Sunday, December 4, 2016

PREPARATION SUNDAY

A good Nyquil induced night's sleep made me feel much better this morning as we woke to the sound of rain on the roof.
 I heard my phone ping with a text message from daughter giving the news I already knew but was hoping wasn't as bad as it turned out to be. Just as I got in to bed last night the scanner blared with fire dept. tones for several local fire depts. to go to the Grand Highlands Club House as it was on fire after the folks nearby woke to an explosion. As I listened to the firemen as they arrived on scene I knew it was probably a huge fire. I drifted off to sleep after my dose of Nyquil before I heard how bad it was. When I got the text I couldn't believe my eyes that this was all there was left of this beautiful building.




 As you remember this is where daughter and Josh got married last July.

 



Thank goodness it was raining last night and kept the fire from spreading to any nearby houses as embers landed as far as 200 yards away.
I can't believe I am talking about another fire today , this has been such a scary season for fires all around us. Thankfully no one was injured in this fire as the folks at the wedding that was being held there last night left around 11:00 and the fire was discovered about midnight. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.
 It was a cold rain as I hurried through the chores this morning.
Folks in parts of WNC farther north of us woke to the first measurable snowfall of the season this morning.
This is the second Sunday of the Advent season and the youth director and his wife lit the Preparation candle this morning to begin our service.
After church we had lunch of BBQ and all the fixins with #1 son's family, Aa's family, #2 son, daughter and Josh all here with only Tif missing as she was working today.
We all had a nice catch up visit after lunch. I got out all the Christmas toys and put batteries in them so g-daughter could have her turn with them and she enjoyed dancing to the music they played. Of course it was under the direction of older brother !!!


 Everyone left except daughter and she and I were going back to church to a wedding shower being given for our neighbor's daughter who is getting married in January, Sara Bradley.
This is the happy couple.
It was very nice shower with lots of good food and fellowship.
Hubbie went home with #2 son to help him work on Tif's mail carrying jeep that he was changing the brakes on.
Daughter and I  came home around 4:00 and she went home to rest , hubbie came home shortly after. We rested and watched it rain lightly until chore time.
I poured 1 & 2/10ths inch of rain from the gauge this evening. This has been a merciful rain that has fallen slow and soaked into the desperately dry earth without any run-off.
After a light left over supper we spent the evening relaxing.
I am so grateful to God for the blessings He gives me and during this season when I am reminded of the greatest gift ever given to mankind I am humbled by the fact that He sent His Son to be born only so He could die to save us from our sins  !!
God Bless, Good Night and Merry Christmas.



Saturday, December 3, 2016

CHRISTMAS PARADE DAY

7amcame really early after a mostly sleepless night and more coughing fits.  I pushed through chores and got ready for market.
There was a beautiful sunrise this morning !!

 I have several orders to fill today so there is no staying home sick today !!
Market was really slow early but warmed up a little as the parade goers came back through and bought some things.
I am thankful for all that I did sell.
I worked on catching up my blog writing while I was there between customers and did a little more Christmas shopping.
Hubbie got out of town and stopped at Sam's Club for some groceries. He tackled the leaves all over the yard for hopefully the last time this season.
As I looked for pictures of the parade to put on my blog I was surprised none of the media outlets had a picture of Santa Claus but everyone of them had a picture of this float which made my heart sing !
All the parade goers coming back through market said it was a good parade and everyone enjoyed it in the nice sunny weather with temps in the 40's.
 After market I stopped at Aldi for baking supplies for next week and made it home just after 3:00.
After we got things unloaded and put away I got out all the Christmas rugs, furniture covers, pillows and bed covers and changed everything out so it looks really festive in here now.
After we did chores and had a light supper of pinto beans and fresh kale greens from our winter garden.
I vacuumed the floors and then took a much needed rest on the couch with a heating pad on my Siatic nerve that has flared up tonight after all the vacuuming.
The news from the devastating Gatlinburg Tennessee fires just keeps getting worse as the death tole grew to 13 now and folks were allowed back into see if their houses and businesses were there or not. Unfortunately for many there was nothing left to see. These are some before and after the fire pictures .




I pray for these folks every day and can't imagine the burdens they now face.
I am very grateful to God for the love and blessings He sees fit to send my way each day.
God Bless, Good Night and Merry Christmas


Friday, December 2, 2016

DECORATING FRIDAY

Uhhhhh another coughing fit night leaves me feeling a little shaky again this morning. At least I can move at a slower pace getting things done this morning.
After chores and breakfast I felt better once again. I have come to the conclusion that my early morning ailments are because of all the drainage that occurs when I lay down and seems to stick in my throat . I don't cough much at all during the day.
While hubbie and I put out rolls of hay for the cattle I look up through the trees this morning it is evident that winter has arrived with all the bare branches stretching toward the sun for the fleeting warmth of the sun on most days now.


Back inside I baked cakes, 6 caramel, 2 chocolate, 1 coconut for some orders I have for tomorrow. The Christmas parade is tomorrow downtown so we will have more folks coming through than normal but sometimes they buy and sometimes they don't.
I had lunch then finished decking my halls as I got the sunroom decorated and got all the trees up and decorated.
The kitchen tree.....

The apple and snowflake sunroom trees........


When hubbie came home from work we loaded up all the empty plastic storage bins and put them back in the storage shed.
We did the chores and then rested while we watched the news.
Thankful for traveling mercies for Aa's family as they made it back home this evening after spending time in Ohio with Re's family for the last week and a half. Hubbie and I have cared for all their animals while they have been gone. Everything has been fine except their dog ,Casey who has obviously missed them so much. She lays at the gate of their driveway and watches each car that goes by hoping it is turning onto the drive.
Re said she was really happy when they finally turned into the driveway tonight.
The sunset tonight was really pretty on a now winter feeling evening.

Hubbie added building a fire in the downstairs wood stove to his tasks for the evening and by the way the forecast looks this will be a routine daily task for quite a while. The warmer than normal December earlier predictions have fallen by the wayside with a huge dip in the jet stream that is allowing very cold air to penetrate farther and farther south.

I spent the evening icing cakes and getting things ready for market. It will be another early alarm morning so we can get into town before the roads are all detoured around the parade route and before the parade goers fill the parking spots at market.
God is good all the time and I humbly thank Him for giving us his wonderful Son as our Savior from all our sins.
God Bless and Good Night




Thursday, December 1, 2016

DECEMBER COMES IN VERY QUIETLY

If I hadn't hung my clothes to wear today on the closet door I would not have remembered that today is market day. I felt terrible when I woke up and really shakey and like I was going to faint when I stood up ????  What now I wondered aloud to myself as it seems I have managed to catch about any sickness that has gotten anywhere near me in the past several months.
As I pushed through the chores and had a cup of hot coffee I felt better and got ready for market.
Sometimes I am glad that I have the busy schedule I have as I am forced to push myself more than if I didn't have these things to do and I think I am better off for it as my day was fine and I felt fine the rest of the day.
Market was really slow today so I had a lot of time to catch up my blog reading and do some online Christmas shopping. I am thankful for what I did sell and I took a couple more orders for Saturday.
After I left market I ran regular errands and picked up groceries and baking supplies at Aldi and Walmart. I also made a stop at Belk's for a wedding shower gift for a special neighbor's shower this weekend and at Farm Bureau to pay our home insurance. I was late getting home at 4:45 just as hubbie came in from work.
We got unloaded and got things put away then did chores. I really don't like the time change this month as the days get even shorter and if I make even one extra stop on my way home from market I am doing chores with a flashlight !!!
 The air is definitely feeling more winter like tonight as a colder air mass is coming to our area for this entire month according to some forecast.
The snow cover is pretty significant as the month begins.
The news from Tennessee still is not good as the fire now still burns with no containment and is over 17000 acres today.
This is a picture from one of the local news stations of the only thing in this house that didn't burn. A statue of Jesus Christ !!!!
I heard other stories of Bibles being found in total rubble without so much as a charred page. God is alive and in control !!!
Hubbie and I both spent a resting evening with our feet up tonight enjoying the warmth of our wood stove fire.
I saw this old photograph on a friends blog and it sure took me back to my childhood. This old wringer washing machine was exactly like the one my mother used and taught me to use. And I remember many summertime baths in a big old metal tub on the porch and in the kitchen in the winter time. Also looking at that door standing open it reminds me of the un-airconditioner times when an open door was the only source of cooler air and also a time when we slept with the doors open without fear of intruders. I can close my eyes now and hear the sound of that old screen door banging shut . Hard times, yes,  very hard,   memorable times , yes    and I wouldn't trade them for anything.

Praising God tonight for the blessing He has given me all my life in bad times and good times as He has always been with me even when I didn't recognize His presence !!
God Bless and Good Night


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

HISTORIC NOVEMBER ENDS

This last day of November 2016 started out warm, cloudy and with rain expectations. I did chores and had breakfast while deciding what the day would hold for me. This is a hard baking time at market as with any holiday the week after is typically very slow but early Christmas gatherings sometimes cause this not to be the rule for this week. I decided to bake 6 caramel and 2 pound cakes and even if tomorrow is very slow it will give me a jump on Saturday which I already have several orders for.
I had an early lunch then turned the Christmas music on and began my decorating for my favorite holiday of the year. I love getting in the Christmas spirit zone !!
I finished the big living room tree and it is very pretty with the addition of these little red and white checkered bows this year.
Another change I made I really like is these Boxwood trimmings from my yard on the mantel this year.
I had some other ideas in mind for this area but with all the stockings we are blessed to hang this is what I wound up with and I like it.
As I decorated I watched the radar bring these storms closer to our area. Usually a line of storms like these will break up when they hit these protective mountains but these defied that rule prompting warnings for our area.

We only received another 8/10ths inch of rain but the high winds blowing the rain sideways was a scary sight.

Thankfully the storms were moving quickly and were moving out as hubbie came in from work and we went out to do the chores without getting completely soaked.
I buried myself in the pile of paperwork on my desk when we got back inside. It is always amazing to me how missing only one week of this seems to multiply this task a million times !!!!
I took a break to watch Survivor on TV then finished and started icing the caramel cakes.
We watched parts of the UNC / Indiana basketball game which gave UNC its first loss of the season.
As I thought back over this month and all the history that was made it is good to see this one in the books.
The month started out with summer like temps and mostly stayed above average all month. This warm sunshine fueled the continuing drought and wildfires began breaking out all over the western part of the state with one very close to us as Chimney Rock was evacuated. The normally cool fresh Fall air was continually filled with smoke each day.As the month ends some of the fires are mostly contained but only after scorching a record total of over 60,000  acres of our beautiful WNC mountain forest.
The worst fire of the season came this last Sunday night as a fire in eastern Tennessee burned over 700  businesses and homes around Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge areas and 10 people lost their lives as 70 mph winds sent people actually running for their lives.
Another historic item was the 2016 presidential election which Donald Trump a multi-millionaire businessman with no political experience won in a close vote. This sparked riots and discontent all around the country.
Daylight savings time began on the first Sunday giving us an extra hour of sleep each night.
With all the smoke I developed a very bad head cold and it hung on for a couple weeks and has still left me with a cough that keeps me awake at night.
With the unseasonable weather and a very late light frost we enjoyed fresh garden tomatoes longer than usual and made our annual track to glean in the commercial tomato field but with no water the tomatoes are rotting quickly and not keeping as they usually do.
I sold most all of my older hens and really lessoned my feed bill there.
The annual draw down fundraiser at the high school was fun for the family and we also enjoyed each other at a couple Thanksgiving family gatherings and all ate too much delicious food.
I have been very thankful for the busy market I have had this month as Thanksgiving orders were up this year and the nice weather kept folks out all month buying. We ended the month with our Christmas open house celebration which packed the aisle one last time for the month.
Well as the month came in like a lamb with summer like weather it ended like a lion today with the rain and wind storms that are wreaking havoc across the area even tonight.
My prayers go out to the folks in the wake of the tornadoes and rain tonight and for the folks in Tennessee as fires still spark burning more houses and causing more evacuations while thousands of evacuees are left to wonder what next as they have lost everything they own to this fire and have no where to go.
This Christmas season is one to get back to the real meaning of the season and pray thanks to our Gracious Loving Savior for sending His son to save all of us. Praying that many hearts will open to God in the wake of all the disaster that is seemingly besieging this country right now.
God Bless and Good Night

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

RAINY DAY NEWS

Ahhhhh !!!! As you can see from the light reflections in the streets of downtown Hendersonville , it is a rainy morning. The first we have had in 51  days !!!
With the soothing sound of the rain hitting the metal roof g-daughter and I went back to bed after she got here and she slept until 8:30 even with the alarm clocks all going off at 8:00.
We got up and she had breakfast and then I got her ready to go to pre-school. We made it there a little after 9:00. It doesn't matter what times she comes and goes out there as they have no structured activities. She went in and started playing with another little girl there.
Back home I did late chores but the animals didn't mind on this rainy morning anyway. I then had a late breakfast before starting my house cleaning.
The news this morning is very disturbing as last night a wild fire in eastern Tennessee got out of hand when winds gusted up to 70mph and the fire raced through the town of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge burning over 150 homes and businesses .

 The carnage this morning is unbelievable and looks more like bombs have been dropped than fires.


This is one of the prettiest areas of the mountains and my family has spent many days in this area as recent as last weekend when d-in-love and a couple friends spent Saturday night up there. I pray for all the victims of the fires as 3 lives have been lost so far. The fire raced so quickly that it will be days before they can be sure there weren't more victims.
What a difference a few hours make as when I went back to pick g-daughter up the skies were clear and the sun was shining.
She acted like she could just stay outside on this upper 60's afternoon.

I had to bribe her into coming inside to have lunch with promises of yummy dessert.
This little fabric Christmas tree and button on ornaments was one of the best garage sale finds I have ever made . I think I paid $2 for this tree and it has been played with by a different youngster every Christmas since.
After we ate lunch I thought she would like to help put some ornaments on the big tree.

Ha Ha !! She liked taking them off a lot more than she liked hanging them on !!!! That's just her nature !!!!
All that watching Neena decorate sure wears a girl out.
She wouldn't sleep this afternoon ,it was as if she was afraid she would miss something if she shut her eyes. Each time she got still and close to sleep she would jump out of my lap and start playing. Then in a couple minutes she would be reaching up to me to pick her up and we would do the whole thing over again.
Thankfully aunt T (daughter) came by after work and we all went outside to play in the now fresh air for the first time in a while.
Swinging and riding in the wagon was right up her alley today.
D-in-love came and g-son joined g-daughter in the wagon and it was a hard pull for mom !!!
After they all left I started chores just as hubbie came in from work.  We finished the chores and I did a little more decorating getting my Christmas village set up.
I've almost got the big tree finished using all non breakable ornaments just in case !!!
The next round of rain clouds was visible along the horizon this evening.
We are very thankful for the 1 inch of rain we received last night and are hoping for another inch or so tonight to help dampen all the fires. The Party Rock fire which is in Lake Lure and Chimney Rock, closest to us is now 100% contained and the firefighters are leaving it in the hands of the NC forest service and heading for Tennessee to help with that fire. They are hoping the rain reaches there tonight before the high winds that are again predicted.
When Josh and daughter got married last summer they made no secret of the fact that they wanted children right away.  Thankfully God has saw fit to bless them with their first little bundle of joy due to arrive about mid June !  They are beyond happy and we are all happy for them and hubbie and I are tickled to death to be welcoming our third grandchild . Back on Nov. 2 daughter had an ultrasound and this is the first picture of our  little peanut !!!
Feeling very blessed tonight as this season gets underway and I feel my blessing just keep heaping up. I am humbled and very very grateful for my Heavenly Father's love and grace.
God Bless and Good Night