Thankful & Blessed

Thanksgiving is a time for us to reflect on the many blessings God has bestowed on us. There are so many that is impossible to list them all, but here is a short list of things I am thankful for:

  • My health.  At my age many are suffering and in pain.
  • My retirement checks.  Even though mine is being threatened, many others have less.
  • My country.  Though there are problems throughout this beautiful land we still are free to worship, speak out, and even have guns to protect ourselves.
  • My children and grandchildren.  I’m so blessed that my family has love for one another.  My children and grandchildren have the morals and beliefs that I have passed down to them.
  • My marriage.  Not many people can say they’ve been married for almost 50 years.
  • My extended family.  My last aunt and several cousins still remain close with lots of love shared between us.
  • My church family.  What a blessing to be able to worship with such loving, caring people.
  • My home.  To have the warmth and comfort of a roof over our heads is a blessing that many people around the world do not have.
  • My state.  How blessed I am to live in Kentucky.  I love the green grass, the lovely shades of autumn leaves, and the hills of our area.  I love the friendliness of our people.
  • The seasons.  I love the changes we see throughout the year.  The excitement of seeing the first buds on the trees, the warmth of summer,  the colors of fall, and the snow covered hills in winter. The cold winter makes us appreciate the warmth of summer.
  • Those loved ones who have passed away.  How blessed I have been to have parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and a brother who had a positive influence on my life.

There are many, many more.  I love Thanksgiving because it is a time when we can actually reflect on the many, many things God has given us.  We think about the less fortunate and count our blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!  Spend time with your loved ones.  Until next time,  Bye.


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Summer Lake Season Ends

We just completed our 44th year enjoying Lake Cumberland in southern Kentucky.  During all those summer weekends we have  spent many hours boating on this lake where the beauty of nature abounds.  Lake Cumberland has crappy, bass,  turtles, deer, blue herons, bald eagles, etc.  There even have been reported  bear sightings.  It has plenty of water, coves, forests, and interesting landscapes.  Some things have changed throughout the years, but lots of things remain the same.

Friends have come and gone.  Dickie, Gary, Paul, Dale, and Vickie have passed on.  What great memories of these five friends that we will never forget  were made while being at  Lake Cumberland!  Many of our friends moved on to different hobbies or activities.  But we still cherish those times we spent together with each and every one.   While some friends move on in their lives,  many newcomers have been welcomed to our lake family.  Our babies grew up on the lake, and now their babies are grown.  So much laughter and happy times.  No doubt our lake family will continue on as there were 7 new babies added this year.

More houses, campers,  and boat storages are along the stretch of road leading to the water.  When we first started coming to the lake there were few houses above the cliffs of the lake.  Today you see huge summer homes in many areas.  We remember when Jamestown Dock was just a small boating store with single boats scattered in the water tied to a tire.  The store sold a minimum amount of groceries and bait.   Lots more boats cruise the lake and many are much bigger than the boats 44 years ago.

Several boats idling through the Cut Through

We seldom have to stop and repair our boats like we did when we first started boating.  It seemed like every weekend someone had to be towed in, or their motor cover was up and the guys were working on the motor or prop.

Before cell phones we spent lots of time searching for our friends.  Now all we have to do to find them is send out a text.  We started out staying in a houseboat with friends.  We got a boat and slept on it beside the houseboat for a while.  Sometimes we roughed it in tents on islands.  Later we moved on to tents at the campground, and soon moved up to an old camper that fit on the back of a truck.  After about 10 years of roughing it we bought some land with an old mobile home on it.  Now we have a mobile home we bought new in 2010.  It is hard to believe we used to stay in a tent.

We still enjoy the same places like Little Falls, 76 Falls, , Battleship Island, Caney Creek, Copperhead Island, and The Mill.  As we’ve aged we don’t travel to these places as often as we did in the earlier days.  Seems like we spend a lot more time at the Swimming Hole and Governor’s Cove just shooting the bull while we are tied up.  The water still splashes in our faces when we hit a huge wave, and we love the sun shining down on the water making it glisten.   We still get caught out in the rain and picnic in the boat.  After all these years I still search for shapes of animals in the clouds.  I sure am glad that some things haven’t changed about our visits to Lake Cumberland.



I’m going to miss this place for the next eight months.  Come May 2018 we plan to be back on Lake Cumberland enjoying the sights and our friends and family.  Hopefully I will be able to once again enjoy my favorite part of the day….watching the evening skies.

      Watching the sun setting behind the hills.



So long ,  until next blog post.



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Granddaddy’s House

We sold Granddaddy’s house today.  This is where he lived for 37 years.  Also, several of his family lived there for a period of time.  Many memories come to mind as I think about this special house.  It is a bittersweet time in my life.

Southern Railway Employee Union Card from 1939


My grandfather was a railroader who lived in several places.  This is how he ended up in my home town.  Around 1940 he built this house.  The support beams are solid hardwood just like the solid values passed down from him to his children and grandchildren.

The Postcard Obituary for My Grandmother


Granddaddy’s first wife passed away when their youngest son, my dad, was only two years old.  He was a single father until Daddy was about 13.  He moved his newly formed family into this house with his new wife, her son, and Daddy.



I remember sitting around the fireplace with the burning embers glowing.  Mom told me that the local postmaster had formed the fireplace out of concrete.  While sitting around this fireplace Granddaddy would talk about politics, current events, and religion.  If he could see the state of our country now he would have a lot more serious issues to discuss.


My first recollection of this house is playing rock school with my cousin from Harlan and my brother on the front steps.  The lower step was 1st grade, second was 2nd grade, etc.  The teacher held a rock in one closed hand and the students had to guess which hand the rock was in.  If you picked the hand with the rock you advanced to the next grade.  If you were wrong you failed that grade.  Whomever got to the top step first became the teacher for the next year of “rock school”.

Daddy and my Uncle Notice there are 5 steps so we could go to 5th grade in our game.

Grandma’s Baby Grand Piano

I’ll never forget the old grand piano sitting in the living room where both Granddaddy and my step grandmother would play.  I practiced my piano lessons on that piano and now it is sitting in my living room.  The keys on the piano are now stuck, but I can’t bring it upon myself to get rid of it.  The piano tuner said it would cost more to fix than its value.  Well, that value is for other people, not me.


Grandma was not the cook my mom was.  Once for Thanksgiving dinner we were all passing the food around the table.  I took out the usual turkey, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes.  When the applesauce came around I thought it was gravy and put it on top of my mashed potatoes.  Oh, what funny memories come to mind when I think of that dining room and our many family dinners there.


Granddaddy and Grandma traveled a lot after they retired.  I remember playing with a little umbrella she brought back from one of her trips.  Needless to say I didn’t know that it was a little umbrella that went into a mixed drink.  They had lots of postcards and pictures from different places they had traveled.  I loved looking at them and wish I had saved the postcards.

After Granddaddy retired from the Southern Railway he bought a house in St. Petersburg, FL where he and Grandma spent the winters.  In 1965 our house burned so we moved temporarily into Granddaddy’s house.  This is where we were living when I had the first date with my husband.

In the small bathroom of this house is also where I almost died.  For heat in this room we used a space heater that was set in the narrow space between the tub and the sink.  As I was getting out of the tub I had one foot on the floor and one foot in the tub.  With my wet hands I touched the metal handle on top of the heater.  What a shock I got!  I felt it all the way through my body.  But God didn’t want me yet.  Thank you, God, for letting me live longer.  I quickly learned the danger of mixing water, electricity, and metal.




A few years later  my brother, his wife, and baby boy lived in Granddaddy’s house while Daddy built their house.  Soon after that Granddaddy passed away in Florida and Grandma died 7 months later.




The men socializing in the front yard under the shade of the maple trees.








That’s when Daddy remodeled the house and he and Mom moved into the house permanently.  Mom cooked on Sunday dinners when she really couldn’t afford it.  She cooked for a lot of different family and friends.  Many laughs and discussions were held around her dining room table. They lived there for the last 17 years of their marriage, and Mom continued living there for 20 years.




After my parents were gone we rented the house out for awhile.  Then my granddaughter lived there for two years and lastly my daughter and her family.  So you can see why I’m recalling a lot of things associated with Granddaddy’s house.  If you see me today I may be a little teary eyed and you will know why.   Thanks for reading about my memories of Granddaddy’s House.

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The Shaving Pile at the Lumber Yard

My grandfather owned a lumber yard in my little home town.   My brother and I were fortunate enough to live down the street from the business. Two of my cousins also lived on that same street.  Oh, the memories we made there!

On the property of the lumber yard was where I learned to love the smell of fresh cut wood.  Still today when I smell it my mind goes back to the lumber yard,  my uncle and grandfather who worked there, and many memories with my family.

My grandfather, A. T. Lovett

At the lumber yard my cousins and I would climb on the stacks of fresh cut wood without adult supervision.  Once I remember a board or two falling onto my ankle leaving some bad scrapes and a sore ankle.  Can you imagine kids climbing on those rickety stacks of lumber today?  Back in those days there was no such thing as helicopter parents.  We were all around the neighborhood from dawn to dusk unsupervised. If it was a sunny, warm day we were outside only to come in for dinner and supper.  In my family we called the noon meal “dinner” and the evening meal “supper.  But at school the noon meal was lunch.  That’s just how it was living in Kentucky during the 50’s and 60’s.

One of my cousins lived in an apartment behind the office of the lumber yard.  Some days after the business  closed we would  go inside the office and roller skate.  This is where I learned to skate.  We would skate on that old unfinished wooden floor zooming between kegs of nails, bolts, and screws.  Sometimes we would even go outside and skate on the long bed of the old delivery truck.  It’s a miracle we didn’t fall off and break our necks.  (I never was a very good skater.)

But the part of the lumber yard we all loved the most,  and where we had the most fun, was the shaving pile.  The workers would plane the lumber, and the shavings would blow out a long pipe into what seemed like an enormous mound in a field.  It was probably an acre field with the shaving pile on the far end.  There we played King of the Mountain and dug tunnels.  It’s a wonder that one didn’t cave in and suffocate us.


The shaving pile was a huge pile of these little wood chips.

We turned the rest of the area into our very own baseball field.  This is where my love of baseball began.  I was usually the youngest, therefore the last to be chosen on the teams.   I still remember the first time I caught a fly ball.  Everyone on the teams couldn’t believe I finally caught one. To this day I can see the surprised look on everyone’s faces.

Some of the boys around our neighborhood and my tom boy cousin even built a dugout with wood and nails they had sneaked out of the lumber yard.  To this day I still wonder if my grandfather and uncle knew where the kids got the materials to create the dugout.


Every kid in the neighborhood knew where the shaving pile was.  We would organize our teams and make our own rules.  We didn’t need adults or umpires to show us how it’s done.  The kids in those good ole days figured it all out by themselves.


When we came home after a long day of play with wood shavings on our clothes our moms would get so mad.  They were stay at home moms, and their houses were immaculate until we came home.  We would try to dust the shavings off our clothes before we went in.  But there was always some stuck somewhere especially in our tennis shoes and socks.   I can still hear my aunts and mom complain when we would mess up their clean houses.


Once my brother got into trouble for hitting a baseball so hard that it went through my aunt’s kitchen window.  But the worse thing that happened was when a neighborhood boy accidently knocked my brother’s  two front teeth out with a wooden bat.  For some reason he was running the bases with a baseball bat in tow when the bat came into contact with my brother’s teeth.  Our mom was devastated that her boy had to get false teeth after that incident. That was the most serious accident I can remember happening at our shaving pile playground.  Later on my brother told me that despite getting his two front teeth knocked out those days spent at the shaving pile were the happiest days of his childhood

It was a sad day when we moved a few miles away closer to a bigger town.  Ocassionally we would come back, but it never was the same after we moved.

We were blessed to have lived in a safer time.  Our parents didn’t have to worry about us being kidnapped off the street, or older kids encouraging us to take drugs,  or being shot during a drive by shooting.  We were blessed to have no knowledge of computers , ipods, or video games.  We breathed good clean air and got plenty of exercise.  What a blessing it was to spend those younger years with cousins and our grandfather.  We learned to make do with what we had and made great friends along the way.   What precious memories I have with my cousins, brother, and the neighborhood friends at Granddaddy’s lumber yard and shaving pile.


I would love to hear about some of your best childhood memories.  Feel free to share them in the comment section below.

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Brussell Sprouts with Bacon

On this cool June evening I decided to cook one of my favorite vegetables…. brussel sprouts. I know many of you are thinking, “yuck”. But haven’t you heard the saying that everything is better with bacon? Well, that’s how I cook my brussel sprouts. I challenge you to try my recipe to see if you may change your mind about your attitude toward this healthy dark green vegetable that is full of fiber, vitamins, and anti-cancer nutrients.

Here are some facts about the nutritious benefits of brussel sprouts according to Wikipedia:

“Raw brussel sprouts contain excellent levels of vitamin C and vitamin K, with more moderate amounts of B vitamins, such as folic acid and vitamin B6 (USDA nutrient table, right); essential minerals and dietary fibre exist in lesser amounts (table).

Brussels sprouts, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contain sulforaphane, a phytochemical under basic research for its potential anticancer properties. Although boiling reduces the level of sulforaphane, steaming and stir frying do not result in significant loss. ”

Back to my recipe for Brussel sprouts with bacon.  Here is a list of the ingredients you will need:

  • 1 package of frozen Brussel sprouts
  • 4 slices of bacon cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 c of onion (opt.)
  • 1 clove of garlic (opt.)
  • 1 bouillion cube and 1 T butter melted in a cup of hot water
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 can of beef broth

For complete directions to make this recipe click on the buttons at the bottom of the image below.

This easy recipe takes about 15 minutes to complete.  I also make fried cabbage this same way.  Try it.  I think you’ll like it.  Let me know if you do.

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Mama’s Dishes

Here are the Theodore Haviland dishes that were passed down to me from my mother.  When I washed them today many memories flooded into my mind.  Keep reading, and I’ll tell you about some of those fond thoughts.

When Mrs. Roy Gardner, my step grandmother’s best friend, passed away she  willed this set of fine china to  Mama.  Mrs. Gardner’s husband was a railroader and worked with my grandfather for the Southern railroad.  He slept during the day as he never knew when he would be called out to work.  I’ve heard people say that when they were kids she would shew them out of her yard, and hatefully tell them to be quiet as they walked down the street.  Many people in our small town thought Mrs. Gardner was a mean woman because of this.  Needless to say they probably didn’t know that she was trying  to keep her husband from being woke up.  And at that young age they probably didn’t care if they woke up a working man.

I wish I knew how she got the dishes.  Were they a gift from her husband or a birthday present from her parents?  Who knows?  No telling how old they are. That was a little history about the dishes.

I washed them today as they had really gotten dusty. I’m not sure that I have eaten out of them since I’ve had them.  This task brought back memories of Mrs. Gardner and my step grandmother who were best friends.  I wondered if  Mrs. Gardner had served my grandparents from these dishes.  But the special memories it brought back were the home cooked meals Mama  served in these dishes.

Mama showed these dishes off in an antique china cabinet.  She was proud of them and claimed they were valuable.  That was before  Ebay, and the way the majority of today’s society  don’t really value old things anymore.

On special occasions Mama would serve delicious meals in these antique dishes.  Lots of labor and love went into those meals.  After Daddy died Mama struggled financially.  I’m sure she sacrificed to pay for those Sunday evening meals she served her family.  She cooked every Sunday evening for as long as she was able.  She fed her mother, sisters, brothers in law, kids, grandkids, pastors, and lots of friends at various times.   Whether it was turkey and her delicious dressing or roast beef, mashed potatoes, and gravy, I really didn’t appreciate what she did until after she was gone.



I didn’t really think the dishes were anything special back then either.  But, now things have changed.  These dishes mean as much to me now as they did to her way back then.  I have them displayed in my kitchen china cabinet.   I kind of feel guilty that I don’t cook Sunday meals for my family.  The grandkids have asked me when I’m going to use the “fancy” dishes.  Maybe I can get my act together and start cooking them those special meals on Sundays.  Lots of commarderie and memories could be made all because of Mama’s dishes.

Hope you enjoyed my little story about Mama’s dishes, and how special they are to me.

If any of you know anything about the monetary value of china, I’ve listed how many I have and the numbers stamped on the back of the china pieces.  Not that I would sell them, but I would like to know if they are of any quality that an antique dealer would be interested in.  Thanks for reading.

Theodore Haviland, New York, and Made in America   is stamped on the back.

Here are the number of items I have and the numbers stamped on the back:

6 plates  #17,#20&#81, #12,#65, #21, #51

8 salad plates #96(4), #64, #2, #94, no number

7 cups #80(nik on rim), #55, #78, #8, #52, #40

7 saucers #10, #33, #96, #5, #2, #33,#59

7 small desert bowls #2, A1(4), #94, unreadable

meat platter #67

2 vegetable bowls #67(2)

sugar bowl#48, lid #11

creamer #02


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Choosing the Right Font for a Cricut or Silhouette Project

This post is for my readers who are crafters.

Whether you have a Silhouette or a Cricut  choosing the right font for a project can take a lot of time and cause  frustrations.    I recently found a webpage to help make reaching that decision faster and easier.

With this website all you have to do is type in a word. Then select the load fonts box. Amazingly the word is shown in all of the fonts that are loaded onto your computer.  (It won’t show you the Cricuts fonts that you have to buy through Design Space.)

Here are a small sampling of the fonts I have on my computer:

I typed out all of my fonts for the words “love my cricut” and to my surprise I had 9 pages of fonts.

This site has saved me so much time.  I love it and use it every time I make a project on my cricut.  All you have to do is click the following link…  The site is so easy to use.  Try it out and let me how you like it.

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