I've started decorating for Christmas, so my sweet Father Christmas has to come out of the closet. He was designed by my good friend Morgan Elser, a wonderful artist from my home town of Delavan, IL. Take a moment to read about Morgan here. I had the cape for him and a pipe of my husband's grandfather, and she did the rest. He has traveled with us quite a bit, and was created probably ten years ago.
Morgan was recently commissioned to create a commemorative tree in a park in Morton Illinois, and here is her picture with the young man whose company helped to erect and stabilize it in the park, Matt Parker.
She is a really special lady. Kudos to you, Morgan! Here are some pictures from her art gallery. Linda Kay
It was cold in Texas late last week since my last Friday Fragments, Willy Nilly 5, so I'm catching up today with some new stuff: (Thanks for hosting, ladies) We had some leftover chicken and some veggies I wanted to use up, so I made some chicken pot pies. It was nice to have the oven on. The simple directions for these is to first saute some onion, diced potatoes and celery in some butter, then make a roux. Before it browns, add milk and cream until it thickens. Then add some cubed cooked chicken, chopped carrots, frozen peas, maybe a little red pepper, some salt and pepper. Cut out pie crust to fit over some small ramekins. Dish some of the cooked vegetables into the ramekin, top with the pie crust and bake until the pie crust is nicely browned. I make these ahead and freeze them for a quick lunch or a light supper. Here's the preparation:
And here's the result: I need to give my neighbor Sharon some credit for getting me into making these. Thanks, Sharon! She makes a killer pot pie. Actually, she's a great cook, and had Thanksgiving Dinner with her and some other neighbors, Coleen and Henry.
This is my early Christmas present from my Hubby. I still am figuring out how to use it effectively, and it makes me crazy. The A T & T store guy today told me to get a video from YouTube that says "a guide to using my Galaxy 4"! I think it is smarter than me, and I don't know how to stop it!
How about a progress report on the Texas Rangers Museum they are building across the street from the entrance to the subdivision. Here's the almost finished tower. Just to the right of this a huge Texas Ranger Star is embedded in a circle of concrete.
And here is the museum building from Stage 1. This will be a reception area when it is all finished.
Bob Price Chevrolet opened a dealership in Fredericksburg recently. Everyone received an ad with a prize number for you to bring in to claim a prize. Needless to say, we didn't win anything big. But how would you like to have this cutie? Vroom, Vroom!
I took a picture of Polly as she looked up over the pillow on the couch last night. It's kind of bright, makes her look white instead of gray, but she is such a love.
Hope you are all recovering from Thanksgiving Day and eating lots of those yummy leftovers. I'm sure you could put them into pot pies! Linda Kay
If you want to do some serious random indoor and outdoor shopping, you need to check out Choo Choo Trolley here in Fredericksburg. It's quite a place, and from the pictures you can see that it looks like a junk shop. Check it out!
Judy arrived home, there was a note on the counter from her husband. He had taken some of his clothes and would be
in touch with her to get the rest of his things. He also gave her the name of the attorney he
had hired to file for divorce, but suggested that if she wanted to file first,
he would wait until the following Monday.
There was also the name of another attorney she might be interested in noted
on his message.
Judy didn't know whether to be sad or angry.
He was still trying to control her, to orchestrate her every move. He had the children with him for the night
and would return them to her in the morning to get ready for school. She wondered what he was telling them. Carl was 18, Gina was 16 and Sandra was just
14. How would he explain to them that he
had found another woman to be with? It
was almost comical to think of. She made
herself a cup of tea and found the telephone directory. Turning to “attorneys” she found the name of the
one she wanted and jotted down the
number. There was no way she would go to
the one Duane had suggested. Probably a
good friend of his.
was illusive during the night with thoughts of being alone, finding an
attorney, talking to the kids. It was
all so overwhelming and unexpected.
There was never a thought in her mind that she would be a divorcee. What about their friends? Would they take sides? Who was going to look out for her needs?
Was there anyone she could talk to in confidence?
the wee hours of the morning before the sun was breaking on the horizon, Judy
fixed a cup of coffee and put in a piece of toast. She walked past the hallway mirror and was
horrified to see her swollen eyes. With
a shower and a bit of makeup she was ready to face the kids when Duane brought
them home. She couldn't let them know
how weak she felt. She made a quick
phone call to her friend Kathy.
I know it’s really early, but I wondered if we could get together for
lunch. I really need someone to talk
Judy. How about I meet you at Larson’s
for lunch at around 11:30. I’ll be at
the gym, so can just stop by there on my way back.”
her lunch date set, Judy was ready to begin to face the challenges of her new
Linking with Two Shoes Tuesday with the words want and need. This presents a big conflict for Judy. And here is your opportunity to help me write the story. I have a couple of questions for you:
1. What will her friend have to say to her?
2. Any ideas about the attorney?
3. What will she discover about herself?
( I have some thoughts about what will happen next, but I'd love to hear your ideas.)
Having three brothers, my mother and I were special pals
in contrast to the four male members of the household; thicker than thieves we were. After almost eleven years since her passing,
I still want to pick up the phone to call her about some event in the family. Wilma taught me so many things by just being
in her presence, but I do have some specifics.
The first lessons I would share are her love and
acceptance of all people. Mother and my
daddy were married for sixty-one years in addition to the six years they
dated. She loved him
unconditionally. But she also always
looked for the best in every person.
Even when there were obvious flaws in someone she knew, she could look
beyond them to find the good in that person. Dogs were never allowed in the house, and she seldom went out among the
chickens or the cows we raised. She was
very much a lady and deemed her place to be in the home cooking, cleaning, and taking care of us.
The second very important lesson is her love of
reading. She read the newspaper
thoroughly and always had a book from the library to read as well. We had books from fairy tales to those big encyclopedias around
the house. This was long before any digital information
was available. It was always a bit
amusing that she always thought anything in print had to be true. And maybe it was all factual many years
ago. For as long as I can remember, she
would say, “I should write a book.” She
had so many stories to tell about growing up on the farm during the depression,
her courtship with my dad, and her life on the farm. Over the years I heard many of these stories;
funny adventures with neighbor kids, the doctor who traveled to the farms to
deliver babies, cold winter trips to the school and town with the horse and
buggy, and many local celebrations. As
the years went by and I became an adult, I would encourage her to write some of
these down. I bought her a journal. Then I tried a tape recorder. But she never followed through.
I retired from my full-time corporate job to go into business for myself in accounting when Mother was 80. After buying a new computer, the old one made
a trip to her home, so we could write her story. There was a book called “To My Children’s
Children” with many questions to stimulate memory that helped us with some of
our thought process. After breakfast
with my parents, Mother and I would retire to the computer, while my dad did the dishes. She would talk while I typed. At some point we decided to include recipes
from family and friends. After ten
months of writing we published her book as “Memoirs and Recipes of Wilma
Weiland Diekhoff”. With the ISBN number
we arranged for her to have a book signing at Barnes and Noble, and I now have a treasure of a picture of Wilma by her book signing table at the store in
Peoria. We sold nearly seven hundred
copies of the book, mostly by talking about our adventure to a number of
ladies’ groups. Mother would speak shyly
about her stories and quote specifics about the book, and I would talk about
the importance and methodology of preserving family history. The book is still available digitally through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
So following Mother’s love of reading and writing, I am
now writing as well. My first novel was
published this year, “Annie’s Love”. It
is a representation of one of five prints that hung on Wilma’s wall in her home
for many years. I’m a number of years
ahead of her in getting published, but her example gave me the encouragement to
get into my own writing. I hope she is
looking down from heaven with her beautiful smile. Thanks, Mother, for all your life has given
me. Miss you!
I've mentioned my church, Holy Ghost Lutheran with its rich German history in my blogs. So today I share a picture with you for Inspired Sunday. Be sure to check out the others posted on the site.
Sorry I couldn't get this shot without the electrical wires. Inside the stained glass windows all bear descriptions in German. It's a lovely place. You can hear the bells in the tower at the beginning of each service, Sunday School, and at the speaking of the Lord's Prayer during the services. Have a blessed Sunday! Linda Kay
There are so many beautiful birds! There are songbirds like this pretty little blue bird.
And there are game birds, like this lovely quail.
These were taken on a visit to a preserve in Tucson, Arizona....notice the cactus in the background. Sharing these with you today to join in with Eileen at Saturday Critters. Hopefully, we have a link up this Saturday.
How has your week been? We have had a busy one. 1. Since I posted last Friday in this meme, our first adventure was on Saturday night. We sang in choir at the 6 PM service at our church, then we headed for the little town of Harper Texas where they have a large community center with plenty of dance floor space. The Band playing was the Almost Patsy Cline Bank, a big favorite in our Hill Country. We got to practice our two-step skills! Hope you enjoy this little YouTube special recording.
2. On Sunday night we enjoyed having three additional couples as guests at our dinner table. We had just an old fashioned roast beef with all the trimmings. I kept the potatoes out to bake separately and make twice-baked potatoes. We started the dinner with a citrus salad that included orange segments, grapefruit segments, almonds and a poppy seed dressing. Then we enjoyed a pumpkin crisp for dessert that was really good with a dollop of Whipped Cream.
3. Monday night was our Canasta night at the clubhouse. We had six at our table, and there were four at two other tables. Now that the winter Texans are back from their summer hiatus in the north, we have enough tables to have a good game. Anyone play Canasta? 4. Tuesday is always a busy day for me. I worked with a client at the Needs Council and then helped with some newsletter assembly. My women's Writers'Group is called WOW (Women of Words). We meet at noon on Tuesday to critique a chapter, a poem, a story, or whatever someone has written to give them feedback.
Sally has a new children's book published, which will be out in January. Sheila had prepared a devotional email she sends out to some followers. Barb shared some writing she plans to include in a book on wives of artists that was fascinating. Val writes Science Fiction, and usually shares an amazing chapter from books she is preparing. And Lynn continues her story, which she writes in long hand in a notebook. This has been the most valuable interaction for me to have others read and make suggestions on what I am writing. I had to leave this meeting just a bit early so that Jerry could pick up Carson at school for a couple of hours of Grandpa time until his folks get home. 5. Wednesday was fairly quiet, as that is my writing day, and Thursday can only be interrupted by a special event. In this case Thursday at noon was my Soup Group at my friend Coleen's. There are always almost always eight ladies for lunch with plenty of wine, laughs and just plain fun. If one of our group can't make it, then we invite someone new to join us. And just for fun...many of you enjoyed the article from the Delavan Times from the past, which I posted last week. This article is in the November 5th edition, and is from November 21, 1874: "Numerous complaints reach us about hunters shooting in corn fields where farmers are at work husking corn. It must certainly be a source of great annoyance to farmers who are busily engaged in husking corn to have their team startled by reports of fire arms and quite often, serious results may occur through the carelessness of sportsmen. A team naturally becomes restless by being driven so slow and the sudden bang of a gun in close proximity is not calculated to make them any easier to handle. Hunters should think of this and confine their expeditions to other than husking grounds." That's my week. Thanks for hosting the meme for Friday Fragments at Half Past Kissin Time, and Willy Nilly Friday 5 at Around Roanoke!
In traveling through the countryside, one occasionally runs across a house with unusual fencing to access the property. This house, fence and gate I will leave to your opinions as to the color and design. Certainly an eye-catcher!
Joining in with Tanya and Good Fences today. This one is certainly not going to fall down any time soon! Linda Kay
As a writer, I enjoy a chance to create a story. With the prompts from Josie 2 Shoes for this Tuesday, here begins a new story for your enjoyment. My soap opera for the blog, if you will. Look for the continuation of the story each Tuesday, using Josie's prompts. Today the prompts are observe and omen. The title of this short story is "Judy's New Life" Judy's New Life Post # 1
crept in on the sea of fog that covered the grounds in the old
cemetery. Judy came to visit the
grave sites of her parents and grandparents on this gloomy, overcast day, seeking someone who would listen.
No interruptions, no accusations, and no judgments would emanate from
these cold, inscribed marble slabs. At least one would hope not. These people always loved her and wanted her
to be happy. Not so for many of the rest
of the world.
sat on the damp ground, feeling the cold seep into her bones, as though those
buried here were pulling her into their world.
Around her the trees rustled as the wind picked up. With tears in her eyes she shared her deep
sorrow with her family. Her husband had
left her. The children were torn between
them, each taking a side as to who was at fault. She had no job or savings to pull from. How would she survive on her own, supporting
her children and keeping a roof over their heads? The betrayal was unbearable. How could she have been so blind that she didn't see that Duane was having an affair?
the silence of the cemetery, Judy observed the lights of a car pulling into the
narrow path that led into the grounds. She
watched its approach, temporarily distracted from her tears and lament. The car came to a stop a short distance away,
and a woman stepped out of the car. She
walked slowly toward Judy. At a grave
stone just ten feet away, the woman placed a bouquet of flowers on the grave
and kissed the stone. With a brief
glance at Judy, she began to walk away.
Then she turned back.
bless you, my dear. This too shall
pass.” With no other comment, she walked
on to her car and drove away. Judy
watched her pull out onto the path and drive out onto the highway.
too shall pass?” Judy contemplated the
phrase for a moment. Could this be an
omen of good things to come or an omen of the sadness that would continue to haunt her existence? She stood up, and after gently touching the
surface of her parent’s headstone, Judy walked to her car. As rain began to fall and the wind picked up,
Judy wondered how she would face tomorrow.
Random-osity has a meme: Good, Random, Fun. So I'm joining that on this Monday morning to share a couple of thoughts with you.
My daughter Angel (she's the tall daughter for those of you who keep up with me) went to her OBGYN on Thursday, mainly to check on a small lump under her breast. The good news is that it is merely a small gland that is swollen for some reason. But she's having a mammo anyway, cuz she is 40! Praise the Lord for relief from worry! Random This could also maybe qualify as fun. I received my weekly issue of my hometown paper, The Delavan Timeson Saturday. Each week the editor includes some information that appeared in a paper many years ago. They are celebrating 140 consecutive years of publishing. In the Times on page eight from Wednesday, November 5, 2014, this article was from Saturday, November 21, 1874. "Indicted" -"S.S.C, proprietor of the gin mill on Fifth Street has been indicted by the Grand Jury of Tazewell County on two counts, one for selling liquor to a minor and the other for keeping a tippling house open on Sunday. As a trial before a grand jury admits evidence for the prosecution only and an indictment is merely an accusation made by the grand jury and based by the evidence of one side only, of course, Mr C is yet to be proven guilty. It has, however, for a long time been evident that the State laws prohibiting dealers from selling liquors to minors, and on Sunday, have been completely ignored by vendors of ardent spirits in this place; and as successful have they been, not only in the legalized part of their nefarious calling, but also in evading State laws and by litigation triumphing over town ordinances, that it would seem they have become permanent fixtures and all efforts to dislodge them must end in failure. But every dog has its day and we believe the poison trade in Delavan is about defunct. The temperance people of this place evince a strong determination to suppress the evil and we sincerely hope their efforts may result successfully. But their enemies are men who are not to be frightened by pretense and parade; nor will they stop for any outlay of expense to further their cause. The temperance people must meet money by money, nerve by nerve, and trade off their gloves while so engaged in suppressing the liquor traffic." My, haven't things changed? Some of the stories in these issues are very interesting. And don't you just love the rhetoric? Fun
You remember my little Polly? She's a little yorkie/maltese and is now a year and a half. Since I had my heavier slippers out with the cold spell in Texas, Polly confiscated this one from my closet. I didn't record the sound, but she was growling a bit at me when I took the picture to warn me that she was now in control of the slipper. Then her sister Izzy came over grumbling as well, protecting Polly's prey. So funny. 1874, Temperence.....and no drinking on Sunday, for sure! Have a great Monday Linda Kay
In 2013 we traveled in Maine and Massachusetts in the summer. Jerry got some pictures on this trip I wanted to share with you and with Eileen on the Saturday Critters. The first is a gull that was resting on some rocks near the bay at Camden in Maine, such a truly beautiful place to visit.
The second picture will probably come as no surprise....the lobster for dinner! Yummy!
As we were taking the ferry out to Martha's Vineyard, this gull was following us.
Couldn't get a much more perfect picture than this one!
I really do love the opportunity to share some random thoughts with you on this Friday. It's been a busy week and I have no explanation where all the time went. I'm just hanging on for the ride, since it seems like all planning is a loss. But I'll join in with Tanya to consider some things that have popped into my mind, Around Roanoke for Willy Nilly Friday 5.
1. The theater last Friday was great. The reviews were a bit average, but we really enjoyed the show. It followed the movie (Dirty Dancing) very well, and the dancing was great. I would agree that the chemistry was a bit lacking. Here we all are just before dinner and the show. We dined at Luke Restaurant inside the Embassy Suites Hotel Riverwalk. Angel is very tall, so Heidi and I had her sit down on a stool. Love these girls!
2. Are you a collector? My Jerry is a collector extraordinaire! He has coins packed away at the bank, toys from when he was a kid, antiques from his family, walruses, cameras, ducks from the Ducks Unlimited collection, rocks, and the list goes on and on. These little toys you see on the shelf are ones he played with as a kid, confiscated from his mom's old farmhouse when she moved to town. There are many more, even some of those little rubber farm animals and people, even cowboys and 'Native Americans'. Some of the walruses are on the next shelf up. I think there are some 30 or so now. (Sigh) 3. We do have a little bit of autumn in Texas. This is a bald cypress, I'm told, and it is really quite beautiful right now. It is along the street going up the hill to our house, and is beside the creek that flows through the compound neighborhood.
4. Some of you posted pictures of your grandchildren in costumes for Halloween. So I thought I'd let you see how Carson was dressed for the event. I thought he was really cute in the picture. The police gave him some handcuffs to wear on his belt and let him put on one of their hats. Isn't he just the cutest?
5. And finally, a picture of the finished afghan I made for my oldest granddaughter's wedding coming up in May. I haven't pressed it as yet, just finished it. There are 48 crocheted squares and then a finishing border after they are sown together. Whew, glad to have that done!
Thanks for hosting, Tanya. All have a wonderful weekend! I'm trying to look for a picture for Eileen's Saturday critters!
I found these pictures from one of our road trips on the Forts Trail in Texas. These come from one of the barracks ruins at the Fort, one in Black and White and One in Color. Which one do you like the best? Linking with Good Fences (although this is more like doors in some walls) you might enjoy. It's fun to think about what these walls and doorways have to tell.
These were taken by the camera man hubby with his Nikon, not by my trusty IPhone! Thanks for hosting, Theresa. Hope these aren't too far removed from your theme. Linda Kay
Oh what a tangled web
When first we practise to deceive!
Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto vi. Stanza 17.
Scottish author & novelist (1771 - 1832) You might have thought this was Mr. Shakespeare, but Sir Walter Scott said this!
Then comes to mind a bit of difference in spelling - Jack Webb from the old TV Series Dragnet. Remember this? I used to watch this show faithfully.
This video would probably be more appropriate for Halloween, but it tells a bit of info on the strength of the spider web material. The word web is often used to refer to a textile that might be used, say to make seat belts. I like to think of the word in relation to a sort of mystery: the thief was convicted by a web of evidence that pointed directly to him. I'm working on a romance/mystery at the moment and am building the web of evidence connected to a crime committed against my heroine. It's fun to reveal items one at a time to set the police on a course to capture the perpetrator. There you have it. Webs on a Wednesday! Thanks for hosting, Brenda! Linda Kay
That's a pretty strange title, right? I'm joining in with Josie2Shoes today for Two Shoes Tuesday: The words for today are wisdom and foolishness, which at first blush would be opposites. Let's think about this. Sometimes it is really pretty wise to just be a little foolish.
Take a couple of moments to read this article about the health benefits of laughter, but taking from this: Humor is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use. The fun of enjoying blogs that make us laugh are a wise choice, so foolishness becomes wisdom in a sense, get it? For example, we can laugh at the absurdity of this picture I was sent on Facebook:
We had some friends for burgers and brats last night and had a couple of Port Wines we wanted to sample. Jer and I had found the first one in New Mexico.
Of course, you can't sample Port wine without a bit of dark chocolate for your palette. (These are actually chucks from some Dove Dark Chocolates. Yummy)
Now our friends work for a winery providing tastings, etc., and they were able to get this port straight from the barrel. Notice there is no label, and if I told you where it is from, I'd be shot at sunrise.
Depending on your preference, the first Port was a bit sweeter than the second, so among the six taste testers there were varying opinions as to the winner. Foolish, maybe, but fun. The wisdom in this taste testing is in knowing that this was just a taste test, and we weren't to drink the entire bottle of the very heavy, sugary wine!
Hope this has given you just a chuckle today on the benefits of laughter. Thanks for hosting Josie! Linda Kay