Wednesday, April 30, 2014

26 Years Ago Today.....

26 years ago today, we were married.  It was a beautiful day.  We had our pictures taken at the Eau Claire Dells, a county park.  The "pearl" necklace I am wearing was my "something old" it was my grandma Ritchie's necklace.   My sister Lynn helped me make my wedding dress.  I spent hours hand sewing on the beads.   We both were 21.  

We said "we do"
We sure "did"

Thru thick and thin (that's me... lol) 
Loss and pain
Sun and rain
Debt and gain

We have been blessed
Here at Dicky Bird's nest

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, April 28, 2014

Week 15 - Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Week 15 - Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

1 1/2 c flour                                        1 t baking soda
1 t salt                

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl

1/2 C shortening                                1 C creamy peanut butter
1 C brown sugar                                 1/3 C sugar

Cream together add:

1 t vanilla                                            1 egg

mix and add dry ingredients slowly

Spray your cookie sheet.  Roll dough into balls, press an indent with the back of a 1/2 t measure spoon.  Fill each with 1/8 t peanut butter and 1/8 t jelly.  Bake 375 for 10 min.   Makes 4 doz.  

The creamy peanut butter baked on top makes these cookies really peanut buttery, if that is a word.  I hope you enjoy.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Motivation Monday - "Keep busy, but don't work too hard"

Some day, I plan to write a book about the interesting neighborhood I grew up in.  Are you familiar with the movie "Big Fish?"  Well, I would consider the stories behind some of our neighbors to be similar to the characters in that movie.   

Today, I will share one of them with you.  Esther and Frank Pizon.  They were an elderly couple that lived down the block from us in an apartment.  Esther had suffered with diabetes that left her an amputee.  She had an actual wooden leg - yep, wooden.  She did get a "new" leg later on that actually looked like "real" and made of hard plastic.  Her husband Frank, survived a stroke that left him unable to speak.  He was a sweet, kind gentleman.  He loved to walk and did so daily.  When he would pass by, I would say "hi Frank" and he would always raise his good hand and point and wink as if to say - right back atcha.  

Esther and Frank would come over to our house daily for coffee.  My mom would host many a neighbor - daily - with coffee and treats.  Looking back on it now, that was her ministry.  

Esther, in order to support her and Frank, was given the opportunity to sell their crafts at the Commission on Aging.  This department had a Talent Shop in Wausau and still does, where you could support the elderly and disabled by buying their items.   (here is photo of the Talent Shop in Wausau, WI - now located in the Goodwill Store in Rib Mountain, by Walmart and Aldis)

Esther, developed arthritis in her hands that left her unable to embroider faces on her dolls or do small hand sewing.  This is where my mom comes into play.  Esther "hired" my mom to do these tasks for her and then she would finish them up.  I can remember Esther dropping off all kinds of projects for my mom to help her with.  They actually made some really cute items.  The felt cardinals I make now is actually a pattern from Esther.  

So, on with my Motivation Monday quote.  This is something Esther would say EVERY day - she would drop off her bag of work for my mom, drink her coffee, have a treat and visit.  Upon leaving she would say...."well, Dode (my mom's nick name) keep busy, but don't work too hard."  

Esther was a regular in my life from a time I can't remember - till her passing when I was in 5th or 6th grade.  Hearing her say that phrase every day was something I grew up with.  It wasn't until later in life - like recently - I can appreciate what that quote means.  It's genius actually.   

You can wrap up a whole lotta something in that quote.  Who better to say it; the wife of a stroke victim, an amputee who suffered from arthritis.  She did live by it too.  She was always doing something.  She was old...really...and not just because I was little and every one was old - she was old.  To think on it now, I actually am inspired by her work ethic.  

So, today, whether you are home with a bunch of little ones, or racing between work and little league, or nursing home visits with your parents and high school games with your kids, or just sitting on the couch trying to get up the ambition to wash your dishes.....remember....."keep busy, but don't work too hard."  Esther Pizon

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Thrifty Finds - Wool

I had a really nice day rummaging with my daughters!  We found some great deals.  I just had to share this story with my followers.  Look what I found:

I was so excited that I held up this bag in the middle of the garage; I turned to the ladies at the check out and said "who's the hooker?"  Several ladies in the garage whip their heads around to look at me - including Anna who says "Mom!"  Come on ladies - "rug hooker?...." No one said anything...that would have been received with laughs at any fiber arts/folk art event.  Those ladies didn't get my humor!  

Now I have yards of strips to make my pins - yay!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Friday, April 25, 2014

More with Martha

More with Martha, the little hen who wants to make a nest on my porch.  She is getting broody.  Here she is sitting on the cat's pillow and blanket - again.

She "lets" me pet her - as long as I don't try to take her egg

Yesterday, it rained on and off all day.   That wasn't stopping Martha as she sat on that pillow all day.  So, last night when we returned from church, I had to pick up - an ever so wet hen - and carry her back to the chicken coop.   What a silly girl!  She didn't even have an egg...

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Motivation Monday - Enjoy the "Stage" You are In

You know, many women who are in the stage of life that I am in, become depressed or feel a loss of purpose.  An empty nest is something I thought was years away....boy, how time slips up on you.  I've been pondering these things lately, looking at other women who are in the next stage of life and then it came to me, I actually had a "light bulb" moment, I'm in a pretty "sweet spot."  Thank the Lord, I'm still young enough and healthy enough to enjoy new things in my life.    

I have had so many things that I have wanted to do over the past several years, but been unable to.  Life and the choices I made at those stages, pushed back some of my desires.  I wouldn't change it or trade those experiences for a million dollars.  Those stages and choices helped me to see how "sweet" this spot really is.  

The time we are given on this old earth, really is a gift.  We can choose to squander it or invest it.  I choose - invest.  

Whatever stage of life you are in - crying babies, temper tantrums, soccer mom, sassy teens, single or working mom - embrace it and enjoy it.  Life stages go by fast, don't miss out on the lessons they offer, the sorrow and joy.    

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Helping Hands Ministry - "We Care Bags"

Helping Hands Ministry - "We Care Bags"

On this Good Friday - and every day - show the love of Christ.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Next project:  "Help us Grow a Church" and "Fishers of Men"  coming to a boat landing or hanging on your door soon.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

More on "Martha, The Independent Hen"

We had some snow fall with more on the way.  I leave the back "hole" open for the chickens to decide if they want to come out or not.  I've been posting pictures of Martha, the independent hen.  The pillow, she and the cats have been fighting over, was frozen on the porch.  This morning, she was pacing and clucking, I felt sorry for her.  Al says, "your chicken, Margaret, is on the porch."  (Margaret...really, it's Martha)  So, I pulled the pillow out from the snow and laid it upon the bench.  Hurry up Martha and lay that egg, more snow is on the way!  

I LOVE her!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Week 14 - Buttermilk Cookie

Buttermilk Cookies:

1/2 C shortening
1 C sugar

Cream until fluffy - add:

2 Eggs

In another bowl mix:

2 C flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda

Alternate flour mixture with 1/2 C buttermilk 
this will be a soft dough - drop by rounded tablespoon on a prepared pan

sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar

bake 375 for 8-10 min. until sides are lightly browned.

makes 3 doz.

Super easy.  Soft like clouds!  Enjoy.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

"I Don't Want to Like it - But it is So Beautiful!"

Woke up to this....Anna says to me "mom, I don't want to like it, but it is so beautiful."  She is right - beautiful!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin....where even I am singing "let it go, let it go - I can't hold it back any more..."

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Motivational Monday - "It's a 'weight' of life"

Motivation Monday - "It's a 'weight' of life."  

Light bulb moment - that's it.  "click" (the sound of it sinking in).  

I didn't want to step on the scale - it had been 3 weeks since I attended a meeting.  I had eaten so many things...all whirling in my I stepped on the scale....thinking, this is going to be bad..."up 0.2."  What? How could that be?  I was expecting to be pounds up.  

I couldn't believe it.  All of the choices I had made, some how the scale was kind to me; or was it.  I think it was at that moment that I finally realized - this is my way (weight) of life now.  

The reckless indulgences, wallowing in food, guilty remorse are in my past.  Oh, not to say I will never eat another box of Thin Mints in 10 minutes again, I might.  However, I don't need to feel bad about it and then say "well, I might as well just eat this now..."  Don't do that to yourself!  It was a choice to eat it, enjoy it and move on.  

Making choices whether good or bad is a part of the journey.  
I did eat out when we went to Junk Bonanza.  I truly enjoyed my ribs from Famous Dave's - ordering them was my choice.  The next day was Weight Watchers.  As I stepped on the scale she asked "how was your week?"  I said that I truly enjoyed my choices and no matter what the scale says, I now realize that it is a "weight" of life for me.  

That was a success in my personal growth!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Wool Inspiration

Nothing inspires my creativity more lately than....wool!  Renee and I both spied these bundles on a shelf way in the back of a booth at the Junk Bonanza.  I have been felting pins for an upcoming art/craft show and these were already dyed the perfect colors.  I bought 2 bundles.  So, this rainy morning, watching Pioneer Woman and Heartland Table - getting my food inspiration as I drink my coffee and pick up my felting needle.  Have a great weekend!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Junk Bonanza 2014 - Shakopee, MN

We went to Junk Bonanza yesterday in Shakopee, MN.  We had the Early Bird tickets with the FREE bag - first 250 tickets sold.  We had hopes this year to be #1 & 2 in line.   When we arrived, we saw the same 2 ladies there as last year.  They were #1 & 2.  They are from Nebraska and lined up at 5:30 a.m.  We were #5 & 6 again this year.  

This event is HUGE with vendors on 2 floors.  I was too busy shopping and looking to take pictures.  However, I did take and opportunity to have mine taken with Cari Cucksey from HGTV show "Cash & Cari".  She had a huge booth on the 2nd floor with some great items - actually, reasonably priced.  I bought the most from her booth.  I was so happy to buy these Skookum dolls.  

I love them!  She said she "priced them to sell."  I'm just glad they were still there when I made it up the 2nd floor.  I don't think many people knew what they were.  I told her I was 1/4 Native and I collect them.  

Cari, actually checked me out and was very nice.  Here is a picture of us.  

It was another great show!  I left full of inspiration and ideas for my booths and shows this year.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

Motivational Monday - Support Young Entrepreneurs

Motivational Monday - Support Young Entrepreneurs

As a self-employed woman, I want to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in any way I can. 

At a young age, we helped our dad in the garden; planting and weeding.  At the time of harvest, we would fill our wagon with veggies and go door to door selling them to make money.  I also used my talents to make all kinds of things to sell; Christmas ornaments, macrame' key chains, Barbie doll furniture and clothes, to my friends, family and neighbors.  This all while still in grade school.  

When I was in Junior High, my mom and I made homemade teddy bear, chicken and horse shaped suckers - they were awesome!  We made them and I sold them to raise money for my brother's church - he was/is a missionary in Martinique.  Due to their popularity, I had to recruit friends to help me sell them.  Between classes, there were kids waiting in lines to buy them.  We sold so many suckers, that it was too competitive with the school fund raisers and they banned us from selling them in school.

When I was a newlywed and needed extra money, I put an ad in the paper for baking Christmas cookies and candies.  With my mom's help we sold DOZENS of cookies and candies.  We had repeat customers the next year.  

When we moved to our farm, we wanted to raise our own chickens and turkeys.  I was working at a law office with many customers who put in orders for X amount of chickens.  We sold 100 chickens at $10 each and 10 turkeys for $20 - $30 each all fully dressed and bagged.  

So, it was a natural progression in my life that I would become self-employed.  I have been blessed with support from my husband, daughters and other family.  I also have been blessed with "extra" capital to invest in my dreams.  

I also know the disappointment of setting up at a sale and not selling enough to cover my costs.  Getting started, building a customer base, creating and recreating all take time.  The choice to invest in yourself is not for the weak!   You will get knocked down and feel discouraged - it comes with the job.  However, when you have a great show and customers compliment you, they "get" your art, love your "junk" - whatever, that feeling is the driving force to keep on going.

So, when I see another young person - especially a girl or woman - I do what I can to support them.  I try to share my tips and suggestions with them.  

Yesterday, I bought a cute scarf from one such entrepreneur - Hailey.  She made these adorable scarves.  She sold out and has orders for more.   I invited her to share a table with "us" at an upcoming craft show.  I see a bit of myself in that girl!  Only she is much sweeter than I was!

So, the next time you pass by a lemon aide stand, buy Girl Scout cookies, pass a farmer's market, visit a flea market or craft show - know that your buying something is also igniting the entrepreneurial spirit in that vendor.  Take time to pay them a compliment or even ask them about their items.  This means everything to a self-employed person!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Planting Seeds

Today was our monthly Homme Nursing Home ministry.  Jessi (my niece) works at a green house and loves flowers.  She donated these little pots with vermiculite and flower seeds.  We helped the residents plant them so they could watch them grow in their rooms.  We did have extra ones that the kids planted and we went door to door passing them out.  
The message today was about planting seeds.  Frank used my grandma Kincaid as as example.  At the end of her life, she was home bound.  She said to him one time, "boy, I sure hope someone is blessed by all of this."  (meaning her illness)  Then she says as ever the optimist she was too..."well, I will just keep telling everyone that comes in about Jesus."  Frank said that even though she was unable to get out and "do" stuff she still had the calling to minister.  He related that you too might not be able to leave here, but keep planting seeds of Jesus into those who visit you.  It was better than I am explaining.  

That had me thinking that we too were planting seeds in the kids that came to the nursing home to help.  Seeds of ministry, helping and sharing time with the elderly.  These little "ministers" that go each month to the Homme Home might have planted flower seeds today, but the "seeds" to serve have been planted in them.  Even the youngest (4 months) was a blessing to an old gentlemen today who held him for the longest time.  

This is what it is all about!  We didn't just pick the name Good Samaritan by chance - it is about ministry.  Lord help the things we do, glorify You!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Strong Will - "I'm Broken"

It has been said, "boy you sure have a stong will."  Yes, I can be stubborn.  Just the other day, I threw a 2 year old temper tantrum about a candy bar....a candy bar!  

"I want a candy bar!"  I yelled.  "and, I hate rules...and I hate people telling me what to do...I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it....!"  There was more, but you get the idea.  My daughter Anna said, "Mom, what is your problem?"  It all boiled down to the fact that I couldn't eat that candy bar without feeling guilty!  I figured out the weight watcher points and it just wasn't worth it!  But, I wanted it..."why do I have to count these stupid points anyway....I want a big mac with fries!"  (WAAA!)

I told you, a big 2 year old tantrum.  I would NEVER let my kids act like this.  I wouldn't tolerate it.  Someone must have tolerated it in me - bless her heart!

This had me thinking about my being stubborn and having a strong will.  I have a strong will, but for all the wrong reasons. 

I wish I could say that I used my strong will toward my health and better eating habits - nope failed.  I've fallen off the wagon and gained back 10 or so pounds.  I think of ways to take less steps to accomplish my work! 

Or, I wish I could say, I put my strong will to good use in my faith and relationship with Jesus - nope failed.  I have been the most unfaithful person around.  I struggle with finding the time to pray and read my bible.  And, now I'm helping my brother Frank - as a Sunday School teacher!  How did that happen?

Or, I wish I could say, I put my strong will to good use in making me keep my house clean and doing daily chores - nope failed at that too.  I am a hoarder and have junk all over.  I fight with myself daily to throw anything away.  In fact, I have pole buildings full of stuff I should get rid of!

So, in light of my revelation and lack of "using" my strong will for good - (with great power comes great responsiblity...super hero mode).  I am going to use my strong will against myself!  

This may sound silly, but I'm a simple minded person.  Wish me luck and if you pray - say some for me.  At times I can really see just how "broken" I am.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Our Farrier's View Point - Lesson 2

Our farrier was here today.  He has colorful ideas and view points.  He usually shares jokes and political stories.  Anyway, he says to me "what do you think happened to that plane?"  I've learned to listen before I speak - "I don't know, but is sure is weird."  He proceeds to tell me this.   Disclaimer alert...he sure has a way of making things seem logical.

He tells me, "my military training tells me that the plane is either 1 of 2 places; on earth or in space."  "I think it is in orbit" he says.  Hmmm, I'm thinking, "what makes you think that?"  Now, as he is talking and giving me all these statistics, facts, flight height, rate of speed, momentum, etc....its starting to sound like a possible idea.  I actually think, it could be a possibility.  So, I told him I was going to post something and see what others think.  

I don't know what happened to that flight.  I'm not smart enough to think of a conspiracy theory.  I do know that as another human being, I feel sympathy for the families that lost their loved ones.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.     

Crazy Critters

I have one hen that I call Martha.  She has always been very independent and a "free thinker."  I had a battle yesterday, trying to keep her from laying her egg on my porch.  I found one egg there the day before.  For Winter, I flipped the chairs on our porch.  The cats love laying in here, when the weather is nicer.  Anyway, Martha must think it is great place to hide her eggs.  Here she is "hiding"  

I had to chase her off the porch 4 times.  She was relentless in trying to make a "nest" up there.   She won...

She did lay an egg.  

There was a busy squirrel too.  I threw out some stale snacks for the birds.  I saw this little guy picking them up and running over to my empty planter.  I watched as he made a little "stash."  He might be small, but very smart.  Here is his "stash"

Here is a video of the little nut.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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