Sunday, December 27, 2009

Judy Update

Judy is recovering nicely.
She turned 7 months yesterday and weighs 81 pounds.
She is turning into a long-legged and fancy lady.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

When it Rains it Pours

School Room Bano

And what a difficult week it has been.
Judy was sick. Our gas was off for 3 days. It cost a lot of money to get both fixed. They are both still broken. My car wouldn't start. The electricity went off. I lost our food stamp card and pin together. I am sure i stubbed my toe once or twice.
So we had school this week in our only bathroom. The floor is heated and it was quite cozy.

But i am thankful for a home, generous family, my sister's bathtub, good and caring neighbors, space heaters, electric stoves, food stamps, and Justin's job.

I think of pioneer women when i start to feel overwhelmed. Things can always be better. They can always be worse.
I am just glad i can turn a knob and hot water comes out.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Justin got a job with Aquapure in Sales. He starts on Monday. This is a relief for both of us...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

An Evening Walk

Instead of locating a "colokie" we were able to hear a Great Horned Owl and see it's silhouette. I got a bad picture and then it flew to another tree.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


There is a road under there somewhere.
Frozen Lashes

Gramma and Tullaia
It is currently 3 degrees here and windchill brings it to -13. Tomorrow's high is 9 not including windchill. We received 10 -14 inches of snow on Tuesday evening in addition to the snow we got Sunday eve.
It is fun considering we don't ever have much in Stl. Good thing because gravel roads are not top priority for snow plows. We can't get out.
I am thankful that we are not a homestead family. I am thankful this house has heat upstairs. My whole life we didn't. I went to bed reading with mittens and a hat on. I could see my breath. I got dressed while sitting on the heater.
I am still obsessed with sitting on the heater.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Fun Farm

A few days ago we were able to visit a lady down the road with LOTS of creatures, but unfortunately i didn't have my camera.
She works for the DNR and rehabilitates wildlife.
We were able to observe/pet/ride these:
peacock, chickens, cats, skunk, vulture, donkey, horse, Mediterranean donkey, bobcat babies, goats, Big-Billy goat, talking bird, cows, doves...
We wore masks to feed the bobcats, so they wouldn't grow used to humans feeding them. It was so very special to see.
Thank you Joan.

Full Moon

Notice the Oriole nest in the Tree

Maskunky Marsh Moon

Tullaia and I had the opportunity to watch the full-moonrise over the barn. It moved quickly and with ease. The sky was purple and the barn was red.

Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge

Taken By a Two Year Old

Breaking into Lead Me Guide Me

Death Against a Blue Backdrop

We had the last unseasonably warm day to explore the tall grass prairie. Only one-tenth of one percent of this type of prairie remains. It is 8,600 acres of land that was purchased to restore and reconstruct the prairie and oak savanna. They have also reintroduced bison and elk herds.

We hope to visit here each time we come up to Iowa. I am so pleased it exists.

Pig Roast

Justin and Eric

I really like this picture of Nick

Dad seems to be struggling, Justin just looks giddy

Dad shot a pig, smoked it and gathered nearly my entire extended family within a day for a feast. It was delicious.
And that is one good reason to live on a farm.

Iowa Outdoors

Country Road

Pink Boot Yellow Corn Black Mud

Country Playhouse (We played here a lot.)

Gravel Silo Silhouette

Blue Stick

Gravel Boy

Over the River and Through the Woods...

Jasper and Eric

Eric and Judy

We had a packed car on the way up to Iowa for Thanksgiving. 3 adults, 3 children, 2 dogs. The trip was fine and we made it in time for the annual Stam Reunion in my grade school gym.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Little House on the Prairie

In the Powder Room

Tullaia and I were lucky to join friends at the Fox Theatre last night for the opening of The Little House on the Prairie with Melissa Gilbert. The Fox was built in the 20's as one of the first theatres with "talkie" capabilities, although the first film shown was silent.
I grew up on the prairie. The land and the show. We had fun last night.

Monday, November 23, 2009

St Louis Coyote

I just got finished having a conversation with a friend about coyotes seen at a vacant lot in the neighborhood.

We went for a noonday walk on our usual Forest Park route and there was a very laid back coyote sitting in the sun. I wouldn't have noticed it but we decided to stop and eat an apple right there.
We stood and watched it for a while before it sauntered off into the woods.

I was so excited i put chocolate in the microwave instead of taco meat.

We have seen it 3 times now. Not a great picture. It was rainy and they were all blurry.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ozark Thanksgiving

Lichen Log

Tall Moss

Auntie and Kids

The weather surprised us with dry warmth and beauty. Justin said he likes global warming.
We tromped about. Played good music. Ate delicious food. Turned over rocks looking for sleeping snakes. Turned off the lantern and saw stars...more than 3.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

White People

After a story about the Mayflower today, Jasper said he used to be scared of white people. He assumed they were going to get him too because he wasn't a "white person". He always thought of himself as an "orangish/tan person".
Racial lines are not as clear for some folks. Thankfully.

Saturday, October 31, 2009



Snow Queen




During cuddle time tonight Tullaia asked, "How did you trick or treat in the country?"
I only remember going into town near my Grandma's house. Eric and I dressed up like old people a lot.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Silent Retreat 3

I had such beautiful weather and the fading chlorophyll was stunning. I ventured back to Mary the Font Solitude (Sisters of Mercy).
One of the hardest parts of this is falling asleep alone, in a strange place without adequate locks.

It takes Faith
for me to lie here like this.
In quiet.
In darkness.

I know when i wake
in the shining
light of day

I will be
that i made it
the dark night.

Grotto Leaves

Spicebush Berries on an Old Fungi Log

My Doorway

Giant Walking Stick Strikes a Pose

Fern (Christmas?)

Except for the noisy crows, i noticed all life after several hours of watchful quiet. No one alerted me of their presence. They moved under leaves. Even a wasp's near-death experience with a quick spider didn't warrant screams or threats. Instead he shuffled along. Probably to make babies and die.
In my daily reading today, Oswald Chambers says this:
"All God's men are ordinary made extraordinary by the matter He has given them."
Sometimes the most extraordinary (and obedient) thing we can do is wait.
Be patient
not hasty
wait....not a natural skill of mine.
But one i think nature teaches beautifully.