I just wanted to share a hilarious little story...

After supper this evening, I got a terrible set of hiccups--you know those kind that rip through the diaphram very loudly. I was busy washing dishes and laughing while hiccuping. After a while, over my hiccups, I hear Granddaddy say something. I stepped around the corner and said, "What'd ya say?" He kind of laughed, his eyes twinkling, "Can you cut them down?" I laughed, explaining that I can't stop these things.

I returned to the dishes and didn't hiccup any more!! A few minutes later, Granddaddy remarked (I could hear him smiling), "I guess it worked." If that isn't what he said, it was pretty close. I just laughed again and retorted, "You scared them out of me!" I don't know if he heard me, but I think he might have. I was having spasms of laughter about that...though not nearly as bad as the ones that go with the following picture!
There! I'm laughing uncontrollably again! I do love you Katie!! You should be a comedian... :D This is a Danny Kaye face alright...
I hope she doesn't kill me for this...I love this picture and I just had to share! Normally, only her family sees this side of her. I have no idea why she was making this face and I had no idea she was making it until I looked at the pictures...then I nearly fell out of my chair laughing. :)


We headed out Thursday morning after a whirlwind early morning trip to the feed store...

We got to our hotel in time to eat a quick snack-ish lunch and find the church (and Robert and Lessie) before the first session started. R.C. Sproul had the first talk--on justification. He joked throughout the weekend that he has spoken on justification at least as much as Martin Luther did! I did not realize until Thrusday afternoon that Dr. Sproul was a stand-up comic along with being a theologian...not that I have any problem with a little humor thrown in with my theology! :) The second session was supposed to be by a man named Robert Godfrey, but apparently he was so ill that he could not make it so they asked Steve Lawson to fill in for him. Mr. Lawson therefore did...he spoke on the nature of Truth. Then there was a question and answer session--during which I did not take notes. It rather amused me when the Presbyterians and Baptists got to talking about baptism...Mr. Begg and Dr. Sproul had a nice friendly argument. (I wish theological discussions could be that amiable more often!) There were two 'optional' sessions by author's about their latest books. I sat in part of one of those and talked to Robert some. The final session of the day was Alistair Begg on preaching the Word. I forget when we ate supper Thursday evening...what I do remember is that Robert kindly purchased a Caeser salad for both Savannah and I (as he like-wise did twice on Friday).

Friday morning, bright and early, we were back in the chuch listening to Mr. Lawson talking about Martin Luther and the sufficency of scripture. His talk was followed by one by Cal Thomas (FOX news commentator) on the family. After a short break, we were back listening to Sinclair Ferguson on doctrine. Lunch (Caesar salad for us) was next. I managed to consume the entirety of that salad even though I wasn't exceptionally hungry...it tasted good, but I was stuffed.

After lunch came Mr. Alistair Begg instructing us to be merciful. Dr. R.C. Jr. (whom we have always known by the nickname 'Red-beard'--though it doesn't fit anymore since his beard is no more), spoke next on being a 'Good Offense'. There were two more 'optional' sessions after that and then Ravi Zacharias encouraged us with the knowledge that Christ is risen and what that means for us. He got a standing ovation. The speaking done for the evening, we went back to our hotel.

Saturday morning we were back at the church for a second session by Mr. Ferguson. He spoke of Christ and the church. There was a second question and answer session, which I likewise took no notes from. The final session was by Dr. R.C. Sproul on not compromising--the theme of the conference and what everyone was encourging in their lectures. I will get around to posting all my notes sometime.

Now for the more humorous stuff: coming back into the hotel Thursday night, the toe strap on my right sandel gave way. Oh well, I've had those sandels ever since 2004 so I suppose they were rather out of style! I also made the discovery that I didn't have a nightgown! I didn't do my own packing and whomever did forgot to pack one for me--probably because I didn't have one laid out. I'm grateful that someone else did do my packing because I was so flustered I might have forgotten something myself! Thankfully, Lessie had an extra nighty which she loaned to me.

Friday I was told at lunch by the ladies who had been sitting behind us, that they could hear me singing during the time of song before the sessions. I was rather astounded by that fact because of the beautiful loudness of the organ and the Symphonia (as well as nigh on 5000 people singing!)

We got one of the free DVD's on economics that R.C. Jr. was giving away for free...I look forward to watching that. I also got a free book by Steven Lawson on Luther when I signed up for Tabletalk--only for some reason I suspect that Robert and Lessie have it! We were car-pooling with them and I did have it in her bag...

Saturday morning, they had a volunteer choir sing the "Hallelujah Chorus". I was thinking about maybe trying (though I am really not very good at all singing parts), but by the time they were ready to start practicing, I was in desperate need of a cup of coffee. By the time I had had my coffee and was feeling like I could have given it a shot, the practicing was mostly done. They didn't loose anything by not having me in the choir either! :D At the very end of the conference, they got up there on stage and sang. It was so amazing!

We went to St. Andrew's Chapel on Sunday before heading home. St. Andrew's is beautiful, built like a minuature cathedrel. It was all beautiful...but, if I can say this without treading on anyone's toes...it had too much of a 'high church' feel to it. I'm a Presbyterian and I was on the verge of uncomfortable becuase it seemed to have an Anglican flair too it...it just wasn't Presbyterian, I guess!
Our hotel room..the decor through the hotel was very 1970's.
Friday morning coffee...I look like I needed it!
This is a job I WOULD NOT like to have!!
The Ligonier Symphonia (sans strings)...
The organ's pipes!!!
Close(r) up of the one side...
Savannah Saturday evening...

This morning we said, "Bye" to Mama and Katherine and they headed back for the domains far north...before they left we had a short picture taking spree...if you can't tell, the wind was blowing!
Goofy faces...
There...that's better!
See how much taller my little sister is?? Actually, I was slouched down some. :) She's reminding me to lift my chin so the second one doesn't show! :D


The hen coop is well underway. We didn't finish today because we ran out of wire and I thought we'd wait and ask Mama a few questions before we continued. Anyway, here are the pictures from today's adventure.
What we started with...
My tape measure doesn't have a lock swtich on it, so I have to improvise. :)
We cut four strips of wire that were roughly 12.5 or 13 feet long...
Then we laid them out like this over the 'ridge' pipe...
And wired them down...
This was probably the trickiest part. Katie gamely undertook to hold the 12' 2" PVC ridge poll up while I wired it to the top of the triangle. She managed to get this really good shot of herself after I had the first end wired.
Wiring the opposite end.
For me, this was the most uncomfortable part...I'm fine up a ladder so long as it has NO wiggle. Here it was a tad jiggly, so I had Katherine steady it for me. She's terrible cute with her glasses on the top of her head!
"Don't lean over TOO far, Racheal..." I was wiring to the middle sections of the triangle.
This isn't a very good shot of what we finished with, but it'll have to do. As you can see, the ends are open--we still have to rig that up somehow; more wire of course. I have some plastic stuff, but I'm not sure that won't get used in the horse trailer...
And in closing, how about a picture of a lovely old oak?


No pictures tonight...but more words. :)

After lunch, Katherine and I headed out to work on the rooster coop. I was hoping we would be all done with it tonight, but it didn't work out that way. We started by putting wire around the whole thing, length-ways, starting at one end and wraping it around back to that same end, leaving the end open. (That's my 'door' end!) We put about six inches down on the ground as an extra deterrent for critters and wired the thing on. Katherine spent a good deal of time 'sewing' the wire to the bottom pipe with the thin, very supple wire that came wrapped around the chicken-wire itself.  Meanwhile, I was going around wiring it to the corners. Mama dropped by as she and Savannah were head to town and suggested support bars in the middle of my ten-foot sections. Okay...so out came the drill, the pipe cutters, the nails, and the hammer. I didn't need to cut another peice of pipe since I had two four foot sections laying around already. I drilled holes in either end of the four foot sections and roughly in the middle of my ten foot top and bottom pipes. Katherine poked the nails through and I hammered them down.

Then we went back to wiring...now, if  you've ever worked with wire, you know the state one's hands get. Soon we both had blood on our hands. Somehow, Katherine actually managed to get scratched more than I did...but I have some doozy's alright. Katie went in to get a band-aid for her arm at one point and came back with another poked in her pocket. That was providential because a few minutes later I really got a walloping cut on my right index finger. With that bandaged up I went right back to work.

We were almost done with all the wiring when Mama got home and came and looked at our progress and made some more suggestions. If you know me at all, you know that when I'm hungry and getting tired, suggestions aren't always the best received. Well, I bit down on that growing, "aww....just leave me alone!" feeling, and actually looked at what she was pointing out and laughed instead of growled. Yep...it really did need cross bars to keep it from sagging like that. I cut some more pipe (oh, by now my hands were so tired from cutting electric wire--what we are using to tie the chicken wire on with--that I had to use the ground to help me cut the pipe)...mind you, sitting inside  the three foot (plus a few inches) high area. Then I drilled some more holes, Katherine poked the nails through, and I pounded them.

We didn't finish...it was time for dinner and we were hungry (we never did stop and have that suggested apple break...go figure.) Anyway, it shouldn't take too much longer to finish--though I'm not sure we'll get it done tomorrow because we have to go someplace tomorrow afternoon.

I will post pictures when it is done! (Would have had pictures today only Katie left her camera across the creek!)


Well, actually this is Part 2, since I started on the coops two weeks ago. Anyway, with Katherine's help, the frame of the first one is finished. Problem is...it didn't work like it was supposed to!

For starters, it was supposed to be shaped something like this:
My cute as a button assistant...
You know, I can be rather goofy sometimes...
We had all but one hoop (there were supposed to be 5) together, when they started snapping! 1 inch 40 SD PVC pipe popping is rather startling. This was the result...
Sooo...we brain-stormed...I called Daddy...and this is what we ended up doing: We made a triangle out of the pipe (instead of arches). I drilled holes through the ends, stuck a nail through, and pounded it down. 
I started by sawing off the one unbroken pipe.
Then I drilled holes in the top of the pipes...
(How'd you like those orange ear-plugs? )
Pounding away...(I had to have another pair of gloves held against the head of the nail to keep from hurting myself.)
Finished frame!
It wasn't that hot...I just thought this one was a cool picture! (I was still up the ladder when Katherine took it.)
Well, there you have it...we still have to finish...but that'll come in Part 2.

Whew! Mama and I had an interesting morning this morning...we got a 'new' antenna hooked up to Granddaddy's TV. It happened like this...

I got over to our place around 9:15 to feed the cows and afterwards eat my breakfast. While chomping down on my eggs, cheese, and sauerkraut, Mama told me that we were going to take the antenna that Daddy had rigged up for the RV over to Granddaddy's and hook that up to his TV. 

First we had to pull the thing out of the RV tent. Next we had to take it apart at approximently the middle; and I still had pipe stuck about six feet over the the cab of the pick-up. I drove rather slowly on the way home (I have three, you know, so this is an interesting statement!) and had fun maneuvering the oaks in the driveway. (Cowboy-hatted head hanging out the drivers window...)

Anyway, Mama arrived in the red car shortly after I got there and we put the antenna back together. I made a couple trips to the barn for the right sized wrenches; I also ended up going back for post hole diggers, electricians tape, zip-ties (which didn't get used), and a ladder. I've determined that I have developed a rather strange gait when walking fast in boots--I'm not sure it's bow-legged (I haven't ridden enough to be bow-legged!), but it's similar. I move much faster when swaggering like that. However, I wasn't planning on analyzing my walking...

After trying a couple different things and talking to Daddy on the phone at least twice, we decided to strap this long antenna to the old dead oak out there. There went three of my very nice ratchet straps. I will have to get some more now; not a problem since I am headed for Wal-Mart and Bryan's after I get off here for a battery for the Kubota, Round-up, gas, and hay for my cows.

Anyway, I found out at the bottom of the other antenna what the problem was. (I had checked this connection before, but I hadn't totally taken it apart, therefore I missed this.) The connector and the coax cable from that disk-shaped antenna were burnt. In other words, it got hit by lightening sometime early this fall (when we started having TV problems.) However, Mama wasn't going to climb that tower out back and I wasn't too keen on the idea either, so we just went with putting this other one up. If I had thought I could reach the connections up top, I would have given the climb a try (even though I'm not so fond of heights), but when Mama told me that Daddy had to stand on tip-toe to reach that connection, I knew I might as well not waste the effort. I'm shorter than he is and I certainly don't make up for that with the length of my arms. 

The long and the short of it is that Granddaddy now has more channels than he knows what to do with--and I'm going to have to put up with cartoons again! (I am going to stay on top of changing channels and volume control while he's asleep--never fear! :D)

Well, I ought to get to town so I can get to mowing...see ya'll later!


Here for your perusal are some pictures of Savannah and I's 1860's ball gowns.  Mine is made from an 1860 pattern--the dress is called the "Saratoga". I really, really like it!
Savannah in her gray silk gown...
Savannah has changed her gown a bit--she took the black lace over-skirt off and made herself a black chemise. She also added the lace on the sleeves.
My session cockade (which you will see in the pictures) was just 'sitting' on the dress. It isn't completely finished--I still need a 'CSA' button (planning on purchasing one this weekend at Brooksville). This way I can't be mistook for a Yankee! (Since all my clothes are blue!) 

Katherine made my earrings; they are clip-on's since my ears, though pierced, are terribly sensitive. It's kind of cool to be able to wear earrings! (I never wore clip-on's because they always bothered me--too tight--but Katherine has figured out how to make them comfy.)
Racheal modeling the "Saratoga" dress.
Period correct--no make-up! :D
I put these close ups here so you can see the details a bit better...the white undersleeves actually belong to my chemise. 
If you are interested in getting a dress like this for little more than the price of the materials--please visit Liberty Seamstress!

I love my dress! 


That sounds almost gruesome...but it sums up New Years Eve and the beginning of New Years Day fairly well...

Yesterday, the last day of the Year of Our Lord Two-thousand Twelve, Savannah and I rose early. I woke up five minutes before my alarm was set to go off (5 am). This is not unusual, since I have trained myself to wake up like that. Anyway, I went to turn the alarm off before it started beeping (such an irritating--but effective--beep). I kept trying to push the switch down. It didn't work. I got out of bed and walked over to the light switch, banging into books and finally running into the door. (That woke Savannah across the hall.) The alarm was beeping by now and I had shoved it under my pillow. I flipped the light on, walked back to the bed (without stubbing my toes this time), pulled my clock out from under my pillow, turned it over, and groaned at myself. Here I had been trying to slide the switch vertically...and it goes horizontally!! (Come to think of it, I think I've done that before. I use an alarm so infrequently that I forget how it works!)

I got dressed, fed Snip and the cats in the dark (none were up--but this way they got their food), and then drove over to our place across the creek and put out the cow's pellets. My nose was like an ice-sickle by the time I got home. It was nice and chilly out....I enjoyed needing the jacket and my bandana tied over my ears.

After I ate breakfast (I hadn't had my coffee yet), we headed off. I waited until we were on the main road to pour my coffee from the thermos. Savannah also had a second cup at that point. We arrived at the S's trailer before they did--Savannah called Mr. Bill, who was picking up the U-haul truck (he got the biggest one he could and still have a regular driver's licence). Soon Mrs. Sandy showed up with grandkids, Sam and Lucy in tow. A few minutes later, we were all in Mrs. S's car headed just literally around the corner to the storage unit. Mr. Bill was right ahead of us opening the gate when we arrived. Shortly thereafter, the S's eldest son, Brian, along with four of his kids, and the S's youngest, Tom (accompanied by preganant wife and their three other children) arrived. Mr. Bill had an announcement like ceremony where he told everyone that Savannah was in charge of loading the truck. We don't call her the "Load Master", for no reason. No one argued about it...though Tom did crack a joke or two (aimed more at his Dad than anyone.)

Tom and Brian, along with Gavin (Brian's oldest son--14), did most of the heavy lifting, though I pitched in and helped Gavin with both a matress and a cabineted sewing machine. (It wasn't because I was trying to prove I was as strong as the guys, but simply because I can't just stand around while other people do something that I can help with!) I got the impression that Gavin had never wrestled with a matress before...it was something about the way he handled it... :)

Tom kept everyone in stitches...he is terrible. Really. Of course, I rather know where he gets his sense of humor from--but he's twice as bad as his dad!! :D

After we finished at the storage unit, we went back to the trailer to pick up the last few remaining pieces of furiture and boxes. There, we practically unloaded the truck to reload it. I know that Savannah is a tad worried that things are going to rattle around too much. The truck was too big. :D

I was Savannah's "PA" system a couple of times--I guess that just tends to happen when you have a good set of lungs and your sister can't talk very loud. Not that I mind, it's just a humorous way to think of oneself. :D

I almost learned how to throw a football correctly yesterday. The kids (including myself) wound up tossing a football back and forth in the street for quite a while before and after lunch which provided by Kerry (the S's daughter and Sam and Lucy's mother). But, back to the football. I've only ever played football once and that was last fall (okay two falls ago really) with the B. boys in Indiana. We really did more running with it than throwing it though (and I somehow managed to outrun Daniel and make two touchdowns! I still wonder how I did that...) Yesterday it was just throwing and catching practice. I was catching like a girl; I normally can catch better than I can throw. Anyway, I just laughed it off. I know how to do that.

Once we were done there, Mr. Bill went to pick up the car hauler and Mrs. Sandy to do something else. The younger S men and their family's returned to Brian's while Savannah and I followed Kerry home. We spent several hours there. I mostly played with Lucy--that is, after I washed Kerry's dishes. Since we are "family" of sorts, I offered and did it even though she basically told me I didn't have to. I didn't REALLY feel like washing a stack of dishes, but I did because it was something I could do to be helpful. Perhaps I am learning not to be so selfish...

The rest of the afternoon was spent talking and playing and taking pictures. I happen to know that both Mrs. Sandy and Kerry have some blackmail photos of me! *laughs gaily* I told them, "Yep...Mama always says I could ruin a good picture." It's true too...you look through the pictures we've taken over the years. Who is it who is distractedly staring behind her? Racheal. Who is it who is making a silly face? Racheal. Who is it...well, you get the idea. :)

I hope that they send us some of them because some of the pictures were actually good.

After a nice little supper, Savannah and I said our adieu's. Nobody cried on the way home even though we are going to miss the S's something dreadful.
My eyes are reflecting the sky...so they look almost blue--and I most certainly do not have blue eyes! I hear when I was born they were a muddy greenish color...


Dear Friends,

Merry Christmas!! I'll hold off on the Happy New Years wishes until a bit later. ;)  This Christmas has turned out to be better than I expected.

Christmas or no Christmas, certain chores (for lack of a better word) must be taken care of. That is why 9 am found me in the Saturn heading across the creek to feed my cows. I had to holler a bit to let the three youngest cows know I was there. As soon as Prancy heard me, she started bellowing and running along the fence line. Soon, Snowflake and Strawberry arrived, tailed by little ol' crooked mouth. I really think there is nothing wrong with that calf other than her mouth is misshapen. Did you know, but cows are totally illogical? They must run the next animal off the feed piles, when, if they stayed put, they would get the same food...

I came home and fed myself; then of course, I washed the dishes. Dishes wait for no man...they must be done.

We 'did' Christmas with the family over Skype. I think Granddaddy found it somewhat amusing.
It didn't take overly long, but I think it was sufficent. Savannah got me several cross-stitch patterns--all lighthouses. I like lighthouses, do you? She also gave me a nice box (shaped like a book) that I can carry my hair-stuff and pins in when we reenact. She has one and I guess she heard me making some comment that I needed one, too. :D She also gave me a pretty ring and bracelet, as well as a little memo pad and a couple pens. (Uni-ball! My favorites!!)

I didn't get Savannah too much, but everything I did get her was practical or reenacting oriented. But you can see pictures here...

Up in Indiana, Katherine got her own camera...maybe that means she'll update her photo blog more frequently. ;D Daddy told me what they were 'getting' me. I'm supposed to take my computer in and get the biggest hard-drive that will fit put in it and have all my softwear 'migrated' onto it. Yay!! Now, I just have to do it. That's up to me.

We have a lovely lunch of salad and steak. (Rare--just the way I like it!) Granddaddy didn't have any salad, but he did have a potato and some avacado with his steak. :D

Now, I'm not sure what we are going to do with the rest of the day, but I hope we can pull out the ol' guitar and fiddle and play some of Andrew's music. (Google+ friend.) A couple months ago he asked if anybody was interested in getting copies of some of his tunes and I said yes (along with several other folks.) Later, his brother put the songs up and I printed them off and hid them to give to Savannah for Christmas! :D

Right now, we're on Skype again with Indiana where Grandpa and Grandma are opening their presents. Grandpa looks SO much better than he did! I popped in and asked, "How you doing, Grandpa?" and he looked over at the computer and retorted, "How do I look?" You don't know how that thrills me...he's his own sassy self again! :D
This isn't a great picture...but it'll work. ;)
Seeing as we thought he was fixing to die earlier in the year, it is good to see him sitting up and opening Christmas presents at the age of 90. :)

I guess I'll go ahead and say adios for now...I need to clean the wrapping paper up in the Florida room and wash the dishes...

Merry Christmas, folks!


Merry Christmas, everybody!! I'm pleased to say that I almost feel like Christmas. We had a two day cool snap over the weekend which helped. :) It also helps that I just got all my stuff wrapped and poked under our antique Christmas tree. It looks rather measly, but I'm used to have 7 people's things under the tree instead of only three.

The above mentioned cold snap has brought on the winter feeding routine. Yesterday morning I stepped out of the house, pleased with the fact that I needed a jacket, to be greeted by the smell of burnt plant matter. (That is frost bitten kind of burnt. ;P) I already was planning on going across the creek to feed my cows, but upon seeing the state of the grass (it looked like snow), I knew I really needed to go feed them. Wednesday I will be doing my feed-store routine.

Upon my arrival at our place this morning, I was greeted eagerly by all five head (the calf was on the other side of the house). Soon they were running each other off the pellets like their normal greedy selves. Socks is roping some, but she is no where near ready to have her calf. However, I'm not concerned because we learned with old Poky (I miss that cow!), that they fool you with their roping. As far as I can tell Socks is the only one of my four cows who is pregnant.
I'm not exactly sure how we are going to do Christmas Eve (we usually do a semi-fancy dinner--but I don't know if Savannah is planning on that); nor Christams day for that matter. I think this is going to be one of the most different Christmases ever.

Here's a few pictures of us taken yesterday, before we headed off to church...
I was standing funny so the top of the tree could be seen--and it still looks like it got chopped off! :D
My BE-U-TIFUL sister...
I've had those shoes since I was 12 when Mama bought them for me at the PX in Arizona. Obviously, my feet haven't grown much!!
Savannah's lovely hat. (This is one of my favorites.)
Have a Merry, Merry, Christmas!!!