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Swimming the Mississippi

Navy veteran Chris Ring met our grandson at Dorena-Hickman Ferry landing Oct. 3, 2015

Navy veteran Chris Ring met our grandson at Dorena-Hickman Ferry landing Oct. 3, 2015

Chris Ring is working on a Challenge for Legacies Alive, swimming from Lake Itaska, MN to New Orleans.

He and his support group were starting the day on a leg of that swim from Dorena-Hickman Ferry landing in Southeast MO.

Fundraising for ‘gold star families’ and raising awareness for our fallen soldiers is the goal. has more information as well as the group’s Facebook page just in case you might want to check them out or follow the journey.


Pate's Honor Day

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Destroyer Escort Sailors reunion with a number of family members.

My father served on the USS Coolbaugh DE 217 from its commissioning until the end of World War II.

He was honored as we toured the USS Yorktown.

His emotions were at the forefront when we walked up and this sign was prominently posted on deck.

It was one of the few instances I ever saw him cry.

Feed yourself

We are what we feed ourselves. Not only healthy meals, we need healthy ideas, healthy thoughts and exercise.
Turn off the ‘news’, put down that phone, shut off the computer-read a good book, listen to music, talk (yes, sit down face to face), count your blessings, say a prayer.
Open the shades, walk out the door – enjoy the weather (even for a few minutes) walk around the block, or down a country lane. Smell the flowers, look at autumn leaves, count raindrops or snowflakes, feel the breeze.
Set your problems aside, just for a bit – help someone in need, offer to babysit for a harried young mom, pay for a stranger’s meal or coffee, volunteer at a school or hospital. If nothing else, share a smile.
Be an example… respect others, be dignified and compassionate. Respect who you are.

While we were away, camping at the Dorena-Hickman Ferry last week, we met a young couple.

I did not get their first names.

The ferry had closed for the evening, the young man walked in to our camp and asked us the best way to cross the river.

Pvt. Cole is stationed at Ft. Riley KS. and had a 5 day pass to go home to ‘near Bristol, TN’ for the weekend.

We thanked him for his service, gave them an extra map of Missouri and the best directions we could.

I hope they made it.

If anyone knows them, I would like to know they made it.

I woke up at 2:30 this morning. The full moon was brilliant and beautiful. So bright it cast shadows across the yard. I had to go out and take a few photos.
Then I had to stop and consider how our Lord created the moon and stars to remind us of His watchfulness in our lives. He is always there, just like the sun, moon and stars above. No matter that a few clouds obscure the sight, He is there!

106_0343trees and clouds

This is a reminder to myself. Recently I found I have a couple of serious, long term medical conditions. I will be dealing with them the rest of my life. Adjusting my thoughts and attitude is a big part of how that ‘rest of my life’ is going to be. I want to use this little vignette as my future example.

There are two sisters in our community, a bit older than I am and they both have many health issues right now. Both have husbands and families, relatively nice homes and a lot of support. So do I.

Sister One faces her ills head on, fighting all the way, getting out to walk, spending time with people. She will greet you with a smile most days, and rarely ever mentions how she feels or what is going on physically. She nearly always asks what is going on and is enthusiastic or sympathetic or what ever fits the situation. She carries with her an aura of peace, calm and hope.

Sister Two, however, walls herself away, staying home, often not getting up from her recliner except to use the bathroom and eat. On the days she is willing to accept visitors, her only topic of conversation is her last appointment, current treatments and how she feels. And sadly, she does not want to know about anything outside her sphere of misery. This sister radiates fear, sorrow and despair.

I know illness and events can bring a person down. and I know depression is a cruel monster. Seeing these two women, so alike in many ways and yet, facing the same battle so differently, brings this home again.

Let me always remember these ladies, and try to model my actions after Sister One.

At the Farmers Market

As you know, we have been busy here on Sunrise Ridge, garden is coming in and lots of food is going into jars.

Last weekend, Hubby, Brett and I loaded up some pickles and assorted jelly for a trip to the local Farmers Market.

I was amazed with the selection of products from out little rural area. There were chicks and chickens, quail and other poultry, lovely wreaths, a booth of homemade soaps, lots of melons and veggies, jewelry and other crafts, houseplants and homemade baked goods to name just a few.

Friendly folk congregated in the building, passing the time, stopping to chat and purchase the offered wares

We set up our table and placed the jars in what we hoped would be an attractive display.

We even brought along some samples of the pickles to let folks taste the products before buying.

Our venture was successful, we sold all our jams and jellies, most of the pickles and came home with enough ‘profit’ to purchase a couple boxes of jars and necessary ingredients for more of what sold well. Not to mention a few ideas for other things people asked about.

Hubby was rather impressed and mentioned possibly trying a larger market next week when our local one is not open.

I plan to go back, not just to sell my goods, but to enjoy the gathering and the old time fair-like atmosphere  as well.

Do you have a local Farmers Market? Do you support it?

A young mother of three I know, lamented, “I wish I could snap my fingers and a genie would come clean my house.”

I knew that feeling, during the long hot summers of my own kids growing up, even as I babysat grandkids, nieces and nephews in the more recent past.

As I look back, yes, the genie would have been nice. Maybe I could have managed time better. Who knows?

I do know, moments of wonder, drawing pictures, weed bouquets in grimy hands, blowing soap bubbles in the wind, playing with them in the sprinkler, hearing them say, “Please, read/tell us a story”, and “Can we have a tea party?”, are much more precious than spotless floors, folded laundry and a clean sink will ever be.

Housework lasts a short time, so does childhood. Housework lasts forever, children grow up and move on in the blink of an eye.

I’ll take the memories, a weed bouquet and a tea party!

Some day, dear, you will wish for these things too.

Grandson and family came by for a visit today.

At near noon, I was still in my PJ’s laying on the futon in the living room.

Three year old great-grandson: “Why so you still have your bejammers on”

Me: “I was sick and had to go to the hospital, I am better, but I have to rest a lot right now.”

Five year old great-granddaughter: “did you get a baby? That’s why mama went to the hospital.”

There are some questions even a grandma can’t come up with answers for.

Hubby discovered he really likes some types of pickles. Likes them enough, in fact, that he has been learning his way around the hot water bath canner very well!

Today, he made bread and butter pickles and a batch of dilled okra.

You might wonder why he did that?

It is simple, I spent a few days in hospital and have not got back up to par… He had been great about helping slice veggies and pack jars.  The garden hasn’t slowed down one bit. Vegetables  just keep piling up!

Today’s abundance of cucumbers and okra had to be canned up, so he did it! I read the instructions, he made his brines and took right over.

He’s a good man, my pickle packing Papa!


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