Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Now That's A Cooker!

Tool Belt Jim rigged up this outdoor cooker so I could "water bath" my tomatoes without heating up the house. Sat it out on the patio and put a windbreak around it so the flame wouldn't blow out and that baby boiled away!

So if hard times hit, I can go back to cooking just like they did in the old days. Except in the old days they probably didn't have a propane tank hooked up to the burner. They probably built a real fire with sticks under it!

My Grandparents Home...

I was in my hometown the other day so I drove by my grandparents home to see if it looked as I remembered it. And of course it did not. It was much smaller than I remembered. And it looked so run down.

Grandma loved her flowers and they were so beautiful. And the front porch was always so cool and such a pleasant place to sit and wait for the mailman. And of course my grandmother always had a tall glass of something cold for him to drink. I would love to go inside and see if it is as I remember.

Funny the things that stick in your mind. I remember walking up the steep hill after taking swim lessons on cold mornings to Grandma's house to dry off. And I remember daddy dropping off us kids in a mad rush to get mom to the hospital to have a baby. And I remember Grandma's salmon patties and lemon pies and sour kraut with hot dogs. And I remember here is where I found a lump in my breast and thought I was going to die of breast cancer but was too afraid to ask anybody about it, only to find out I was going through puberty and that "lump" was a normal part of growing up! I remember picking little blue flowers that always grew in her yard and lying down in the grass and rolling down the hill in her side yard. And I remember she had a Mimosa Tree in her side yard and for some reason I don't like Mimosa Trees. Memories are funny things.

And here's my grandfather's shop. I remember he had some kind of old car like a Model T with a seat that slanted down on one side. And I remember Grandpa sitting under this tree using a grinding wheel to sharpen tools. And Grandpa and I loved to play a game called "Fox and Geese" by the hours. And my Grandpa once lived on a farm and everyone said he raised the largest watermelons you ever saw. And I never remember him ever wearing anything but a pair of overalls. He had a pocket watch that he would pull out of the overalls and tell me it had diamonds in it and when he was "gone" it would go to me. And of course it didn't. But hopefully, it did stay in the family.


Here's a picture of me holding the baby of the family in front of my grandfather's shop. I remember playing on that bench under the tree. Looks like the tree grew in the almost 50 years since that picture was taken!

Sad to say, I haven't kept up very good with my father's side of the family. Cousins that I have not seen since childhood have moved away and I don't know where they live now.

I think I'm beginning to ramble. Hope you all do a better job of staying in touch with relatives than I have. It's important to have more than just memories as time goes on. We need to have relationships!!

The Hermit Crab

By David Wilkerson:

King David, the author of so many Psalms, grew weary of his struggles. He was so tired in soul, so embattled and beset by troubles, all he wanted was to escape to a place of peace and safety: “My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me…. And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! For then would I fly away, and be at rest…. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest” (Psalm 55:4-8).

A lesson from nature reveals what happens when we trade the good fight for an easier way and walk away from our struggle. I recently read a biologist’s study on crabs, creatures that live in a rough, dangerous environment among jagged rocks. Crabs are dashed about daily by waves and attacked on every side by creatures from deeper waters. They battle continually to protect themselves, and over time they develop a strong shell and powerful instincts for survival.

Amazingly, some in the crab family give up the struggle for life. Searching for a safe haven, they take up residence in the cast-off shells of other ocean creature. These crabs are known as hermit crabs. Settling for safety, they retreat from the battle and escape into secondhand houses that are ready-made.

But hermit crabs’ “safe houses” prove to be costly and ruinous. Through their lack of struggle, crucial parts of their bodies deteriorate. Even their organs wither due to lack of use. Over time the hermit crab loses all power of motion, as well as vital parts needed for escape. These limbs simply fall off, leaving the crab out of danger but useless to do anything except exist.

Meanwhile, crabs that continued the struggle grow and flourish. Their five pairs of legs become meaty and strong from resisting the powerful tides. And they learn to hide from their predators by skillfully scuttling under rock formations.

This law of nature, too, illustrates the law of the Spirit. As believers, we get tossed and pounded by wave after wave of difficulties. We face vicious predators in Satan’s principalities and powers. But as we fight on, we grow stronger. And we come to recognize the devil’s wiles when he employs them against us. We discover our true refuge, the “cleft in the rock,” by trusting in Jesus. Only then are we truly safe in the midst of our battle

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

MuleSkinner and the Potato Gun....

Story and pictures by Muleskinner's daughter Janet:

"Karla made a potato gun for her boys and dad got to play with it while they were in Idaho visiting. Dad thought his Missouri grandkids needed to have the same thing


so he built one and couldn't wait for the grandkids to come and try it out.

He is still working on some details like a pressure release valve before he sends it home with the kids. My boys spent the night with Grandma and Grandpa the Sunday before school started

and they kept Grandpa and the air compressor busy shooting potatoes that mom had grown in her garden.

Doug and the kids came over and each kid had to take turns shooting the potatoes. Luke loved shoving the potatoes in but he didn't want to pull the "trigger". Dad used a broomstick as a ramrod and they saw how far they could shoot potatoes.


You can also shoot water with it but dad concentrated on potatoes. The first shot that they did started Katelynn and she started crying but she got used to the banging and then the cheering.




I believe Grandpa had as much fun as the grandkids did."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pluggy goes to school...

Pluggy is our little fire hydrant that goes around teaching kids about fire safety. He sings, dances and squirts water. Kids love him! And so do adults!

Tonight was "back to school" night so of course Pluggy needed to go too!


Notice how Koda is hiding behind Mark when they come in the door. Not too sure about this big red fire hydrant, they're thinkin...


Good time to remind your kids about fire safety especially as fall is soon going to be upon us.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Summer fun down at the swimmin hole...









Kaden Shiloh

Kaden went for his first Jeep ride this week!!!
He is five months old now and getting big. He has another checkup with his cardiologist in September and we are hoping everything goes well.




















Thursday, August 13, 2009

What time is it again????

I planned on getting in to the Red Cross office early this morning as I have lots to do today. My hopes were to be there by 8:00 A.M. but at midnight I was still up and couldn't sleep. I have got to quit drinking that iced tea in the evenings! So when I woke this morning, I jumped out of bed , looked at my watch and hit the shower on a run.

After getting dressed, fixing my hair and all that stuff I was ready to head out the door. Imagine my shock when I glanced up at the clock on the wall and it said 6:45 AM !! I had misread my watch for gosh sakes! I can't even get into the building before 8:00. Now, what to do for an hour......

I need a digital watch or one that talks to me apparently!

There's a low hanging fog or something out there this morning. Does anyone else feel Fall is in the air? It may be hot but for some reason I keep sensing a change of season coming. Wonder what kind of winter we will have this year?

Have a great day today!

"This is the day the Lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad in it" That's what the Bible says so I'm going to live it to the fullest today!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

One guinea may not make it through the night...

My guineas still don't like going into the new mini chicken house and when Tool Belt Jim tried to catch them tonight to put them in, one flew outside the pen and headed towards the woods. Since he likes to fly so well, I'm hoping he can fly high enough to get in the trees or he will probably be some wild animals chicken dinner tonight.

I love my guineas so if you are a praying person and don't mind praying for animals, say a prayer tonight for protection for this silly bird. He knows not what he is doing!!!

Now where is that road.....

Here's my fellow caseworker Valorie and I trying to locate where our latest fire is. The DAT team is on the way and we're standing by ready to help.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's a "mini" chicken house!!!

Tool Belt Jim wanted to build a smaller chicken house for the banties and guineas before colder weather got here so out came the tools this past week. I think he did an excellent job, don't you? Here he is painting it the easy way!



This little door on the back is a vent so we can get some air flow.


It also has nesting boxes with a door that opens to the outside, just like the bigger version.

Here it is sitting in the "dog pen" that I bought off the trader program. See the little window on the side? Looks like a little playhouse to me. I just love it! Hope the chickens and guineas are as excited about it. They had to be caught and put inside cause they didn't want to go in on their own. Go figure!

The ducks are growing up! Look at the green on this one!

Isn't this one beautiful!
The guineas are checking out their new home but they're pretty cautious.

Isn't John Wayne looking good?
And he's still running. Usually AWAY from the "girls." He's a disgrace to his namesake!

My little flock. I think they are "molting" or something. Their feathers are starting to turn white. Tool Belt Jim also built this little chicken feeder. He's quite handy.


4 eggs. Hmmm... one of my chickens is slacking off.
It may be hot outside, but we're getting ready for winter ahead of time. Must have a warm and snug place for my farm animals for this winter.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Been a fun but busy week...

This past week has been very busy working in our new Disaster's Services office. I'm learning how to do casework and getting use to getting out of bed earlier than normal. Which means I'm also getting use to going to bed earlier than normal!

I'm a people person and much as I love my gardening and canning and mowing, I need to get away from them at times and get around PEOPLE. And now that we have our own office, I am enjoying working with my co-workers. Everyone in the office is fun to be around and don't seem to mind my strange sense of humor.

We've already had our first fire to open casework on and this is our first week!

Have I asked if you all are volunteering with your local Red Cross office? Check it out!!