Monday, January 30, 2017

Motivational Monday - "Mercy Mixed With Fear".

I'm not going to lie - the actions of this past week or so, politically has drug me down!!!  I couldn't even think of something positive to write about motivation.  I'm not motivated, I'm sad!!!  Probably, part of the reason I was "sick" last week.   I don't like political posts and this one isn't - but, why I needed motivation today was because of it.  I have been "unplugging" from the "noise" - all of it.  If this is the news, I don't want to hear it or at the very least, need to take a break from it.  

So, this morning I looked at my PLANS color sheet from the ladies bible study and saw I put "read more - especially the Bible."  Sadly, I looked at it like, I'm going to cross this off my list.  I thought about one of the small books I could read to do that...I'll read Jude.

Oh, how the Lord loves us!  He knew I needed to read Jude!   You know the word of God is relevant - always - it never changes.  This book of Jude, written, I don't know, maybe 2,000 years ago - is still true of today's problems. 

The book is only 1 chapter long, but gives us many old testament examples we can learn from.   How the Lord delivered His people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.  Sodom and Gomorrah's sins and it's destruction serve as an example for those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. Verse 8 follows with:  "In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies..."  Verse 9: "And when archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"  

What I took from that....even the very ones who He saved will still be destroyed for unbelief.  That when people challenge our faith, what we believe - do NOT slander them, make accusations - just say "Let the Lord judge - what does the Bible say?"  (Thanks Frank for that awesome message).

But, my favorite lesson, what I need to hear today to bring back my happiness in such sad motivation for this Monday...verses 20-22:  "But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.  Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.  Be merciful to those who doubt, snatch others from the fire to save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear..."

Mercy mixed with fear - this is my new mantra.  

If the news of today has you down, pray in the Holy Spirit, show mercy to others, rebuke and slander them not, that you may be used to snatch them from the fire and save them and most of all show mercy, mixed with fear.  Thank you Jude for my motivation and guidance today.  Thank you Jesus for showing it to me.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Coffee or Tea?

Which do you prefer, coffee or tea?

I gave up drinking coffee for 1 year as part of my "50 things to do before I'm 50."  Prior to that, Al and I would make 2 pots of coffee in the morning.   When I switched to tea, I didn't miss the coffee.  However, I did miss the cappuccino.  I've been back to drinking coffee, if I want, for 6 months.  Truthfully, I don't want, I find myself still choosing tea.  

When the girls and I were in Scotland and Ireland, at our meals, when a waitress asked "coffee or tea" it like she had the coffee pot ready to pour.  A few of the waitresses said, "oh, tea...I was sure it was coffee..."   One of our travel "mates" as they were from Australia, said "I'm surprised you 3 drink tea - we thought all Americans drank coffee."  She said Aussies love their coffee almost as much as Americans.  

My favorite tea is English Breakfast.  I'm enjoying a cup now. Which do you prefer, coffee or tea?  Let me know.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Friday, January 27, 2017

Five on Friday - Taking Care of Yourself

My week didn't go quite as planned.  I ended up with the stomach flu last Saturday - on the bathroom floor kinda weekend.  I had some commitments and appointments for Monday and Tuesday so I "made" myself feel better - I did, I guess - or maybe I didn't.  I push myself too hard.  Anyway, I relapsed, however, this time because I was sick I didn't take or forgot to take my blood pressure pill for several days.  So, after a terrible night of horrid eating woke to a complete melt down.   I hate to admit, but true.

So, with that said, my Five on Friday is about taking care of yourself - or at least a reminder for me to. 

1.  Take your medicine - literally and figuratively.  
2.  Drink your water - (dry heaves are no fun)
3.  Take one day at a time - tomorrow will come on it's own
4.  Cry - "have yourself a merry little meltdown" - it helps
5.  Pray more/worry less - mind/body/spirit are all connected

On a positive note - I lost 4.5 pounds.

Here's to moving forward to a more productive weekend.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Motivational Monday - No Excuses

I saw this quote and thought it would make a good Motivational Monday post.  First, it's very true.  When we really want to do something, we find a way to do it.  Likewise, if we don't, we will find an excuse.  

I really don't like when people give me excuses.  Just ask my girls.  I might have said the following; "I'm tired too and you don't see me complaining about it"  (especially while unloading hay) "if I can do it so can you."  They have heard things like this from me their whole life.  I guess I view excuses as a weakness.  I mean, if you're a strong person, you do what you say and say what you do, without excuse. 

So, why is it, I find myself making excuses in some areas of my life?  It's not like I don't want to achieve a positive result, it just seems so overwhelming and hard to get there.   

Here is something I've made excuses for:   I have to clean out my pole building.  I haven't been able to see the inventory in the back of it for years.  My excuses range from..."oh, it's too hot/cold to work out there, I don't know where to put the stuff I want, I don't have time to look it all up, what if I sell something too cheap."  These and more have all but stopped my productivity.  That, and I keep bringing more home.   The fact that I haven't dealt with this has also cost me - I have had to turn down estates that have way better stuff than what I have in my pole building because I don't have the room.   What kind of an excuse is that?!?

So, today I wake with a new attitude.  Listen here Dicky Bird, no more excuses!  Get going and take one step at a time, (or in my case, one box at a time).  Positive thinking can move mountains - which I literally have, boxes of mountains - in my pole building.  

Whatever it is you might be making an excuse for, look at it with a new attitude and tackle it.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Five on Friday - Salt Alternatives for Ice

Like many others - we had an ice storm on Monday and Tuesday this week.  I had quite the time trying to walk from the house to the barn.  We really don't like to put out salt because of our paw friends however, with 1/2 - 3/4" of ice, we had to.  This had me thinking on alternative things to use for ice.  These are NOT alternatives for melting the ice, rather for traction and chemical free.  

1.  Bird seed: my sister Lynn actually had this idea.  She discovered this several years ago while trying to walk from her porch to the car.  She saw the bird seed and threw it out on the ice.  The birds loved it.  

2.  Cat liter.  The Department of Transportation lists cat liter as one of the top 5 things to have in your car during winter.  Cat liter has been known to aide many vehicles stuck in snow and on ice.

3.  Sand/gravel: everyone knows this one....but, ash from your fireplace, wood furnace can also be used.

4.  Coffee grounds.  If you compost anyway, put your coffee grounds in a separate bucket during the winter, keep it handy for icy mornings.

5.  Manure: well, it is "green" and manure is "hot" but, be wise using this...manure is slippery too...don't ask me how I know.  I'm more thinking on the chicken coop or horse stall mix, where it is hay, shavings and poop.  If you live in town, I'm sure throwing out manure would be frowned upon, however you could buy a bag of wood shavings.  Clean and unused would be better for you (smile).  

I know some of these sound funny, but keep them in mind the next time you find yourself in an icy spot.  Have a great weekend.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Book Review - The Magnolia Story

If you enjoy HGTV's "Fixer Upper" then you must read this book.  Honestly, it made me love this couple even more!  

Last spring, when we made our pilgrimage to the Silos, I was only a fan of the show.  Yes, I loved her style, his quirky personality and the strong family bond that seemed to be evident as I watched.  Other than that, I really had no idea anything about them and their story.  This book takes you on a journey from the very beginning and you learn the what and why of their success and whom they give credit to.  

My path of self-employment, one-woman shop, fledgling entrepreneur, had so many stumbling stones that I learned to turn into "monuments."  Yes, monument, those stone markers with script text chiseled into them.  "Here is where I decided that I was able to say 'no' to something,"  "here is where I decided to put my family first," "here is where I had to close my shop and focus on family illness," "here is where I decided to 'go big, or go home'."  As I move forward on my path, it is nice to look back at these stumbling blocks turned monuments.  Reading this did that for me.  Jo does the same as she writes this book.  It is a wise person who can use failure as a lesson for success.  I appreciate the "God" lessons illustrated, as I can relate to my own.  I was brought to tears while reading on more than one occasion as I could see the 30 something me in her story.  However, not in terms of worldly but, Godly success.    

I loved this passage:  "It was such a blessing to find myself thriving in the middle of the pain.  Unless you find a way to do that, there's always going to be this fake illusion that once you get there -- wherever, "there" is for you -- you'll be happy.  But that's just not life.  If you can't find happiness in the ugliness, you're not going to find it in the beauty, either."  

Yes, this is a story of how HGTV found this house flipping couple in Waco, Texas and their back story.  But the message in this is more than "just" that.  My interpretation of their story is one that shows a lesson to us about what can happen when you put your faith in God and his plans for your life.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What I'm Working On Wednesday - Felting Wool

I purchased a "Do You Want To Build A Snowman" kit and pattern from Primitive Gatherings.  I knew I could use the pattern to make up some kits for my 4-H kids - it is an easy project.  So, that is what I did (with help from Justine) - over 600 traced pennies later...I had 20 kits.

I am able to make up these kits for my 4-H kids and most of the time not charge them for the project because I thrift shop.  While Al was off we thrifted our way from here to there and I did find some nice wool.  Al even found me a huge army blanket for $3 - score!  

 The white one was the kit I purchased.  White wool is hard to find.  The cream wool I used was a blanket I found at Goodwill for $4.99.  I let it soak in bleach water to lighten it up and washed it in hot water 2 times.  I like the antique look to them.  The arms, hat, nose, scarf were felted pieces I already had in my stash.  

 I was excited to find this while at a Saint Vincent's near Milwaukee, a Harris Tweed wool blazer from Scotland.  While we were there this past fall, we were told by our tour guide that the "best" wool to buy was from Harris Tweed.  I almost feel guilty felting this one.  However, it will be repurposed into other cool projects.  

I always find wool in the brown colors, so I was so happy to find these wool skirts in blue.  Most were $3.49 each.  So, now I have a laundry basket full of skirts, blazers and shirts to rip apart and felt along with a few blankets.  

This week, I will also be painting my new booth at Jackie's Antique Mall.  These are the things I'm working on.  How about you?  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Vintage 1950's Poultry Tribune Magazines

I recently had a customer ask if I would like to buy some old magazines.  I always buy ephemera of any kind, but was so excited when she said that they were farm related.  

What fun to page through these old magazines.   The advertising, articles, comics, tips and recipes just make me dream of the "good old days" when life seemed less hectic.  It was interesting to see that even in the 1950's they were comparing free range vs. caged, production vs. comfort, culling vs. keeping and breed production vs. hobby - some of the same issues that 2017 chicken herdsmen and women consider.   

Housing plans and options in addition to cage and feeder construction.  

Purposeful breeds and breeding - fun or profit.  You all know I love my bantam breeds.

Cute (corny) comics.

Glossy prints of monthly featured birds, sharing history of that breed.   Some of these were selling pretty high on ebay, however, I'm going to keep them for a bit longer.

I found a plan for an adorable brooding house, just what I need for my mama hens.  My hens did set and hatch out over 100 chicks last year.  Not that I "need" another little building out here but, it makes sense to house the setting hens and younger chicks away from the rest of the flock.  At least that's how I'll "pitch it" to my builder...Al.  (smile)

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Motivational Monday - Passion

We recently watched an interesting documentary called "Chicken People."  link to watch the trailer.

I really enjoyed watching the 3 main character's journey to showing and improving their flock.  Al fully intended this to be a "napping" documentary - but, it even held his attention.  We both were cheering for them as they moved up the show ranks from best of, grand to supreme bird.  What dedication and passion.  After it was done, I turned to Al and said "what are you that passionate about?"  He said..."I was thinking that same thing!" 

For some odd reason, this convicted me.   I had a hard time thinking about what I am currently that passionate about.  My children have always been my passion - but, now that we are empty nesters, I can't think of anything.   Sure, I pour most of myself into building my business, but that seem so selfish...

These people were "chicken crazy" and good at what they did.  We couldn't think of anything we currently had in our lives like that.  We both just shook our heads and said..."we aren't an expert at anything, but we are good at lots of things..."  I guess, whatever makes us feel better (smile).   Thing's the truth. 

I've been thinking about this for days.  I like lots of things and would consider myself a bit "crazy" at times - just not "crazy" about any one thing so much that I would devote all my time and energy into it with such passion.  So, what is passion?

Webster gives one definition as:  the suffering and death of Jesus.  So, I turned to scripture and found that the word passion is used only 1 time (KJV) - in Acts 1:3: "To whom also he shewed himself after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God."  Jesus' passion was for us.  O.K. now I'm really convicted.  

Did you know the word convicted is also used only 1 time (KJV) - you can find it in John 8:9 "And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last; and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst."  This passage was taken from the story of the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery and brought to Jesus.  The crowd wanted Jesus to agree to stone her but, He said nothing, He just wrote something in the sand.  One by one these accusers left - convicted by whatever it was Jesus wrote.  When He looked up he said to the woman, "where are thy accusers?"  She said "I have none."  Jesus said to her "and neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more."  

I often wondered what was it Jesus wrote in the sand?  We can speculate, possibly all their sins and short comings.  He did say "he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone."  

So, as I write this post, I'm already thinking of those who will read it and a Christian she should be passionate about...ministry, church, helping others, spreading the Gospel, spiritual gifts...(add another).  But, somehow I think, maybe, just maybe, if Jesus were able to add to this post, what would He write or type here....???

How I found a way to take a chicken documentary and "preach" to myself about it is beyond me, but I did.  We all have 365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months, no one has more time than another, what will you do with it to reflect your passion?  

As I "embrace" (my word of the year) 2017 - I embrace conviction and passion - to change me for the better.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Five on Friday

I haven't posted anything about this, but my husband has been off of work for 6 weeks.  He had surgery and was put on 1o pound weight restriction.  He goes back to work on Monday.  (sad face)  We have had so much fun!   

So, my Five on Friday is about 5 fun things we did while he was off.

1.  We went to House on the Rock.  I had never been there.  It is are very cool attraction full of all kinds of neat antiques, collectibles and the unusual.  They have a HUGE carousel.  The picture doesn't do it justice.

2.  We did lots of "thrifting."  Anna helped me pick out this dress from a Goodwill in Waukesha where she lives.  

 3.  We smoked some meat.

4.  We ate at a few of our favorite places.  This is from Cozzy Corner in Appleton, one of my top 5 places to eat in Wisconsin.

5.  We burned through some NetFlix original series.  We loved them!  Travelers, OA and Stranger Things.  We like science fiction, supernatural type movies.  Now we are in a "show hole" with them....I sure hope they continue with the next season with all three.  

It was fun having him around all day, however, I know my productivity level will increase once he goes back to work.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Working On Wednesday

I'm starting a series called:  Working On Wednesday 
I will post about what I'm working on that week and hopefully show completed projects along the way.  

You might have guessed, I have a "thing" for wool.  I was so excited to finally shop at Primitive Gatherings: in Menasha, WI.  I was in Wool Heaven!

I do have wool here, but not reds.  I want to make some hearts to sell for Valentine's Day.  My plan is to use the primitive fabric for the back of the hearts.  

I also bought the "Do You Want To Build a Snowman" kit and pattern.  Once I make the sample one, I will make up kits for my 4H kids.  

This Wednesday, my projects consist of "inside" ones, as we were blessed with 10-12" of snow yesterday and more on it's way today.  It is a blessings as we are dependent on tourism.  Snow = snowmobiling, skiing (downhill & cross country), snowshoeing = $ to our local economy.  Those who visit also shop the antique stores too.  This helps me!  With that said, if you happen to come up to our beautiful winter wonderland, don't forget to stop at:  Jackie's Antique Mall and Water Street Vintage where you will find some of these wool hearts next week.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  


Monday, January 9, 2017

Motivational Monday - Full Potential

I knew the minute I saw this little tree, weeks before Christmas, that it was going to be our tree this year.  It wasn't growing in a good spot, as other trees were crowding it out and it would never grow to it's full potential.  So, mid December, I trudged through the snow, saw in hand to cut it down.   We enjoyed the little tree with it's spacious branches that held multiple ornaments, just maybe that was it's full potential.  After all, a tree that is chosen to be a Christmas tree, is pretty special.  As I took off the ornaments and started to take down the tree, Al said "we should put it next to the bird feeder."  What a great idea, it would provide a resting spot, shelter and even a wind break for the little birds who wait to eat at our feeder.  Yet again, this little tree had a new role.

Oh, how I enjoy watching all the birds at my feeder.  They love the tree.  One day I had; Cardinals, Blue Jays, Chickadees, Sparrows, Mourning Doves, Starling and a few squirrels.  They were all there at the same time around the feeder and sitting in the tree.  I would say, this little tree sure is reaching it's full potential.

This had me thinking about my Motivational Monday post.  You know, in life, sometimes we might not be planted in a good spot and we have things that prevent us from growing.  We might even have to remove ourselves from situations, evaluate relationships and make life changes that at the time seem harsh, but are necessary for our growth to reach our full potential.  If I would have left the little tree where it was, it would never grow tall, it would struggle to compete for what it needed to survive.  I am positive that in a few years time this little tree would surely die.  My cutting it down, choosing it to be our Christmas tree, might seem to have been harsh to some.  It was green, growing and showing signs of life.  However, it's future where it was planted wasn't good.  I knew it would be better for me to cut it down, enjoy it and let it be our Christmas tree rather than leave it to struggle and die within a few years.  

Just maybe, that is how we need to look at some of our trials.  Scripture tells me, "All things work together for the GOOD of them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose"  Romans 8:28.  It's my desire to reach my full potential - spiritually and personally in all I do.  

In order to do so, we might have to do something harsh - cut ourselves down...become something else...make life changes that are hard, in order to reach our full potential.  Don't be afraid to do so.  I could do a whole long post about all the trials in my life over the years that have turned out to be a blessing.  These lessons have taught me, built up my faith in Him and His purpose for my life.  He knew, just like I did in cutting down this tree, that I had a greater purpose to fulfill and He is still working on me.  My goal is to look at every situation as an opportunity for me to reach my full potential.  

Whatever "harsh" decisions need to be made in 2017, I put my faith in Romans 8:28.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Crepes for 2

Crepes for 2 - a special breakfast for you and your love...

1 egg
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp. sugar

Beat egg and salt until frothy; add sugar and beat together

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 C milk

add oil and milk  and beat till frothy

1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 C flour

add baking powder and flour mix well 

the batter will be light, smooth and a bit thinner than pancake.

Add small amount of oil to pan, cook the crepes on medium heat.  Pour a small stream of batter in a circle, take the back of a tablespoon and spread thin in a circular motion pushing the batter out at the sides.  They do not need to cook long, flip and continue until golden.  Repeat.  This should make 6.

I whipped up some heavy cream and spread each crepe and folded in half and half again.  Add some fresh berries and sprinkle with some powdered sugar.  

So yummy.  Enjoy.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher is a spectacular wall of sandstone that reaches 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean - breathtaking!

It was a long walk on both sides some on the small worn path.  I couldn't believe the silly people doing crazy selfies hanging over that cliff.  Sitting on the edge was scary enough.

The amazing part was, as we were walking someone yelled out "hey Wisconsin."  It was a couple we met back at the Minneapolis airport.  They were coming to visit their daughter who is going to college in Dublin.  I couldn't believe it.  What are the chances?!?  

The view was amazing!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, January 2, 2017

Motivational Monday - START

Sometimes, o.k., a lot of times, inspiration comes to me while I'm mucking out a stall.  Today, it was this quote:

"Every plan, set to motion, needs to START" (me)

I was thinking about a text message I wanted to send to Justine and Anna as we are encouraging each other this year to reach our goals.  This came to me...I knew it was going to be a blog post (smile).  

That's all it really is...just START.  Who cares if you stop, take a break or even quit...just start again.  

I have some pretty lofty plans this year.  I've learned not to mention all the crazy ideas I actually have - it's best to just work on them and if you achieve it great if not, no one knew.  However, I did START.  

You can too.  Just jump up and set your plan to motion.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Word of the Year - 2017 "Embrace"

So, this is my third year of picking out a "word of the year."  Last year mine was - NIFTY - it worked.  I did so many nifty things last year and had an awesome year:

Looking into this year, I was thinking about my age, the age of my pets, the age of some of our outbuildings and these things had me thinking of losses, "change"s and expense (financial and emotional).  The word that kept coming to me was "accept."  I guess I'm just going to have to accept it.  

Now, you all know I'm not one to just "accept" things the way they are, I'm too optimistic for that.   When bad things happen, I always try to find the silver lining, the lesson and put my hope and faith in His helping me get through it.  So, "accept" wouldn't do.  

Then it hit me, EMBRACE:  to take up especially, readily or gladly.   Yes, this is my word this year.   

2017 posts from me will include my ideals of embrace.  I already have a photo shoot planned for a series I'm going to call "Embrace the Real You."  I plan to go back to my "Motivational Monday" posts.  I am still working on a blog hop called "Casting Your Pearls" where we can share our thoughts and talents with others.  Those posts and more from the farm, kitchen, coop and booth is what you can expect from me.  Thanks for following along.  Happy New Year!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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