Thursday, October 31, 2013

13 on Thursday

             Leaving Kansas (2)
1.  This trip to Oklahoma was nice because I had a “guest” rider! My friend Ellen rode along with me to visit her Dad in Enid. I will say, the trip went F.A.S.T!! Lot’s of talking! – no Music Man! So I did miss out on my “sing along” but that’s okay!

2. My parent’s were doing well and that is always a relief. I do wish they would let my brother and I get them someone to help with house keeping. They don’t want us to help and they won’t hire someone and they are getting to where it’s not up to the standard I wish they had.

3. My Dad has cut down tremendously on his wheat farming. But he still plants a small amount and he finished planting the wheat earlier this week. And he is very pleased about that. He is praying for rain. It seems as if the rains always miss their part of the woods.

4. The are getting siding on their garage and that looks nice. I’m glad to see they are making some improvements. It seems as if you blink and years have passed and things get run down. Where does the time go?


5.  While watching Gunsmoke with them, my brother and I sent texts back and forth. He asked me to name the characters of Gunsmoke, which I did. Kitty, Marshall Dillon, Chester, Festus, Thad, Doc and I said Clint but learned later it is Quint. I think he was impressed! Then he asked me When Gunsmoke started – well, Randy and I had just talked about this a couple of weeks ago and so I even knew the answer to that! 1955.

6. It’s been a year since my Mom broke her hip and she is doing much better than I thought she would be. Very thankful for that.

7. Steve, my parent’s minister, had been visiting earlier in the week. My dad really enjoys having him come by. I appreciate him visiting with them because they aren’t able to attend services anymore.

8. I had intended on asking my parent’s some “interview” questions. Just things I am curious about – what’s their favorite Bible verses, their favorite hymns. I would like to know their favorite childhood memories. But the time didn’t seem right. I need to work on making the time right because these are memories I would like to have recorded.

9. My Aunt Doris called while I was there so I got to talk to her for a while before I turned the phone over to my Mom. That was nice.

10. I went to pick up Ellen when I left the farm. I got to meet her Dad, Marvin and I had such a nice time getting acquainted with him.


11. We went Godfather’s to eat dinner and continued our visit. Such a nice man and he retired from Gold Spot Dairy which used to be one of my favorite places to eat a sandwich on lunch – years ago!! - In the 1970's.

12. It rained on us coming and going this trip. Very seldom do I come home after dark. So was pleasantly surprised when we were south of Caldwell to see that the Chisholm Trail Silhouettes are lit up at night. Not sure why that surprised me but it did.

Chisholm Trail

13. When I got home, The Husband was already home from his fun evening at Trunk or Treat at our church!

It is so good to be home!!

Entering Kansas (2)

Wordless Wednesdays


 Swing (1)          Swing (4)

Swing (6)       DSCN4378 


Tuesday, October 29, 2013


The pansies I planted are doing well. - So that is good. The next part of that story is that I think I planted them too far apart. Next year I will plant them closer together.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Yard Fountains

Last weekend I went away with some friends and when I got home, the Husband had been busy! He made a fountain! 

We bought a new fountain a couple of weeks ago for our back yard and he decided he could make these! So he experimented while I was gone and I have the wonderful sound of a fountain by my back door!

This is the one we purchased.

This is the one he made!!


I love the way the water comes through the holes on the edge of the bucket!

So, I had a good time shopping with friends - he had a good time creating something for our yard! He is so good at creating things.

3 On Thursday - Aargh - Last Thursday!

1. The weekend was filled with good times on a girls outing with some friends! Had such a good time and just didn't take the time to post blogs - too much fun shopping, eating, talking and just enjoying time together.  I was able to get all but one thing on my list of things I needed while shopping! SUCCESS! Why is it that I put off "girl time" when I enjoy it so much! Maybe we will turn this into a yearly outing...

2. The one thing I didn't find was a "No Soliciting" sign for our front door. Seems as if we have had a plethora of door knockers in the last few months. I did see many "cute" signs. - you know the ones - "unless you have chocolate, no soliciting." I don't even want chocolate, thank you. And no, I don't want Thin Mints either. Go to someone else's house. - BUT I do want to say this nicely!! :)

3. With our step counter we know we walked over 13,000 steps on Friday!! BOOM! and we walked close to 8,000 on Saturday. - and you can bet we slept good at night! Exercise, food, shopping, laughing and talking... What more can a girl ask for?

(on the weeks I don't go to Oklahoma, my 13 on Thursdays will be 3 on Thursdays!!)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday–Fall

I am copying Kansas Women Bloggers Wordless Wednesdays. Posting only pictures on Wednesdays. October’s theme is “Fall.”

2013 (11)

2013 (21)     2013 (24)

2013 (2)

2013 (22)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Something I’ve Learned About My “New” Husband…

In 2 years and 6 months of marriage we have learned more and more about each other.  Maybe it’s my age, but I’ve found that familiarity takes longer to achieve than I thought when I was in my 20’s.

I have learned something about my husband in the last few weeks, though. (I’m a slow learner…)


He buys more bananas than the three of us can eat.  Here he is explaining to me that with these extra bananas he believes I should make more banana bread.

Now I’m not saying he intentionally bought too many bananas so I’ll make bread – oh, wait, yes I am. He intentionally buys too many bananas so he’ll get bread…

I guess if this is the worst  thing I find out about him – I’ll survive!!

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Today I found a new recipe to try. I love my old one but just wanted to experiment. I used the recipe I found  H.E.R.E. 

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(I know, don’t you love the pot holders that Aunt O’Letta made for me years ago!)

This recipe turned out delicious!! We decided it’s a keeper! I did ask the husband which recipe he liked best, this one or the one I made last week. He said he wasn’t sure. I needed to make some from the other recipe so he could compare them.  (he tends to be a bit sneaky!)

But really, who am I kidding… I LOVE a warm piece of banana bread with a slather of butter… Oh, who am I kidding again – I even like it when it’s NOT warm!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Are there many paths to God?

In Mark chapter 8: Jesus asks His disciples, "Who do people say I am?" 

They answered by saying, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others say, one of the prophets."

"But what about you?" He asked, "Who do you say I am?"

Peter answered,"You are the Messiah."

We are living in the times of "many paths to God."  You can hear this on television, see it in magazines, read it in books and on the internet. This is a lie that is being taught as truth.

One reason so many are buying into this teaching is because of the attitude of tolerance. In wanting to be politically correct we accept false teachings as truth. We want to be loving people and in "loving" we believe we must tolerate all things. 

The problem lies in accepting these lies. 

There is one true and living God. He is the creator of all things. 

Jesus says in John 14:6:

"I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Very clearly we are told that there is only one way to God and that is Jesus Christ.

In acknowledging Jesus as the Son of the one true God calls for a commitment. One many aren't willing to make.

"If we acknowledge a personal God - we must surrender our lives completely to Him."      Brad Cooper

Who do you say that He is?

 When He asks, "Who do you say that I am" -

Are you willing to say:

"You are the Christ the Son of the living God. You are the Messiah."

Saturday, October 19, 2013

“Food” For Thought

The weather yesterday turned my mind to soup! It was cold and damp – which is conducive to some warm tasty soup. So my grocery list for next week includes ingredients for some filling soups.

In looking through my recipes I found a couple of recipes to share with you. Nothing is more filling and more comforting than stew. I have several stew recipes and they are all different, I’m going to share two of my oldest most faithful recipes today.

In the ‘80’s I lived here in Wichita and we worked at a wonderful church, Glen Park Christian Church. One of my best friends from that church shared a recipe with me and it became one of my families favorite’s. It also became the meal I often take to homes when there is an illness or a death. Then main reason is because it is so good, but it also freezes well.

Forester Stew from Beth Ruark

(you can fix this quickly on top of the stove or put the ingredients in the crock pot for a few hours.)

1 lb browned lean ground beef
1 can tomatoes – I use diced
1 can tomato sauce
1 can kidney beans
1 – 20 oz frozen vegetables
1 tsp oregano (I’m usually a little more liberal with this because it really adds to this recipe)
salt and pepper

See how easy it is? One reason it is so popular with me! Plus the flavor!!

When preparing it for us I often add an onion but I never add onion when taking it for a meal to others.

The other recipe is another stew with a different flavor. I got this recipe from a dear friend when we worked at a church in the panhandle of Oklahoma. One time I prepared this in a large roaster and fixed enough to feed 30 at a church meeting.  They loved it!

5 Hour Stew from Becky Becker

Layer in heavy casserole:

1 1/2 lb cubed stew meat
6 carrots, sliced or shredded ( I prefer shredded)
3 potatoes cubed
1 small onion

Cover with:

1 1/2 cups V8 Juice
1/3 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt (I don’t cook with much salt, so I add very little then make sure I put the salt shaker on the table.)
3 tablespoons Minute Tapioca
4 Tablespoons sugar ( I usually only add about 1 – 2 – I think it’s too sweet with 4)

Don't stir!

cover tightly, cook in oven at 250 for 5 hours without opening.

Both recipes are fairly easy and once you put them on to cook just forget about them until it’s time to serve.

I hope you enjoy these!

What is your favorite soup recipe? We love to try new ones.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Thoughts about "The Music Man"

Although I have several favorite Musicals,  one of my favorites is "The Music Man."

I enjoy listening to this DVD in the van when I travel - I love singing along with Robert Preston, Shirley Jones and The Buffalo Bills. I wrote about this habit of mine  H.E.R.E.

There are three quotes in this movie that always stand out to me and I want to share them with you today.

Widow Paroo asked Marion if she ever wanted to be in love. Marion then sings the song "Being in Love." While describing who she would be able to love she sings:
"And I would like him to be more interested in me  
Than he is in himself and more interested in us than in me..."

I think this is a beautiful description of love. You and I may not word it in just this way but this is what we feel deep inside.

 ".... You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays. I don't know about you, but I'd like to make today worth remembering."

How many times have I said, "I'll do it tomorrow" - and then don't. Even if one is not a procrastinator one sometimes has a tendency to put things off.  I try to remember to smell the flowers as I go - to enjoy life in the moment. I don't want to reach the end of my life and regret  all the things I haven't done.

When Winthrop asks Professor Harold Hill why he said there would be a band, whether he was a fake - the Professor responds:

 "I always think there's a band, kid."

This is like seeing a glass half full. Looking at the positive, always seeing the best. Not a Pollyanna lifestyle - just seeing the "band" all around you. - Better yet, hearing the band.

It's a great musical. The music is fabulous. It will give you a glimpse of true love, it will encourage you live now, don't put things off - enjoy them today, and will help you hear the band.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

13 on Thursdays

My friend, Debra at Prairie Songs does a post on Tuesdays called "Ten on Tuesdays." She publishes ten things that have happened that day or recently or random thoughts she has been having. I've always thought it would be fun to join her on Tuesdays but I have never taken the time to do it.

Every other Wednesday, I go to Oklahoma to visit my parents. At one time I intended to post about my trips to Oklahoma but ... well, just never know what to say because we just do what parents and adult children do.

On my way to Oklahoma, I had the idea of taking Deb's idea from Tuesdays, doing it on Thursdays and talking about my trips to Oklahoma. But I need a clever name - Deb has "Ten on Tuesdays" "Ten on Thursdays" just doesn't have the same ring so I decided on "13 on Thursdays!" Okay, I realize it's not very creative but I just got home from Oklahoma and I'm tired!

13 on Thursdays

1. One thing I always notice on my trip is that Kansas always tells me when I'm leaving her. Then once I enter Oklahoma I always wonder why her sign is shot up and the Kansas signs aren't...

I mean, really. Is it Kansan's shooting the Oklahoma sign out of - what - spite? or is it Oklahoman's shooting it out of - what - ignorance of respect? I always wonder this as I pass these two signs.

2. This trip I saw 3 dead deer beside the roads. Uh oh. Someone's vehicle is smashed. Been there, done that... But this trip I noticed one of the deer had been beheaded. Which means it was sporting a big rack and someone wants to show it off. (even though this is illegal) However, isn't the whole idea of hanging a deer head on your wall to show off your hunting skills? I would think it would defeat your purpose if when someone asked you where you "hunted" that big rack you had to answer "well, I chased it with my truck for 3 miles before I could run it down."
- Just wondering again....

Which leads me to #3

3. I've always liked quiet when I drive alone. Very seldom do I listen to the radio or anything. I think this is a "side effect" from having 4 kids. Well, I've noticed when I travel to Oklahoma, I'm always wondering about things - you know, like the signs, the reasons someone would WANT a deer head they hit with their car, etc but also, the memories pour in. Not always the good ones. That can get so tiring. It could also get so depressing but I won't let it. So when this starts I  start playing "Music Man" in the DVD player. NO... I don't watch it, I am driving after all. The DVD player is in the back of the van. BUT I love the music (plus I have most of the lines memorized...) So I put it in the player and SING along with Robert Preston, Shirley Jones and The Buffalo Bills! I have such a good time!! (I can't carry a tune in a bucket so be thankful I'm in a closed vehicle!!)

4. Every time I pass the log house (it's too big to be a cabin) their black dog greets me and runs down the road with me to the corner where I turn. I always talk to him. I don't want him to get too close to my tires. Farm dogs do this. I wonder why? Is it because I'm driving down HIS road? 

5. Mom and Dad always like for me to bring lunch. Mom likes hamburgers, Dad likes chicken. So I try to trade back and forth between them. More often than not, Mom will say - when I bring chicken - "Oh, you brought chicken." It's not a question. She's just making a statement. (my favorite is chicken!!)

6. After eating lunch, we always go into the living room and Dad turns the tv to Gunsmoke. We watch 2 episodes of Gunsmoke, 1 of Bonanza and Inside Edition and then Jeopardy! My brother and I always joke that we really enjoy "bonding" with the folks!!

And that leads to #7

7. There is a depression on Bonanza. People are out of work, no food, they are rustling cattle - But it's not effecting the Ponderosa... Which makes me wonder, do you suppose Ben Cartwight took Dave Ramsey's course on how to manage his money? Or is he like Joseph and had a dream where God showed him to "store" up his crops in preparation of this depression? Just wondering.

8. When Dad brings in the mail he always gives Mom the newspaper first and when she finishes it she gives it back to Dad. I've noticed - since she broke her hip- that he shows respect to her often in these small ways. This is very sweet to me.

9. When Bonanza is over, Mom looks at her watch and then looks at Dad and he switches the channel to Inside Edition. Neither of them says anything, they just work together - as if they've done it for years! :) This too, is sweet to me.

10. My Mom started smoking when she was around 20. - give or take 2 or 3 years. She stopped smoking when she broke her hip in December. That's over 50 years of constant smoking. Now, I listen to her cough. Please - if you smoke - do whatever it takes to stop now. It's not worth it. 

11. I love my Dad and Mom. I know I'm not any different than anyone else but it is hard to watch parents age. The decisions that may need to be made. I  just pray.

12. As I left the farm, I noticed the man across the road still has watermelon in his watermelon patch.

13. Ahhh. Home. Another Wednesday over. Another trip to the farm. Time with my Dad and Mom. Sometimes, I dread going. No special reason. I'm a home body and this is a full day away from my favorite place. But as I leave Wichita and head south, I start looking forward to spending time with them. I enjoy eating with them, sharing news of Ringwood and news about my kids and grands. I enjoy watching tv with them. I'm so very thankful I have the opportunity to spend time with them on a regular basis. 

Then I click my heels and I'm back in Kansas.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Post About Blogging

I am in the “Ultimate Blog Challenge” this month. This means is that I post 30 blogs in 31 days in the month of October. I then put my blog title on twitter with the hashtag: #blogboost and I post it on face book on UBC page. THEN, I read at least 2 other blogs and make a comment on them.

I’ve been a blogger since October 2008. This month marks my 5th year anniversary at this.

I started by reviewing books. I belonged to a book club in Oklahoma and blogging about books wasn’t a problem. I always had my nose in a book. (that’s what my grandma used to say about me when I was a girl)


Then in 2011, I moved to Wichita, remarried and started a new life! I wanted my kids to know I was doing well – and all my friends back in Oklahoma because they had all been such a great support to me during some dark times. So, I started writing about all the happenings in my new life.

Now, after 5 years of writing, taking pictures, and sharing I have found that I could blog 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I love this and I have fun doing it. I very seldom ( okay, never) say anything very profound but I just love to write about the everyday things. In a world that seems to be utter chaos, I guess this is my way to find normalcy in all that’s crazy.

One day a friend compared blogging to journaling. I just smiled.  (I don’t like to argue with people. So when you say something to me and I just smile I’m probably disagreeing in my mind!!) Because when I blog it is NOTHING like keeping a journal or a diary. – Or at least what I consider a journal or diary.


My perspective on journaling is that it is written for the writer’s eyes only and contains many more private events than a blog.

So, to my friend that believes my blog is my journal, no, there is no way I write publicly what I would write privately. I rant much more in a journal!

I would encourage you to consider blogging – if you don’t already. My friend Debra at  Prairie Songs and I have both blogged at times about things we did as children. This way, there is a written copy for our families to share. Another reason to blog – to share with your children and your grands.

I have another friend, a young mother, that blogged about her children for a year – with pictures then made them each a book out of that year’s worth of blogs.

There are many reasons to blog.

My reason is – I just like doing it!!!

So, here on my 5th anniversary of blogging, I am doing the ultimate blog challenge, meeting other bloggers and having a grand ole time!!!

Working away writing a new post for "Reflections From the Midwest"

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Day in the Yard

Our weekend weather was unbelievably GORGEOUS!! So we started “early” Saturday morning! – early for me. It was actually about 9:00. : )


I thought it would be nice to have a fire burning while we worked.

It smelled so good!

and half way through the afternoon A. roasted himself some marshmallows!

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We had 3 flats of pansies to plant and 8 ornamental Kale. The husband dug the holes for the kale and I planted them. Then he started the mowing. I started planting the pansies.


He mowed the front yard. Then he mowed the back yard. I continued to plant pansies.

He cleaned off our potting bench. Stored winter items and put things away. I continued to plant pansies.

He went to Sonic and brought home lunch.


I stopped planting long enough to eat. Then went back to planting pansies.


He built some shelves on the south end of the house for our plants to have a green house effect this winter – once they are covered with plastic.

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I continued to plant pansies.

FINALLY at 3:00 I finished with the pansies. It's not that I'm slow or anything! Enjoyed myself by the fire while the husband fertilized all the plants.

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We finished the day with the husband grilling and me relaxing!!


Sunday I said to the husband – please, next year if I mention 3 flats of pansies, tell me that’s too many… please.

The husband said, “I was thinking of getting 4 or 5 flats next year!!”

Monday, October 14, 2013

Scenic Landscapes – A Favorite Place!

One of my favorite places to visit here in Wichita is Scenic Landscapes. It is peaceful, beautiful, fun and  we get some FABULOUS ideas! Last Friday, after sale-ing and after purchasing ornamental kale and pansies for our yard we made a stop at Scenic Landscapes. Good Times!!

I want to share some of their beauty with you.

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Many water features.

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                                Many Fish!                                                 Hoop House


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Unusual Gates!!                                                 Archways

          Momma and babies                                                                                    Peacocks

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Beautiful small buildings.

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Creative ways to display plants.

A Momma turkey that was determined to keep us away from her babies!!
She was loud and serious about protecting them!! 
(they actually looked like teenagers rather than babies!)

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            An interesting bench made of tools                          Water  Plants

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             Plants, flowers, butterflies and on and on with the beautiful gardens.  

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We like this pot and would like to make a water feature out of it for our yard…

I love to stop in at Scenic Landscapes at least once per season. We always enjoy walking around and looking at all of their fabulous ideas.

You can find them at 5911 W. Maple, Wichita, KS.


Check them out on the web H.E.R.E.