HA! I bet some of you thought I was never going to post again! September was one booger of a month. We were busy enough with the garden, chicken’s and farmer’s markets. Then in August, we finally got the stuff we needed to finish up the assessing job for this year so I was trying to find some time to stuff that in my schedule. Just as I was about to ask to be cut down to 1 day a week with my sleeping around job so I could get the assessing finished, one of the other girls announced she would be gone for most of the month. So, instead of only one day a week at Maxine’s, I wound up working 3. Around the middle of the month, we found out that an old friend, who had come out to my MIL’s when she was sick before, was wanting to come out again but was afraid to ask. So, I offered to stay with her while Mom was at Maxine’s. I really thought she would wait till the first of the month when Kathy was back. Instead, she came out right away. So, it’s been 3 days at Maxine’s and 4 days at Mom’s. Whew! My life has been a little bit crazy! Kathy is back now and I’ve been on the premises for almost a week now (for those of you who don’t know, Tom’s parents live on the same property as us). Things ought to be slowing down a bit – I hope!

Grampa Tom says he’s done with farmer’s markets for the year. He’ll soon be in the fields helping Lane get the crop out. He’s trying to get things cleaned up a little. We have a huge bon fire going tonight. I’m so thankful that we have markets for our eggs for the winter!

I’m working on a chicken page for our egg business. I’ll be using a mini-blog service called Squiddo. Will give the link when I’ve got it somewhat completed.


Did another experiment the other day that worked. I browned strips of chicken breasts along with onions, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil. Then I added ranch dressing and broccoli and simmered for about 30 minutes. Mmmmm …. Good!

God Bless You All!

Sleeping Around

Well folks, I’m late with this again! This time I have a really good excuse. You know the sleeping around job I have? (Clean up your mind! I do elder care.) Well, usually I stay with my client for one or two 24 hour shifts a week. This week, the other two ladies who help her were unavailable and I wound up staying for 5 days! Finally got home last night. I was so tired! Last night I got 6 hours of sleep in a row!After getting up with an old lady 3 or 4 times a night for so long it feels wonderful, but my house looks like my husband and an 8 y/o have been living here. HELP!!!!

At least the gardens look good. Here’s a few pictures.

I’m not gonna show you the house.

Our granddaughter has been a really big help. She has been taking good care of the baby chicks. She feeds and waters them every day in addition to giving them a ride in the wagon! How cute! She’s already bored and wants to go home though. Somehow, I knew her determination to stay the whole summer wouldn’t last long ;(

Gotta get the kid up and try to get things back into shape. Will try to give a “state of the projects” next week or at least get back to the regular format!

God Bless You All!

Safe From the Flood

Well, as safe as is possible in the middle of a major disaster. People have been asking about us since our address is Niota. Niota has been evacuated, but we are actually out in the country on the plains about 3 miles from any flooding. Thanks to all of you who have been praying! The picture is one my friend Becky took near the Keokuk bridge.

While we are high and dry, that doesn’t mean we haven’t been affected. It is difficult to get to Iowa right now. Grampa Tom did go to the Burlington Farmer’s Market today, but we’re wondering if there will be a bridge open to get him home on tonight. Fortunately, we have friends in Iowa who would be happy to put him up for awhile. I did have the sense to do some turbo shopping last Saturday! In ’93 there were about 3 weeks when shopping in Iowa was nearly impossible and there’s not much on this side of the river. I wanted to be prepared.

Business for us has really dropped off. Garage sales and farmer’s markets are pretty much leisure time activities around here and most people are just too busy and worried to have fun right now. We did have some folks from Carmen stop by today. They were on a scouting mission to find a way to the father’s workplace in Iowa. They said their house was being protected by a levy that seemed to be holding. LORD, please be a wall around them!

Fortunately, we found some money we didn’t know we had! Last January, Grampa Tom lost his checkbook. He was really messed up so he decided to use my check book for a couple of months. At one point, we thought we had accidentally deposited some money in his checkbook that belonged in mine and that I would be overdrawn, so we transfered it. It’s been there for quite awhile so we decided it is safe to use it now! See how God works! He even uses our mess to bless!

My son Jess has been busy sandbagging. Grampa Tom and I are too old and decrepit to be much help so we’ve stayed out of the way. I’d love to do some of the behind the scenes organizational and fund raising work, but I just don’t have any time to give right now. My life was already a blur, and then 2 weeks ago, the little old lady my MIL and I take care of came home from the nursing home. We had been just staying nights with her, but now she needs someone with her all the time, so we’ve recruited another person and are doing 24 hour shifts. I’m only doing one or two shifts a week and I’m very grateful for the work, but I’m so incapable of giving any more of my time! Ahhh! Mommy-God syndrome. I have such a tendency to want to be all things to all people! I have to keep reminding myself that God is there for those people even if I can’t be.

Remember, God promises that He will use all things for good! So, be blessed in the mess!

Chicks, Avon & E-Bay


So far, there’s 7 little babies and quite a few eggs that are chirping through little holes! I’ve got them in the house with the incubator. I’ll keep them in here for a few days just to make sure they stay nice and warm, but if you or your kids would like to see them, I’ll be happy to invite you in! If you’d like to buy a few, they are $2.35 each.


Really, I mean really, it was my intention to just have a few Avon books and a lotion or two available for my customers in the garage! Somehow, I managed to order 200 books by mistake. I’m taking it as a sign from God. The same day I realized what I had done and that I couldn’t fix it, my “sleeping around job” ended. I know how to sell Avon. I used to support my family on it. Maybe God wants Avon to be a major source of income again. Needless to say, I’m spending a lot of time this week passing out Avon books!


The Farmer’s Market in Burlington went very well this week. We sold out of egg noodles and I managed to sell quite a few of my golden eggs. This week it will be on the river just south of the bridge where it is supposed to be. If you want to come, it is held from 5-8 pm every Thursday. We should also be going to Keokuk on Saturday morning (at the Keokuk Mall) and to Carthage Monday afternoon (at the courthouse).


Back in the fall of 2006, I was selling quite a bit of stuff on E-Bay, but that project got put on hold due to my assessing job. This week I resumed it. I’ll try to put a couple of things on it a week. This week, I put Grampa Tom’s first shopping bag on E-Bay with a starting bid of $4.99 and some black printer ink for an Epson printer with a starting bid of $9.99. If you’d like to bid, you can find my stuff at


I was amazed at how far I got my gazebo top to rug project last weekend. I actually got all the strips rolled into balls and have begun to braid the strands!

We bought some more paint to paint eggs with – even some red, white and blue for the 4th of July. I’ll probably experiment with that a little this weekend along with my rug.


The biggest project we’ve had going on this week has been the gardens. We’re finishing the construction and planting like mad.

We have planted tomatoes, potatoes, cucumber, radishes, onions, peppers, turnips, corn, green beans, lima beans, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, carrots, garlic, squash and pumpkin. We already have some herbs. The oregano and lemon balm are coming on strong and the sage is starting to leaf out. I also bought some seeds for dill, basil and marjoram. I’ll be drying most things, but if you’d like some really fresh herbs, I’d be happy to go cut some for you!

Be sure to ask to see our new raised bed gardens. We are following Len Pense’s plans:

They take a lot of work to build, but once they are done, they are a breeze to care for. We’d love to build one for you or teach you how to do it yourself!

(tips, recipes and ideas for saving money)

Hurting People Hurt Other People

Some old people are real sweethearts, but there are other’s who are just plain mean and if you are going to take care of them, you can’t take it personally. Most of the time, these are people who’s brains aren’t working right and/or they are in a lot of physical pain. They lash out at you because they are in pain, not because you did anything wrong. They still need to be cared for and loved, so you have to learn to look past their bad behavior and do what’s best for them in spite of themselves – kind of like putting a crabby kid down for a nap.

Actually that’s pretty much the way it is with all people. 90% of the time, people who are growly or mean aren’t actually responding to what you did. They are responding to situations in their pasts where they were humiliated, scared or devastated. Or maybe they are just tired, stressed out or hungry. Don’t take it personally! Forgive them and move on. You’ll be a happier person.

God Bless You All!