Search This Blog

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Brussel Sprouts Havest

This year we decided to try to grow Brussel sprouts.  I kept looking at these plants and wondered where in the world the sprouts were.  I finally decided this was a stupid idea and went out and was ready to dig up the 2 plants which were rather tall and as I tipped one over I discovered a fact...the Brussel sprouts grow up along the stem!  Who Knew?  Well, of course, Robert did.  We called these to grow a few more weeks and then as colder weather set it, it was time to harvest them before a frost hit.

Jinx was very curious as to what Robert was doing.

Now the trick was to remove the sprouts from the stem.  And boy was that job.  You need to snap them off with a lot of strength and twisting. Sometimes I gave up and went for a little knife.    I got to thinking about a comparison between how firmly these sprouts were clinging to the stem and how we need to be just as strong as we sling to the Iron Rod....forever...never to be twisted or pulled off.

Once they were removed, they were soaked in cool water for several hours and then rinsed repeatedly to be sure all the sand and dirt was removed.
I have this very inexpensive salad spinner which worked perfectly in drying the spouts off quite gently.
Then they were bagged and placed into freezer bags and placed flat in the freezer.

 I think we will need to plant more next year.  This was so much fun!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020


 I decided I needed to learn another thing...all the ability of a serger. Robert had bought me a JUKI serger years ago and I can make it work even tho threading it was next to impossible.  I signed up for an online class and had a problem threading it so I made plans to take it over to Teri Stencil to have her help me (again).  In the night I had a dream where I saw the serger fall and break.  I awoke with the same thought.  So I put it in a box that was very sturdy or so I thought.  I picked it up to transport it and before I took 2 steps the bottom of the box gave out and down went my serger  I stood staring at it and was shocked.  Robert helped me get it into the car and try as she could Teri could not make it stitch continually.

I took it to  Pins and Needles in Middleburg Hts to have them look at it. Robert went along with me and it's always great to have company.  I bemoaned that I would never have another one and he said, "You said we would never have another dog and now we have Jinx."  The charge was $180 just to look at it and then everything else that needed to be replaced would cost more.  I agreed and signed it over but the lady who works there offered to show me comparable machines which do more than mine did.  Robert was OK with he always is...and we ended up taking back my old one and he bought me this used Babylock Evolution.

The most amazing thing about this machine is that the 2 loopers are threaded by air!  Isn't that crazy.  Jan Bostek who owns the place gave me a brand new set of 6 serger feet, 3 free in-store classes as well as 6 months of online classes. Babylock doesn't make this model any longer but all the parts are still available. I finished the course and loved the 5 weeks of lessons online.  I am still stunned at what it can do and only wish I had little kids in my home that I could sew for.  But for now I will be happy to just  fix things and learn.  

But the best part is how wonderful and giving Robert is to me.   Remember he bought me the used embroidery/sewing machine a few months ago and I love it.  But I so love him more!

His voice IS my voice

Do you know how we are often, of late, asked specifically HOW we hear the Lord’s voice? 

 This has really preyed on my mind recently. I asked Robert how he hears the Lord's voice.  For Robert it is impressions that come to his mind and he has learned he needs to jump on the action immediately.  For me, I just wondered.  I think I may have wanted a HUGE BOOMING VOICE to get me to pay attention or maybe a heavenly visitation.  But that changed this morning about 5am (I think sometimes my body just wants to wake up and relive the 5 years the wonderful Seminary kids came to our home for class…and wish I could be making their breakfasts again). 

 Today as I was saying my prayers about a certain plan I had and how I would execute it, my mind heard my own voice sounding in my head about the track I needed to take. "That was wonderful and smart," I said to myself, "You are so smart".

 I picked up the Jinx and we went outside. The stars were bright and happy in the skies overhead with just a few wisps of clouds. I noticed Orion was setting lower than usual (I love astronomy and constellations)and decided to say a prayer of thanks for a brain that the Lord gave me. 

Then truth dawned on me. It’s not MY brain that gave me the thoughts. It was Heavenly Father who knew I am really good at listening to myself so He used my voice as His voice. I laughed aloud, looked back up into the heavens, and thanked Him for FINALLY teaching me about myself, through myself, and I could see just how small I was but not at all insignificant

I have heard his voice and it is mine.  All mine.  Now I need to pay closer attention to that voice in more ways than one!


Sunday, November 15, 2020

Linda Stafford

 I got a call today from Maureen Stafford Crawford and her mom, my dear friend Linda, has had a stroke.  Matthew sold his house and built a new home with a 'west wing' as a separate apartment for his mom and she's barely been in it for a year.  He made sure the doorways were at least 38" wide, same with the halls...JUST IN CASE she would need a wheelchair.  Little did he know or was he prompted?

Matt called for her to come to lunch and she didn't respond so after several tries he went in and found her on the floor of the bathroom.  The stroke was caused by high BP, not trauma altho she did hit her face as she went down.  She was eventually life-flighted to UH Cleveland and then will be at a rehab center in Avon, Ohio, and it could be for quite sometime  She's paralyzed on the right side and the blood is on the left frontal lobe with means she has lost the ability to speak.  Therapy may help.  I got these 2 pictures that I wanted to keep forever and decided I should put them in here.

We usually so sit together at various gatherings and Phyllis Kimmel is so good at recording the events this way and always gives us pictures.

I met Linda and John when we moved to Lorain in 1976.  They are good people but Linda is the best at keeping secrets.  We have one HUGE secret together that only Robert knows about.  None of her kids know and my kids were too young to remember anything.  

I think we all hope that Lind recovers but we all fear she's going to endure this incapacity for the rest of her life.  But I love her and I want to be able to see her soon, to sit with her, to talk to her.  To share more secrets and more gossip.  Soon!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

New Bow Window

 One evening about 2 months ago (has it really been that long?) a young man came buy selling windows from Window Nation.  I had him come in and discuss the bay window...only to learn our front window is a BOW window.  My mom and Roger had put this window in somewhere in the early 80s and in the ensuing years, I have noticed a bit of condensation often and can feel a draft.  Of course Robert cannot.  Another man came out to seal the deal and measure the window.  Of course Robert never says no to me so we ordered the window.  Three men came today November 11, and in under 3 hours had the old one removed and the new one installed.  The 2 side panels open out for fresh air.  I am delighted.  We will have to stain the wood ourselves and then they will return to caulk it.

The old:


Looks like a huge hole:


We had to take down the drapes and the valance (which by the way I never really grooved on but they were expensive and I never want to pay that much money for curtains I don't really want anyway.  Once they were removed and the new window installed I was so very happy to have no drapes at all.  I went to the library to pick up a book for Robert and thought I'd just tell him we might forget the curtains for a while but when I drove into the driveway I say he had so thoughtfully rehung the drapers.  A bit dismayed I entered the house and saw that he had only hung the drapes, not the valance.  What a difference those drapes make without the heavy valance overtop.  I looked online and then called and ordered some sheers for underneath.  The original ones rotted in the dry cleaners due to sun exposure and I never bought new.  The valance will not go up.  I even had Robert take down the valance over the dining room window as well.  I am most happy!

Saturday, November 07, 2020


 I do not know where my life has been or what I've been doing...obviously not blogging here.   Shame on me.  I do keep Marissa's blog up-to-date because one day she's going to look back on these years and will be grateful that only the good stuff has been kept.  The hard parts with Hank getting crazier will always be there, in the past, but the good stuff will be what will be remembered fully.

Oskar turned 8 on Friday, Nov 6, and Honor turned 8 on Saturday, Nov 7.  It had long been planned to have these two baptized together but do to the Covid-19 Pandemic each were baptized in their own ward house with just the family. 

We drive to Cranberry early Saturday morning for a 10am baptism.  Not even a member of the bishopric showed up.  Just the 10 of us.  I played the piano, Robert gave a talk, combining mention of baptism and the Holy Ghost..  Honor was so very excited and pleased to have the day arrive when she could be baptized.  Jocelyn had made an amazing program ( and afterwards, she was kind enough to make up 10 for  Oskar).

Jocelyn asked me to embroider the baptism towel with CTR for both Honor and Oskar, 

As we do, we bought Honor a camera for her birthday.

We came back to Christensen's home for Jocelyn's award winning chicken chili and wonderfully tasty cupcakes.  It was a great meal, a lovely drive there and back, beautiful weather and wonderful family.

Honor is holding the baptism bear to remind her to bear all things, bear one another's burdens, and bear His name.


From here we drove straight to the stake center in Westlake.  Marissa was there with Oskar who was handling his own nervousness by bringing some non-nervous potent stones and watched the font fill up.  Their bishopric counselor came, Chase Nesbitt..a delightful man who had been the Primary Activities Leader so he knew both Henry and Oskar very well.  Marissa left Oskar with us and returned home to get the other 2 boys who were with Hank and they all came to the stake center.  Marissa had set up a zoom
meeting so Grandma Kathy, Marissa's siblings, and the bishop/wife Klopps and various friends joined in.
It was really a great idea. People could view/hear the proceedings and sky Oskar didn't have to feel self-conscious.

Oskar had asked me to give the talk...same as Robert's combining the baptism ideas and the Holy Ghost.  I  Ihad prayed a lot about this since it would just be the 9 of us in person and however many tuned into Zoom.  You don't get a lot of involvement so I needed Heavenly Father to show me how.  And as always He came through big time.  I think that as I was lead to these thoughts I gained a different testimony of this event but also I was given to realize that this way, with so few in attendance, was perhaps a better way for a baptism to be had.  It was all about the ordinance/covenant.  Not about who showed up.  Not about the food afterwards.  And it was exactly how my baptism was (cold, rainy and it was just my mom and me and 2 or 3 priesthood holders)  So it was all good.  

As easily as I can, I will record what I said:  Talking at covid times like this, to next to no one in attendance was so different and a bit sad for the kids who remembered their older siblings’ baptisms when the ward was present, family came from near and far.   I had Oskar come stand beside me and look at the  Zoom screen and see all the family and friends and they waved at him, and he waved back. It was so quiet and reverent. Then I reminded him how thin the veil was at times and how various family members who had passed would be present.  I named a few from his short life, his mom’s life, mine,(my birth parents and father who was named HENRY as was young Henry here, Daddy Center, Bonpapa, Uncle Al who loved Marissa and she loved him and he even gave the prayer at her baptism altho he was not a member of our church, Sah and my poppy, and of course Uncle Johnny who for whatever reason Oskar feels a connection to) and then a special dad to his other grandma Kathy.  I had called her earlier and asked for a connection and her dad was amazing. I suggested that these wonderful people were probably here as witnesses to Oskar's choice to be baptized and he just needed to try and 'see' with spiritual eyes or to 
'feel' their presence.   And how did I know these people were there?  Well, there was Jesus’ baptism, when Jesus sought out his cousin who had the authority to baptize.  And when he came up out of the water as Oskar would be doing shortly, the Father’s voice was there from heaven saying in our vernacular “you are my beloved son and in you I am well pleased”. that was wonderful enough but then came the Holy Ghost coming down upon him...not as a dove but fluttering upon him.  The dove is just a sign of the Holy Ghost.  So I could include a short message about the Holy Ghost, who and what He was, what He would do to help Oskar.  And I mentioned that when that moment came, when Bubba would put his hands on Oskar's head he would pause and say, Receive the Holy Ghost.  That this was something Oskar would do.  He would open himself up to receiving the Holy Ghost and thereafter would have the gift of the Holy Ghost.  I had a marvelous quote from Parley P. Pratt which was too long and too hard to read for even a smart 8-year-old but I put some of it into easier language and then gave a copy of it for Oskar to be able to read through with his mom.

“The gift of the Holy Ghost...quickens all the  intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands, and purifies all the natural passions and affections, and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates, and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form, and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being."


At the closing the bishopric counselor, Chase Nesbitt,  spoke and said something really sweet.  He said, "Oskar you have now been given another power that hadn’t been mentioned.  It was a super power of time travel.  That no matter how old he gets, or where he is, there will come many moments when he will be able to travel back to this moment and remember his baptism, how it felt, what the day was like, who spoke…just like his grandmother could remember hers (that’s me…if this didn’t become clear).  How sweet and exact was that!? 

Robert baptized Oskar, Marissa and Henry witnessed it, and Robert and Chase confirmed Oskar.

  Bubba is showing Oskar how this ordinance would take place.

A boy and his mom who will grow up to be an amazing man because of her!

What I do not understand is how Hank could sit through the whole thing, acting all lovey-dovey and not see what he's given up.  I mentioned this to Jill Pavic and she said he's without feeling and then quoted me some scriptures.  And the saddest part of all of that is that altho I knew what the phrase, without feeling, meant it took on such heavy sadness suddenly that Hank has willingly and obnoxiously made this decision to desert his wife and kids, shack up with a woman and her kids, not pay what he needs, brag about being 'laid' so often by her and how wonderful it was, demanding 50/50 custody, not paying what he should and when he should.  

After the baptism we came back to Marissa's for a snack which we were buying from Sauced in Lakewood and picked up curbside. Suddenly I got a text message...and Hank had paid me $15 to cover his meal.  He would not even allow me to pay for it.  But then again he hates me and thinks I'm abusive.  Where that came from I have no idea.  I just figured, "who cares" and moved on. I no longer feel the need to play nice and try to talk to him. I don't have any reason to and wish Robert would NOT.

The night before we had a birthday dinner with Oskar and Hank of course was there.  It was a great dinner and wonderful birthday ice cream cake...topped with lots of Halloween candy which Oskar loves to do.  We gave him his camera as well and he was so pleased.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Where did the summer and early fall go?

 I cannot say I've been overly busy but I have been overly bored.  I think this year's hard copy of my blog is going to very slim 2020.  There's really not been a lot to talk about.  

Robert insisted, and kindly so, bought me a new (used) sewing machine that's also a sewing machine.  BabyLock Unity.  I took 4 classes (free) at Pins and Needles for it...2 were boring because it was about sewing and I'm pretty good on that one.  2 were on embroidery.  I did learn more there.  But due to covid we had to sit far apart, wear masks and so instructions were not as personal But it was fun and I am so grateful.

I did manage to finish up all my projects and now that is October 14 I can once again decide on a quilt pattern and start that sewing project.  Knitting is all done for the girls' birthdays.  Christmas gifts are all done for the adults. Still need a few for a couple of the grands.

The weather is starting to cool and the vegetable plants are about at their end.  I'm glad.  I am grateful for the harvest and the preservation of juices, jellies, beans, cucumbers, etc but I'm ready to be over picking and canning/freezing.  Now to get Robert to agree to take out the dead and dying plants.  Fortunately our ministering couple, Ron and Pam Roberts are coming to help.

Robert has had 3 surgeries on that one right eye.  The retina will not stay in place. The last surgery was brutal on the eye but luckily Robert feels no pain, just discomfort with this one.  I had a very hard time getting 2 drops in his eye 4 times a day.  This last week we had to get Atropine drops to dilate something (?).  Not sure what that is all about.  We return to the surgeon next week and hope there is good news.

Meet our Jinx

Jinx with Oskar

Jinx with Robert...snuggling

Jinx's paw print on the beach...he doesn't like the beach nor the lake noises yet

Jinx trying to get Robert's pant leg or sock

Love him like this!

Kitty Buchan came to meet Jinx and he loved her...lots of kisses

Jinx met Christina and Keith Belanger

Jinx found the pouf I was throwing away and has claimed it

At the beach but not happy

Jinx met Zane Schroth

On the way last.  Jinx had a bath and we are keeping him dry!

Henry and Marissa enjoying Jinx while Oskar enjoys a Drink Box

Jinx is very comfortable on the couch.

I think Jinx is bothered by the hair across his eyes

Still with the pouf.

Jinx loving on Marissa..would you look at the length of that tongue?

Henry loves Jinx and the feeling is mutual

Robert still is trying to avoid Jinx

From day 2, Jinx has been so comfortable at home..lying on his back!

Marcia Hassle gave his face and behind and toes a trim!

Marcia also gave Jinx this bed.  It sits in our kitchen

We did the Buddy Walk for children with Downs and took Jinx with us.  Virtual walk this year

Jinx went over to meet Jan Warren at her home.

Jinx's snuggle buddy is the stuffed bear puppel but he's got that and the cow with him in the little bed.

email updates

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner