Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Silly Super Glue Story

Rok Star has an interesting story to tell. Check out her blog:

Monday, February 25, 2013

Oakley is Hip

So my good, long-time friend Oakley had hip replacement surgery recently.  She's not old enough to need a joint replacement but no one remembered to tell her hip that!

I asked her if I could come help out...after all, my mom had her hip replaced this past fall and I was there...just sayin' I am qualified to help.  She accepted my offer and I headed up the road to their home...more accurately the hospital, because she was still there.  The surgery had gone well and her hubby, Big Dog (the real, true, original Big Dog before motorcycles, large & tall clothing, or beer brewers stole his identity), was sitting in her hospital room as she slept off the effects of the anesthesia.

Oakley is the Thelma to my Louise or vice versa (except for that whole driving over the edge of the cliff thing)...she is more likely to keep me from going over...she is more likely to talk me down from the edge.  She is calm and rational and generally able to see the big picture.  She is loving and loyal.  She flew to South Carolina when Pop and I were in the process of moving back to Kansas to make the long drive home with me.  (Here's a link to that story.)

And she has a giggle that when I just think about it, I have bubbles that start in the pit of my stomach and work their way up and out as the kind of hysterical laughter that only great friends can share.

While she was in the hospital, the "Blizzard of Oz" hit.  Kansas gets snow but it had been a while.  It was beautiful.  Serene.  Calm.  Peaceful.  I had heard it was coming and made sure to travel before it arrived.  It blessed me to help out...a little cleaning...a little laundry...a tiny bit of cooking (because Oakley and Big Dog had purchased smart, easy foods to keep it simple).  Then Oakley's parents arrived...they met her Aunt and Uncle there so the "girls" could attend a two-day conference and the brothers could visit.  It was a pleasant event for me.

On a side note, God orchestrated a chance meeting of another long-time friend who happens to work at that hospital...I came out of Oakley's room and came face to face...we've stayed somewhat in touch but it was a sweet meeting.  I love it when God does that!

The first night they were there, Oakley and I had dinner with the two gentlemen while their wives were at the evening session of the conference...these men are polite and soft-spoken...they are quick to smile and are apt conversationalists.  Of course, they weren't there to visit with me but Oakley had to rest and recuperate; so I was the happy participant in some of her Dad's and Uncle's conversations.  Her folks and Pop and I have some common acquaintances (some of them happen to be related to Oakley) and we share a common faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  At one point, my question to him about a news story on the television eventually routed to his beliefs and his faith.  There is nothing I love to talk about or hear about more.

I found this picture of some of her extended family to share...
Big Dog, Oakley, and their two precious daughters are on the left.  Oakley's Mom and Dad are to the right of her.
Her aunt and uncle who came to visit are also in this picture.
You might also recognize The Cowboy (Oakley's brother) and Mrs. Cowboy from a previous blog post.
The tall brunette is their daughter and she just happened to play volleyball with my niece.
My worlds are colliding like Seinfeld's George Costanza's - except that I like it!)
Oakley is recovering just fine...better than fine...she is stellar, actually...a veritable poster child for joint replacement surgery.  She had been in so much pain before the surgery that she hardly needed pain medication (which is really good, because they make her dizzy and sick to her stomach).  I had to keep reminding her NOT TO DO things.

I would have loved to stay longer but there was another snow storm coming and Oakley was in good hands with her Mom and Dad there to help her and Big Dog.  And the Four Sisters Farm cats were probably hungry.

So I am holed up at the farm...the cats fed...the ground mostly blanketed by snow...a fire in the fireplace...catching up on paperwork and some sewing.  I am also basking in the glow of time shared with a great friend.  I did tell her I thought surgery was way above and beyond what most friends do to get together for friend time...she just giggled.

I love Oakley.  I love her family too.  That is all.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12a says,
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves."

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Grandkids' Hill

There is a hill at Four Sisters Farm.  It was created a couple of years ago when the pond was dug out.  The hill is perfect for the many adventures of the Four Sisters Farm grandchildren.
Last winter, we hoped and prayed for enough snow to sled down the hill.  No such luck.  The truth is some of us (3 to be exact) were pregnant so we couldn't have enjoyed the sledding anyway.
This winter it looked like Grandkids' Hill would stay dry.
Then out of nowhere the "Blizzard of Oz" occurred here in Kansas.
Pop cleared the way to the hill with his tractor and then he put out this challenge e-mail:
"Tell the Grandkids that Pop is the reigning sled distance champ down Grandkids' Hill"

"The mark to beat"
Of course, we couldn't resist. 
We made our way to Four Sisters Farm as soon as we could. 
We brought EJ's folks along for the adventure.
EJ was the first to challenge the record. 
He blew past Pop's mark and it looked like he might be the winner.

Then we sent the cowboys down one by one.
First up B
Then W
Then Q
Next it was Papa's turn
Then Grandma
And then I made my way up the hill. 
That's right children, let Momma show you how it's done.
One graceful trip down the hill and victory was mine!
Eat my dust fellas!!!
EJ couldn't accept defeat. 
He had to take another run at the hill. 
But the Man came up short.
Did I bask in my glory?
I began training up the next generation of female sledding champions.
Lil' Ruthie rode that sled like a pro!
Greatness is in her blood.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

True Cleaning Confessions

It's "true confession" name is Grammy and I used to be a slob. If you've seen pictures on the Four Sisters Farm blog, most likely you have seen me at or near my best (unless we were blogging about a project we were working on). My Mom can testify (and indeed she has) that I used to loathe cleaning of any kind.  I could pretty much walk over, around, or through the same mess multiple times with no desire to do anything about it.

Even as a young wife and mother, I was terribly inconsistent about cleaning...I knew HOW to clean...Mom made sure of that...I just didn't do it often enough!  Our first apartment when Pop and I moved away from our folks to go to college was a dark, depressing dungeon of a place that was built around an octopus of a heating system. It was such a small dwelling that we warmed the bathroom with a blow dryer! The kitchen wasn't really big enough to be called a kitchenette...the sink was a small bar sink...try doing dishes in that!

But somewhere along the line I gradually got better...probably because I had to teach the Four Sisters how to keep house.  I now LOVE living in a clean house and even enjoy the process of cleaning.  I keep a pretty clean house now...which leads to the whole reason for this post...

I recently decided it was time to mop the floor...the whole hard surface floor...and I still believe I can clean it best the old fashioned way...on my hands and knees with a bucket and a rag...that way I can see and feel what needs cleaning.

So I was dunking, wringing, scrubbing, and thinking (it seems to me that thinking is one if the luxuries associated with mundane tasks like mopping). I was thinking as I mopped that I could use an actual mop...but down on the floor on my hands and knees I could see so much more clearly what needed cleaned up...I even cleaned things off the table legs and chairs that I hadn't noticed...things that had definitely been there a while!

Then the parallels began coming to my walk with God, when I am in a position of humility, I am more aware of the things that need cleaning up in my life...thoughts and actions that need to be dealt with, people I need to forgive, grace and mercy I need to extend, wrong thinking that needs to be exposed to the truth of God's Word. 

In a position of humility, I can make choices about whether or not to allow God to work in me...letting Him convict me by His Holy Spirit...hearing Him tell me He loves me enough to come alongside me to provide what I need to affect change...and sometimes even witnessing Him making the changes for and in me, simply because I was willing.

When it comes to deep cleaning, God is the Master Cleaner.

Psalm 51:1-3 says, "Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.  Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

DIY Shoe Cubby on the Cheap

I've looked and looked for a wooden divided shoe cubby to no avail.  I didn't think it was all that huge a request.  Oh there are some hanging ones and some that are specific to certain closet systems.  Pop and I built in some shelving in the master closet that required a size that apparently doesn't exist in today's market.  Who knew?  Guess I should have checked that out before we decided on the size of the shelves!

So I put on my "Handy Grammy thinking cap" and went to one of the local purveyors of beverages for the over 21 years old crowd and inquired about boxes with dividers and was told to help myself to as many as I wanted.  I picked up two I thought might work and headed home. 

I got out some fun wrapping paper and packing tape and went to work (contact paper would have been great too).  I disassembled, covered, taped, and reassembled.  The organization it lends to my closet space makes me happy for now...I don't know yet how well it will hold up but we'll see.

In case you are wondering...I don't ONLY wear tennis shoes.  I have my dress shoes stored in plastic shoe boxes up high and I'm still pondering some boot storage.

The other box was not wasted...I covered just the outside of it and it found a home in my storage room holding wrapping paper and such.  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What to do for Valentines Day

Pop and Grammy at
Pretty Princess' and Romeo's Wedding
Pop and I celebrated Valentines Day early this year because our schedules are wacky and we won't be  together on "the" day this what to do???

Pop came home with roses...steaks for the grill...and a small container of strawberry ice cream to share (he got out two for me and one for him).  I believe Pop is getting more and more sentimental and romantic as we get older.  I like it.  A lot.

I brought home a surprise for him too.  He had a print he had been wanting to frame for his office that neither of us had gotten around to I did it.  He was surprised and pleased that I took care of it for him.

So if you are thinking about what to do for your sweetie for Valentines Day this year, you are welcome to borrow some ideas from Pop.  Or think of something your darling has wanted to get or do and take care of it for them.

Happy Valentines Day, Everyone!

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:18 NIV)