new place online Thursday. I called realtor and we went to look Friday at 2pm. I made offer contingent on my house selling. Saturday morning he came over and we did the paperwork to sell my house. He put sign in yard at 10 am. Second realtor (also someone I've known a long time) showed house at noon. Got offer. At 2:30 pm my realtor came and added a "SOLD" to my sign. Four and a half hours..not bad, huh? I'm moving by September 3! More on the new place later...I'm delighted and really happy about it all.

If I don't blog for awhile, I'm just packing...or pitching stuff out...I'm even going to have a 4 hour moving/garage sale on September 21!!! (I'd do it September 28, but that's the Yoder Heritage Day and I've got a craft booth over I have nothin' to do, huh?)

That's it for now...have to go clean out more STUFF!!!!! Count your blessings!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I TOLD You So....

It was 10-11 days ago..back on July 20 when I first saw the mama deer and her triplets..and only had a cell phone for a camera. But today, Sunday, August 8...first lap of three...and there they were. This morning I only saw two babies and they were much less friendly than last time. Between the flash of my camera and I moved my feet once and my cleat on my shoe "clacked" on the asphalt, they didn't hang around long.

But long enough for me to get a couple of pictures of them.

Deer are "no big deal" around here...but I find it extremely pleasing to see babies right next to the bike path. Just a real treat!

I met my goal and completed July with over 310 bicycle miles...310.55 to be exact! My goal for August is 400 miles. I went back over past years (and I ridden for MANY years)..but in the past few years my miles have really diminished...and that needed to change. In 2007 I rode regularly and fairly good miles...more like what I'm doing now. But 2008 and 2009 were a flop! So...back at it and plan to continue........and I really love the new northeast bike trail...and they're talking about continuing it with "The Medical Mile" that will go down around the hospital and all the clinics. Hurrah! the last picture...I'm high-tailing it out of here. Count your blessings!

(Double-click on pictures to see them better.)

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

More on NY by Bicycle

Another note from my traveling cyclist friend today...

....... As planned today we visited the Roosevelt's estates, both Eleanor's and Franklin's. It took all day to see what was there. Tomorrow it's on to Hudson, NY, where we'll stay for the night. We're hoping for clear skies during our ride. We will spend five days in NYC after we finish our ride. We are due back in Brooklyn August 25th then we'll take in the sights of the big city. Actually we rode a portion of the Manhattan greenway trail along the west shoreline so technically we've been to Manhattan on the first leg of our ride. When we return to Brooklyn, we'll take the bikes to the bike shop to be shipped home. We'll explore Manhattan on foot and via subway. .......

I'm sure she'll have plenty of photos and tales to tell when she returns. What an adventure, huh?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My Hero!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have a friend that I've written about here before. She's gone trans-continental on a bicycle four times. She's always doing something independent and important and exciting. I rode with her a couple of weeks ago and she told me she was going to go to New York for a month long bicycle ride. I just received the following email and thought I would share it will all of you. She's terrific!!!!!!!!! A very independent, strong woman! (The "Barbara" she refers to in the following email is a woman that she rode trans-continental with last summer.)

Hi Barbara,> > We are in Hyde Park, NY for tonight and tomorrow. We plan to see Eleanor Roosevelt's residence and also the FDR estate and museum. > I made the subway ride without incident. Actually a couple was very helpful when I needed to transfer. Barbara and I started our bike ride right from Adam and Victoria's apartment in Brooklyn. We had help from another bicyclist who commutes over the Brooklyn Bridge everyday. He showed us where to access the pedestrian portion of the bridge. We spent our first night in Fort Lee, NJ, just across the Hudson (we rode over the George Washington Bridge at the end of the day). We stayed with Barbara's cousin who lives in Fort Lee near the bridge. Our second night was spent in Fort Montgomery, NY, where we found a B&B (circa 1751). We thought there was camping available near there, but found out differently. It was raining anyway, so we were glad to have a dry place. We don't move very fast on this trip. Our daily mileage has been 28, 40, and 44. We stop a lot and we've gone off route a couple times. Today we spent an hour at a farmer's market. So much Revolutionary War history here. We plan to go north along the Hudson then pick up the Erie Canal route west and meet another bicyclist. She may ride with us into Adirondack State Park for a few days. > Keep in touch. > Carol

She Is Woman...Hear Her ROAR!!!! You Go, Girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh...yeah...and she's 66 years young too!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Excitement on the Bike Path

This morning I got out about 7 to do my bicycle ride. Once on the bike path it was pretty solitary. Just east of Lorraine Street, I heard a crack and looked to my right...there stood what turned out to be a Mama Deer. There was about a 4 foot welded-wire type fence in between where she was and where I was....but on my side of the fence stood a baby! Still covered with little white spots. I didn't want to scare it and have it plow into the fence and get caught or something so I just slowed way down and kept moving.

When I reached 30th Street I turned around to come back. Within a short distance I met a guy I know on a recumbent and asked if he'd seen the deer. He hadn't. So I continued on. Of course my negative brain was worrying about whether that baby could clear that fence and would the mother come back and somehow help it. Would it get dehydrated?

As I reached the point where they had been I saw that the baby was now on the other side of the fence...and there were two of, there are THREE of them...and the mother was still down the tree row a ways. I went on down to Lorraine Street and stopped and "played with" my cell phone / camera...I don't use it to take photos so am very unfamiliar with it. And, without reading glasses, I was having a rough time of it. Finally I managed to take a photo of the yield sign and decided that was good enough. So I turned around and headed back.

When I got back two of the babies were on my side of the fence, the mother was still grazing where she had been all along, and the third baby was still on the mother's side of the fence. I stopped completely, took a photo of the mother deer and was beginning to take other pictures. The mother, not in a frightened way at all, gently sprang into the trees behind her. I was still well aware that she was there and probably watching me closely....those are HER babies!

The two youngsters on my side of the fence evidently thought I was pretty funny looking and came walking up to me. They were within about 8 feet of me...just looking and checking me out...I was taking pictures. They went on past me and I didn't want them to go to Lorraine Street so I left and went back to 30th.

Again, turn around....went back. All three babies were back on the other side of the fence, Mom no where to be seen.

I managed to tell several of the morning "regulars" about the event and they were all going to watch to see if they could see them too.

Of course my pictures aren't great. It goes like this, "See those two little spots...those are the baby deer"...."That big spot in the mother deer".....and I don't know how or don't have the capability to download them to my computer. solution....I put the handlebar bag back on my bike. Got my regular camera ready to go for tomorrow! Hope I get to see them again before they lose their spots. They were soooooooooooo cute!!!!

On my eighth and final trip through that particular section of the path, in almost the same spot, there was what I would consider a LARGE snake with the front of his body about 15-18" out on the asphalt. He was probably about as big around as a silver dollar. (I told my sister about this, and she said, "What kind of snake?" "Snake....big enough I didn't need to know what kind!!!!!")

I also saw a fairly good sized turtle on the path. (No, I don't mean myself...even though I may be a little slow!)

I now really anxious to go tomorrow and see if I can get pictures of the deer. Deer aren't all that unusual of an occurrence around here, but it was just neat to see them and the fact that she had triplets was pretty cool!!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


When I was a freshman at Buhler High School (1958-59)...(oh, rest your brain...I'm 65!)...I had a good friend whose parents were missionaries in India. She was sometimes at school in Buhler and sometimes in India.

She gave several of her friends little ivory trinkets from time to time. I've kept this one for over 50 years!

That's a dime...a tiny dime...and the animals are hand-carved ivory. (Don't know what the restrictions on ivory were at that time.) Originally I think there were twelve animals, but now I'm down to only nine.

All the animals fit inside the little pepper seed with a carved ivory plug. I love this little memory...I truly find it "priceless!"

Most of these pictures aren't very clear but I simply can't get in close enough with my camera. To get close (at all) I have to put it on a setting that doesn't then the light isn't very good...and I don't dare take them outside to sunlight or they'd be gone with the wind, I'm sure.

The last picture especially is pretty blurry, but just trying to show the tiny-ness of even the pepper seed into which they all fit.

Thank you, Mary Ann....wherever you are.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Third Thursday - Hutchinson, Kansas

Every Third Thursday of each month, Downtown Hutchinson, Kansas dedicates itself to featuring Art and Live Music in stores and Galleries. Centered around the SoMa neighborhood, near B and Main Street, the event is free and open to all, and invites the community to indulge in the Fine and Performing Art Community of Hutchinson. Guest artists come in from all over the country, Art Exhibits rotate monthly, the Galleries and stores serve refreshments, and as always - the fabulous musicians entertain and amaze us with their talent.

The above content is copied directly from a website promoting Third Thursday in Downtown Hutchinson, Kansas. I have participated in this event at least six times, showing my sterling silver jewelry. I have also in the past done craft fairs and church fairs across the city...even across the state. I may be patting my own back but I feel that usually I'm welcome and "then some." Most - perhaps all - of the promoters of these events have thanked me for participating and invited me back. I always try to treat the promoters of these events with a gift - perhaps a chain or pair of earrings. If the event is sponsored by an organization, then if they are having a silent auction or raffle, I always give a piece of jewelry.

Last month at Third Thursday, Pat (a good friend who makes the Iris-folding greeting cards) and I set up outside of Hayes Home Furnishings. We'd been inside Hayes for several months and wanted to try attracting the street crowd. Well, it wasn't too successful for us; it was hot, hot, hot and windy, and when the sun began to go down, we were right in it! So this month we wanted someplace new.

Since most of the action tends to be further south on Main Street, we discussed some of the places down there. I stopped in at ********************** and the manager (?) was open and polite - even inviting Pat and I to set up within her store. Sounded ideal to both of us.

Today I went to take my table in early and as we chatted, she asked, "When do you find time to make your jewelry?" and when I responded that I don't make it, I buy it to resell, she was obviously upset. I asked, "Is that a problem somehow?", to which she responded, "Well... yes...." She told me that Third Thursday is ONLY for artists that make their goods and they (who knows who THEY are) try to discourage others.

Long story somewhat shorter, she finally said that since she had said I could set up in there that she guessed she'd have to let me set up, but that she'd put me somewhere other than where we had discussed....and I would need to use one of her tables (much smaller than mine) and that she really didn't want me to cover it with my black velvet cloth...she wants the table to show (although that's hard to accept, I understand she wants to sell the table, but it was no prize!)

That was about 1:30 pm I called Pat and told her that I didn't think I'd go. I'd decided earlier that if this manager person commented anymore to me about not being hand crafted I would just pack up and leave. The more I thought about it, I decided I don't want to go somewhere I'm not wanted. And, bluntly, my jewelry is has always done very well elsewhere....and I'm not NEARLY hungry enough to eat....uh....crow! Whether there would be a "vibe" there or not, I'm sure I would feel a vibe.

Since the above description of Third Thursday doesn't really say "It's gotta be hand-crafted!", and since I've participated in this event since before last Christmas and NO ONE has EVER made that comment to me, I feel that perhaps this particular person needs to check her thinking. My jewelry draws people in...that's what this is about: getting people to get out and shop the downtown area.

And toes got stepped on. But, more than that, if my jewelry isn't good enough to be displayed there, I guarantee you now my money will never be spent there!

I've known this person's family and background for many years. Believe me, honey, yours DOES stink even if you think it doesn't!!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hi! I'm back..... (you may want to read the second half of this blog first.)

My sweet potato vine (one of two) is doing pretty good...and so are these coral bells in the pot.

Out back where the "fishless pond" used to be.... More sweet potato plant and my hen and chicks...and one of my very favorite pampas grasses...a zebra grass. The stripes run horizontal across the leaves vs length-wise. I really like it a lot.

And elephant ears from last year's bulb....some over on the south side of the house also. Like this particular corner needed something else crowded into it???

And a few daisies and black-eyed Susans...and day lilies and hosta... I looked at that last posting...I realized how much easier and mosquito-free it would be if I could pull weeds within the photographs. You know, like photo-shop them out. Too much diet coke, ya think? Oh well................ have a good one...and don't let these humongus mosquitoes carry you off!!!!

I've addressed this to AskHutch in the newspaper....seems the city has decided not to spray for mosquitoes anymore...too expensive. Who paid for all those dirty, loud, trashy, stinky...need I go on....fireworks the other night? Not to mention the police and fire calls for the four days earlier of public shooting them off ! But we can't afford mosquito spray?

Priorities, people, priorities!!!!!!!!!
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I went by this gorgeous hibiscus earlier in the day and a few hours later went back to take a photo. Looks better at 30 mph...wanted to get out and remove the spent blooms but decided that probably wasn't my job! :) But it is loaded and just beautiful...even with the old blooms. To see it in person, drive down the 100 block of west 25th.

Then I'm just in a nature set of mind I guess. Came home and took photos of different plants around here.

Some I don't even know the names this vining white-frosted stuff...but I really like it. Last summer went to a garage sale..commented on this plant...lady said, "It grows over here from my neighbor's....pull some out if you want some!" So I did....I love it!

And this kind of weird stuff my friend Pat says is "Donkey's Tail"...or did she say "Burro's Tail"??? Anyway...I really like it a lot too.

And with the Donkey's Tail, Pat also gave me a healthy start of her hen and chicks...and now I have baby chicks popping out!!!

Hmmmm...well....just lost the rest of my I'll post this and "go get" the rest of them!
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Road Work

On my way to Glenn's Bulk Foods and Stutzman's this morning I come upon this
caravan (?) of working vehicles. They are clearly resurfacing the highway...but
what are they doing that they are nearly stacked on each other.

The first picture I'm coming up to the construction area.

Second picture I've passed it and pulled off on a side road to the south to take photos.

Third picture I crossed over to the north and took more photos.

Fourth picture I'm driving by and you can see they are in very close proximity to
one another...with lots of smoke.


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Monday, July 5, 2010

It Happens

There are only two or three human stories and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before. ...Willa Cather

Or, as someone dear to me said recently, "There is no new shit."

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Progress at the Post Office

A friend of mine took this first photograph - September 21, 2009 - of damage at our local post office. I think someone plowed their car into it.

And this second photo I took yesterday morning....nearly 10 months later. I've seen people working there twice. I'll bet it's expensive to repair and with high labor costs. Federal project. Need I say more? Nice work if you can get it!

Fourth of July Weekend

Yeah...Fourth of July weekend...and the city of Hutchinson allows fireworks inside the city limits.

Clearly our city commissioners couldn't collectively "grow a pair" and say "NO" to this travesty. It's noisy, dirty, dangerous, ridiculous!

Pictures were taken this morning on the northeast bike path...and the housing in the background? Oh, that's low income housing...clearly they had money enough to blow on fireworks! And would have come from there...they're directly south of this fire and the wind was out of the south.

And the third picture...that's at the north edge of a medium to low income neighborhood that abuts the bike path. Clearly people who respect the law and don't shoot off their fireworks on public property. Yeah, right.

I know, I my city commissioners...for what it's worth, I HAVE!!!! Until we start setting fireworks off in their front yards, we'll get nothing. Seems if it doesn't affect their comfort or their wallets negatively, then it's ok!

Ban tanning salons....but allow fireworks!!!!! For those of you who don't know me personally...I don't smoke and I don't tan in a tanning salon. seems to me we take away the rights of some idiots just to over-extend the rights to others!

I'm done.

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Friday, July 2, 2010

Ebaying - I love it!

As many of you know, I'm an Ebayer! Have been for several years. It's just fun for me and sometimes I buy stuff and sometimes I sell stuff. Recently my sister came across these blocks or tiles and we decided to Ebay them. Originally she and her daughter had decided to throw them out, didn't think they were anything anybody wanted, but instead she brought them to me.

I started them on Ebay at $5.99 with $5.35 shipping. I was pleased when we got the first bid. I was delighted when the second bid took them to $6.49. But it would be hard to explain my emotion when they wound up selling for $26.99.
I posted lots (I think 12) photos. I stated they were very old and very worn. And yet, someone wanted them $32+ worth (with shipping.)
I added a note card to the package and hope the individual (who appears to be an antique dealer or at least knowledgable about such things) will email me and tell me WHAT they are!?!?! Do you have any ideas?
I'd listed them as Alphabet Blocks / Building Blocks. Someone said Game Tiles. I DUNNO!!! But, whatever they are, I'm delighted with my sale on Ebay.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sydney J. Harris

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Peeping Schiz

The dog next door plays frisbee with her owner. Schiz runs every step of the way! Throw the tennis ball or a frisbee for Schiz when we're outside, she'll look like, "What'd do that for?" But she loves to watch the other dog run get the frisbee...and on occasion when it happens over into our yard, Schiz will stand in the middle of it and chew on the edges. Who knows??? Probably a canine-thing!

For some reason she seems to think she sees better when standing on her hind legs. Usually if she want to bark about it, she gets on her hind legs too. I figure it probably makes her sound taller.....or something.....
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