December 2008

For those of you who had inquired about my church pews- they were a fabulous freebie from the old church that borders the front of our property.

It is a lovely 100 year old Mennonite church, whose congregation scrimped and saved and just built a modern brick edifice right next to it.

Altho’  I prefer the old building, I am not a member of the congregation, so have no say. Anyway, the old pews, that had been used in the church, and then later outside, under cover in the picnic pavilion, were stacked by the side of the building.

My husband inquired for me – and turns out they were free for the taking!! Of course, the husband did not get right back to me with this info – because he really did not want me to have them. When I found out, I made him take the tractor over to bring one back. I got two – I would have taken them all – except for the obstacle that is the husband!!! I also got some very cool metal poles – the kind that hold the velvet ropes -haven’t figured out what I will do with those – but give me time…..!!!

I wanted one pew for my garden and the other out by the barn. They sat by the driveway for a month or so – giving the horses the shakes, every time they had to pass by them!!

Finally, I got to set them at the edge of the field – still working on the husband agreeing to put one near my garden!!!

Unfortunately, the winds have been roaring thru the fields lately. Not too long ago, we had almost 50mph winds that lifted the two pews and tossed them! One landed about 4 feet away from it’s  original spot!!

Those pews are heavy old wood, and I was shocked that the wind could do that!! Well, last night the wind picked up again – and picked up my pews and relocated them!!!

I left them turned over – and later this week, will have to move them again. The husband has started to see that in the garden – surrounded on almost 4 sides by a windbreak of trees- might be the best location for the pew!  The other one was to be set by the barn – still affording me my “view”, but sitting safely out of the wind.


I have better pix of this wonderful little church – but of course can’t find where they are hidden on the computer!!!

Love this view!

Love this view!

Upended pews need a new view!

Upended pews need a new view!

While the winds are whistling and the snowflakes are falling outside – now is the perfect time for staying inside!! The pews will stay where they are- so the wind doesn’t attack them again!! I’ll check on them later when I make my last trip out into the cold to say goodnight to the horses!

Right now, happiness is a good book, a hot cuppa tea (Peggy Krantz’s Chapped Chick Alfalfa Tea), and a warm dog!!!I’ll repeat that scene tonite after visiting the horses – but we’ll add a blankie and a hot fire to the picture!!!


All is well at Mountain Meadows on this last day of 2008….Happy New Year to all – and if the sky is clear tonite – watch out for the meteor shower- it’s supposed to be visible thru  January 4th! What a way to bring in the New Year!!!


…..and a dream is all it is!!!! The past couple of days have been in the upper 60’s – warm, sunny and breezy!!

Yesterday, we were  out front planting bulbs, and I could feel the freckles popping out on my face from the warmth of the sun!!!

We took our annual family Christmas photo, sans snow, with the lot of us in shirtsleeves and squinting into the sun!

That said, we will probably be punished with a blast of frigid air for the rest of the winter!

The horses have shed their blankets for a few days, and are revelling in rolling in the mud. They were out grazing today, on the few remaining tufts of green grass, and I stood along side of each one, currying and brushing the mud out, and removing twigs and burrs from their tails and manes.  The ‘old man’  gave me a sidelong glance and kept trying to inch away from me.  He seems to prefer the disheveled and dirt clod look!!

I delivered some cookies and hot chocolate to the neighbor-as I drove over, one of the local radio stations was having a Flatts and Scruggs marathon (think The Beverly Hillbillies theme song!)- non stop Christmas carols are over with, thank goodness!!!


The daughter, husband and I went to the river to finally cut down “my” hornets’ nest!!! Husband drove the tractor into the river, daughter and I were in the bucket – and we cut the nest down. Husband takes great delight in raising the bucket sky high, as I cower in the bottom- I hate heights!!! I got the nest just in time – it looks like birds have been pecking away at it- maybe hornet larvae(is that what they are called?) are tasty morsels for some birds.

The nest is quite an amazing piece of work – to think that tiny little insects can work together to make something so intricate, weatherproof, and huge!!! I would have left it there, but it was not in the best location- great for the hornets, apparently, but not for swimmers or passersby!

I have it enclosed in a trash bag, and thoroughly sprayed it. If there are any dormant insects, that will hopefully rid the nest of them – and I will have to figure out where to display the nest. I will wait til spring tho – to make sure  no hornets come to life inside!!!


img_4746The view inside the hive is above!

amazing outer wall

amazing outer wall

Here are some more shots of life at Mountain Meadows during Christmas week:

oak leaf in the river

oak leaf in the river

Xmas Eve sky

Xmas Eve sky


my church, my pew, my view

my church, my pew, my view

All is well at Mountain Meadows this Christmas week – Happy Holidays to all!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Please be sure to check out my Etsy shop- I’m adding new things every day!!!

While I’m waiting for the ‘kids’ to wake up – (they are 21 and 25 – so sleeping in on Christmas is the usual!) I thought I’d mention to all, that I FINALLY opened my Etsy site!!!

I started back in August, and got as far as registering and that was it!!! Procrastination, thy name is ME>>>!!!!!

In between baking cookies yesterday, I finally got busy and set up shop!!!  There are only 5 items in there (oops, 4 – I sold something last night!!! YAY!), but there are many more treasures waiting in the wings!! My inventory is seemingly endless!!

Most of the items will be for others to use in their altered art. I am always finding ‘stuff’ that I can see being reinvented or repurposed in a wonderful piece of art. I pick  up these things, thinking that someday I will use them myself, and have amassed quite a collection!!! But, it is time to share – so these items and other cool stuff I come across will be finding their way to my Etsy shoppe. Occasionally, some of my own creations will be offered too- if I can find the time to create, and can bear to part with it!!!!

All things rusty and  primitive-their ‘soul’ created by nature’s elements – found metal objects, some of which  I lovingly call ‘farm debris’ , can be found there. Vintage items- flour sacks, bakelite buttons, sewing boxes, (paper)ephemera, jewelry bits- anything art worthy, I will offer up!

Some will be sold individually, some combined into “Art-full” packages.

So bookmark me, check back often – the site is a work in progress, new things will be added daily!

Now I have to figure out how to get the Etsy logo on my blog – and make Christmas breakfast!!!



To all, a blessed and peaceful Christmas day with your loved ones………



All is well on this sunny, warm Christmas morn, at Mountain Meadows today…………………

Temps got down to the 20’s last night, with wind chills in the “I don’t wanna think about it” range!!

The winds were really blustery – scary almost- I could hear them freight training it past the windows in the dark of night. The 40 mph winds were dragging the cold in with them from the west.

When I walked out to the barn this morning – both of my antique church pews had been hurled by the wind- one had actually been lifted and rolled at least twice about 5 feet away from its original location!!  Those babies are heavy – solid wood – so you know that wind was moving!!!

The husband was stoking the fires all yesterday, and at midnite, 3am, and 6am, in an effort to stave off unnecessarily high electric bills. There is something comforting about walking back to the house from the barn, and seeing a plume of smoke rising from the chimney. Means hearth, and warmth, and home to me…………………..

These are the days that barn chores don’t appeal to me – and I wish I had some hunky hired help (other than the husband, of course-who is on the mend from recent surgery)!

The daughter was tempted to do the snow dance- the one with pj’s on inside out that is supposed to guarantee snowfall? If she did it, it didn’t work- the only thing resembling snow was the frost on my windshield this morning!

The mud and puddles from the last few days’ rains have frozen into ice chunks and black ice. I hope the horses, tho’  blanketed and fuzzy, had the good sense to come into the barn last night. The submersible water heater kept the water in the trough ice free, but the hose and pump froze again – despite my best efforts to drain all the water out of the hose. So, tomorrow, we’ll be out there with a hair dryer – heating up the pump handle, and hoping the sun will warm up the hose. If not – we’ll be filling the trough in the bucket of the tractor again (see previous post about that adventure!) The old guys need their water to wash down their hay. They are on the 5th square bale of the winter, but still beg for the few remaining bits of green grass that are out in the hay field.

The bird feeders and porch railing are loaded with seed for the wild birds. One of the local hawks has adopted a tree near the house as his roosting spot. I hope it has nothing to do with the proximity of the bird feeder and its tiny patrons!!!

Tonite’s trek to the barn, to tuck the old guys in for the night, was overseen by the stars peeking from behind the clouds. I ran out of cracked corn for the deer – had one  corn cob left that I tossed for them. I feel bad – but I will run to the co-op tomorrow to get a new supply!

The horses were in the barn – it was 20 degrees at 7pm – no doubt it will be bone chilling by midnite. I fed them, straightened out their blankets, and put down some more flakes of hay, and bid them good night.

Coming back into the warm house, I am greeted with the aroma of the wood stoves, and the gingerbread cookies I finished earlier. It’s time to get on the sweatpants, get a warm dog and a hot cup of tea, and settle in for the night……………….

All is well at Mountain Meadows tonite…………..


It’s almost 2009, do you know where your life is???……………….Oprah

Today we will have a guest writer!!!

My brother just sent me a Christmas missive that just hit home, probably for many folks-couldn’t have given me a better present!! He and his family live year round in the land of tinsel and dreams!

He is known for his dry wit, and has a way with words,causing that sibling rivalry to raise it’s ugly head when his words sound better than mine!!! I’m kidding, of course, and from time to time, his words may appear here!!

Until he gets a blog of his own!!!!!


Ho Ho Howdy,

It’s a plot. Just when I thought I could relax it drops on me like the 50 pound anvil from the Acme Tool Company pounding Wiley Coyote into the desert turf, as the time flashes by like the roadrunner. It’s Christmas and I’ve been as busy as a hamster on a wheel and yet I’m as poor as a church mouse. I still haven’t lit up all my sparklers from July 4th , there are remnants of turkey rotting in the fridge from Thanksgiving and now I have to deal with this!?! Lest you think that my skin is turning a shade of green and my heart has shrunk two sizes too small let me just say I can be as merry as the next guy. But what makes me puzzle and puzz till my puzzler’s sore is why, when I was a little tyke, it took FOREVER for Christmas to come yet now it seems to come every other day. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

Well to justify my humbugliness and my complete failure to live up to society’s expectations, I thought I would borrow the music from that Christmas classic from John and Yoko and assault it’s sanctity by altering the title slightly and creating new lyrics. So would y’all join me now and sing along to….

Oh Sh** it’s Christmas

Oh sh** it’s Christmas
And what have I done
I still don’t have presents
For the old or the young

Oh sh** it’s Christmas
for rich and for poor,
I’ve run out of time now
To shop at the store

And so Happy Christmas
And I hope you have fun
But you may not get presents
cause my shopping’s not done

Shopping days are over
I just blew it
Shopping days are over now…

Oh sh** it’s Christmas
Not much to report
Another year’s whizzed by
And the money’s run short

Well oh sh** it’s Christmas
So I’ll just send my love
cause I can’t get more time
From the big man above

And so Happy Christmas
you don’t need to fear
cause if I’m lucky
I’ll have your presents next year

And so Happy Christmas
Dang look at the date
I’ve wasted so much time
even your cards will be late.

Merry Christmas!

Love, Bill


In leiu of a “NO SOLICITING” sign at the end of our drive, I think I will put this up instead. Tacky, but to the point. Big House, No Money!!!

I thought when we moved out to the middle of nowhere, I would be saved from the endless door knockers and bell ringers who have something to sell!

When the kids were little, we actually disconnected the doorbell. That doorbell would send the dogs into a frenzy! It still does, even if it is only a doorbell on tv!! If it wasn’t a little kid coming by at naptime to see if my  kids could play, it was someone trying to convince me I needed this chamois cloth, or all purpose cleanser, or  magazines to help that earnest young salesman earn points for college! I am all for peoples’ efforts to make a living – but accepting “No” at face value, is sometimes difficult for sales folk!!! And, I have been suckered into buying stuff in the past!

The daughter and I were watching the news the other day, and all of a sudden there is someone at the door – An unusual occurrence around here, so I raced the dogs to the front door to see who it was.

As soon as I opened the door, I knew I had made a mistake – there stood another fresh faced, supposed college student, earnestly telling me of his quest to earn college credits- and could he just take a few minutes of my time- his boss was in the car – boss waved- and I could have this sample size bottle of Dawn Dish detergent for my trouble?  Please, please, please….??? I really did feel bad, but just don’t have the extra money right now!

Finally, I firmly handed him back his Dawn detergent, and told him – we can’t afford anything right now, sorry – big house – no money!!!

Our house is a little larger than some around here- and I don’t mean that in a bragging way at all. My mother lives with us, so we have an addition, the house is only 2 years old- and most of the houses around here that can be seen from the road, are smaller farmhouses that have been around for a generation or two.  I suspect they thought this homeowner would be an easy sale – because when they left the driveway, they did not go to any of the neighbors’ houses across the way.

The husband’s squad car was not in the driveway as a deterrent, altho he informed me later – these sales people need a solicitor’s license.

The daughter told me that she forgot to tell me a few weeks ago, another one of these sales people knocked on the door. She was the only one home – with the four dogs. Similar pitch – altho  this girl was wanting to demonstrate a vacuum cleaner. She tried to hustle her way into our house – proclaiming it was ok if we had dogs – she was not scared of them!! Well, what  she should have been scared of was the daughter!!! First of all – trying to sell a vacuum to someone who never uses a vacuum -(I love my daughter to death – but cleaning house is not one of her specialties!)- was a complete waste of everyone’s time!!! The daughter sent her on her way, in no uncertain tho hopefully polite terms!

So, even tho we have moved out to very near West By God, in a beautiful spot, the door to door salesman still lurks! Guess I’ll be gettin’ a sign……



All is well at Mountain Meadows tonite, with only 6 days ’til Christmas!!!!!!

WOOHOO!!! 400  comments – who’da thunk it, when  I started this blog last February, that I’d have that much interest!!!

Thanks so much to all who read and comment – keep it up – when I reach 500 comments – there will be another big giveaway!!!!


All is well, and warm again, at Mountain Meadows tonite…………..

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