Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Monday, July 17, 2006
Meanwhile, we've entered a heat wave here in Kansas and, from what it looks like, most of the rest of the United States as well. We need a larger bird bath so I don't have to go out more than a couple of times a day to refresh it. I have two in the backyard and one in the front yard. The grackles, bluejays, and doves get in, many as three to four at a time, and splash out half the water soon after I've refilled it. This afternoon there were about two dozen grackles, doves, jays, sparrows, and finches all feeding together in the shade of the Autumn Blaze tree we planted a couple years ago. You know it's hot when different species of birds congregate together in the shade, hold their wings away from their bodies, and have their bills open.
Reminds me of how we spent our summers on the farm without air conditioning. After lunch we'd cease all our activities and read or take a nap. Mother would put a large square fan in an open window and pump up a bucket of cold water from the cistern. She would soak a clean gunny sack in the bucket, bring it up dripping and hang it on the outside of the window behind the fan. That was the closest we came to an air conditioner or a water cooler. Prior to doing that we'd carry pails of water to pour under the trees near the chicken house where the chickens had a cool spot to rest. The cattle would submerge themselves in the pond up to their stomachs. We probably poured some water under a few bushes so the dog and cats had a cool spot for their afternoon siesta. Our farm was a rather primitive operation during the fifties. The only running water we had was if we ran from the well with a pail of water in each hand like Jack and Jill. Needless to say, working on the farm kept us out of trouble.
Our son plays drums and percussion in a pop/rock band. They are recording a CD right now, and from what I've heard I'm impressed, especially with the drummer. They are also getting more gigs as people in their area get acquainted with them. This has been his dream for a long time. There's a link, "Son's Band," in the sidebar here. Click on it and have a listen.
I'm still losing weight, a pound at a time (one or two a week). Being 50 lbs. lighter feels so much better. Being lighter doesn't make a difference on the neuropathy pain in my hands and feet. But otherwise, I keep feeling better as I follow the healthy diabetic diet. It's frustrating not to be able to walk as much as I'd like. Never having learned to swim (I tried and sank like a rock) my fear of the water keeps me out of the pool, which would be the most ideal type of exercise. I must say I really enjoy taking up less space in the world. Another plus is that I don't sweat nearly as much as I used to in summer. A good life-change diet is the US pyramid diet. Here's a link if you want to start following it, if not to lose weight, than to start feeling better and being more healthy: http://www.mypyramid.gov
Is housework exciting? It can be, especially since I finally quit procastinating and started cleaning out the spare bedroom closet. Moved everything out, threw away, gave away and opened up enough space to put the cedar chest under the hanging clothes. At least now I know what's in there. There's more to go through but it's in containers that will take me just a few minutes when I have some extra time.
Our daughter and hubby are taking a few days vacation from the farm. I'm going to stay with our 16-month old granddaughter at their house. I'm looking forward to having lots of fun as our toddler is active and inquisitive. Yesterday when we visited she was playing ball with me. She went a few feet away and squatted like a catcher and pointed right to the spot between her feet and said, "Ball, ball." --put the ball right here. I think she's watched some of her cousins play softball. Is it just me, or is she a very smart and clever 16 month old?? I'm really enamoured with how observant she is of what we're doing and picks up on how to do everyday things we take for granted, but are a big growth step for her. She's great at imitating others which means we all have to watch what we do and say because we're always under observation. Her dad and mom said they're starting to spell words. Aha! I love it when that kind of history repeats itself.
The garden is finally producing. I planted four tomatoes and three hills of cucumbers. Some of the cukes were bitter until we started watering everyday. The plants certainly have taken off and if the heat doesn't kill them we'll have many more of the tasty burpless vegetable. Nothing is more delicious than fresh home-grown vegetables. Bought some sweet corn from a local farmer which are super eatin'. All too soon the summer will be over and wel'll be back to frozen or canned food. We like to make a cool salad with cut-up cucumbers and tomatoes. Mix in a little sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper to suit your taste and enjoy. Some people like to put cream with that, but I like it without. Others add some ranch dressing.
I'm so excited! As a lover of bluegrass music, I can never seem to get enough as there are few radio stations in our area that broadcast it. Our local college radio station plays bluegrass every Saturday and Sunday afternoon, and one of the country/western stations sprinkles in a bluegrass song here and there. But now I found several bluegrass radio stations on the internet that I can listen to on the computer all day and all night long! Here's a link to one of the best: http://bluegrassradio.org/ Oh, wow, that good ole' bluegrass harmony with the banjo, fiddle, mandolin, and bass accompaniment. The best bluegrass music, to me, is gospel. Many of the people who play and sing bluegrass music got their start singing as a family or in a church choir. But that's a whole other story for another time--how I grew up with music and finally got to sing and play bass in a bluegrass band.
I'd like to share the words of a favorite bluegrass song we used to sing. It's usually sung acappella. If I can find a recording of it on the net I'll put up a link.
Troubles and trials often betray us
Causing the weary body to stray
But we shall walk beside the still waters
With the good shepherd leading the way
Chorus: Going up home to live in green pastures
Where we shall live and die never more
Even the Lord will be in that number
When we have reached that heavenly shore
Those who have strayed were sought by the master
He who once gave his life for the sheep
Out on the mountain still He is searching
Bringing them in forever to keep
We will not heed the voice of a stranger
For he would lead us on to despair
Following on with Jesus our savior
We shall all reach that country so fair
Version: Stanley Brothers
"For we were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls." I Peter 2:25