Saturday, August 16

A Poem and Awards

When I was over visiting Tipper at Blind Pig and the Acorn, I noticed that she had posted "Ode to the Outhouse." Her post reminded me of a poem that I wrote a few years ago. I had been wondering what to post for Saturday and decided to post that poem that brings back memories of my childhood.

The Shack Outback
I slowly creep from between warm sheets
And pull my boots upon small feet.
I think again of my warm bed,
Put on my coat, place hat on head.

I step into the frosty night,
My heart is thumping hard with fright.
The moonbeams light the snow aglow
And to the outhouse I do go.

Halfway across the yard I see,
A snowdrift deeper than my knees.
I shudder as I climb that bank
And almost to my waist I sank.

The snow sifts down into my boots,
From nearby tree an owl hoots.
I turn the wooden latch - and then,
I enter that dark, musky den.

I think of spiders lurking there
And run my fingers through my hair.
Hike up my coat, push down my pants
And then I do a little dance.

This outhouse is the finest kind
And everyone should keep in mind
Not every outhouse has two holes.
A fellow can choose where to go.

I sit upon the smallest one
Cut 'specially for little buns.
The frosty air, the drafty hole
Soon help me to complete my goal.

Those were the thrills of days gone by.
I reminisce and wonder why
They banned the little shack outback
For many feet have walked that track.

Now when I rise from my warm bed
And head toward the john instead,
I think back to days of long ago
When to the outhouse I did go.

One of my fondest memories,
Is slipping out between the trees,
And walking down that well-packed track
To use the little shack outback.

Copyright (c) 1988 -2008
by Mary M. Alward

All Rights Reserved
Please do not copy without written consent of author.

In Other News

I received the beautiful friendship award below from Pea at Pea's Corner
and this one from Mari at My Little Corner of the World.

Thanks to both of you, Ladies. They are so cute and just a little different. I am so glad that I met both of you. I always enjoy visiting with you and am honored to call you both "Friend."

If you stop by to visit me frequently, feel free to take one or both of these beautiful friendship awards. I have met numerous friends since I began blogging here in September 2007. My how the time has flown and I look forward to visiting with you in the coming year. ~Blessings, Mary~

Friday, August 15

Thursday Doin's

Early on Thursday morning, Meeko went to the Vets for a bath and his Bordetella vaccination. While he was there, they clipped his nails, cleaned his ears and trimmed the fur on his stomach. He was looking pretty when he came home and he knew it. Immediately he wanted to go out and show off his new look.

Though the photo above is a little too light, there he is looking well-groomed. He's always proud to be all cleaned up.
This afternoon the boys and I went to the farm. I was able to get a photo of Yankee. Yankee is a miniature horse. He is full grown and is not a pony.
It was a hot day and all of the horses were gathering around the water trough. One (I can't remember his name) kept coming near when he saw me taking photos of Yankee. It was as if he was saying, "I want my picture taken too."
Yankee was just taking his time wandering around the barnyard and grazing on a bit of grass. He doesn't crave the same attention as the other horses. He is more of a loner. Sometimes the other horses pick on him a little.
After I had made dinner and fed hubby, I came into the computer room, just as the sun was setting. The sky was a brilliant red to the northwest.
To the southwest it was pretty shades of pink, blue and lavender. I haven't seen colors like this in a sunset yet this summer. It was breathtaking. It wasn't long after these photos were taken that a severe thunderstorm moved in. I got these shots just in time.

And those are the joys that I experienced on Thursday. Hubby worked upstairs and I did some laundry that I was behind in and tidied the house a bit. Our helper was here and he is continuing to paint the upstairs kitchen. Hubby worked laying the new bathroom sub floor so the plumber can install the bath tub, sink and toilet when he comes on Monday. Things are shaping up nicely.
Take care and have a great weekend. ~Blessings, Mary~

Thursday, August 14

Thankful Thursday

Today is Thankful Thursday. It is a day when we list the things we are thankful for. If you would like to participate, be sure to stop by Sting My Heart and pay Iris a visit. You can find all the information there.

There's always lots to be thankful for. We in North America are very lucky. We have basic needs such as water and shelter that people in other areas of the world go without. Of course there are some unfortunate people in the US and Canada also, but nothing compared to those in third world countries.

This week I'm thankful for:

1. My mother. Mom is 80 years old. She lives in her own house, drives her car and generally is very independent. She is always there if I feel I need to ask advice of a more experienced person. Mom loves her family dearly and never hesitates to lend a helping hand if she can.

2. For my husband. We've been married for over 19 years and though we have had our ups and downs, just like all couples, we always seem to weather the storms.

3. My grandsons, who call often and like to come over for a visit. On Wednesday we took a couple of hours and went to the driving range where they drove a bucket of balls. Then we had lunch and I took them home. They were well behaved and we had fun.

4. For plumbers who can find hairline cracks in plumbing. This could have spelled disaster in the future.

5. Hot water. For 24 hours this week, I didn't have any. Our hot water tank sprung a leak and had to be replaced. This made me realize that there are some things we take for granted. We turn on the hot water tap and expect there to be hot water. Usually there is, but sometimes there's none and then we know how lucky we are to have so many modern conveniences at our disposal. When I was a child there was no indoor plumbing or taps to turn on. I guess I'd forgotten what it was like to heat water on the stove.

6. Aunt May. She called me last night and we visited for about a half hour. She isn't well and I've noticed lately that she is getting a little confused and forgetful. She has two spots of cancer in her head and I believe the cancer is growing. She will know more when she goes for her checkup this coming Friday. Please pray for her.

7. For renovations getting done slowly but surely. Our helper could only come two days last week but this Tuesday and Wednesday he did a super job of getting things done upstairs.

8. Meeko. He gets me out in all kinds of weather and is a loyal and faithful companion. He gives love unconditionally. He is comical and makes me smile even when things are chaotic.

9. For family, neighbors and friends, both online and in the real world. Friends are precious. Nuture your friendships and remember that a good friend is more precious than all the gold on earth.

10. That I have been truly blessed in many different ways. I often take a few moments to count those blessings. Others aren't as fortunate as I am and but for the grace of God go I.

What are you thankful for today? I would enjoy hearing how you have been blessed in the comments.

Have a great Thursday. Take a moment to do a kindness for someone. You never know what they are going through. ~Blessings, Mary~

Wednesday, August 13

Meeko and Renovation News

Some of you have been asking about Meeko. He is much better and there hasn`t been a reoccurrence of his Colitis. We`re watching his diet and making sure he is getting what he needs.

Over the weekend it was cooler and Meeko has been enjoying the great outdoors. He enjoys being outside when a nice breeze is blowing.

The above photo is a rare one where he is looking directly at the camera. It seems when I aim that he always turns his head away. I`m hoping this can be clicked on to enlarge it, as it clearly shows his eyes. His right eye is blue and the left one is brown.

Here he is resting comfortably in the cooler weather. He so enjoys laying on the veranda and keeping watch over the yard.

As most of you already know, the plumber was to come Monday. Well, he did and he was here from 9 am to 4 pm. He changed the pipes for the upstairs bathroom vanity but when he began working to install the toilet, he found that there was two hairline cracks down the pipe and he had to take that out and put in a new one. I`m certainly glad he found that because it would have spelled disaster in the future. It was quite a bit extra work for him and that wasn`t something we had planned on. However, we are aware that when you begin renovating old houses that you never know what you are going to find. Thank goodness this was found before it broke open, which wouldn`t have been long from the looks of the old pipe.

For years when we`ve done laundry, our bathtub (this is in our apartment) gurgles and so does the kitchen sink. Well, the plumber found out that nothing in the upstairs bathroom was vented and that is why everything gurgles when the washer empties. That is now fixed as well.

So, the renovations continue. The plumber can`t come back until next Monday because he has a big job to do. That is okay because there is still lots of painting to be done upstairs.

Take care and have a great Wednesday. Blessings, Mary

Tuesday, August 12

Tackle it Tuesday # 2

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Tackle it Tuesday is a day when we show or tell about a project that we've completed. Well, I've completed this task several times since we started renovations and on Saturday when the thunderstorm knocked out my old computer, this is what my desk looked like.

Earlier in the day, hubby had been pulling lath and plaster off the ceiling in the living room so when the plumber arrived Monday he could access the pipes to the upstairs bathroom. So, not only was the computer desk littered with papers and other things that I was working on, it had a lot of plaster dust on it. The above photo is what it looked like.

Sunday I tackled that chore and this is what it looks like now. What a relief to have everything looking so much better. This room seems to get cluttered easily because of my writing. Thank goodness we are finished pulling down plaster, as I wouldn't want my new computer to be covered with all that dust.

I'm quite happy with this new look and I love my new flat screen and computer. So that is my Tackle it Tuesday for this week.

If you would like to participate in Tackle it Tuesday, follow this link to 5 Minutes for Mom. It's a great incentive to tackle both big and small household chores.

Sunday, August 10

Computer Crash and Other News

I haven't been online for the last couple of days because my computer crashed. I hate when that happens and right when I have a deadline coming up quickly.

The cause of the crash was a thunderstorm. The thunder boomed and the lightning flashed, so I shut down the computer. Once the storm had passed, I went to boot it up, but each time it got to my desktop, it automatically shut off. I tried a couple of more times with no luck, so I just left it.

Hubby and I ended up going out and buying a new computer. From late Sunday afternoon until about 8 pm, I downloaded all of the software for my digital camera, printer and a host of other things. I couldn't believe how fast this computer is compared to the old one and we got a great deal. It has a lot more hard drive space than our old computer and we now have a flat screen. I wasn't sure I would like it, but it is far superior to my old monitor. We have Vista Home and this operating system is an update from the first Vista. So far I love it.

In other news the plumber came on Friday and got some work done. However, he wanted a new bathroom floor laid before he installed the tub. We also found out that we had to open the ceiling in our living room to allow him access to the pipes that are between our ceiling and the bathroom floor in the apartment. So hubby spent Saturday and today doing just that. We also had to open the wall in our bathroom, as a pipe was leaking in there. If you had seen the plumbing job that the previous owner had done, you would have wondered why we weren't flooded out years ago. We've lived her 15 years and most of those pipes were just shoved together - no solder or silicone to keep them from leaking. I almost had a fit when I saw the mess. Once the plumber is finished, all will be well and we'll not have any worries about plumbing.

I don't have any photos today because they are all on my old computer. Thank goodness I still have them all on my memory cards, so all is not lost. However, I did lose some of my writing. I'm going to be taking the old computer into the shop to see if they can retrieve my documents. They may be able to repair it so I have a back-up computer. That would be nice as it seems when my computer crashes that there is a deadline looming. This causes me to become stressed out because I always like to meet my deadlines.

I hope you all had a great weekend. It rained here the entire two days and is quite chilly. It seems more life fall than summer. It is to remain cool and rainy the entire week, but I much prefer that to hot and humid. Our water table seems to be back to where it should be, which is good. I'm hoping that we don't get as much rain in August as we did in July, but I told hubby yesterday we're lucky this isn't all snow. There is always a silver lining in every cloud.

Take care and enjoy your week. ~Blessings, Mary~

PS. I have lost all of my email addresses, so if I had yours, please email me so I can add you to my address book. I certainly don't want to lose contact with any of my friends.