Tuesday, December 29, 2009


We have been so blessed in this year and all our years hitherto! We hope that this new year finds you blessed as well. Blessings to you and yours from the holler.

1 Samuel 7:12
Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.

The word "hitherto" seems like a hand pointing in the direction of the past. Twenty years or seventy, and yet, "hitherto the Lord hath helped!" Through poverty, through wealth, through sickness, through health, at home, abroad, on the land, on the sea, in honour, in dishonour, in perplexity, in joy, in trial, in triumph, in prayer, in temptation, "hitherto hath the Lord helped us!" We delight to look down a long avenue of trees. It is delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, a sort of verdant temple, with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves; even so look down the long aisles of your years, at the green boughs of mercy overhead, and the strong pillars of lovingkindness and faithfulness which bear up your joys. Are there no birds in yonder branches singing? Surely there must be many, and they all sing of mercy received "hitherto." But the word also points forward. For when a man gets up to a certain mark and writes "hitherto," he is not yet at the end, there is still a distance to be traversed. More trials, more joys; more temptations, more triumphs; more prayers, more answers; more toils, more strength; more fights, more victories; and then come sickness, old age, disease, death. Is it over now? No! there is more yet-awakening in Jesu's likeness, thrones, harps, songs, psalms, white raiment, the face of Jesus, the society of saints, the glory of God, the fulness of eternity, the infinity of bliss. O be of good courage, believer, and with grateful confidence raise thy "Ebenezer," for-
He who hath helped thee hitherto
Will help thee all thy journey through.
When read in heaven's light how glorious and marvellous a prospect will thy "hitherto" unfold to thy grateful eye!

Charles Spurgeon

Monday, December 28, 2009

And what to my eyes did appear?!...

Okay, maybe it's a little late for that phrase but it fits. Just before dark this evening I looked out the front window and saw the darndest thing. There were ten deer grazing in the yard (which is really nothing new here) and then one of them kicked up it's heals and here we go. It was a deer rodeo!! I couldn't believe it. I thought when I first saw it that they were spooked and going to run off to their place to bed down, but they didn't run away, they played. One would run at another and kick up it's heels and then the others would join in. I watched for five minutes with my mouth open before I thought to get the camera. I didn't get any pictures of the rodeo but when I went out the front door they looked at me, let me take their picture and then trotted off. The pictures aren't good but you can see they were there. It really made for a nice end of the day in the holler. Blessings as always to you.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from the holler...

Our Granddaughter came over and spent some time with us this week. We had so much fun making cookies, watching Christmas shows and playing Spiro.
There are still so many things to do before we celebrate Christmas tomorrow. I still need to wrap gifts, do my part of the cooking for lunch tomorrow (JP will help with that), chicken sitting, cleaning, etc. etc. This list could go on and on - I'm going to try to concentrate on doing the necessary things. Wow,,,I just noticed that top on my list wasn't being thankful for the truckloads of blessings that are dumped on me daily or celebrate what Christmas really is. Let me take a step back and refocus. I've picked out a poem that our Pastor's father wrote to share with you. I hope you enjoy it and that you have blessed Christmas.

One Christmas night so long ago,
Came Jesus to the earth,
He came a humble babe so low;
A stable was His birth.

He grew up among His brethern,
But Him they did not know.
They didn't know He came from Heaven;
They saw Him as a foe.

One day He went to Calvary,
And died upon a cross.
And then some saw that He must be,
The Savior for the lost.

He rose up from the grave again,
And walked along the shore.
Then he went up with God to reign,
'Til He should come once more.

If you do not know this Saviour,
Who died for you and me,
He offers you God's great favor,
Life for eternity.

Ralph Vile

Christmas blessings from the holler.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Today the Circus Went to town...

At least that's what it felt like. Today, I took four of our six to the vets office. Corrie, Violet, Scrappy and Charlie. Maybe I thought our trip was like a circus event because I grew up in Florida where Ringling Bros. call home. Maybe I thought our trip was like a circus because if Charlie gets any taller we'll have to get a car with a sun roof so it was kind of like I had a giraffe with me. We have a garage so I had no trouble loading them up. When I got in the car I had to shove Corrie out of my seat to get in and then I told Charlie to sit, then I told him to sit again looking back at him only to realize that he was sitting and his big head was almost touching the roof of the car. He looked at me like "I am sitting!" So here we go; now we're moving on down the road which Scrappy loves because she was JP's companion when he was a truck driver (thank You Lord that's over). Anyway, she was in her element. Corrie was shaking like a little leaf and panting because she was scared. She is getting better but she gets so anxious about everything (nail clipping, baths, collar on - anything). We kid about her because she's so pitiful saying "she's never gonna eat a green bean again!!" See video below. When we got to the vets office one of the assistants came out and helped me get all four into our room and then I let them take over. All got good reports and we get a wholesale discount because we have so many and our vet is the best ever. They shoved us back in the car, bid us Merry Christmas, and we were on our way home. Now all is quiet, they are exhausted and napping. I'm just glad it's over.

Blessings from the holler!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Does anyone see a pattern here?...

So, I had a great morning. I went to church and helped pack food baskets that our church gives out. Next, I practiced a few songs on the piano since I'm horrible with Christmas songs. Then I went to Wal-mart for a few things and came home. I had my mp3 player going, singing all the way in the door and then I see this.

I had forgotten, just this one time since last time, to put the garbage away and it just so happens that I fried chicken last night. So I say, "Who DID THIS?!!!" Really, it's not a question because I know exactly who did it and by now you probably do too. This mess was a doozy - had to sweep, then vacuum, then mop. All the while, Speedbump is sitting at the top of the hill like "I'm not going in there - she's mad." Well she did and then she got a bath. Whew,,,now I've got to ice down my back and chill (literally.) Dog gone you Speedbump !#%!#*^!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Wintering plants and meandering thoughts...

Guess who got flowers! Me. Guess who gave them to me! JP. He's the best.

Today was the perfect day for me to be outside. Mild temperatures and NO SUN!! Since this summer while working our wonderful vegetable garden I've developed Rosacea. I've prayed that it be taken away (as Paul's thorn in the flesh) or that God would give me the grace to deal with it and knowledge to know how to at least make it some better. I would appreciate any information or advise you have on the subject. I've seen a dermatologists and got the clinical side but they weren't much help for the practical day to day dealing with this. Enough about that.

I got in our front bed and trimmed the irises back for their winter nap. They multiply so fast that this year I was able to give more than 20 plants away. Now that I'm looking at them in these pictures I could have thinned out so much more. I don't know what to do with the sage and rosemary for the winter. I guess I'll trim them back when it dies back some.

On the inside, I've got a container that's going to bloom tulips, paperwhites, and little daffodil looking things(who knows what I put in there!!) Also, today, I pulled an amaryllis plant up and am going to try to force it to bloom. That sounds rather brutal doesn't it? I hope they all wait to bloom until January or February when all is gray outside.

Have you any wintering tips for roses? Do you have bulbs waiting to be planted? When we lived in Florida people planted their poinsettias and they were beautifully green all year and red for Christmas. That was so lovely but I like it here in the holler where we have four seasons. Hey, we had a little snow Saturday!! I hope you all have a blessed Christmas season. Keep it simple and make time to remember to celebrate Jesus' birth.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Who Dun It?....

I had a nice morning doing my errands. I went to the chiropractor and got my back aligned and feel so much better, went to the library (love the library), went to the eye Dr. who gave me good news (my vision is almost 20/20 - my vision has gotten better as I've gotten older), and lastly went to the local megamart for various supplies. Oh, I should have started by saying it's a rainy day so all the dogs had to stay inside while I went on my errands. Okay, so I'm hauling in my first load of goodies (probably not good for my back - the Dr. says I don't know the meaning of working in moderation, but oh well) and what do I see? Hmmm, someone's been in the trash. By the way, we have a garbage can that locks,,,,Haha!! I walk in a little further and I this is the group I see. They all have guilty consciences but there is only one villain. That darn Speedbump is a trash hound. She can unlock the trash can some how and today, she hit pay dirt. Last night I made bite sized fried chicken for a chinese recipe that JP loves and I like to put my flour in a plastic bag to coat the chicken. You can tell what she found in the picture. She tried to act like she was sorry and didn't mean to do it but by the time I took the second picture she was smiling because she figured I hadn't noticed the bag at her feet. Look at Daisy and Corrie, they had guilt written all over them but not as much as Bump. Scoundrel!!!
Look she's pretending to be sorry - she's not sorry!!
Look at that face. Does she look like she's sorry?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankfull for what?...

The turkey is in the smoker with his blanket of bacon on top so I wanted to count my blessings with you.
Here in the holler we are thankful for so many things!! Just the other day I decided to try to write out all of God's blessings to me. After filling a page I realized that the things I'd listed were only a drop in the bucket. I can't begin to write down how blessed I am. Some that I can remember in this early hour are...
  • God's protection and care over me when I ran from Him and rebelled against Him
  • His gift of faith and salvation when I had come to the end of myself
  • How God changed my life from "never satisfied" to "peace, even in life's storms"
  • JP, who loves Him and is my dearest friend this side of heaven - he knows me and still loves me!
  • My parents, they taught me to learn from God's word and have always given me unconditional love
  • Our son, who loves Him and is true joy - words can't define our love and pride
  • Our daughter-in-love, who can place a value on the lovely woman who makes our son happy and who we have loved from the first meeting
  • You know I'm thankful for my grandkids - who could not love them?
  • Our family who loves us and each other (I'm just finding out how rare that is) I've never know anything but love and acceptance from my family.
  • The wonderful country we live in (warts and all). Most of all, the people who have given all to give me this life and liberty.
  • The holler with our wonderful home and four legged friends
Well, I know I've left out many blessings. The caffeine hasn't kicked in yet and I'm gonna need another cup of coffee. Suffice it to say that I am blessed beyond measure and want to remember that every day of the year. Oh, I'm thankful for all the friends I've met on our blog!! We hope you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving and remember to count your blessings!

Psalm 100

Thanksgiving psalm
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.

3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

America's Best

It is no accident that our Republic was established and has endured the test of time until now. It is the result of men of vision and courage, willing to give their all when their fellow countrymen needed them. It is the result of their parents teaching them the importance of liberty, honor, right and duty. It is the result of spouses willing to support their efforts and to keep the home fires burning with love and order during their frequent and long absences when duty calls.

We wish to salute all American's who have served their country with honor on this Veteran's day.

Mrs. JP's grandfather served in the Army in WWI.

Mrs. JP's father served in the Navy during the Korean war.

My grandfather served in the Navy in the War in the Pacific during WWII.

Our only son currently serves in the Army, and we could not be prouder of him, his wife and his children. Happy Veteran's day, son. We love you and are so very proud of you.

I pray that we would all, as still free Americans, honor our Veterans on this day and thank them wherever we encounter them; that all who call Christ Lord would elevate their prayers on behalf of all of our brave military men and women and their families; that Americans would remember that these folks are heroes, not victims or villains; and that liberty and righteousness are still worth fighting for.

Blessed Veterans day from us in the holler!

Edit (11/12/2009): Well, I blew it.

I wrote up this nice post while I was at work and went and forgot to mention one of the most important people to us: our daughter-in-law. She served in the Air Force and was on deployment in Oman when our son met her.

Thank you for your service to our country. We love you very much. Please forgive your father-in-law for being a knucklehead, again.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Fall has fallen...

JP took these pictures from our front porch when the leaves were so pretty. We've about seen all the fall color here for this year.

Scrappy says hello. She's snuggling in a flannel shirt we share.

We have so much to be thankful for. Thankful blessings from the holler.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Go ahead and laugh...

Last nights supper was one of our family classics. Pork and kraut done in the crock pot. I wish I had taken pictures, not that it was that beautiful but it was good. So easy to make and so warm in the tummy going down. If you like kraut that is!! I just sear a pork roast off in a cast iron skillet and put it in the crock pot with a bag of kraut (this weekend we're gonna try to make our own saurkraut - more on that monday) , smoked sausage cut in chunks, and 4-5 potatoes in big chunks, turn the crock pot on and go. By the time JP gets home it's ready. At the end I pull the meats aside and thicken the sauerkraut juice up by adding some instant mashed potatoes. YUMMMY
It takes a lot of faith for me to cook using a crock pot. The whole end of the day is riding on this thing doing it's job. I can't see a flame, I can barely feel that it's warm until mid-day, and if I have to leave the house I'm in a panic because I think "what if it burns the house down!" I know I'm silly and I truly love the idea of throwing all the ingredients in and "setting it and forgetting it" but I'm always kinda surprised when it turns out so good. How long have these things been around now? I know, I know but yesterday was different I did something new and totally foreign for me. I used a crock pot liner!!! Are you kidding me? This thing is gonna 1st - not melt into our food and 2nd keep the whole clean! I can hear the snickering - go ahead laugh. My mother has used them, I've seen that they work. It just felt so weird. It was like throwing everything in a tupperware and putting it in the oven (yes, I'm aware that they make oven-proof plastic - that's another story.) Lo and behold, at the end of the cooking, eating, and making lunches, I just picked up this little liner and threw it away. I'm not sure but I think I heard a little angel chorus right over this clean crocker. I washed it anyway, some habits die hard.
Blessings from the holler.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

One heck of a dog trainer...

This is great fun to watch. I wonder how long it took him to train these dogs for this show?

Blessings as always, from the holler.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Chicken sitting....

Our closest neighbor has gone on an anniversary mini-vacation, you can almost see their house now that the leaves are falling. They live past that tree line and about 10 or so acres over. When we moved in she came over and brought us homemade bread. It's such a blessing to have good neighbors. I get to care for their chickens while they're gone. They are so cute and have been very cooperative in going in the coop for me at night. They've built a really nice coop and have an enclosed run to keep out the varmints we have around here. Let me introduce you to some of them.

Ferdinand the rock star (he's my favorite.) He looks like a cat with feathers and a punk rock hairdo at the top.
Peaches. I don't know which one is Peaches but one of these is definitely Peaches. Although, it's entirely possible that I took a picture of the same chicken!! They really aren't ones to pose for pictures.

Penguin is another one with a name but for the life of me I couldn't get the picture. I bet it was a funny sight anyway because I was in their run, with them trotting around me like a carousel. The others don't have names yet, but they are cute just the same. Another of my favorites is this one with all the colors. She/He? was doing the chicken dance for me here.
These grown up Guinea boys are free range and they follow me around the yard talking it up. Of course, I spoil them is why they are my biggest fans.
They'll be back tonight and I hope they have a good time on vacation. As always, blessings from the holler.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mystery plant...

Last year, I bought a fern for the front porch and a leaf of this little plant came home with us. Well, I just put it in some dirt and it became this beautiful plant and then in the fall it has the prettiest little lavender flowers. I brought it inside over the winter where it did not flourish but in the spring I put it back on the porch and now it's beautiful again. Oh, and some came up at the corner of the house this year from clippings I threw over the porch rail. I guess I don't have to bring it in this winter (yippee!) and maybe could plant it and let 'er go for it. Does anyone know what this plant is and if it's a perennial or did I just get lucky? It reminds me of a wandering jew with fuzz ;)

We got a replacement blueberry bush and a pecan tree yesterday, so that will be our weekend project. That and cheering for our football team on Saturday. I hope we get to hear "Rocky Top" a lot. I can hope!! We're being patient in this building year. I enjoy watching college football so much more than NFL. It' not so much glamor and so much more heart.

Anyway, have a great weekend and we send blessings from the holler.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Yesterday we had an unannounced visitor. He came running up the driveway with all kinds of stickery things on him. Now, he's camped out on our front porch. Wouldn't you or someone you know like to give this little guy a home? He's friendly, not puppy-puppy but not a year old yet (my best guess), medium size. Did I say friendly? Yep, he's friendly.
We've got to find this little guy a home because he can't stay here. There is positively no room in this Inn. I'd be willing to train him for indoors and basic obedience. He already knows not to jump up on me :) so he's smart, and did I say he's friendly? JP, did I leave anything out? Help.....there are too many dogs in the holler.....as always blessings to you and yours.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Fair is coming to town...

As a kid here in this farming community I always got excited this time of year. Next week is the County Fair! The schools even take next Friday off for kids day. How cool is that? Not only is the fair in town but school is closed too. Is it any wonder every kid in this county loves the fair? I've never entered anything in the fair but I think this year I will. I've got peach jam, blackberry jelly, elderberry jelly, and rose petal jelly. The elderberry and rose petal jelly would be in the same category (misc.) so I have to choose which one! Yikes. They are both really good in taste and quality. Which one should we enter?
There is a dog and pet show on Saturday morning. We have dogs. I could enter Charlie as most goofy, Violet as most shy and best stretcher, and Scrappy as best sleeper and fastest flight risk!

Besides rides and fair food there are the exhibits: photography, honey making, quilting, canning, baking, sheep, poultry, cattle, rabbits, and the hog-a-rama just to name a few. The grand finale is the Mule Race with it's different classes:

Coon Jump—One person, one mule. The person guides the mule over a stick. The mule that jumps over the highest stick wins.

Mule Race—One person, one mule. The riders will race three laps around the ring.

Rescue Race—Two people, one mule. One person stands at the end of the show ring. The second person rides the mule to the first person who then jumps on the mule and they race back.

Three Legged Race—Two people, one mule. One person goes to the end of the show ring with a potato sack. The other person rides the mule to the end of the show ring and gets down. The two people put one leg each into the sack and lead the mule back to the starting point.

Fan Belt Race—Two people, two mules. Each person holds one end of the fan belt and sits on their mule. The pair tries to go around the show ring without letting go or breaking the fan belt.

Back to Back Race—Two people, one mule. Two people start the race sitting on the mule back to back. While riding around the show ring the two people must exchange places.

Bat in Bucket Race—One person, one mule. A bat is placed in a bucket half-way around the track. The rider rides to the bucket, gets off mule, places his head on the end of bat and goes around the bucket ten times. He returns to mule and rides to the finish line.

Musical Chairs—One person, one mule. When music is playing, all mules must be moving. When music stops, participant must have hold of mule’s reins while sitting in chair.

Now that's entertainment folks! Who makes up these races? Where did they get their ideas? I don't know but I bet it's as funny as it sounds. We'll keep you posted on our County Fair adventures. JP is such a great hubby, patient and kind, would do anything for me. I've got to start buttering him up so he'll tromp along with me. As always, blessings from the holler to you all.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

There's someone in my bed!....

It all started last year when JP's mom came to visit us and Violet decided that she would sleep in her room. This led to Violet getting a dog bed which she loves to curl up in. None of the other dogs seemed to even notice this new deal until a few weeks ago. Corrie decided she wanted to sleep in Violet's bed and since they're sisters you know that didn't go well. Violet went to JP to tell on Corrie and plead her case. I thought, we'll buy another bed and problem solved, right? Well for night time sleeping it's still a race to see who gets to Violet's bed but we usually make Corrie get in her bed. Whew,,,are you keeping up? So, last week I watched as Charlie decided that he wanted to get in Corries bed! Remember how big our Charlie is? I watched as he did a walk by the bed sizing it up, then he walked up to it and tried to sit, that didn't work, next he walked around it and tried get all four huge paws in it and somehow shrink into it, that didn't work either!! He circled once more, stopped short of the bed and laid down with his head and paws in the bed.
He's been working on his technique each day and it's so funny.
Other happenings in the holler are, the turkey's are coming through the yard each day to visit
and I've made my first ever elderberry jelly which turned out really good.
Well, I'm off to the kitchen to process some more tomatoes. We have a least one more picking later on this week and that should do it. We have had a really good year in the garden. We are blessed and send...Blessings from the holler.