Monday, September 26, 2011

Festival Wind Up

 While the Persimmon Festivities carry a broad scope, around my house, these days, it revolves around Food, Family, Fun, Friends and Fotos. (!)  These days, my only contribution to the community effort is taking vast advantage of the multitudinous yard sales and the daily opportunity to schmooze with the locals at The Methodist's and Baptist's luncheon cafes and seeing to it that the Local Photographers have a place to properly share their talent and be judged by their peers.
 While I prepared for weekend, with it's grandbaby and pretend grandbaby visits, I puttered in my sewing room, fabricating autumnal banners for Rabbit Rita's booth at the Chautauqua Festival in Madison Indiana  Since I was on a roll, I created a banner for my fall mantel, anticipating all the fun activities that surround our fireplace in the upcoming season.
 My mind kept focus on the daily tasks, whether it was overseeing the Photo Exhibit/Contest and tabulating votes or arranging menus to feed the dozen or so Festivalites that would filter through the days, working on reunion duties or helping at the Persimmon 5K or merely coming to see Grammy Deb and her toys.
 Of course, the weather is usually fickle on this third week of September here in Southern Indiana....
..... but it is best to make a silk purse out of sows ear.  Whether it is building the first fire in the fireplace to ward off the wet cold, or pulling on your boots that your wise mama packed for such a calamity as non stop rain, altering your attitude can make the worst weather positively glorious.
 With good food, wonderful friends, and endearing family surrounding you, you can hardly go wrong.

Put up your umbrella, smile a lot and enjoy your week!!

For a special treat, here's the First Baptist Churches recipe for the ever popular: 

Persimmon Pudding

2 cups persimmon pulp
2 cups sugar
2 lg eggs, beaten
1 tsp soda
1.5 cup buttermilk
1.5 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup cream (milnot or half and half)
1/2 stick butter

Add sugar to persimmon pulp.  Then add well beaten eggs, stirring well.  Add soda to buttermilk and stir until foaming ceases.  Add buttermilk to persimmon mixture and stir.  Sift flour, salt and baking powder and add to persimmon mixture.  Add vanilla, cinnamon and cream.. Melt butter in 9x13 pan. Add to persimmon mixture and mix well.  Place mixture in the pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done.  ENJOY!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Little Lessons

 You know how most days begin: Your feet hit the floor and soon after your brain catches up with the goings on of the day.  Your brain tries to absorb the details and duties while your eyes are still smarting from the light of day.  And then there are those days where before you can flush, you are on overload.  Too much info too fast can cause a brain freeze that is not too friendly to early morning.  And thus it began this morning.  But, as is so often in my life, I was to get a wuppin from the Lord.
 I bounded down the stairs, phone and walking shoes in hand, eager to get this show on the road.  My list of To Do's was rolling off the edge of the paper and I needed to get movin!  As usual, while I put on my shoes, I check in to my window on my world via the Internet.  Hubby, very clever in his subtleties, devised long ago a password to our computer that would keep things in perspective.  He uses a word and number that would keep us accountable as we approach the great beast of computer land.  I know this number as well as I know him.  But today, as I entered the holy word, it was rejected.  Frustrated as this loss of.....micro seconds......I regrouped and wondered what in the world I had done wrong.  Soon, I realized that instead of the most proper word, I had used my own name.  Smack.  Yes; I got it immediately.  I had put myself right where I certainly did not need to be.  My foolish self, thinking I had anything to do with the outcome of this very day, thinking that I had any control over the seemingly 'important' agendas in my very small life, thinking that I was going to 'git er done' on my own volition.  Ha.
Needless to say, after this very appropriate wuppin from the Lord, my walk went most differently.  I adjusted my Me-Mobile to the So What is it YOU want me to do today, Lord, perspective and did I ever have the most lovely, peaceful, joy filled walk.  The Gotta Do It Now thing got laid down to a more acceptable level and a time of thankfulness replaced the panic.

It was with new eyes, that I got to enjoy this early fall morning.  I  noticed the tiniest of details on miniature mushrooms on the edge of the road.   At the abandoned trailer home of three children that I once had the pleasure of nurturing years ago, I received the gift of the beautiful primroses blooming amazingly in the midst of a yard full of overgrown weeds.  My prayers burst forth in hope as I pictured their fractured lives blooming forth like these misplaced but incredibly healthy blossoms.  The Lord gave me hope to my heavy heart over the current state of these children.  My spirit soared as this secret message was given in the form of a flower that I could have easily overlooked had my mind been off kilter.

I wrapped up my walk passing by an empty house that has started to show it's neglect.  The fence is being vandalized, picket by picket and the shrubs are overgrown.  But there, in the cool autumn morning, are the most delightful new roses, newly refreshed from the drought by the gentle rainfall this week.  No one has watered these roses for a long time except for.....Oh yes, the One that is in control......

What is your chaos today?  Who is your peace?
Take a walk.  Look for the details.  And glory in the little lessons......

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Festival Begins!

 Our 65th Annual Persimmon Festival began last night!  A ball, a Candlelight tour in Spring Mill State Park, a road rally, a vesper service for the youth, all went on this weekend and that's just the beginning!  Tomorrow the rides will be set up, exhibits registered and tons of behind the scenes procedures shall begin.
But today, I was all about the Community Wide Yard Sale Event.
I scanned signs and looked for houses with cars wrapped around them as I walked the doggies early in the morning.  After scouting things out, I went home to collect Hubby, his cash and our beat up pick up truck, that we have just for this kind of day.
 And we did good.  Really, a turquoise and yellow tablecloth in very nice condition: .25.
 Shanango china cups: .10 ea.  Turquoise and olive green metal tray: .10  Round zippered patio tablecloth: 1.00 in original packaging.  A generous yard of  knit material perfect for my yoga top pattern: 1.00.  LOTS of little girl clothing for all my little grandgirls....
 Hall's Kitchenware Vintage bowl in my favorite blue with morning glories: .25.  (It's chipped but so am I)
And the piece de resistence: a hand-pieced fan quilt top, made from the most delicious vintage fabrics: 10.00!!


Pretty dang cool.....

May the rest of the week be so fun!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Weighty Issues

I have many reasons and excuses why I gained 30 pounds ten years ago.
Wanna hear them?

  1. Caregiving my dad took me from a three level home to a three room bungalow.
  2. Dad was suffering from cancer related malnutrition and it was my job to fatten his 89 pound body to a more agreeable....100 pounds.
  3. Cooking with fat and calories was no problem for me in my earlier skinny self.  One day, as I was eating his breakfast of sausage links, home fries and scrambled eggs, it dawned on me that perhaps I should not be eating with him.
  4. My wardrobe agreed.
  5. Depression that can creep up on you during caregiving can alter cortisol.  Dramatically.
  6. Lack of exercise and medication due to # 5.
  7. Becoming a bit south of 45.
  8. Blah blah blah.
My Dad has been gone for eight years now.  What took me so long to see that perhaps I am not in the best of shape, weight wise?

I like food.
I like to cook.
I like big family meals.

What I don't like is not knowing how to correct my seemingly healthy diet by being aware of the nutritional values and needs of each meal of the day.  I often say that if someone just told me what to eat to maintain a healthy weight, I would do it in a heartbeat.  Otherwise, I drift to cravings which ofttimes directed me to sadly inadequate nutrition.

That said, I would like to say, loudly: TA DA!!!!
Meet my new friend!

Well, well, well.
The most helpful diet helper that I have found.
No point counting.
No carb counting.
Everything, and I mean everything is done for you.
Food Log, Analysis, suggestion to complete your nutritional day in a wondrous way.

What have I learned:
  1. At my 58 years and smallish frame, I only need 1200 calories per day!!!  Not per meal, but per day!!  Amazing!!  Who knew??
  2. A starlight mint has 60 calories.
  3. Nuts, while being a great source of vitamins and minerals, is so full of fat that I can tip my allotment just by adding 1oz. to my morning cereal.
  4. That I need only 6oz of OJ in the morning, not 12 oz.  Can really wonky your sugar allotment.
  5. That oatmeal (steel cut or old fashioned rolled) and blueberries can make a nice supper.
  6. That spinach has so much lovely Vitamin A that it pleases my Vitamin A needs with one serving.
  7. That this info is as close as your iPhone or android.
  8. That after breakfast and lunch, I know exactly what I can eat for supper based on my 'analysis' and nutritional data.  Yesterday, I knew it was an oatmeal/blueberry/banana supper.  Tonight it's salad and spinach/tomato kinda night.
  9. That I can eat Steak and Shake for lunch and not be too bad off, depending on the portions and what I need to eat for the other meal.
  10. That my computer and the Internet continue to still awe me.
Stay Tuned as this weight saga continues. Feel free to compliment me if I start showing signs of success.  And thank you for these past year not saying anything about my obvious weight gain.  Well, okay two people were brave enough to say, 'Wow, Deb!  Have you gained weight!!!'  But they disappeared shortly after that.......

To good health and honest food logs!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rootin Tootin Teething Bibs!

Kool Kortni has two little O's.  Owen is a Big Brother who recently started PreSchool for the first time.  Little Bro Oaklee is still the teeny baby brother that just stays near mama and these days, it appears, he is gearing up for some brand new toofies.
This event sent KK looking for some 'manly' bibs for her baby boy.  Stumbling upon etsy's treasure trove (today, 945) of very macho bandanna bibs, she queried my Facebook page to see if I was up to trying this very easy and practical AND fashionable baby item.  Always one to add another baby item to my repertoire, I gladly took this challenge on.
Eldest/Admin and I had loads of fun in JoAnne's in Cincinnati trying to find just the right shwanky fabric for the very stylish Little O.
Cowboys, robots, dinosaurs and cars and trucks........Does it get more guy-like?
Back this fun fabrics with some vintage gingham, add some elastic to make sure the bandany is snug around the widdo neck, slap some Velcro on the tabs.....
And you got a pretty cool way to collect all the droolys that occur when first teethies are a comin in!

Thanks KK for the opportunity to try out this new accessory for babies!!.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Precarious Perspective

 I  listened to AM radio during the morning after my children went to school, a long ten years ago.  I listened to get familiar with the area's going ons and to get used to names and locations that locals found easy to remember and know.  I straightened up the kitchen after our morning's nutritional prep for the day.  I would await news updates and weather reports before I would head to the nursing home to check on my dad.  For two months, his broken hip and resolute spirit was repairing in a nearby nursing home and I visited at least two times daily to keep his mind engaged and entertained.  That morning, I was particularly refreshed.  The deep September sky and the hint of cooler days ahead, filled me with the energy it was going to take to care for my dad full time in as little as one week.  I was positive and hopeful and as the autumn breezes swept through the house, I knew I could do it.  I knew I could care for my dad despite all the internal warnings that were going off in my heart.

Who would have known that so many were going to pushed to their absolute limit, emotionally, physically, spiritually that very profound day?
Who knew so many cared for so many that they never met nor ever would had not this thing happened upon our soil?

The news was graphic, shocking, overwhelming.  The news was unbelievable.  
Should I contact my husband, who worked at a government armament facility?  Swift emails were passed back and forth as long as they could before they were shut down for security reasons.  Riveted to the two foot space in front of my television, the world became surreal and speaking out loud to myself seemed to reassure my panicked heart.

Selfish questions and concerns:  My son was draft age.  Surely a war would result from this horror.  Would he be going?  And who would we fight?  Unknowns, unknowns; the worst fear.
Would my husband's arms producing facility be next?
My brother in law was a pilot for United Airlines.  What was his shift?  Where was he?
My children were in school in a small town hemmed around by the Hoosier National Forest.  Surely, they were safe?  Should I go get them?
Were any of us really safe?
Grabbing my keys, I went where I knew I needed to go.
I went to see my dad.

 A veteran of World War II, a veteran whose silence about the horrors of war, spoke volumes about what I needed to know to handle this tragedy.

As I entered the nursing home, the obvious upheaval to the normal schedule was unsettling.  The loudspeaker was turned up as reports of the horrid drama unfolded.
Veterans and wives of veterans pulled their wheelchairs into the hall to hear the details.  Many, who had not understood every day life for some time, grasped that this was a memorable sadness and sought each other out for comfort and understanding.
I entered dad's room and found him riveted to the never on television in his room.
His voice stilled by age and illness, his eyes said it all.
His handkerchief dabbed at tears for our nations tragedy. 
I held his thin hand as we watched the reports together.  We stared silently and incredulously.  I was wishing that my daddy would once again pull me on his lap and reassure me that everything was going to be all right, like he had so many times before.....
I looked into his sad eyes and asked him point blank, 'Dad, what do I do?'  He knew.  He had the right to tell me since he had  paid a price that he still bore from the war that had imprinted on him sixty years before.

He said in his weak voice, 'Go home and put up our flags. Remember our nation and pray.  Always.'

With that, I embraced him tightly, reassured him that it was going to be okay and that I would do what he told me.
I went home, placed our flag in it's holder and at his cottage and I remembered our nation and I prayed.

Ten years and nearly twenty flags later, I still remember his advice.  The flag still flies on our front porch and I remember every time I notice it.

I look at the ten years and pray that in the experiencing of it, we all have grown and drawn closer to the only Hope that we have in the uncertain world.

Blessings on your soul as you reflect on this day......

Sunday, September 4, 2011


 Most Sundays, Hubby and I travel forty five minutes northward to church.
We do not feel like this is a burden or something to be ticked off our To Do list,  but a genuine desire to intentionally set aside one day of our crazily busy week to honor and worship The Author of our lives.  If we were to be honest in our self evaluation, we would deem it necessary to certainly commit more than the few hours in community worship and daily seeking time to cover our sinful selves.

We are not publicly linked to any one church in membership; our frenetic wandering lives keep us from that kind of commitment.  We see the merit in many kinds of churches meeting many kinds of needs.  In the thirty three years that I have publicly committed to Jesus Christ, I have attended quite a few different types of churches and found that I was where I needed to be for such a time as that in my life.  For  varied reasons, I was lead/directed/inspired to attend varied churches to get all that the Lord was to teach me in that particular location.

I see God's plan in creating the church.  I see the blessed fellowship of the joining together of kindred hearts, lifting up praises to The One that got us through the week.. The One that created me.  That loves me when I am quite unlovable.  The One that saved me into eternity by sacrificing His Son for my sin, disgusting and proliferating as it is. 
 I know, I know, I know that I shall be in Heaven someday despite myself and my propensity for sinning and disappointing.  I know that it has nothing to do with my 'goodness' or what I 'do',  but everything to do with His holiness and His willingness to take my punishment.  This is awesomely overwhelming to me.   If Creation and Salvation from Hell was not enough, He sent His Spirit to strengthen, encourage, support, convict, comfort me while I put in time on this globe.  How could I ever survive the onslaught of this earth without this mighty Triune, Holy, All Knowing, Perfect God?

Everything in my life points back to a Holy God.  All that I have is from Him.  Any talent, wisdom or knowledge comes directly from The One that wants me to know these things for His Greater Purpose that is completely unknown to me.  If I indeed, did know it, I would be so full of myself and abilities that I would be pretty much ridiculous to know.  He alone knows when to take me down a peg and how to do it.  He alone knows how to show me the err of my ways and how to correct it.  He alone cares enough to correct me.

In this world of vast belief systems, I choose God.  
Amidst multitudinous religions, I choose to have faith in the fact that this universe has an orderly fashion ordained by The Only One that could have possibly planned it all.  Anything else just simply takes more faith than I have.

I do so love Jesus.
I am thankful His awesome gift to my life.
For all our lives.  Free and loving and non conditional and obtainable by all.  He has given us instructions.  We just have to decide if we are going to follow it.

Thank you Lord for helping me follow it and forgiving me when I don't.

Blessed Sunday to you....

'And if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things are gone, behold, the new has come.'  2 Corinthians 5:17

Thursday, September 1, 2011


 Hubby had a Wild Hair on Sunday.  He proposed, since Baby Girl and her Baby Girl had departed from their Delightful Spontaneous Visit and we were once again Empty Nesters, with no commitments, no expectations and no responsibilities, that we should go Spoofin.  'Spoofin' is defined (by us) as random meanderings with no real goal or destination, just goin' where the wind blows us.
 Hubby has a few out of the way places left to explore since our arrival in Southern Indiana twelve years ago. He keeps this little pretend list in his brain for occasions such as this.  This time, our meanderings led us to Hindostan Falls.  This little burg was established in 1818 and build to a booming 1200 residents before The Great Sickness overtook the whole town in 1828 and wiped the population off the map.  All that is left is the falls and eager fishermen on Sunday afternoons.
 This Spoofin Adventure was different because Hubby asks me as we walk out the door, 'Don't you want to take Dixie with?'  What, I say?  What?  Was that a post BGBG hallucination??  It is not a secret that my dear Hubby only shares space with a dog because he kinda likes me; NOT dogs.  Miss Dixie, in her infinite wisdom, has taken to The Boss with such unashamed affection, that even a hard nose Dog Disliker like Hubby had to  melt his winter chill towards the little Jack Russelly imp.  To the drastic point of asking her to accompany us on a Spoofin Adventure.  Very rare.  Very.

 When I came across the tree in the above photo near the Falls, the word 'Adaptation' came to my mind and stuck like glue.  I stared and stared and took countless photos of this crazy tree clinging so confidently to the very edge of the river bank.  I wondered at the decision that this tree made to hang on instead of falling over into the rolling river below it.  I wondered at the source of nutrition that kept it alive for a very large amount of years.  It seemed impossible for it to be able to hang on given the positioning, but there it was.  Content and green and very tall.  It had adapted.

And then I looked at Hubby hanging on to Miss Dixie's leash.  Well. What a very long way he had come to reach the point where he was content to bring along the formerly irritating noisy terrier and embrace her as a suitable companion with his sweetie on a Sunday Afternoon.  He adapted.

Miss Dixie has done some adapting herself.  Instead of  protecting me like a Rottweiler, she is now content to give warning barks to those who step into a three feet radius around me and then, when you are approved, she will let you pet her.  Her barking, which has been known to wake the dead, is not quite as urgent and intense.  She is adapting.

Soon, ol' Hubby and I will be making many adjustments as we approach Retirement Day.
As we watch more vigilantly our budgets, our time, our health.  We will save up for fuel to visit our Faraway Grandchildren and treat them well while we eat cereal for supper.  And we could not be happier to do that.  Seriously.  We are adapting happily to the older state we are in and it is fine and dandy.

So stand strong you trees out there and make the best of where you are placed.
The standing, in spite of the odds, will make you unusual and admired and your heart will be content despite your location.

 Enjoy the scenery....

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