Friday, December 7, 2012

Virus, bugs, worms, and creeps!

I am really fed up with having to deal with all the "things" that Internet creeps are putting into our computers.  With my new computer came a free year with a virus protection service.  Well, the year is up and I've switched to AVAST.  This is the free program I used to use before I got my new computer.  I'm quite confident that this system will help keep me virus, bug, worm, etc. free.  Here's a link to it if anyone's interested in it.

Have a great bug free day!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The end of the day at the Alaska State Fair

We've had a long day at the State Fair in Palmer.  We had the camper with us so we spent the night and left for home the next day.  We did a lot of walking and as you can see the boys bought these soft-sided, but still packs a wallop, swords.  They're not really swords but they boys are having a ball with them.  We all had a wonderful time and it didn't rain!

The caribou are here!

These caribou have been grazing here for some time now.  They've been very happy to pose for everyone's photographs.  They've been munching and filling their bellies with yummy grass.

I really enjoy this radio show!

Midday Connection is a really enjoyable radio show.  It is produced by Moody Broadcasting.  You can go to and find a radio station nearest you.  Tune in and you'll find something that will interest you.  They offer a varied line-up of shows from titles such as Shaping the Journey of Emerging Adults, My Own Worst Enemy, Part 2 (yes there is a part one), Living the Dash, and each Friday they broadcast Millrose Club (each Friday offers different topics).  They offer a book club to join and have just finished Christy by Katherine Marshall.  The book we are just starting is East of Eden by John Steinbeck.  It will be discussed in December so everyone has plenty of time to get a copy and get busy reading.  I have no affiliation with Moody radio or to Midday Connection.  It's just a radio show that I really do enjoy.  Tune in sometime.  I think you'll like it.

My oven broke!

 These are two photos of the back of my oven.  Fortunately Chris, our fabulously talented repair guy (he's like a miracle worker) came out and checked everything.  He decided that a sensor is no longer sensing.  Chris even called Elmira Stove Works, the manufacturer of our stove, and talked to their tech people.  They determined that I needed a new sensor.  In the mail it came and Chris came out this week and installed it.  That seemed to fix the problem and I'm quite pleased.  I had no oven for the past couple of weeks and I now realize how spoiled I am in having a stove and oven.  I feel it does the soul some good to go without for a while to realize how blessed we are.

Autumn is here or is almost gone?

Here's some photos of my neck of the woods.  I took these photos today, Thursday Sept. 27, 2012.

The woods begin just
past the edge of the lawn
Another road home.
The road to our home
The golden leaves are falling to the ground.  The temperature this morning was 42 F.  Grasses in the fields have browned and the loons and swans have left the ponds and lakes.  It truly feels like winter but without the snow.  NOOOOOO!!!  I'm not ready for snow!  I still want to enjoy the autumn weather.  I already miss the loons...watching the chicks dunk their heads, listening to their call that always draws me to the lake. 

Holy Guacamole, I can't believe it's been months since I posted on this blog.  I better commit myself to post at least once a week.  It has been a busy time of year...of course I feel we can all say that every season is busy.

School start for our kiddos about a month ago.  Here's the girls' first day of school photo.
Evie-left; Margy-right
The girls started high school.  Ninth grade is so very different then eight grade.  The work load is tremendous.  There are days that our think our girls will topple backwards and they struggle to carry they over burdened backpacks filled with heavy textbooks.

Here's the boys' first day of school photo.  They are in fifth grade and for the first time they are in the same class.
Hammie-left; Martin-right

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I Love You to God and Back A Mother and Child Can Find Faith and Love Through Bedtime Prayers

By Amanda Lamb

Children are precious and this author has put to print a collection of her six year old daughter’s prayers.  Ms. Lamb also follows up with her own thoughts.  Through this book the reader is able to follow this little six year old as she grows; as also do her thoughts and ideas about God. 

As a teacher I am often touched and admittedly amused by what young children write.  They write from their heart with forthright honesty.  These prayers do just that.  There were times I grinned and times a wiped away a tear. 

The Prayer Primer at the back of the book shows steps to begin praying with your children and it also includes some prayer starters.  I feel this section is good for parents of young children back lacking for a parent with older children.  There are women who are parenting older foster children or older grandchildren that are just being introduced to bedtime prayers and this portion of the book could have used a section dealing with the older child.

I must honestly say that there were times that I began to gloss over the prayers because it became a bit ho-hum for me…something similar to looking at too many of someone’s family movies or family pictures at one sitting.  Then I realized that I needed to pay closer attention since I was reading this to write this review and needed to go back and pay better attention.

While I enjoyed this book I did not find it to be wonderful.  Perhaps if I was related to the author I would be more enchanted with it.  Basically it’s a nice book that shows the love a mother has for her daughter and how that mother has so lovingly taught her daughter the importance and power of faith and prayer. 

** Disclosure of Material Connection: I was given this book free from the publisher through BookSneeze®.com. It is a book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255vf: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." **

Friday, March 23, 2012

Children's Book Review

Thank You God, for Blessing Me by Max Lucado

               Children are not born automatically knowing how to show thanks.  Teaching thankfulness must start at the youngest of ages.   Therefore, I’m of the belief that it’s never too young to start teaching these types of traits in children.  Parents, of course, teach by example but there’s more to instilling gratitude that just having children watch their parents.  Reading aloud to children is such a wonderful time for parents and children to bond.  This book is perfect for a bit of snuggle time while providing examples of things to be thankful for.

Thank You God for Blessing Me by Max Lucado is a short book;  just perfect for the short attention spans of our little ones.   To be honest I read it and, as if in a blink of an eye, I was done with it.  At first I thought it was way too short.  However, trying to put myself in the shoes of young children (and I must admit that at my age I’m stretching to think back that far!) this book is probably a perfect length.  This is one of the books from the Hermie series by Mr. Lucado.   Hermie is the little caterpillar that, in this title, is thankful for not just the big things in his life but the little things too.   The illustrations are engaging and eye grabbing for the young child.  The bright colors are appealing and the childlike qualities in the drawings are darling.

I feel this book is an excellent tool to help parents and other caregivers teach appropriate expressions of gratitude and gratefulness.  Also, I believe that Thank You God for Blessing Me would be an excellent addition to libraries; public, school and church where young children or their parents frequent.

** Disclosure of Material Connection: I was given this book free from the publisher through BookSneeze®.com.  It is a book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255vf: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." **

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Do boys enjoy scaring their mothers?

You can see by these photos that my boys are going to drive me to drink more then my usual Diet Pepsi.  I'm quietly working on my computer in my room and a movement out my window diverts my attention to it.  It is Martin climbing the 8 ft. high chain link fencing.  I do believe his goal was to get on the roof.  However, I'm just getting up out of my chair to go to the window and Martin slips!  His coat catches him and he is stuck.  His left leg is through the opening between the gate and the fence and he can't go up and he can't go down.  In following photos Hammie and Margy come to his rescue.  They do finally get him out but I thought for a while I was going to have to call 911!
He looks like Martin is standing on the snow but
he'sdangling about six inches above the snow and
his toes just don't reach.  This happened at
about 5:00 this evening.  It's not completely
dark's getting lighter!

This is the view from the other side.  I went through
the laundry room to capture this picture.  We piled
some snow at his foot to get the pressure off his coat
and now we had to get his leg out of the narrow
opening.  Hammie and Margy were right
around the corner to help him get free.

Here they are to set him free.  They unhooked his
 coat and they tried several times to get his leg
free.  After the fourth try he was almost free and
then Margy (in the pink) slipped and fell.  Martin
fell backwards and his trapped leg just went sailing
through the narrow opening.  I thought for sure
he was injured when he hit the fence but he was
fine.  I went running over to him and his he's
laughing.  He says, "Mommy, that was really fun." 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Curled up and asleep

This morning I went in the boys' room to wake them up for school.  Here's how I found my ten year old Martin.  He's sleeping on the top covers of his bed and he's wrapped in the throw from the living room couch.  The second picture is of Martin's feet.  I thought it was a cute picture.  I tried taking pictures of Hammie but when I snapped the first photo he woke up and turned over and the photo was all blurry.  Then he wouldn't let me take any more of him.  I'll have to try another day and make sure he's in a deep sleep!

Sleepy boy.

This is how I found Martin's feet when I first walked in their room -
sticking out of his covers.  One of the cats was by his feet on the
left and another cat was on his right.   

Cordova, Alaska winter 2011-2012

Here are two photos of the Cordova school playground.
They've shoveled a clearing around the swings.

Where there's a will; there's a way.  I hope they don't bonk their heads while swinging!

It is still snowing!

We are now over 34 inches of new fresh snow since Saturday night.  I am very tired of shoveling snow and I'm also very worried about another power outage because of the heavy snow.

Here are a couple of photos of our snow fall.  I've got more but I'm having trouble loading photos and getting them to stay put where I want them.    Guess I need a blogging for dummies book!  

 View outside one of my bedroom windows.
Notice the icicle hanging off the roof.

This photo is from the door in my bedroom that leads to
the back deck and the kids' play yard.  To the left of
the tree is the top of their swing set.

This is a view outside the other bedroom window.
I usually have a lovely view of the lake.
Not now.  The gray color is from the snowstorm
going on as I took the picture.  This is the
window that a moose leaned up against and broke
the inner window pane. 

This view of our house is from in front of the


My Sewing table is clean!

This is a before photo of my sewing table.  I'm embarrassed to show it but by doing so it also held me accountable to get it clean.  I obviously can't even sew anything with it being such a mess.  My first line of business was digging under the table to trace the path of the cord to unplug the sewing machine.  After that I pushed back the tubs; that have fabric and supplies stored in them back under the table and discovered that I needed to wipe down my machine and the foot pedal.  I had not realized until I took a closer look how dirty my sewing machine was.  Not just dust but dirt marks and some kind of grime.  I got it all cleaned off and then scrubbed the foot pedal.  My goodness the soles of my shoes are obviously dirty from the looks of the foot pedal.  Now the pedal is clean and the machine is ready to take to the sewing shop for repair.  The tension is way off and I'm having no success in getting it straightened out. 

Now get ready... here comes the  "After" photo..................
Ta Da !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Besides just cleaning the table I actually put every single item that did not belong on the table away where each item belonged.  That includes the trash.  I will admit that I didn't straighten the things hanging on the wall but my goal was to get my sewing table back in order.  My sewing machine, my Viking Rose, is in the shop but my daughter, Evie, let me borrow hers.  It's not in the photo but Evie's sewing machine is now on the table and I was able to get it up and running.
It was brand new in its box so I set it up, got out the manual and figured it out. 
I'm amazed how settled I am in the way my "Rose" operates.  I followed the steps to load the bobbin, thread the machine and get it to sew a straight stitch.  Ridiculously the most trouble I'm having is to remember where the release lever is to raise the needle.  On my Rose the lever is directly behind the arm.  Evie's Brother sewing machine places the release lever on the right side of the arm.  I finish sewing and instinctively take my left hand and reach for the lever.  I sigh and take my right hand and grope for the lever on the right side.

This is definitely a right-handed machine.  Being left-handed is throwing me for a bit of a loop.  I am obviously a creature of habit.

Oh yes, I must not forget to thank Flylady for helping me get my life decluttered.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Part of my mother's memory

While cleaning my sewing table off, AGAIN, I found this dart marker roller.  I don't know the official name of it but this one belonged to my mom.  I never knew her to use anything else but this to mark her darts on her patterns when she made clothes for us.  It's old black handle is scratched and worn from much use.  It's got some rust but the "blade" still turns and is quite usable.

I was so surprised to find it because I thought the few things that I have of my mom's in the storage shed.  When I found it I had to sit down and just hold it.  It made me smile but also made me sad.  Mom's been in heaven for somewhere near thirty years but just seeing and holding this roller bought back such wonderful memories. 

I would like to display it in my sewing area but I'm not sure how to do that.  Or maybe a better tribute would be to continue to use it.  What do you think?  Use it or display it?  If I display it does anyone have any idea on making a nice display?

Moose vs. Hospital

No the moose isn't sick.  I think he was just being a moose wandering around the city.  This moose happened to wander into the parking garage at Providence Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska.  Watch out for those automatic doors; they let anyone or anything in!  According to the hospital this fella made it up to the third floor.  To keep him and people safe, hospital security took eight hours to quietly and carefully block entire areas to get the moose to turn around on his own accord and decide that he and mother nature were a better fit.  By the way, this photo was taken by nurse Leslie Bagley.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Unstuffed Peppers

Out of the six of us in our family; four of us really like to eat stuffed peppers.  In these hard economic times green peppers are very expensive for our budget.  To continue to enjoy stuffed peppers I developed my “Unstuffed Peppers” recipe.  I’m sure this meal has been created before but I use my mother’s tried and true stuff pepper recipe as the base.  My recipe is below.


Unstuffed Peppers

2 lbs. ground beef, ground turkey or Veggie soy crumbles

1 cup cooked rice (white or brown)

1/2 – 1 onion, depending on size, chopped

1-2 green peppers, depending on size – chopped

1 large can of tomato soup (I do prefer Campbell’s…tastes better)

Salt and Pepper to taste


*  Add ground beef or ground turkey to large skillet along with the chopped onions and green peppers. 

*  Saute until meat is cooked through.  If necessary drain off fat and rinse with hot water.  This will get rid of as much unwanted fat as possible. 

*  Add the cooked rice to the meat mixture and mix together.

*  Add the can of tomato soup and mix together.

Salt and pepper to taste.  I honestly don’t add any additional salt.  For my family there’s enough sodium in the canned soup to provide the needed flavor.  However, I understand that my family enjoys their food with little to no salt at all so those of you that enjoy salt will find it too bland and will need to add extra.

I try to be frugal so I usually add some water to the empty can of tomato soup and swish it around to get as much of the condensed soup out of the can and into the pot. 

 IMG_1611IMG_1613 IMG_1615

IMG_1618 IMG_1623 IMG_1624

Vegetarian Substitution:

If you are vegetarian you can use soy crumbles instead of any meat.  *  Do not add the crumbles and fry with the onions and green peppers. 

*  Insteaad of oil you can add some water to the vegetables and steam them making sure to cover with a lid.  Make sure to drain any remaining water after the veggies are done. 

*  Continue with the recipe adding the rice and soup. 

*  After everything else has been added; bring the vegetarian crumbles into the dish.  All you have to do is to make sure the crumbles are mixed in and heated thoroughly.  If you add the crumbles during the cooking process with the veggies they will tend to disintegrate.  At least for me they did!


Tomato Soup Substitution:

If you don’t have tomato soup or not enough tomato soup you can substitute tomato sauce.  You will definitely need to salt the dish if using only tomato sauce.  Using tomato sauce instead of condensed tomato soup will change the flavor of the casserole but will do in a pinch. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Newfound Mastiff puppies GROWING!

Technorati Tags:

Here’s more about those puppies that were born to our family about seven months ago.  They are growing up really fast.  Out of the 15 pups born to our AKC Newfoundland, Annie, we were able to find wonderful forever homes for all of them and then some.  However, we kept three of the pups and now we have the Three Musketeers.  We, of course, still have Annie, their mom, and together they are a handful.  I won’t mention the other pets we have but I will say that our entire family is very busy with our four legged and feathered family members.  These photos were taken while Evie and Hammie were getting supper ready for the critters.  Margy and Martin are entertaining the pups as they waited.  Martin finally came up with a plan to prevent his face from being “slimed”.  He put on his helmet that he found at the local Salvation Army thrift store for $2.00.  It worked!

Below are photos of Annie with one of her pups.  Annie is the bigger one but not by much!  The photos are a bit dark but it was snowing and at around 9:30 a.m. the sun is just beginning to peek through the heavens.  By the way, these babies just love the snow! 

IMG_1629        IMG_1630

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Reflections of Childhood

Today I was reading the and I suddenly saw something that brought me right back to my childhood.  The photo below is the one that caught my eye.  These two little figures are ones just like what I have at home.  They belonged to my mother and when she passed away my sister and I inherited them.  As a child I used to play for hours with them and other Amish cast iron toys. 
Amish cast iron children

In further reading I found other photos and I was stunned to see some more of the same cast iron items that my mother collected.  Here are those photos from the  By the way; when you get some time go on over to and check it out.  I really enjoy reading her posts.

I was so surprised to see the teeter totter
and the little wagon in this woman's
 collection.I have the very same ones. 
Mine are a bit scratched.

I have little cast iron desks just like
these in my small collection.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Craft Giveaway

Our fledging community library had a few craft/crochet books phamphlets donated. They're not suitable for a library but someone just might want them. So I was allowed to take them and offer them to the first interested people. Just leave a comment and I'll email you to ask your mailing address. First come; first serve. Please just pick one. If you want more or all and no one else wants any I'll send them all to you. They are old but someone might find them worthwhile. Here are pictures of them. I used my iPhone and it doesn't honestly take the best photos.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Borough Plow Comes To The Rescue

We have a lot of snow.  Yesterday was Sunday and we left in the morning to head to Kenai to church.  We opened our garage door (we're blessed to have a garage where we can park our minivan...also blessed that we have a minivan) and was shocked at the amount of snow we accumulated over night.  We left our driveway and were actually able to back up, turn around, and head down the road.  As soon as we started down the road the snow was so deep it was slamming into our car and throwing it onto the windshield.  We were totally blinded.  We went off the road but my sister, with the help of our Lord got the car back on.  We amazingly made it the mile and a half to the main road.  That road was a little better but it took us double the amount of time to get to town.  We missed church.  I called the borough road department and told them that we need plowed; not knowing if we'll make it back home.  I left our name, address, and contact information.  The borough has a rule that they will come and plow the roads when six inches of snow accrues.  We had a whole lot more then that.  We also called our snow plow guy that plows our driveway and left a message...more like a plea for help!  :^)

We decided, with the weather turning bad, we better turn around and go home.  The snow was coming down so bad that it took even longer to get home. 

We finally made it home and as we turned in for the last 1 1/2 miles we were able to keep it on the road for the first half mile and then; like an angel emerging from a cloud, right before us stood the biggest and baddest snow plow we've ever seen.  This creature was as least two stories tall with a snow plow blade that could scoop up a shed or greenhouse in one scoop!  It could probably pick up a truck or two without any trouble.  The borough had come to the rescue!  The entire carload burst into cheers and we rolled our windows down and yelled many "thank you's" to him.  He smiled and waved back as he passed us with his blade held high.  I did call the borough and Mike Moore (our snow plow guy) and thanked them profusely.

We made it the last mile to our driveway without any trouble at all and our snow plow guy had made it in and plowed us!  What a blessing!  I haven't even measured how much snow we have.  During the night the temperature dropped to minus 20 F and the snow stopped.  Usually when it gets cold it doesn't snow...warming up starts up snow showers.  All day today the weather stayed cold.  School had indoor recess.  The weather forecast is for it to warm up tonight and we are expecting a blizzard with at least another foot of snow by tomorrow morning. 

Here's some photos of big snow plows.

This is actually a train snow plow.  That is one big wall of snow!