My 2014 New Year's Eve Plans..................................

Hoosier Park’s biggest celebration of the year is about to get FREAKY FUN!
Your New Year’s Eve
Las Vegas – Style Freaky Fun
Your Complimentary Package for 2 Includes:
·         Unbelievably delicious dining in the Homestretch Clubhouse Restaurant, seatings beginning at 5pm,
reservations required  -  Our reservation is for 7PM
·         Two complimentary Crazy Cocktails per person
       Outlandish party favors
·         Free flowing champagne in the casino beginning at 8pm
·         Overnight accommodations (first called, first booked, only while they last)
·         Complimentary New Year’s Day brunch at Prime Harvest Buffet, served from 11am to 4pm
·         $100 Casino Cash WINNERS every 15 minutes from 8pm till 1am, you must be playing at a slot machine to be eligible



Out with the old...............................

12/31/14 - I believe we made the deadline!  Above is the site where the trailer was located.  I went to the courthouse today and informed them  it was no longer a residence.  I am hoping to save money on my taxes.  Before trailer, taxes on this piece of land were around $200.  After the assessor labeled one acre as residential because of the mobile home, taxes on this parcel went to almost $900 a year.  Because the trailer was in need of a lot of repair to be a profitable rental, I made the decision to have it removed. The planning commission is supposed to come out tomorrow and verify/approve the removal.  They will then contact the assessors office and make the tax adjustment.  There is a little more clean up that needs to be done but I hope this passes!  So......it is out with the old!

For New Years Eve I will be attending a celebration at  Hoosier Park Casino.  I have a dinner reservation at 7 p,m.;  the package also includes New Year's day brunch the next day.  I have a feeling we won't be staying long on New Years Eve........ Randy has the flu. 

Monday - 12/29/14.......................Auto Show

Monday - 12/29/14 - Randy and  I attended the Indianapolis Auto Show where the picture at the left was taken. I am still trying to decide what kind of car to buy since I took the $25,000 cash option instead of the $30,000 voucher to purchase a Mercedes.  Anyway, I am car shopping.  I am going to Buick today to see what kind of deal I can get on a 2015 Encore.   -  Well, I went.  What it amounts to is they want my car and an additional $20,000.  I'll have to think about all of this a little more............................


On to comparing the old piece of furniture I ran across at the flea market and put in yesterday's post with my bedroom pieces.  The top of my piece shown at left is definitely similar.            


Furniture find.................

12/28/14 - I haven't posted for awhile but I have been busy doing Christmas things.  I think it is finally over.  Today we went to Columbus, Indiana  to deliver the last Christmas gift to one of Randy's daughter.  On the way back we made a quick stop at a little inside flea market in Shelbyville.  Unfortunately we got there right at closing time.  They allowed us to make a quick lap around the place.  I ran across this piece of furniture that sure looks like it was made to go with the antique bedroom furniture I have at the farm.  I am not home yet but will compare it when I get there.  In the meantime I will get it posted before I forget.

The sad thing is that the shop owners told me it was sold.  I probably wouldn't have bought it anyway,  I may go back again when they are open to try to find out who the new owner is and if they know any more about the history of this piece.

I was told today this piece sold for $700.  The owners also said they had an appraiser tell them the piece was worth $800 to $1500.  They just wanted to sell it.  I know, big difference between low and high appraisal.

 The picture at the right was taken so I could compare it to the trim on my pieces.

Signing off...........more to do.


Friday at the Hilbert Theatre

On Friday 11/19/14, I attended a cocktail party at the Columbia Club located right on Monument Circle in Indianapolis.  The event was a Christmas Party for Investors - in this case Randy.  We met in the room at the left - of course on Friday it was decorated for Christmas (I should have taken some pics.  This is from the internet.) We had free drinks available and 3 tables of various hor d'oeuvres, i.e. shrimp, oysters, chips, cheese, pound cake cubes with chocolate carmel sauce, nuts, taco chips with cheese sauce, another type of spicy cinnamon chip, rolls for the prime beef slices, and strangely enough they served mashed sweet potatoes or regular potatoes in sundae cups offering toppings of brown sugar, pecans, marshmallows, grated cheese, green onions, sour cream.  There were artichokes in phyllo dough and other items I am sure I missed.  After an hour of socializing the party was taken outside for a walk to the Hilbert Circle Theatre also located on the Circle.  Showing there was the IPL Yuletide Celebration.  I really enjoyed this show!  A description of the event is below.  Our seats were center and about 10 rows up - really great seats!  There was such a variety of acts and performances.  Again, it was wonderful.  So good, I would even consider going at my own expense sometime!  My only regret was I didn't go out at intermission and get a free Christmas Cookie and sample of Wassail!  It would be a good event for kids too.  Lots of characters available for photos. 

In its 29th year on the Hilbert Circle Theatre stage, IPL Yuletide Celebration continues to be Indiana's greatest holiday tradition. Renowned soprano, Angela Brown, and Broadway star, Ben Crawford, return to co-host this year's performances and will be joined by ISO artists-in-residence, Time for Three, Music Director Jack Everly, a brilliant cast of Broadway's best singers and dancers and, of course, your beloved Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.


  • Last year, Disney's Frozen stole our hearts, and now we're bringing the music to life on the Yuletide stage! The cast performs songs from this instant classic, including "Let It Go" and "Do You Want to Build a Snowman," among others, in a tribute to Frozen!
  • The Yuletide Jukebox is back, featuring a medley of pop holiday tunes such as the Jackson Five's rendition of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" and Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You."
  • Don't forget the Yuletide traditions, including the 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, There is a Santa Claus and, of course, our Tap Dancing Santas!
New this year! Limited VIP seating is now available. VIP tickets can be purchased for $250 each and include:
  • Reserved parking on Monument Circle just steps from Hilbert Circle Theatre,
  • Cookies and Wassail brought to your seats prior to the show and during intermission,
  • And a Meet and Greet with an IPL Yuletide Celebration cast member after the performance.


Winning at the game of Life.................................

12/19/14 - Winning at the game of life: the Art of Manifestation.

That is the name of a workshop I attended at Camp Chesterfield a couple of years ago.  It was presented by Michael Jones pictured at left.  He is on Facebook and can be found on the internet here  Check out his thoughts for the day on facebook, too.  Interesting food for thought.

I am thinking of him now because of my recent car win (I still haven't chosen the $25,000 cash or the car -  another day I will go into this.)  Anyway..........I appreciate the power of affirmations.  During his workshop, we spent the hour or so writing our own affirmation.  It was very interesting.  For my own reference, I am recording the affirmation I authored at that workshop below.  Note the first two steps before saying your affirmation - 1) Show Gratitude (I always say "Thank You for the gifts I have received."  I assume creator/God/spirit knows what they are.  I do not specifically list them, but acknowledge that I appreciate everything and sometimes a specific __fill in the blank.       2)  Pray for Others (I have some specific friends and situations included here in addition to peace and ease for the world in general.)  Now for my affirmation process:


Ø    Show Gratitude

Thank you for the gifts I have received.

Ø    Pray for Others

(Then say the following affirmation)

Ø    Divine Intelligence is now operating in me and through me,  arranging everything, giving me the clarity to make wise decisions and to take actions which best serve my life and those I love.

Ø    Divine Intelligence brings this about in this lifetime in perfect ways and under grace.

Ø    Nevertheless, not my will, but thy will be done.

Ø    Amen.  So Be It.

Another simple affirmation I use to start the day is:  Only good things come to me.



Everything has a story

12/18/14 - While doing some cleaning a few days ago I thought about the story behind these two abalone shells.  I purchased the first one (top one) at a flea market.  I remember the lady saying, "Will you do me a favor?"  "Well, " I said warily, "What is it?"  Her request was that I name the shell Betty.  I asked her if that was her name and with a nod of her head and a sheepish smile she said that it was.  Just last year I ran across another abalone shell at a yard sale during the big Lapel rummage weekend.  I purchased it from an older gentleman.  I proceeded to tell him the Betty story and asked if his shell had a name.  He said, "Call it Bill, Dollar Bill - that's what they call me."  So, as long as I am alive, these two shells will be known as Betty and Dollar Bill. 

As I look at the other items in this picture I see a metal winged face - not sure what this is.  Just an odd face my mother had saved and put in the little display box.  If he had a name I don't know it. 

The red Buddha belonged to my husband, Mike, before I ever married him in 1975.  I don't know where he got it but I somehow got custody when we divorced in 1995. 

The turtle sculpture is something fairly new to me.  It was left behind by the renter I had for over 14 years.  The guy who lived in the trailer I am having demolished. 

There are several arrowheads showing.  These were found here on the farm.  Again, some of my mother's treasures.  She mounted them, numbered them and has them recorded in a book that tells where and when each was found.  Only a few are in this picture.  The whole back of the 6-foot showcase contains mounted arrowheads and various other worked pieces. 

A wooden picture frame is barely visible behind the turtle sculpture, I know its there. It contains a picture post card of "Miracle"  the white buffalo.  My very special friend and teacher, Warren, gave it to me.  He has since passed but we shared an interest in Native American culture and all things metaphysical.  The story of Miracle can be found by clicking  here.

What stories are attached to the things that surround you?


Table -top, finished Mystery Kal shawl

12/16/14 - I gave up sewing because it takes so much space.  I thought knitting would be compact, easy to take with me.  The mystery shawl proves that wrong.  I had all this stuff out to work on the shawl.  Good news I finished it off today so I can put  all this stuff away.  My next knitting project is a small scarf. 

Also on the table is a big pink pattered tote bag.  It is by Vera Bradley.  The bag was passed out to fans at a Fever ballgame.  Randy and I attended a lot of Fever games the last 2 years.  We aren't season ticket holders for next year.  That's ok.   On to a new adventure. 

At right is the completed shawl.  It is being blocked right now.  Blocking made a big difference in the chevrons and other design features of  the scarf.  I think I will check to see if it is dry right now.. . . . . . more pictures to come.



12/13/14 - Lucky Day - Car Problem Solved

12/13/14, Saturday,  turned out to be a special day for me.  I went to the Casino for their elite Royale Christmas Party.  Attendees received an entry for the car drawing as we went in for  a dinner of Lobster and Filet, mashed potatoes, salad, veggies, finished off by chocolate layer cake with free drinks included.  To make a long story short, I was one of 10 people whose ticket was drawn from the barrel.  That automatically awarded me $1,000 slot play or the car.  When selected, we were asked to go down to the stage and pick a wrapped box.  When everyone had their box, they started calling names for people to open their box.  Six people opened $1000 gift  certificates.  I was still standing with a one in four chance of winning the car.  My turn to open my box.......................inside was the certificate above right!  I was the winner of the 2015 Mercedes Benz! Or, $25,000 in cash.  The car is pictured at right.  I have a few days to make a decision.  I am leaning towards taking the car.  (I will call my accountant on Monday morning for details on how much I will owe and tax repercussions) As I posted earlier, the Captiva I had wanted got sold before I could get my car in for an appraisal.  So, when one door closed.......................................


Just Do It ...........................................

Monday - 12/8/14.......................................................................
“Sometimes", said Miss Phillips, "the thing you dread doing is the very thing you should do, just so you can stop thinking about it.”
Marci Shimoff, Chicken Soup for the Single's Soul (Chicken Soup for the Soul 

And That is what I did this morning. I made 2 calls I have been putting off for weeks.
 (1) Called my last year's farmer (thank God it went to Voice Mail, but I was prepared to talk if need be) and told him I was using someone else.
 (2) Decided I wasn't waiting on the first trailer demolition guy any longer.  I called him and told him he too had been replaced. 

  I don't know how either of these decisions will work out. But I have made the decisions and made the dreaded phone calls to complete the action.  Now I can quit thinking about making the calls and instead start worrying about how this will work out.  Hoping for the best!

The picture above has nothing to do with my day.  In fact it was taken 2 years ago at a Markleville Festival.  Its me with my usual bad hair, Randy on the left and Steve on the right.  These two guys graduated with my brother who died in 2001 at the age of 56 from cancer.


Holiday Hors d'Oeuvres

12/6/14 - I am wishing I had the motivation to make this wreath for a Christmas Open House I am attending on Sunday.  The chicken salad sounds absolutely wonderful.  Here is the recipe for Holiday Tea Sandwich Wreath :
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cored diced apples
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup seedless grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2/3 cup diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Pumpernickel bread
  • Square or circular cookie cutter
  • Finely chopped chives
Blend all ingredients well in a large bowl.
Use the cookie cutter to cut 2 identical pieces from the bread.
Spoon a bit of the salad atop one piece of bread, and top  with the second piece.
Dip the sandwich in chopped chives.
When you have completed about 10 sandwiches, arrange them sideways in a circle on a platter to resemble a wreath.

The Grinch Kabobs at left look like something I could whip up in a short time..............decisions, decisions.

Original recipe makes 24 servings       


God Winks Story....................

12/5/14 - I spent a chunk of time this morning trying to send a story to the Hoda and Kathie Lee show.  They had the author of God Winks, Squire Rushnell,  on their program in November.  After his segment they requested viewers stories be sent to them through Connect on  the KLG.com  website.  Here is the story I sent about the diamond that was lost from my mom's ring.

Stephen Edward Sonoff and Helen Elenor Havens were married December 15, 1944.  To celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary in 1970, Dad bought Mom a beautiful heart-shaped diamond ring.  Mom loved diamonds.  She had other jewelry, but this ring was special.  It celebrated their life together and was given to her by my DAD.  She always said it would be mine someday.  She promised I would have the ring after she died.
June 2, 2000 she looked down and noticed she had lost the heart-shaped diamond from her ring. (Oh, no!  My diamond – gone!)  It was such a sad time for her.  Dad had passed away  in 1979.  I know how she felt about the ring.  Everyone helped her look, and look, and look.  Never found it. 
Time passed.  My brother died April 4, 2001.  Six months later my mother died , October ll, 2001.  At the time of her death, her special companion, John E. Smith, was staying at the farm.  Although they never married, the two had been together for 18 years.   He had some health problems so I returned to the farm to help him with medications, etc. 
And, here’s how I found the diamond.  John Smith decided he wanted to buy a new car.  We got his trade-in ready for the auction.  I cleaned the outside, and vacuumed.  He removed things from the trunk and glove box.  Vehicle was ready for the Wednesday night auction!  Something came up and we had to postpone taking the car that week.  We rescheduled for the following week’s auction.  After the postponement, John Smith is out running around as usual and looses his billfold.  Okay, got to take him to the BMV for a new drivers license.  As I go by his car I think, “Better get his registration, that will be one more piece of ID for the BMV.”  I opened the glove box, there it was.  Sitting right inside.   I couldn’t believe it! 
The diamond was lost June 3, 2000, found on April 4, 2002………lost for almost 2 years!  The other significant thing about finding the diamond on April 4th – It was the anniversary of the day my brother died one year ago in 2001. 
So, they are all in the story.  My dad, my mom, my brother and step-dad John E. Smith……If he hadn’t lost his billfold, I would have never looked in the glove box and found the diamond.  (He had overlooked it when cleaning out his things.) 
I had the diamond put in another setting and it’s my link to the one’s I loved who have passed on.  And, my reminder of how my mom always kept her promises……………….Love you Mom.  Love you all.


Another battle..........

12/4/14 - This little door goes to one of the many buildings scattered around the farm.  This little building is the Well House - it houses the guts of all the pipes, etc leading to the house and apartment and probably the barn (I haven't figured that line out yet).  It used to contain the opening to the pump.  When I had to dig a new well a few years back, the pump was put in the yard about 20 ft in front of this building.  The well people decided to just connect it with the existing lines in this house.  That makes it necessary for me to keep it from freezing.  Most of the time it is okay.  However, when we have long periods of subzero, I drop a 100 watt light bulb down the pit to keep it warm.  I don't know what I will use when the only bulbs available are the new type. :(

So, notice that black hole near the bottom?  That is a new entrance put in by a piney!  Just 2 days ago I patched the old holes and even stuck a license plate at the bottom for extra protection from this critter!  Here you see he has already entered again!  Well, I've patched it again.  Next step will be the D-con!  I also need to put some out in the barn.  Evidence of critters running willy-nilly and knocking things over is present.  I sure get tired of fighting the elements and the critters.  Apartment living sounds sooooooo good!

Yesterday I called the guys who wanted to remove the trailer a month ago.  That is when I stuck by my WORD and said, "Sorry, I have agreed to let another guy do it."  Here it is, a month later, and no sign of him.  Although I have called him twice to remind him that it needs to be gone and inspected before the end of the year for a tax savings to me of $700.  Should have followed my gut instead of sticking with my WORD.  The trailer would be off my property and my mind.  It seems like every time I try to help someone, it doesn't end well for me. - The guys who were ready and willing earlier noted there has been a big drop in scrap prices - not sure they want to do it now.  They will let me know Saturday.


Tree update.............................

12/3/14 - Thanks to a great neighbor, the downed tree branch has been sawed up and split into manageable pieces.  I know he spent 4 hours doing this, maybe more.  He suggested burning the larger pile because it was full of worms, bugs, you name it.  In the process of splitting and cutting, a dead squirrel was found in the tree, too.  I have another ash tree near the driveway that is dead.  A matter of time before that one comes down.  I have also heard there is a disease headed this way that attacks walnut trees.  When that happens, I am in big trouble.  Most of the trees in my yard are walnuts.  I will deal with that and the ash later.  It is a shame what is happening to the trees.  My neighbor said he has several Maple trees that are dying also.  This one was a Maple, too. 

This link is to an Indianapolis Star article discussing the Deadly Walnut Fungus found in Indiana.


Fine Food.....................

11/29/14 = As if all the food eaten for Thanksgiving celebrations wasn't enough,  Randy wanted to go to Schullas in Indianapolis for his birthday.  He had a coupon for a free entrée.  Meat items (everything else is ala'carte) start at $43.  We both chose the 24 oz Porterhouse which was $50.   I figured for $7 more than they were asking for the 6 oz filet, it was a good deal.  We also had sautéed mushrooms, steak fries (actually these were a little limp for my liking) and a Wedge Salad ($10).  Total bill was around $161 less his $50 coupon for a total of $111. I can understand having to pay for "fine dining", but the $30 charge for valet parking (half refunded for eating at the restaurant) was a little steep IMHO.  And, I suppose Randy tipped the valet in addition.  Oh, and don't forget the waiter's tip of  $40.  All in all an expensive evening but wonderful food and we have leftovers!  Expensive leftovers!!!!!


Food Fairy????????

11/27/14 -Somebody had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner - including me. I found a "goody bag" filled with all the traditional foods and more, hanging on my door Thursday. This is only a portion of the items. I had already eaten another plate of salads and a bowl of whippy dessert before I took this picture. Thank you Food Fairy. Yummmmmmm.

 I also had the best turkey ever at my son's on Wednesday. He prepared a spectacular meal Kudos to John M. Stinson. So many of his wonderful friends were there also. 

 For me, more great food at a friend's in Summitville on Thursday followed by the Goody Bag Thursday evening. A wonderful day. Hope everyone's Thanksgiving was great.

I suspect the Food Fairy was one of my wonderful neighbors.  I'll have to investigate a little further.


Ravens everywhere........

11/25/14 -  A quick little post honoring my totem animal - the Raven.   After Halloween I was in the Dollar Deals store.  I noticed the decorations were on sale and included these black birds.  When I went to check out the little birds were only 1 cent each.  I ended up with about a dozen of them.  I put some in the windows, one on the hutch and I have a few more to scatter throughout the house.  To the left is info on this totem. Although mine are a little small, I thing Raven when I see them.  Follow this link for my source at left:  https://morningstar.netfirms.com/crow.html
Crows and Ravens are from the same family and the only real physical difference between the two is their size. Ravens tend to be much larger and are found mainly in wilderness areas although I have seen several near my home. Ravens also carry medicine that is slightly different than that of Crows, which I will cover in another article. The following though will relate to both.

Both Ravens and Crows associate with Wolves as well so those who have these birds as Totems are also likely to have Wolf as a Totem as well.

Crows and Ravens are extremely intelligent. They can learn to use tools, develop complex communication with humans and other species. They are wonderful for psychic protection and will literally mob together to drive off negative energy from those they care for. They are also called thieves in that they will nick jewelry, coins, watches, anything shiny that catches their attention. One friend of mine living in a flat in LA said that for several months people had been complaining that someone was nicking their valuables. All kinds of jewelry, pens, coins, anything left outside on a table or near an open window was disappearing right and left. A maintenance worker was clearing off some old growth from one of the palm trees when he discovered a nest filled with everything people had been missing! Months later on someone saw a Crow making off with a gold chain, back up to the top of the palm tree.

Those who carry Crow/Raven medicine once they become attuned to it, can begin drawing what they need and value into their own lives. They also have the ability to teach others how to learn to value themselves and others, to go for the gold, the best in one's life and to be open to receive from the Universe.
Crows/Ravens are also well known for their curiosity and intense exploration of anything that catches their attention. So when Crows/Ravens or people who carry their medicine show up in your life it can indicate that now is the time to explore those things that have recently caught your eye or that something new is about to enter your life that is beneficial for you so pay attention! Crows/Ravens are always on the lookout as part of their survival mechanisms and it behooves us to also pay attention when they appear as the Universe is trying to tell us something.

Crows are very social and band together for the good of the group so this is an indication that we need to work with and cooperate with others of like mind in order to bring about blessings for all beings. Crows and Ravens look out for one another and they also warn other animals when danger is near. Frequently they drive hunters mad because they are always warning Deer and Elk that the hunters are near! When a Crow or Raven is shrieking loudly near you, check around to see if someone or something that could be "harmful" is in the area. Of course when they call like that it can mean many things yet over time once you work with them frequently you will begin to understand what their messages mean to you specifically.
Many times when I am outside I will be thinking about something to do with my work or a friend and if the Crows start calling to me, I know it's a heads up that something needs to be attended to in that area of my life. They even make comments when I am situating new plants in the garden. If I place it one area and they are quiet, I know it's not the right place so I keep moving the plant until they start shrieking at me. The plants always do well when I follow their advice!

This is some of the behavior I have noticed with my own Crows. Some of it has taken me a while to decipher and I am sure I have only scratched the surface as it is! I know that when they are speaking among themselves the conversation probably starts off something like "That silly woman! The Grandfathers keep insisting she's a shaman, yet look at all the messes we have to pull her out of! Almost got myself run over on the street today trying to get her attention!"

Many has been the time I have been walking along only to have a Crow fly down into the middle of a street, in the path of oncoming traffic, banging it's beak on the ground, with me dancing around on the pavement, waving my arms and yelling at it to get out of the street! At first I really did think that perhaps they found great amusement in making me look a fool, yet then I realized that every time it happened, there was an important message that the Universe was trying to get through to me. One instance that really sticks in my mind was when they were trying to warn me of serious physical danger. The poor Crow was almost hit by a car, barely managing to get out of the way in time. I was very shaken, especially as he then followed me down the street cawing rather frantically at me. Had I heeded the warning I could have saved myself not only a great deal of heartache but avoided a very threatening situation coming from someone I thought I could trust. I had just left a the flat of a friend I was visiting when this happened and I even heard the Crow saying "Go Back! Go Back!" Well, silly me I thought the Crow meant to go back to the flat. In a way he did, go back, grab your stuff and get the hell outta there! The Grandfathers had tried to warn me, even in dreams I had, yet I ignored the messages. Finally as a last resort a Crow literally almost gave up his life to get my attention. This speaks of the amazingly strong bond and love our Totems have for us and why we should honor them in any way that is appropriate for them and us.

What else was interesting about this was normally when they do what I call their "dance" there is another Crow perched overhead on a wire or tree branch. This time there was only the one. When there are two or more I have found for me it is a good time to take some kind of risk or action as there is support and a focus being held for me to follow through and to insure a good outcome. The more Crows in the area the more support that is being offered.

I have also found that when a Crow is cawing and then turns say to the south, then I know there is an important message coming to me from someone south of me. If they tap on the phone wires then I know it is coming via email or phone. Usually if it's by phone, they tap only once or twice. Email, it's usually a head bangers ball going on up there, LOL!

Many people have mentioned to me that they know something is wrong with me if the Crows in their area are very quiet or especially noisy! Those are the times when I start getting numerous emails or phone calls asking me "what's wrong, the Crows are acting oddly so I know something is wrong with you!" And they are right! I have some very dear friends, Ted and Annie. If the Crows get too noisy over at Ted and Annie's, Ted will ask Annie to ring me so I can tell them to be quiet!

If you hear a Crow calling at night, that is a MAJOR heads up as night time is Owl time and Owls are enemies of the Crow. Owls prey on Crows at night when they are in their nests and so Crows are especially careful to be quiet when night time falls. This is a good message for those who carry Crow/Raven medicine: if you sense a predator might be near, be silent and still and wait for the situation to pass. Taking no action at those times is the best course of action. Some people who carry Crow/Raven medicine also carry Owl medicine as well. In fact, if you have one bird as a totem in actuality you may have a whole flock of birds as totems!

Another way I work with my Crows is to ask them questions about anything and everything. I phrase it so it can be answered yes or no. If it 's yes, I get a frantic cawing even before I complete the question. If it's no, dead silence even if they had been very noisy moments before. They even help me situate new plants in the garden, if I set one down somewhere and they start cawing I know that's the right place. Silence means to try a different area. They are always right as every plant I have situated following their advice has thrived where the ones that were placed according to my judgement either died or had to be moved. Usually to where the crows thought best in the first place, very sheepish grin!

My Crows also love the rain here. It can be pouring buckets outside and they are all out there splashing in the puddles, chasing each other down the pavement and spreading their wings and feathers to catch more of the rain then shaking it off again. People who carry Crow/Raven medicine often greatly benefit from washing their hands and faces frequently as water is a wonderful cleanser of negative energy. Since often Crow/Raven people are also navigators of the darkness or the underworld, it is important that these people clear their energy fields frequently so as not to take on any energy that is not their own. It also helps if you are trying to clear issues or problems in your life to add a few drops of a Crow or Raven essence to a salt water bath or even setting some Crow feathers near the tub will also do the trick. For nightmares a Crow fetish, feathers or essence even pictures of Crows or Ravens can help drive the nightmares away. It is important though to examine why you may be having nightmares and ask for guidance as how to resolve the issue.

I also place Crow feathers around the yard and garden as we live in a rather "colorful" area of Portland. As a result Ken's car and our home has not been broken into or vandalized the way our neighbors have. I have mentioned this to neighbors I thought would be receptive to the idea of asking the Crows for help and things have settled down somewhat so perhaps they have followed through. Annie and I started what we are calling the Wayward Crow Society in honour of the Crows who look in my windows and when I catch them at it, they act very nonchalant, walking away like " oh no, we would NEVER be looking in on you!" Right mates, VBG! This is an indication that sometimes it is best to keep what you are doing under wraps until the time is right to let others see what you are up to. All of the metaphysical traditions I am aware of say that it is important to allow energy and power to build inside of you when you are in the process of manifesting something important to you. Talking about it can dissipate the energy which is why it helps to talk about one's problems! Of course talking about problems too much can actually help to recreate them over and over in your life as you are putting emphasis and awareness on them. What I have found for myself and many of the people I work with is when an issue first comes up it is helpful to allow it to "churn" in your mind over a period of time, not resisting it, but journaling or talking to someone you can trust about it until you begin to sense completion around it. Sometimes what may also happen is that the conscious mind becomes so exhausted by it that it is turned over to the subconscious mind for resolution and release. Since the subconscious is where our intuition lives, we may find answers or healing in dreams or a sudden breakthrough by following a "hunch" or inner prompting. Over time you can learn what the right balance is for you to help clear the issue without recreating it so trust what you feel is right and best for you!

Crows are also associated with magic and mysticism as Ted Andrews covers very well in his book "Animal -Speak" and the "Animal Wise Tarot".


We have a problem..........

11/24/14 - It is only 8 a.m. and already I have had 2 surprises.  First, this big limb down right outside the back door.  Second, while trying to work on the Mystery Shawl, Lilu the cat, puked on my ball of yarn!  I am not real good with this animals in the house thing.  This incident is not helping.  First animal I have had inside since about 1995. 

What am I going to do about it?  I am loading up my computer that needs UPDATES and heading out of here.  First stop in the casino for free pastry and coffee, second stop is Panera for computer updating.  Ciao!


Thanksgiving light......

11/21/14 - It has been awhile since I have taken the time  to post anything.  I just couldn't resist putting this picture on my blog.  It is a light the two little girls from next door brought over.  They wished me a Happy Thanksgiving.  The girls' names are Taylor and Summer........both as cute as can be.  Earlier this year they brought over some tomato plants for Mother's Day.  One little girl has straight dark hair while the other one is a curly-headed blonde.  The Mom and Dad are Amber and Skye ---- I like the earthy names. 

Well, not much new here but I have made two fruitful trips to Aurora to see my old dentist.  In three days and for less than $300, he took 5 X-rays, pulled the troublesome tooth, sent my partial in to have the new tooth added. It is now back in my mouth and I am getting along fine.  He has been my dentist for over 20 years and he is one of the things I miss about no longer having any connections to Aurora.

Randy took me both times.  That means I wasn't able to do any of my usual stops.  I pass 4 Goodwill stores on the way there.  Normally I love to stop at the store in Batesville and also Rushville.  Both of those stores seem to have better "junk".  We did stop at the Amish bulk food store.  I sure wish we had a place like that a little closer.  They have cheese at such good prices.  I also like to get their popcorn called Mushroom popcorn.  It pops so big I guess that is how it got its name. 

I will try to get back in the groove of updating my blog. I really miss the big desk in the apartment.  My computer room at the house has crowded space for my computer and I just do not enjoy using it here. 

Last night Randy and I went to see Gone Girl.  I am going to read comments on the internet about this show.  It sure left you with a lot to think about.


11/14/14 - It is sunny but cold today.  In fact, we had a few snowflakes yesterday.  It was not good to hear the weatherman say the temperatures we are experiencing are typical of JANUARY!  Not much we can do about the weather but make the most of it.  I have lots of inside hobbies that I can catch up on when the outside work slows down.. 

 I do need to go out and pick the loofa gourds left on the garden fence.  I hope they peel easily and I have seeds for next year.  As you can see, my crop was small.  I had a few more picked earlier but all in all probably less than a dozen gourds.  Everything got kind of a late start this year.

Another thing I've been doing the last 2 days is chopping on my hair. As soon as I take my shower I will find out how successful my dry, curly Deva-type haircut came out. I've been letting the layers grow for over a year hoping to have a smooth hairstyle similar to Kelly Rippa and all the newscaster women.  You can imagine my disappointment when I chopped off the ends to a reasonable length and ended up with the TRIANGLE HEAD!  I give up. No more attempts to do the smooth hair.  I cut and tried to shape it per  this site.  This cut is done on dry hair. You just rake your fingers though it and cut away (in the crook of the curl) any strands that are making the shape wrong.  Hopefully I can do a successful photo later.  For now here is a before pic.

I am also getting another clue today for the Mystery Shawl.  Unfortunately I had a lot of ripping out and do overs on Clue 2 and I am nowhere ready to move on.  In fact I am only on row 6 of the Brioche stitch.  I don't know if I can make it through the next 9 or so rows without a mistake or my needles falling apart.  I just cannot fix errors made during this knitting technique.  I had better get to taking care of things around here.  I have an early date this evening.  Leaving around 4 in the afternoon for dinner at the Curve Inn with friends followed by a basketball game between Purdue and Ball State in Muncie.  HA!  I just got a call that the game is not the guys team.  It is GIRLS basketball.  Oh, well, it is something to do!


Making moves........................

11/11/14 - Making moves.  The first move is the one  Lilu and I made to the house and out of the  apartment.  She has decided she much prefers being an inside cat over being an outside cat.  She promptly found a nice hidey-hole to be out of sight and safe.  This is where she currently spends most of her day.  I am sure that will change when she is more secure.  I really don't mind the cat but I live in a small house.  A small house with very little insulation and hard to heat.  To accommodate her litter box I need to leave the door to the backroom and basement open.  That lets in sooooo much cold air.  The only other litter box choices are the kitchen (NOT) the small bedroom downstairs (would put the box about 2 foot from the bed, NOT) ---- well there just are not any other places I would put a litter box.  Darn!

On to the next move.  It is time to make a call and consult with my old dentist on what to do with my teeth.  There is no good solution there.

I am putting dealing with the farmer for next year on hold until later.


Putting in a lifeline........

11/9/14 - I had a lot of trouble trying to do the Brioche stitch introduced in Clue 2.  It resulted in me ripping out several rows including several from Clue 1.  I just now got everything back in order and ready to proceed with Clue 2.  This photo shows the pink thread that will be my "lifeline" if I mess things up again.  I am pretty good at picking up straight purl and knit stitches. If you have to rip out fancy yarn overs and stitches with two yarns, that isn't something I can do.  Even my practice piece turned out badly.  Maybe I will give that a few more rows before I try it on my shawl.

I have decided not to worry about the dentist or the furnace for today.  I am staying in all day, working on my shawl and hoping my throat and cold gets better before facing another dentist.  The furnace part was supposed to be here in 3 - 5 days so that will be here before the Polar Vortex that is on the way (I hope). 

A blog I like to visit here is The Daily Divination.  She gives little readings for all the signs.  Today, my sign, Libra,  received the animal card of Rabbit:
Rabbit - Banish fear. 

Move beyond fears stagnation. Listen to your heart.

As an additional note, when I used the Animal Cards, the story accompanying Rabbit showed how the little rabbit was the fear callerHe goes out and shouts "Eagle, I am so afraid of you"   If Eagle doesn't hear him, Rabbit calls louder, "Eagle, stay away from me!"   Eagle, now hearing Rabbit comes and eats him. 

Here is the lesson.  Stop talking about horrible things happening and get rid of "what if" in your vocabulary.  This card may signal a time of  worry about the future or of trying to exercise your control over that which is not yet in form -- the future.  STOP NOW!  Write your fears down and be willing to feel them.  Breathe into them, and feel them running through your body into Mother Earth as a give-away.

Ok - click on the link to The Daily Divination and see what your animal card is for the day.


Job Incentive...............................

11/8/14 -  I think I can put the hunt for a different car on hold for a couple years :(  I had a flare up with an old crown. Unfortunately it is a tooth that holds in my lower partial.  To the left is the estimate I received from the dentist to fix the problem.  That total is $10,868.72 and could be another $3,000  if he underestimated some of the work I needed from a different specialist.  He offered another $600 solution but that was not guaranteed to last. I am on the fence about what to do.  The office call to get this bad news was $86 plus $11 for meds to calm the infection. 
 I almost walked out of this dentist's office when the first thing he did was take a full mouth Xray!  I hate that!  In fact, just thinking about it makes me determined to find another solution.  I will call my old dentist in Lawrenceburg (2 hr drive).  He does Xrays where needed for $10.  If Dr. Z says I need all the work suggested by this "Carmel" guy"**** I will make the drive and pay him!  Of course, he doesn't do the implant portion either.   So, that is how I will start Tuesday.  A call to the dentist with a 2 hour drive in my future.

**** Carmel is a rather posh neighborhood where all the well-to-do's live.  This guy is not only a Carmel wannabee, he has a practice a few days a week in that area.  I think his charges are outlandish!

So, I do see the need for a job in my future if I have time between dental appointments! Right now my furnace at the apartment is still down.  Parts haven't come in yet.  That will probably be a total cost of $200 plus.  And, I am still waiting on the bill from that lawyer.  If he is as slow sending the bill as he was doing the work, it could be another 6 months.  I don't think his secretary is any ball of fire either and will probably not bring to his attention the case is finished!  Time will tell.  He surely cannot charge me a late fee for a bill I haven't received.

The weather is cool, windy and rainy.  I have a cold in addition to a bad tooth; however, I think I will drag my sorry self to breakfast with my classmates at 9:30 am.  I was awake at 2 am and made the mistake of turning on TV.  St. Elmo's Fire was playing.  Had to watch that.  Then I dozed off for awhile, up at a little after 5 and working on my Mystery Shawl.  As of yet I have not mastered the Brioche Stitch.  Going to get back to that right now!


Passed the test.........

11/4/14 - It has been a busy couple of days.  I will start with yesterday and work back a couple of days. 

Let's see.......I woke up yesterday ( I am still at my apartment on the farm.  Too lazy to get things moved back to the house, like my printer, computer, etc)  Well, I woke up yesterday chilly yet to the constant roar of my furnace.  The air coming from the high energy furnaces always feels cold to me so it took awhile for me to finally acknowledge something was really wrong.  After all, it was warmer outside than in my place!  So, I dug out the manual, tried the furnace reset, checked the filters, etc.  Finally I took a shot and called my "ace" repairman.

Luckily he was able to come right over.  That was about noon.  He is a great guy, very thorough.  So he was here for about 2-3 hours.  He likes to let it run, see if it will start the next time, check everything else, etc etc etc.  So, he determines it is something like the rollover switch.  Says there are 2 of them.  If one goes out the other probably will sooner or later.  At the suppliers  he found today, they were $28 each. To make a long story short, he was going to check for some lower priced ones, order them.  I did get a call from him last night saying he found some in town and will be out today to fix it.  Luckily we had another warm spell.  It was in the 50's again. 

And the stove.....while he was there I had him look the old gas stove over to see if he thought it was safe.  It passed the test.  I have the gas shut off downstairs and probably will not use it.  Mainly I do not want to leave the pilot lights burning.  They kind of scare me.  But it is easy to run downstairs, turn on the gas, wait a few minutes and light her up.  I have some other old pieces in the apartment like a pie safe, dry sink and me!  I thought it would be cool to have one of those racks above this old stove and hang pots and pans above. 

I listed it on Ebay but took it down before anyone had a chance to bid on it.  I guess I wanted to keep it.  I have an electric apartment size stove stored in the garage, ready to put up here, but no!  I keep this monster.  There is more but I need to get rolling!


Why is it called Indian Summer?

10/30/14 -  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. . . . . first thing that comes to mind when I look at this picture. The old Ford tractor is a piece of junk but it makes a nice picture.  Also, illustrates what lack of attention brings.  The old tractor was in good shape before it had to be moved out of the barn to make room for cars from the Smith estate.  Most of them were sold in an auction around 2005 but the tractor never got put back in storage. It is on my "To Do" list sometimes and my "Round to It" list most of the time.

This photo is an example of the beautiful Fall we experienced in Indiana this year.  There were days when you stepped outside and everything had a golden glow from the fallen leaves and the leaves still in the trees.  On top of that, the temperatures have been uncharacteristically warm.  It also reminds me of advice I received from a friend.  It was given to me when I looked out of a hotel room.  One area was walls, service area stuff and unpleasantness while a beautiful view was over to the left.  When I commented (complained) about the unsightly area below, the advice was - "Well, you can choose to look to the right or you can choose to look at the beautiful scenery to the left."  That pretty much sums up life.

Why is Indian summer called Indian summer? According to the Old Farmers Almanac there are many theories. Some say it comes from the early Algonquian Native Americans, who believed that the condition was caused by a warm wind sent from the court of their southwestern god, Cautantowwit.
The most probable origin of the term, in our view, goes back to the very early settlers in New England. Each year they would welcome the arrival of a cold wintry weather in late October when they could leave their stockades unarmed. But then came a time when it would suddenly turn warm again, and the Native Americans would decide to have one more go at the settlers. "Indian summer," the settlers called it.


Yarn, yarn, piddle, piddle................

10/29/14 - I am in one of those moods where I do not want to leave the house.  I am thoroughly entertained playing with my yarns and crafts.  At the left are my new colors for the Mystery Shawl.  I was not happy with the first batch for a couple reasons I have explained on my Ravelry site.  Although earlier I said I wasn't going to worry about the first batch, I found this yarn online at JoAnn's site for only $2.99 a skein and couldn't resist changing my original color scheme.  I was a little limited because of staying in the correct yarn weight.

To the right is a scarf I started today from some yarn a friend gave me.  I am hoping it will come out as an argyle pattern.  It will take a few more rows before I see if a pattern is forming.  On top are a couple of the completed felt ornaments.  I made these from an old kit I had bought at a yard sale.  Talk about time consuming.  The little legs on the zebra are hand sewn and stuffed.  Even cutting out the small pieces is a job.  They are actually quite pretty. 

While in the gift shop at Beef and Boards last night  I overheard a couple of ladies discussing a Christmas ornament with a price tag of over $35. Ha!  There is no way I would be interested in something that expensive! I don't even put a tree up.  Seems like time goes so fast it is just a lot of unnecessary work.  If I had grandkids it would be a different story.

The Beef and Boards show was entertaining.  I liked it and the food was very good, too.  The only problem I experienced was the seating.  Too crammed in.  Sitting sideways in my chair to view the stage I was almost shoulder to shoulder with some stranger from the table behind me....much too close! 

A good thing happened to Ann last night.  She thought the case holding her hearing aid had fallen out of her purse the last trip.  They looked under the table at the time and didn't see it.  Later when she called Lost and Found they weren't able to find it either.  She checked again last night.  After two trips to the holding area, the server came up with her $3000 hearing aid!  She had already backed over one so there was no turning this one in to the insurance.  I was happy for her good luck.


Night Out in Indy

10/28/14- Here is a hint of what I will be doing tonight with my  friend and neighbor, Ann.  We will be going to Indianapolis to Beef and Boards.  The show tonight is Fiddler on the Roof.  It has been a long time since I have been there.   In fact, the last time I went was with Ann to see Showboat. 

Now, it is time to get ready for this treat.  I will be driving so I had better go over the directions and get them plugged in my phone.  As long as there are not any major traffic problems it should be an easy trip.

Nothing else accomplished.


Faucet installed, light up......

10/26/14 - I had a good Sunday.  Started with reading all the Sunday papers and having breakfast with Randy....he made pecan praline pancakes!  They were from a mix from a store called Harry and David near Columbus Indiana at the Outlet Mall.  Things from there are a little pricey but very good.

Then I met with a couple guys who are interested in salvaging out the trailer.  I think they would get right on it.  I am giving the other guy until Wednesday.  If he is still covered up with work, I will let him know I have made other arrangements.

I greased the tractor, mowed the lawn, put on the rotary mower, mowed the pasture lane.  I then got started on putting up the light above the sink at the apartment.  Now I can see in the dark little corner.  I also took the faucets from the trailer and put them on the apartment sink.  I like the high faucet and the best part is I didn't have any problems!  No leaks the first time!  After all that work, tomorrow I am doing only fun things!

Oh, the little note above the window has one of my favorite quotes:

May I be filled with loving kindness. 
May I be well.
May I be peaceful and at ease.
May I be happy. 


Tin Man, Swing Man.....................

Tin Man and Swing Man
October 24, 2014 -  Busy day today.  I had to get up early today.  Lots of things to do before leaving early this afternoon with Randy for Indiana Live to watch the horse races. 

Before 8 am I was up to the house applying Mineral Spirits to the tub in hopes of getting all remaining grout off before applying the new.  This time I am going to try one of those stick on rubber tape things instead of grout.  I have a little more scrapping to do then I will be ready for the new seal around the tub.

I still haven't determined where to put my tin man so he has been hanging around the farm "Post Office".  He has taken on a pretty good coat of rust this summer.  I like to hear him rattling in the wind.  Next spring I may find him a spot out by the sunflower bed. 

Swing guy got a new pair of jeans and for the first time some shoes.  He really needs a name.  I thought something that means guardian.  When I looked for a guardian name Howard (home ward) and Edward (my dad's name) were two that appealed to me - both are supposed to mean "guardian of the home"  I just feel funny calling swing man Ed because it is NOT my dad!  Could go with Howie or Xander the Greek name for Protector.  Actually, he kind of looks like a Howie!

Enough computer time.  I am heading back to the old trailer to salvage a few things.  Maybe I should load up the old push mower and take it to the scrap yard. Not today.  Today I am going to remove one of the little fluorescent lights to use above the sink at the apartment.  Maybe I will also take off all the cabinet handles for recycling purposes.  Heading out!