Category: along the way



We have been visited by winter. Last week, 8.5 inches of snow and then about 3 inches of fine sleet.

The sleet has compacted to a great layer of very slikc ice, thick enough that my 130 pounds will not crack through the crust..

This morning, with temperature hovering around 10 degrees, it fell to me to take water to the kennels and check on the chickens. Not a difficult task on most days and one I have done many, many times in the past. Dressing for the weather, in high top boots, heavy coat, fur hat, I picked up my water jugs and stepped out.

The porch and stairs, nicely cleared due to the efforts of Hubby and Brett was no problem, nor about the first 20 steps across the glacier that was once our yard.

Then, Right foot went one way and left went another as I tried some sort of ice skating move! There was not grace, no beauty in my loss of traction, water spilling from the jugs just made the whole situation worse!

I found myself resting on the ice, on the well padded portion of my body, wondering ‘what now’?

Simply put, I was uninjured (if you don’t count my pride) but never the less in a mess! No way could I get up on that slick stuff, I would have to crawl to something to use to get up!  Sudden realization that my gloves were inside was not  pleasant knowledge. Sliding across the layer of water covered ice, I was remembered all the safety rules – not quite soon enough!

I made it to the dog pens, got back on my feet, carefully made my way back to refill the jugs and started over, with a walking stick in hand.

Soon the task was complete, the animals cared for and yes, now the gloves are in my coat pocket!


It has been a long week on Sunrise Ridge. Epic cold and snow deep and fluffy has kept me inside for the most part.

Oh, there has been plenty to ‘do’, but at some point cabin fever sets in.

Then there was, picking at the back of my mind this coming Monday,  Chrysta’s birthday.  Yesterday, while prepping for more unpleasant weather, I had an idea. That idea led to posting this request on social media:

‘Throwing this out there. In November, daughter Chrysta passed away. She was a loving caring woman, filled with compassion.
Monday would be her birthday.
In her memory, I challenge all of my friends to ‘pay it forward’.
Do a random act of kindness for someone this weekend.
Feel free to share your blessings.’

Grandson Brett and I are making cookies for him to share at the Sheltered Workshop where he is employed.

Someone is donating blood, another made soup and shared with a neighbor… many great ideas.

I know Monday still looms in the future, no doubt there will be tears, but the idea that we are celebrating a life well lived doing things she would do is comforting.

Feel free to join this birthday party and share your blessings with someone and in a comment here.


A friend asked earlier, about a ‘perfect’ romantic getaway. No doubt prompted by Valentine’s Day arriving thiswee.

Hers was a weekend at a B&B,  A fine dinner, a movie and there is certainly nothing wrong with that idea. In fact, I would bet that her choice is probably a lot more popular than mine. :)

So here it is, ‘Mary’s Truly Romantic Weekend’. Hubby and I would load up our camping gear and head for a ‘special place’ we like. Warm sunshine, soft sand, clear clean blue water would nearly surround us. Gentle breezes wafting floral scents, a soft serenade of birdsong… Not a cellphone or electronic item in sight

A long walk or two, time to talk. Hubby might fish…. I can read a book or nap!

Velvet nights under the stars, maybe a splinter of moon for light, a campfire for a bit of warmth and hand holding before we go to bed. Simple food, bacon and eggs in the cast iron skillet for breakfast, pork steak and baked potatoes on the grill and some fruit for dessert.

How about you? What is your dream romantic getaway?


cedar grove, barns, mennonites, longhorns 033

Barn in Shannon County MO. This is in a Mennonite community.

The one below one was taken in an Amish community near Seymour MO.

I wondered about the projections on top, and did a bit of research. They are called cupolas, put there for added ventilation.

Back when hay was stored in barn lofts, spontaneous combustion was a dire threat to farmers. The cupola helped prevent the buildup of heat in drying hay.

Ladies day 3 Cabool, Seymour, Mansfield EAGLES 054cupola


Ice fog settled over Sunrise Ridge during the night. White coats gently wrap branches, waiting for the sun to come over our hilltop. Then my world will be filled with brilliant jewels!

High clouds and blue sky promise some sunshine for the up-coming day.

Diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires will sparkle from the branches in the sunlight.
I love  mornings like this – especially when I can stay inside to enjoy it. Sometimes I have to wish for a ‘pirate chest’ to store them up.

It’s a big blessing today, this month has been so overcast that a sunny morning by itself s a great joy.


This year, for the first time ever, I went shopping for Black Friday.

I am not a ‘shopper’, in fact, I have stated often and quite vehemently that I HATE TO SHOP! and it’s true. I do hate to go shopping, I shop for food when I have to, clothes when mine are in tatters, anything else when it has to be replaced.

I grew up with ‘make it do or do without’. Maybe I follow that adage a little too well?

I don’t like crowds, I don’t like all the decision making that comes with choosing what to purchase. Keep it simple, three choices are plenty, two even better.

However, I braved the crowds with daughters, granddaughter and some other folks, for an adventure. Admittedly, it was kind of fun. But I am a people watcher and easily entertained by others.

I won’t say it was the best experience I ever had, but the company was excellent, I did find a few things I wanted/needed at good prices and my claustrophobia was under control. I got through it still breathing and not battered!

Will I do it again? I might.


airstrip, mayholler, maple trees on B 023 airstrip, mayholler, maple trees on B 037heron airstrip, mayholler, maple trees on B 086 airstrip, mayholler, maple trees on B 091

airstrip, mayholler, maple trees on B 052

It was a chilly morning, we could see our breath steam out as we traveled in the fields and forest.

Thistles still raise their heads, pink blossoms bright against the fading vegetation.

A solitary heron breaks the blue above the creek.

The maples begin to show their colors at an old deserted house place. Well kept by the hunters who inhabit it twice a year.

Red, gold, orange sentinels line the highway.

Ripples sing a chorus at the beaver pond.


battle of Pilot Knob 150th anni 064nurse prepared for the battleAnd there I was! I’d read about Clara Barton, Dorothea Dix and other women, making a difference for our men in battle.

I knew I had to help. My brothers, Johnny, Clint and Lucas were out there somewhere. Their infrequent letters filled with tales of things so horrifying. Lives were daily lost for want of nursing skill on the field and in the ragged tent hospitals.

Maw cried, but helped me make my dress, the red trim marking me as a nursing volunteer.Now, here I am following the unit into a skirmish. A bag of bandages and a bottle of white likker in a bag at my hip. Not much to do with, but more than many had.

The drummer boys, no more than 10 or 12 have been shooed away into the woods or back to the earth berm fort behind us.

I can hear the crack of rifles, smoke from the cannons hangs heavy over the field in front.

As I watch, a man out front falls! Those around him carry him back to where I now lay upon the ground. Rifle balls sing over my head like a swarm of mosquitoes. It is all up to me, to help this man.

More are being dragged this way… Where are the ambulances? Blood, blood, blood! Can I do enough to save even one?


Saturday, Hubby, Daughter, grandson and I went to the reenactment of the Battle of Pilot Knob. 150 years have passed since soldiers  from the Grand Army of the Republic faced their counterparts from the Confederate States on this small piece of ground.

We have been there several times before, each time learning something new.

Part of this years program was a presentation by Angela Da Silva. Her program  “Lila: A Missouri Slave’s Story” was fascinating to me. I knew Missouri ha slave holders, but this brought a more personal note than textbooks ever could.

I was talking to my daughter in California about it and we discovered a link to the presentation on youtube.com. http://youtu.be/4x8qMoDUL7I will take you to part one,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4x8qMoDUL7I part two http://youtu.be/4x8qMoDUL7I and part three  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BykXtQpyCYoare battle of Pilot Knob 150th anni 015Lila Missouri slave


Several years back, I did quite a bit of babysitting for family members. It included some ‘Mom, I need some laundry done’ and a parent who worked night shifts.

In order to hang on to some small shreds of sanity, I developed this set of general rules.
We are having lot of guests here, this end of summer time, so I dug out the rules to make sure everyone is on the same page; that page being mine.

RULES

There are other rules enforced, respect for one another, a loose division of labor, (If you can open the bread, get it out and spread peanut butter, you may be on lunch duty.)

It worked quite well before, it will be interesting to see how it works now.

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