Daily Reflections From My Window

November 26, 2020 Thursday Thanksgiving Day

“Absolutely Beautiful !!!
God shinning through the clouds & uncertainty.”
Kathy Carney, My Dear Friend and Plank Sister

Some days I sit in my soft seating and wait for inspiration. Some days, like today, I have a hard time finding just the right verse. Or inspiration. I stayed up too late last night because I couldn’t fall asleep and then woke up too early. The upside is that the pies are finished and the turkey is in the oven. It is Thanksgiving after all and I love turkey.

My mom made the best turkey. We’d joke that she cooked twice a year, on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but boy was it good! Nothing fancy and she’d change up the stuffing every time. She just used what was around. No waste at our house! My mom was not domestic and I can’t remember her ever liking to cook. If she had to, she was usually defrosting something at 5 o clock. I do that too! I remember asking her what she put in her pumpkin pies and if she would write the recipe down for me. I watched her make them forever but was SURE there was a secret. She told me that she just used the recipe on the back of the Libby’s plain pumpkin purée can. Not the spiced, but the plain. Best to add your own spices and she just used the recipe amounts, but like my friend Anu once told me, “It’s the dirt under your fingernails that makes the difference”. Meaning that it’s the love and care you put into something that makes it taste great, and my mom’s pumpkin pies were the best! She and my Dad have been gone for over 20 years and I still miss them.

I think I told you that I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday. Chiro/acupuncture combo. Amazing!

Then I met Madison, her Nan, her Aunt Mary and her brother Chandler at Sam’s for some last minute things. While I was there, my hoop buddy Pam texted me to tell me that she saw they had huge pumpkin pies for $5 and yes, they did, so I got one for her. Crazy! But glad to! I also picked up something special for a little Dino crazy boy! Reminds me of Jack and his Dino obsession! My Dad got him started on that so I’m so happy to be able pass on the encouragement.

On my way out, I met Bob the Bell Ringer. What a nice guy and so dedicated. You know, if you donate to the Salvation Army, most of it goes to the cause-not administrative costs. It’s one of the best!

Have you ever been to the Painted Fern in Ligonier? I stopped on my way home and got some Christmas shopping done. It’s the kind of place that you could go in blindfolded, grab whatever, and walk out looking like you have the best taste in town. Luci Wagner and her sister do and amazing job choosing elegant and affordable items to give as gifts or use in your home. She also has amazing plants and garden supplies. Luci and her husband Todd are wonderful friends of ours and I love to talk about and buy from her shop.

I stayed up baking pies for today and forgot to put something in and had to pour the contents of each pie filling back in and add what I missed. When my mother made pies, there was always a little of the custard left that didn’t fit into the pie crusts, so she would fill little Pyrex custard cups with the leftovers and we’d get a mini pie. I do the same thing so I was alerted that something was amiss when I barely had enough custard to fill my pies. Then I realized that I was talking on the phone to my sister and niece and got distracted even though when they asked what I was doing, I said, “Making pumpkin pies”. No explanation needed. They know the recipe too. Thank goodness I had just filled them and not baked them yet! They taste great-I sampled them. Reminds me of the time I made pumpkin pies for a party we were having and forgot to add, of all things, sugar! Our friend Rick was on a sugar free eating plan at that time and said they were the best pies he’d ever tasted! Little did he know!

How do you like my view this morning? That sunshine peeked through the clouds for a second and I caught it. Thank you God for that message. And thanks to my friend Kathy for putting it into words for me. I had nothing this morning. Empty.

But I am soooo grateful. I have a wonderful family. I have a loving, and caring husband. I have a fabulously kind and loving son who found a wonderful girl (with an old soul!) with whom to share his life. I have amazing friends. We have food, shelter and warmth. We live in a beautiful and safe area of the world. God is so good all the time.

I hope you all know how grateful I am for you! I do this for me, but get some private feedback on how my experiences mirror yours and if I have helped you, that’s to God’s credit, not mine.

I hope this comes out OK. I’m typing on my phone and can’t figure out how to enlarge the font but I’ll keep trying! Enjoy your day and make this an amazing day of Thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay home but if you MUST go out, wear a mask and keep the length of a full grown llama (which is bigger than an alpaca) between you and the next person.

Have a blessed day!

Daily Reflections From My Window

November 25, 2020 Wednesday

“The common denominator that I’ve found in every single interview is that we all want to be validated. We want to be understood.” Oprah

Amen!

I still haven’t figured out the mobile version of this site variation. We’ll see how this looks when we finish. I discovered something yesterday though. I shared to Twitter (along with MeWe and Parler) and Twitter asks if you want to break it up into different posts since they only allow a certain amount of characters. I chose that option snd it was pretty interesting how they kept the topics together and posted with pictures. I think I’ll do it again today.

In the attitude of gratitude this week I thank my family for their patience and love. Yup. Every single one of you. I love you all, even if it is from afar. So Jay had a meeting yesterday and one of the leaders had a very interesting insight into Covid vaccines. We all know that Covid is new and that the scientists and the Trump administration have been working through Operation Warp Speed in unprecedented cooperation and speed to get tests and vaccines to the public and for the most part have been successful in record time. If you remember that the smallpox vaccine took over 50 years, this is an incredible feat. Still there has to be a finite supply of testing equipment. It doesn’t just appear out of thin air. There is production time, materials sourcing, shipping at each stage. So why would I, who have zero symptoms, take a test when it could be used for someone who needs one. That was the question posed at Jay’s meeting. This business needed to test employees, but the tests were getting harder to come by because people who really didn’t need them were using them. And I imagine that you have friends like I do who are kind of compulsive and will not only take one, but will take them consistently. We have to be smart about this. I wear my mask when I go out and am pretty much self isolated every day. It’s a conundrum for sure. A simple example of supply and demand though the tests are supposed to be free. Here is something I am very thankful for. I asked Jack and Madison to get me some fresh Rosemary leaves or a plant if they had it while grocery shopping and they got me this. I love it for 2 reasons-it’s beautiful and more than just Rosemary, and it’s from That’s Tasty-a Macaroni Kid sponsor. Thankful that we are supporting our sponsors. Thanks kids!

Look at this sweet alpaca hat that Mary’s daughter made for me. I love it and you know my wheels are turning about how to get her to make some for me with my yarn. A partnership.

Speaking of Mary, that leads to hooping and here are my girls with our first mask mandated hoop class, hamming it up with our Macaroni Kid and Creative Roots Coconut Beverage Sampling Campaign. Masks on a few were only down momentarily because they WERE drinking it. They went right back on between sips. I should have brought bendy straws. They are such good sports and I look forward to Tuesday and Thursday every week.

Dawn gives a real testimonial.

Here’s Pam (on the left). She said that her son in law LOVES coconut water and she can’t wait to share with him.

You know that we are watching the Crown and Seinfeld and in a strange coincidence (you know that we call them Godwinks!) and it seems that we came to the end of both series last night. We may have to start over until the next season comes out of the Crown and just watch Seinfeld all over. I’ll tell ya-Charles does not look too good in the Crown. I always thought he was awful in real life but boy, Diana DID NOT deserve that. He treated her terribly and that Camilla? She seems like a mother figure that he never had. They are a strange bunch and it does seem that Diana was the most real. There’s a scene where she hugs a young child whose parent had aids (though they don’t say that because they don’t yet know) and it is heartbreaking. Let the tears roll. She was very special and that stupid family didn’t know what they had. Especially Charles. What a sniveling idiot.

Here’s my bracelet in support of my buddy John. He has his first round of chemo today and when I glanced up during arm hooping and caught a glimpse of it, wanted to share. Please say a prayer for him. Here are a few more angles of it.

Today I’m back to the doctor-acupuncture/chiro combo. I need to ask about a supplement that I want to discontinue. We’ll see.

Remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay home but if you MUST go out, wear a mask and keep the length of a full grown llama (which is bigger than an alpaca) between you and the next person.

Have a blessed day!

Daily Reflections From My Window

November 24, 2020 Tuesday

There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard. There are not more than five primary colours, yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen. There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of them yield more flavours than can ever be tasted.

Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Amen!

Good Morning! I’m off to a late start. I apparently changed the format of my posting when I added the “start earning” button on my website the other day. Someone texted me and asked if they could subscribe to my website posts without going through FB. I said that there should be an option at the bottom of each post that allows you to sign up for emails. Helps to look at your site as a visitor once in a while because I went on my site as a visitor and had to scroll and scroll before I came to that option. I decided to tweak a few things and made a mess of it, but didn’t have time to fix it and still haven’t so I am writing this from my computer instead of in my soft seating on my phone. I really love my soft seating first thing in the morning!

Love my soft seating or My “Prayer Chair”

I find it harder to think when using my computer, but my spelling is better and my fat fingers have more room to type. I didn’t post yesterday because we had a very early start, but I did intend to, and then hit a road block with the changes I made and didn’t have enough time to investigate, so here is what we woke up to yesterday. It was beautiful but I’m glad it’s gone. I’m not ready yet.

Too soon!

We had to go to Pgh and meet with our lawyer to update our wills. Always fun! I have in mine that Jay has to check with three different doctors before he can pull the plug on me. You have to have a little humor in these things because it does get heavy. A few weeks ago, we were watching an episode of Seinfeld and Kramer was drafting a living will in case he ever needed it. He was following a story about a woman who had been in a coma for a very long time and no one would disconnect her, so he was looking for someone who would pull his plug. Of course that wasn’t Jerry, who couldn’t even get rid of an old tennis racquet, so he settled on Elaine, who as the series progresses is getting meaner. Of course, the woman miraculously comes out of the coma so he has to rewrite the whole thing. We laughed so hard at that one. I love Seinfeld for the fact that it was the kind of humor that wasn’t smutty, but real. They said it was a show about nothing, but the nothings add up to our lives. At least they make up mine-looking out my window, scooping poop daily, looking for the peace in things and God. That’s a whole lotta nothing.

Anywho, I love our lawyer and in the spirit of this month of telling people how thankful I am to have them in my life, told him that and started to blubber like an idiot. We have a LOT in common. He and Jay went to the same law school. We found that out just yesterday after YEARS of knowing him. I asked how we didn’t know that?? I look at the certificates that EVERYONE puts up on their walls. HOW did we miss that? He grew up near me in Mt. Lebanon. I was in Scott Twp. And many many more private things. So interesting. We call those Godwinks and these are HUGE ones! He and Jay had a lot more in common and laughed as they shared law school stories of triumph and tragedy. He laughed as he said the the town was so small that it said “Welcome to Aida Ohio” on both sides. They went to Ohio Northern Law. He has a daughter who served in the JAG Corps and Jay was going to serve but they assigned him to Fort Hood Texas so he declined. Now, Dale’s daughter is carrying on the business. Right now she is in criminal law but is inching her way over to wills and trusts. We want to introduce Jack to them because some day he will need a will. They are good people. How did we find him? I think through Jay’s sister Wendy. Who knows? God put us together. He’s very down to Earth-not real lawyery. He and Jay patiently translate for me.

He took us to lunch at a little Italian restaurant below his office and I had scrod. I’ve never had scrod but it was delicious and very light. Perfect. Then we did a drive-by visit to see John and Edyce before he starts his chemo tomorrow. We stepped inside for 5 minutes and talked from 10 feet away with masks on. He looks good and I know God will be with him. He’s a wonderful man and I am so glad that he is my friend. You may remember the cupcakes he made for me one birthday. I’ll try to find that picture. It was a few phones ago! Jay calls him a Renaissance man. He’s a businessman, artist, baker, painter. He does it all without fear. I want to be like him when I grow up! So John, we are with you in spirit if not in person to cheer you on and will wear our bracelets! I’m working on a mask and will tag it with #CancerHasNoBizWithRiz . Love that hashtag Margo, his daughter (who works at Twitter) came up with!

I love this picture of John and grand daughter Emerson.

It started out at 24* and is supposed to go up to 48*. I hope so. Madison’s Nan is on her way from Georgia today to spend Thanksgiving-no worries, everyone is Covid tested! It will be nice to meet her in person. It’s really interesting to hear all of the different views on this. Illnesses besides Covid are still happening. I just thought of one side affect. Elective procedures aren’t happening. Maybe we’ll start to love ourselves again if so much plastic surgery isn’t an option. I’ve always loved to look at people with interesting faces. Not perfect faces. Just a thought.

I’m still thinking about this election. You know that I LOVE Tucker Carlson but haven’t watched for a while because we’ve been just over done with news. I watched last night and oh my gosh can that guy lay it out. Instead of me trying to tell you, watch yourself.

https://video.foxnews.com/v/6211862058001?playlist_id=5198073478001#sp=show-clips

Or this one where he talks to a Democrat who said this is what he has been warning about for a very long time and even though it went his way, he thinks it is fraud and that big tech bought the election. How will this affect every election from this point forward? Scares the heck out of me.

https://video.foxnews.com/v/6211866665001/?playlist_id=5198073478001

Now on to more pleasant things. I’m headed outside to do my chores and then will be headed to get a rapid Covid test and then to the Bottle Works to set up my Small business Saturday table. I’m so discombobulated we’ll see how that goes!

I’ve got some things to plant and have to get moving! Jay wants to move our manure trailer this morning.

Some Amaryllis
Think I have enough celery going? There is more outside. It seems to love the cold weather.
One of my favorite gadgets. I love Egg McMuffins and now can make our own!

Remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay home but if you MUST go out, wear a mask and keep the length of a full grown llama (which is bigger than an alpaca) between you and the next person.
Have a blessed day!

Skirting alpaca fiber.
Skirting alpaca fiber.
Daily Reflections From My Window

November 22, 2020 Sunday

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.

Carl Jung
Amen!

I think I use that verse a lot. Because it’s true. No matter what. God’s love is there. Thank you to all teachers for keeping our kids safe. I can’t imagine what they are going through right now. God is with you.

Let me tell you about yesterday. Jay didn’t feel well and I think that’s why he was so cranky. Maybe it was food poisoning or something he ate because it came and went pretty quickly, considering that he woke up in the middle of the night with an upset stomach and a bit of a fever. Now, it was a good reminder that people are still getting sick from things other than Covid. He started to feel well again last evening after sleeping all day and just letting the fever break. He had chills and sweats and the whole digestive track gamut. I went to the store to get my mother’s cure for nausea and stomach ache-coke a cola. Works every time but then you can’t sleep! I also got our Thanksgiving turkey and some cranberries. Did you know that there is a nationwide can shortage? Apparently there is, as stated by a sign in several aisles, so why were canned coke products on sale? I think they tell us that to put us in a frenzy to stock up and yes, I got the 4/$12 deal just to have it because we don’t usually drink soda.

Where the bride and Hammy were going to be.

I think I mentioned that we were going to have a bride come for photos after her wedding yesterday. Well, the rain never stopped. Perhaps another day she can redress and do it on a nicer day. As fabulous as the weather was on Friday, it really turned on Saturday. We had planned for around 4, so I texted the Aunt on my way to the grocery store (before I left!) to give her a weather update and to tell her that Jay wasn’t feeling well. Their choice. I think the weather sealed the deal! Who wants to be standing with a wet alpaca in a white wedding gown in the rain? It didn’t stop all day. She texted me back while I was at the store to say they’d take a rain check. Good decision! The rain didn’t stop. I could just envision that beautiful white dress dragging on the patio stone and her hair and make up. We wanted her to keep that beautiful feeling and look.

On the way home from the store I passed a little farm on the right on 271 (Menoher) and every time we pass it, we say that we’re going to stop and see what’s going on there if we ever see anyone outside. They have a little pony that Jay just adores. Reminds him of the miniature ponies that his mom had when he was growing up. They’ve got quite a menagerie that rotates around the property. I love when they put their 2 cows in their front yard. They have plastic electric fencing and I always want to know how that works. When I was on my way TO the store, I glanced over and noticed 2 sheep in the field. Hmmm…you know where my thoughts go-what do they do with the fiber? Does she spin? Knit? I continued to the store and on my way home passed by and there was a man walking down the lane by the pasture. A first! So I turned around, went back and pulled into the lane. I got out and introduced myself and said how much we enjoyed watching what was going on every time we passed and always wanted to stop but that this was the first time we’d seen anyone outside. I met Vince and he showed me around. He showed me the sheep, pigs and 3 giant Great Danes. Patches was the leader.

Pigs don’t stand still!

The chickens followed us everywhere!

Crazy chickens! But they are beautiful! I especially like the greys.

We talked about fencing, farm cleanup and shearing. We will definitely stop again and this time I’ll take Jay. It’s always good to know your neighbors. I met mom Brindsay and asked if they sold their eggs and they do, but most other things, like the milk are for their consumption only. They have 3 kids, one of whom is a newborn baby. This momma is busy! She does knit, but they inherited the sheep from a cousin and just pitch the fiber. We’ll fix that. Lucky me! We found a full blanket in the garbage of this white ewe.

What could she be? I took a picture of the other one who was named Waldo but turned out to be a female, but I can’t find it. I hope I didn’t delete.

I’m trying to figure out the breed. It’s definitely a long wool. Maybe Wensleydale? Romney? Leicester Longwool? Cotswold? I think I need to go back with my field guide. I’ll examine the fiber a little more today.

My two favorite resources besides my fiber friends.

I took the nicest picture of the brown ewe and darned if I can find it! I got a chunk of Waldo’s (the brown ewe) fiber that Vince pulled off. I think Waldo is a Katahdin breed. They are known for not needing to be sheared and are actually an American breed named after a mountain in Maine. The shedding is called “rooing” or plucking. They naturally rub it off themselves. The fiber shaft develops a weakness as the new growth starts and the fiber naturally breaks off there. It looks pretty funky until it’s totally off. Clumps everywhere on their bodies.

The fiber that Vince pulled off with no effort. It was ready.
More chickens and feathers!

I was so excited to tell Jay that I finally stopped at old McDonald’s farm when I got home, but he was asleep and I let him rest while I unpacked and put away the groceries.

The lovely Brindsay, her new baby and the barn! Oh and that box of fiber she so graciously gave me!

While I waited for Jay to wake up, I decided to clean out our kitchen cabinets and the infamous Y2K closet. I don’t know what I was thinking when I arranged our cabinets. We have so many coffee cups and only use a very small percentage of them with only two of us. And what’s the best use for those cabinets with the swing out shelves? That story is for another day! Today, it’s raining still and I have to go tend to my own herd and check on Jay. I had made reservations for church this week but because Jay wasn’t feeling well, felt I should stay here. Yesterday I wore my mask the whole time I was at the store and with my neighbors and kept my distance. I try to limit my interactions. Have you had a Covid test yet? If so, what’s it like? I want to know.

Remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay home but if you MUST go out, wear a mask and keep the length of a full grown llama (which is bigger than an alpaca) between you and the next person.

Have a blessed day!