Tuesday, March 31, 2020

And the lamb steps out...

Whimsy and Hugs!

March appears to be leaving as quietly as it entered, and today's sunshine made us all a little more antsy for true spring and summer. Tomorrow, April Fool's Day, will probably come and go unnoticed. I smile to remember the lengths my sweet daddy would go to fool his family. He often resorted to the panic wake-up call, "Get up! The cows are out on the highway in front of your house!" Or maybe, "Look out your window. Can you see what's on fire to the north?"  And even though we usually stopped mid-jump, he would be so supremely pleased with himself to gave "gotten" us. As a teacher, I seemed to get a lot of untied shoe reminders... funny, because I really have never worn tied shoes since gym class.

I think the only fooling I could do might be to promise cat chow or cheese and then not deliver... but that seems pretty paltry and beneath even me. Most people really don't appreciate being fooled, do they? My experience and intuition tell me this is not the year to revive my dad's questionable tactics...

2013... my last day teaching school... I need that poster today.

I have a book to make for a special order. I am excited about that... Really that's about it. So we join in flinging open the doors to an April heralded to be filled with some pretty unhappy and unsettling events and statistics. There doesn't seem to be a way around any of this--- just a hope-filled path right through the middle. Stay safe, dear ones. Even without the March lion, may we roar!

Well. It seems as if March is going out like a lamb...

Whimsy and Hugs!

March looks to be a wet lamb, with a really rainy-nighted April to follow for the first week, at least. What have you been doing to fill your days? We have no set routine, but I usually get in some crafting and crocheting. My son works from home, but he may see some down time in the future.

I jumped ahead today and made a little Halloween journal... just because I wanted to think of that fun time of year! She's a cute little trick-or-treater...

I have no idea what to do with this book... Maybe I might try to find cute photos of my friend's grandkids during the years they came trick-or-treating... maybe fun recipes for fall snacks and soups.

I made some Ozark stew this weekend in our crock-pot. It is a huge amount when it's to the brim, but that is kind of fun for the week's odd meals. This was filled with every kind of vegetable I could find, (potato, carrot, celery, cabbage, mushroom. green beans, and onion) I added browned ground beef, tomato sauce, chicken stock, Italian seasoning. garlic, parsley, bay leaf, salt, pepper, (little bit of sugar --- shhh!), pinch of red pepper flakes, Worcestershire, and water... I cooked it 3 hours on high and 4 on low. Finished each bowl with some grated Parmesan and a sweet pickle. Yum-o! I just called it Ozark because we watch that series and another season is out. The series stars Jason Bateman and Laura Linney and is interesting, but it's really mean so I can't really recommend it. 

Finished a few tags today with collages made from scraps I have saved. I want a sewing machine to stitch around the edge. Mine was stolen, and also my grandmother's and great-great grandmother's... Mom's is here, but I lost or accidentally threw away both the original and the replacement power cords... hmmmm. Was that an omen? 

I did another ton of laundry, but I had help this time. I guess warm from the dryer towels are pretty nice. I rewashed them, but she laughed and told me she pretty much does as she pleases when I am asleep... My cousin told me years ago, "Dogs have masters; cats have staff!" You know she's right. 

Stay safe... 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

March Madness...

That's what this new world feels like--- madness. We are just fine although I can tell the pressure is bothering some of my friends very much. Some of them already struggled with huge issues so it was just the final straw to have some new boulders crash into their path.

I took a day off to recuperate from that inner ear thing many of us get... It feels as if somebody pulled the pin holding the tilt-a-whirl down... Ice water, Vicks Vaporub (my drug of choice ...lol), and my furry Sunbeam heating pad... a few cups of Earl Grey and of course, my hobby...

---a junk journal I ripped and inked... This was my first to try the ripped pages... Definitely grungy! Not for everyone! My son asked if I burned the edges. Nooooo waaaay. I recall so well one wintry morning when I was in eighth grade... I had labored over a map of the world, carefully drawn to scale and colored with markers. I had inked in the voyages of the Explorers in the New World... In my mind this thing looms a masterpiece, all done in those really stinky-make your head spin kind of  magic marker of the 60's. I decided to singe the edges on our gas stove while my eggs waited on my breakfast plate. Mom and Dad were smiling, and I was less than hours away from turning in my masterpiece to Mrs. Gracie Edwards, my rather eccentric, flimsy scarf-wearing, beehive-haired, social studies teacher.


Yep. Super-flammable! The whole project exploded into flames, and I threw it in the dishpan (or more likely my Smokey the Bear father did... I couldn't keep up!) And so, my grade on that project was a big fat zero. However, I did learn a valuable lesson!

I also did a bit of crochet... (good old Granny square... I love you sooooo!) Had I made a big pan of brownies, my retreat would've been monumental.... I settled for lighter fare--- a big grilled chicken salad ------and Nutella on a cracker--- (or two).

Miss Callie was mad with me this morning. I woke up feeling fine and headed off to putter... I forgot to share a bite of my cheese! End. of. the. world.

Tomorrow is Friday. My son's team supervisor (remote working in St. Louis) has tested positive for the virus, and we have cases in our local towns out here in the middle of nowhere. I can see the shut down has helped, but that fuels some to think the pandemic was nothing to begin with. I am not a "news" girl... it is really hard to find un-slanted info..  A good friend of mine told me one time if the news made me unhappy, just to wait a few days and the headlines would report the opposite! Kinda true...

Looking forward to a bowl of oatmeal in the morning... and a dose of whimsy... Take care.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020


Today I decided to try a knock-off of Pizza Hut's Back yard BBQ hand tossed. I did not want to make my dough plus I had a can of Pillsbury crescent rolls that needed to be used.... so I pressed out the dough after spraying my small cookie tin. I used Hawaiian bbq sauce in a small trickle/grid... like checkerboard. Then I layered cut up chicken, very thin slivers of onion, mushrooms, a small amount of real bacon pieces, another grid of bbq sauce... (I probably used about a third to half cup total). I layered on cheese (Only had sharp cheddar, but... it was fine.) This I popped in our toaster oven at 350 for 20-25 minutes. It was very reminiscent of the real deal and good for lunch and leftover for supper.

Here's a peek at a Farm Girl's journal I fixed up for a friend as a garden record-keeper.

Do any of you recall hearing about Loretta Young? I remember my mother loved to watch The Loretta Young Show. All I remember about it is watching Loretta open gorgeous French doors and arrive in a breath-taking outfit, and my Mama was captivated... Here is a photo of a young Loretta... Wow-za!

Stay safe!

Whimsy and Hugs!

Monday, March 23, 2020


Well, today marked day 30 I have been in... and Day 13 for the home. My son does go in for curbside pickup of  some groceries every 2 weeks. I was quite cozily stocked, but because the future seems so uncertain, I hate to use it all up completely now ---in case something major happens. Sure I am not hoarding, though... so bizarre and fearful these scared shoppers must be.

It is rather amusing to me that self-quarantined is my usual go-to mode of life. The difference is--- no company or drop-in visitors will slip in for a friendly cup of coffee. So I am trying to call and text more friends... if they feel like talking.

I have been contemplating my  real attitude toward home. I am a bit surprised to discover I actually clean and put away dishes and set the table, decorate for Easter... just for me. You know I would say for "us" because my son's here (which is everything to me), but... he honestly does not notice anything like that--- at all! I think I could decorate a Christmas tree and carve a jack-o-lantern in the kitchen, and he would just trundle by... in his usual good humor. I thought I might let it all go South until the all clear sounds... if it ever does. But I have aged since those years when I used to keep house so terribly. I mean if I cleaned up the sink or ran the sweeper when my son was a little boy, he'd say, "Who's coming, Mama?" I would fly mad and think... "I clean other times, too! Grrrrr!" (But ya know what? Someone WAS coming...  ha ha!)

My house is not spick and span like I dream of it... A certain amount of clutter and disorganization curls around me like little Pigpen in Charlie Brown cartoons...

I have made several journals this month... I guess while I putter in my Studio or crochet my mind is so peaceful... I told my son I spent about four hours in there in a brain-wave alpha mode. I came in and moved a load of laundry, stopping midway with a jolt! "Oh no! We've broken the World!" popped in my mind suddenly--- bringing with it such a grey weight and gloom.

Tomorrow... I hope to clean and organize my craft supplies a bit... that room is truly Pigpen paradise... I took in a little French toast Friday fare... almost lost it in the fray.

Take good care! This will all pass, and one fine day we will be stronger for it.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

There is nothing wrong with kids today!

Years and... well, years ago I started teaching in 1975. Since then I cannot tell you how many times I have heard and read really hurtful comments about "kids today." In fact, some of the first "kids" I taught have grown up and had grandchildren of their own. They, too, have occasionally fallen into the habit of identifying and generalizing the flaws of each generation's "kids."
Well, throughout it all, I have pretty much maintained the opinion, "There's nothing wrong with kids today." I loved ALL my students all the time. (Not to say I always acted like it... but I did. I realize I have complained at times, too... Don't think I feel in the least above all that.)
Now it strikes me this pandemic shows the strength and beauty of "these kids." (and all my kids fall into the population aged less than 65.)
I love older people. I always have. My grandparents and elders were the joy of my life as a teen. I think it is so beautiful to see today's younger generations love the very same way. Every newscast reiterates the statistic saying COVID-19 is relatively harmless to younger individuals but potentially deadly to those over 70. We could have experienced some kind of hard-hearted, shrug your shoulders, genocide as the younger majority just decided to take its chances and let the oldies fall where they may.. BUT THEY DIDN'T!!!! I am so grateful the younger generation, the one so very often criticized, has ----- without a blink-- decided to do these hard and unprofitable things, such as shutting down their businesses and closing out their plans and financial efforts, giving up their Senior Proms and scholarship opportunities, turning their backs on graduation and life as they know it. They do this without the benefit of perspective often earned in later years... --- in order to stop the disease that is basically targeting their elders... If that isn't stepping up, then I don't know what it will take...  THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH KIDS TODAY!

Whimsy and Hugs!

Something Spicy

A few weeks ago we decided it would be fun to order these rubs from a popular YouTube video we saw. I must say they were sure pricey, but huge! They are way bigger than a can of coke and come to about $7/jar... Compared to any seasoning rub, that is not expensive at all because one jar would fill many packages. Question: Did we need this much? Well, no. However, we've tried three and they are fantastic. I tried them on steaks, chicken, eggs, and in an instant pot of pinto beans and ham. Winner winner! My son's Paleo efforts cause us to cook a lot of protein. The names are fun and we mean no disrespect to real churches everywhere. The website said it meant they take their seasoning recipes seriously!

Have a safe day. Spice it up!

Whimsy and Hugs!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020


Hello, Dear Ones!

I did not get that usual St. Patrick's post out there yesterday. I did celebrate with my son with Irish stew and cornbread.... (I just didn't have the milk for soda bread! Oh, and laundry! I celebrated with laundry!!!!

The majority of my day was spent trying to help a friend do her taxes over the phone! I am the one doing them with her reading all the figures from her "whirlwind" of wild and crazy records... I am not a "math" person. In fact, those who know me would say I am like a fish out of water in that area. I vividly recall sitting in my Algebra 1 class next to a pull in window (you remember those tilty kind in the 70's?) I always opened the window and stuck my arm outside.... why? SO ALL OF ME DID NOT HAVE TO BE IN MATH CLASS!  However, Turbo Tax is super friendly and she is just so appreciative! I am down to one minor snag and I think it will straighten out today...

How are you holding up? I find my spirits are positive until right after sunset, and then... instead of my usual night owl comfort and all night reading/YouTube/crafting/snacking!!!!!/generally having a blast.... I am just a little weary and anxious. I might be my crazy cat who has decided to manifest the talent to get into cabinets... I have had to knot hair ties on every low door... What? what???? But more likely it might be the fear of the unknown and previously un-imagined.

I ponder how my parents and grandparents might have done things and try to copy their spirits... theirs were magnificent, comforting, inspiring. Do I think I ever told them? Gosh, I hope so...

I was and am so grateful my son seems so happy/ok-with-it... being shut in with me and our cat! I am not sure I ever gave my mother that gift. She was probably all too aware of my turmoil at not being able to be "home." Not supposed to regret, but I could have coped better at most given moments...

However, Mama and I had tons of fun our last ten years of being room mates. It is kinda true without being snarky that she ruled! I loved it when a nurse asked me in ICU after Mom's massive stroke--- "Does your mother live with you?" I said yes.... and this odd, mono-toned, slow voice came out of Mom's bed... "No.... she lives with ME!" And that, dear friends, was totally the truth!

So, do take care and be cautious. We are all hoping for the best.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

My Word of the Year... it was was "roar." Right?

I hope you are all safe and well. What trying times for the entire world! I don't have any words of wisdom you haven't thought yourselves. Surreal comes to mind... and faint traces of twisted plots from futuristic science fiction movies... and end time prophecies... mixed in with some Arnold Schwarzenegger and Terminator ....or is it more Jingle All the Way?

Everyone's life looks different. Most have a much bigger circle. While I have relatives and dear friends, my go-to circle is just my son and myself. He works from home most days. We both could be high risk due to health issues. So the easiest plan for us and best seems so be stay home... almost 100 percent of the time. And don't entertain... even those who are well...  just for a while... until we know the next steps to take.

Nothing seems different that way. We have much to do and have people in our lives to contact via phone or text... But roar? Well. purrrrrr-haps...

Whatever your path you have chosen, I wish you the very blessed best! "I'll be back..."  (Austrian accent!!!)

Whimsy and Hugs!