Year 2013 & Year 2014 2

Year 2013 & Year 2014 2

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Back in The Saddle Again...The Bestest Times With My Bestie!

Finally getting the time and energy to get back out to one of my Bestie's house for riding with her has been a bit hard with so much already going on for the summer. Seems like you just get all the work done at home, and it's time to leave again. We'll be back out on the road on Friday headed back to Florida; same place as last visit, same family, but more added together for a Carpenters For Christ missions. We'll be helping finish up the church build-on we started almost four years ago. It's been a struggle for the congregation to get it finished, so CFC is providing another trip for inside electrical and finishing touches to the new Sanctuary CFC put in from the cement on up. The current sanctuary will be emptied out of pews,etc. to make room for more classroom space, while keeping the all-new beautiful interior as it is now. Hopefully, the week will provide enough time to fully FINISH the project.
But just getting home from a camping trip, with so much to still do inside the house from not being home, and getting the camper cleaned back up, and trying to get the photo work done that DIDN'T GET DONE while I was camping...dang WiFi that has almost 2,000-ppl-plus-their-brother-sister-uncle-and-long-lost-cousin all online at the same time... Grrrrrrr!
Anyway. *sigh*
It felt REALLY GREAT to just get out in on the road all by my lonesome! Singing at the top of my lungs with the wind in my hair, looking forward to just being out on the open space alone with my Bestie and her big Babies- Apache, Seneca, and Wings.

   I made a promise to Sandy a couple of years ago, that I would try my BEST to get back out on a saddle again with her. It'd been years since I'd ridden and the RA had come on during that time. Getting back to being able to just walk every day took a long time for me, let alone get back into RUNNING. Getting back to being able to handle a horse (esp one with a huge 'Ttude' of her own like Wings has) needs some muscle work. And in the past two years, I have worked my little butt off to get back into shape enough to handle not only a horse, but the roadway under my running shoes! My RA Doc game me an A+ for all that work. :D So I really EJOYED the few hours up on there yesterday!! And while Wings and I initially had some TugOWar going on over who was the boss of our ride...she finally gave in and decided to make the best of it.  

  While we DO live rurally, there's not enough space for my liking to be able to put a horse of my own out here. It pains me to see several horses crammed together  into one small area just so someone can 'have' a horse of their own- and right nearby for their own convenience. I'm one of those 'tree-hugger' people who think that the more space you have around you- the better everything will be able to grow the way GOD planned it all in the first place. So, I'll continue to drive through two counties to go borrow someone else's "pony" (the name my hearing pup knows them by). Besides, I think I'm the one getting the best deal of all out of it: not just some time well spent on Wings- but a ride WITH MY BESTIE nearby for a chat or two together while I'm there. Nothing beats THAT! Thank you, Sandy and Phil, I LOVE YOU BOTH SO VERY MUCH!!!

                                                             And so does Hunni Pi. ;) 

                      THANKS for checking back in yet again, all! I'll send some notes from Florida, and
                            definitely will be checking in on blogs for Tim Holtz's new JUNE TAG !!!
                                                                     Happy Blogging!

Relax; It's Just A LITTLE...??...Case of 'Roomisagloomis'.

                                                                                           A case of "Roomisagloomis" is what The Professor on "Gilligan's Island" diagnosed Maryann as having in a dream sequence of an episode. He explained that 'agloomis' meant 'mush', and 'roomis' was a prefix meaning 'room'. Upon this diagnosis, Maryann puts together the two words and concludes that she is dying from eating poisonous mushrooms. Our worries of the day DO tend to come out in our nightly dreams, & quite often are just as hilarious as I always found Gilligan & his fellow castaways to be. And my own are of counting the mushrooms I find. :D
     Nearing the end of an Indiana April, you can often find folks who seem to be "wandering" along the country roads- usually head down, carrying a long walking stick, and perhaps a grocery-store-type oranges/potatoes bag. These are known as "Shroomers" as they are out on the hunt for mushrooms. And they don't tend to travel in groups, but rather walk alone or with just one other person. A Shroomer is usually very secretive about his find as to  WHERE they find those tasty -and always HOPEFULLY MEGA-HUGE "morel" or "sponge" mushrooms. This kind of mushroom is found in the spring conditions of warm air and moist ground that has some kind of decay in the soil that includes Elm trees. Nearly every Shroomer has their own way of finding, harvesting, preparing, and even sharing or not sharing them. I prefer to share them as I believe GOD intended. And The LORD is always GOOD at growing those delicious delicacies! They are twice as good if served with a batch of fish (Blue Gill or 'Sunfish') caught in Indiana waters, such as our own private lake here. While the 2013 Season was a very plentiful one, I had my doubts about 2014 due to the harsh and way-too-long winter we had. If anything, I figured it would be an abundant season because of all the heavy snow made for very wet ground. But then, it became too dry a little too soon. By the first of May, I had yet to find the Black morels that usually appear first. After finally seeing them in their usual spot, and finding 8 of them in pretty good sizes, I thought I was spot-on with my "ShroomCast" of 2014...until that next week when  very sunny, very hot weather came and I returned home each day: empty-handed. One night, the tones went off for a house fire in the middle of the wee hours of morning, and my ChiefHubby was out all night for it. During the overhaul (sadly a total loss for  the family but they did have insurance), some of the other FFs were saying they were coming up empty-handed also. One said he found some, but it was a really rough hunt and they were proving difficult to find this year. But just as I was thinking it was going to be a lost year, the "Indiana Monsoons" came. And man, did it RAIN. And rain, and rain, and RAaaaaaaIN !! And going out into that rain- coughing, sneezing, & grumbling to boot- I stumbled upon THE HUGEST patch of my entire lifetime of mushroom hunting!!! I was so excited I could hardly breathe!! And I think I might have given the ChiefHubby a massive coronary with the texts & photos I was sending to him at work. :D  A total count that came to 175 Yellows, with only one that was less than 3 inches. And all were found in ONE patch of about 15 sq ft !!! It took me over an hour to pick them all, and having my Dad, a neighbor who recently had a bad accident, and one daughter's family who loves them - all of these who can't or didn't get the chance to go out there themselves, I happily got to share 50 of them before spending 3 hours one evening getting the rest of them prepped for the freezer. My way of freezer prep is to cut very bottoms off, then after a two-day saltwater soak... slice lengthwise, re-rinse, then egg dip and dredge in flour, salt, &pepper, and lay flat on foil-lined baking sheets for freezing at least 24 hrs, and finally; count out 24 halves into each gallon-sized freezer bags.   
       Just this very evening I type this, we returned home from the first camping trip of the year with all our 'Church-Buds' (who are more 'family' to us than 'friend') where we cooked up 105 halves on Sunday night. We always head home for church in the very early morning on Sundays, then have the 'bestest' meal for that evening as sometimes we invite others to come back to the campground with us- if it's closeby anyway. Then we gather around for a huge sing-a-long. It really attracts alot of listeners and we tend to get a little crazy at the end. I did my famous rendition of "Dances With Wolves" and also the "CastAway" fire dances.....just for examples of what "a little crazy" means. ;)  I remember the first camping trip of 2013, the shrooms were still being found in abundance- by both myself and my ChiefHubby- on just about every hike we took. But seeing that our camping area we chose for that trip actually is not too far from here and it's pretty much the same terrain as this area. Now THAT was a very good year for them. But this camping trip was a couple of counties away from ours and while I did search on several hikes, I came up empty. It looked too dry where we were- even though most of that was all underwater just a few short weeks ago. (The dam was built to help control flooding on the Wabash/Eel Rivers in that county, while supplying electricity to a good number of residents in several counties.) So Morels continue to be "the BIG One that got away" even if it never was there in the first place. But more than likely; it was right there under all those dead leaves....laughing at you while you missed it completely. That's ok. There's always NEXT YEAR!  :D
       In all; 2014 Shroom Season was a great success here. And here's some photos to prove it. Pls
forgive any ' blurrys' since they were taken in the sheer euphoria of THE FIND. ;)  See how many YOU can spot!

Above Left: Saltwater bagging whole morels keeps them fresh for giving out so others can fix them to their liking. Above Right: Total constructive chaos reigns while putting up shrooms for freezer keeping. I still had one bag left from last year that we didn't eat. Took that one to camp with us, and still have three bags left for this summer's cookouts with the kids.

We just got setup before I shot this. The ChiefHubby is busy setting up his: radio, pager, 2way radio, phone charge, and LORD knows what else the man carries everywhere with him. I seem to be the only one these days who can take off with just a bag of phone (only because HE makes me carry one), buds, water, camera...and my DOG.

If you're wondering how large this fry pan is....take a look at the upper-rt-inset photo. And the Chief got TWO of these one year for Christmas from our boys. He not only cooks the Ironmen's Breakfasts (they are on break till Fall 2014) but he loves cooking breakfast during camping, especially. I just end up 'helping out' by cleaning up. :)

My little girl- one of 'em anyway. The kitty doesn't like going anywhere. AT. ALL. Aside from our own FurryKids: Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Hunni Pi, and golden striped Tiger kitty BudderCup, I'm also the proud Grandma of three GrandFurries: a 2yo pup (Belgian Mix??) named Moose; a 5yo Rat Terrier named Baxter, and Moose's 'brother' a green striped Tiger kitty named Shax. Our older FFCaptSon named his kitty from a video game...some prince of demons named Shax. Wow. I'm so proud. My poor wittle Shaxim-Waxims kitty !!! Him knows him's Meemaw doesn't think him's a baaaad kitty! ;)

This is NOT one you'd want to eat...but it was a HUGE sucker!

Me and my wittle Felwow Shwoomer...Yep, she DOES go and DOES find them!

Never hit a trail where I didn't run into at least ONE smile. However, this was the first time I ever met a Mr.PotatoHead smile. ;)

One of the walking trails (above) and one of the bike trails (below)...

After setup on Friday night. Can't you's been a looooong day already. *yaaaawn!*

Some of the kids enjoying the start of the evening singing.  Below are a few videos of my fave songs... :D


Here's hoping your Memorial Day Weekend was a SAFE and THANKFUL one!

             And lastly....a little "Shroomer Humor" as I like to indulge in each year with a different theme...
                                          THANKS for checking in again! Happy Blogging!

Another Big Day...And Another PURDUE Nuclear Engineer Graduates Into The World!

It seems like just yesterday...well, that's how it FEELS anyway. But the reality is: it was 17 years ago in the fall of 1997, that I left BOTH boys at school instead of just one. Each of their first day at school in Kindergarten was a huge milestone as far as this Mom was concerned. And from the sight of other parents also holding cameras that day in the room- I'd say I was not alone in that perspective. But, giving your kids up to let them spend 8 hours with other people...that's rough. I was among the VERY BLESSED ones to be able to be at home with my kids, and then I seemed to join them at school also. But in doing so, I ended up not having just TWO kids... I ended up with over 1,000- every year! I spent 11 years being a Volunteer at my Sons' Elementary, and at the Jr.Sr.High School- in the Band Dept. doing just about anything and everything that needed to be done. While my "work" was important to me; it meant nothing without the KIDS I did it for...ALL of them. Now, here it is 2014 and the last of those kids I worked closely with are now getting married, having kids, graduating college, or already gone off to work fulltime having been out of school totally since HS Graduation. Enter now: Empty Nest Time.

  And a PROUD time. Not a 'puffed-up proud' as The Bible would say is a bad kind of pride to have, but a 'tears-in-your-eyes' kind of pride. But before I get too far, let me be clear: I am proud of BOTH our boys. VERY! One chose not to finish school, much like his Dad did back at that age (David had in one year at PURDUE when I met him and he chose not to return that fall). And one has finished his four-yr degree. My pride comes from the GENTLE MEN they have each become. Each one has a soft side and a stick-firm side. (Some say it's 'stubborn'?? Myehhhh...could be!) And somehow, after all the prayers their Dad and I have offered up in their lives, I have faith that GOD will be FAITHFUL in HIS WILL for them and their wives. (Yep- the wives have been prayed for even before we knew who they would turn out to be.) I can look forward to sharing more of these "BIG DAYS" as each one does something that brings out that pride in our hearts. Us old 'Rents' can never live our lives over again in our kids. In fact; I would NEVER EVER WANT THAT!!! This is THEIR life to live. And for each thing that WE did- I want THEM to do THAT MUCH BETTER, HAVE that much MORE, BE that much HAPPIER, GO that much FARTHER, SET that much HIGHER GOALS, DISCOVER that much DEEPER in their Souls, and HOPE that much MORE for whatever they have in their hearts to HOPE FOR. And if it all pales MY life in comparison- then I will give THAT much MORE and LOUDER PRAISE TO GOD for HIS promises kept!!!
   With the saying "A photo is worth a thousand words" here they are- on Sunday; May 18th at PURUDE UNIVERSITY in West Lafayette, Indiana...Mr. Brett Dylan Larimore -Member of The Class of 2014- becomes one of 40 newest Nuclear Engineers to head out into the world and make Nuclear Power into useful energy of tomorrow! (As opposed to what I used to joke: "I have one Son who will blow up the world as a Nuclear Engineer, and another Son who will save the whole world as a FIREFIGHTER!")


Astronaut and 28 yr NASA veteran Dr.David Wolf was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Engineering. He was born and raised in Indianapolis, Graduate of Purdue School of Engineering, and considers Indiana his Earth home.
Here's a part of Former Indiana Governor/Present PURDUE University President, Mitch Daniels' remarks to the Engineering Graduate Candidates. I wish I had taped the entire thing; his words ring true and it's an awesome feeling to have been a part of so many people's lives who have attended PURDUE. It's staggering to think this is only a small portion of kids who will be looking for jobs in this world's economy this Summer. I'm truly thankful for people like this man who REALLY DO care about others.

Go figure. I was so excited and trying to get everything with 2 cameras, I end up getting a nice shot of one of Brett's roomies but not a clear shot of my own kid. *sigh* This is Eric Lemmel who roomed with Brett during their first year in Honors Engineering at the Top 200 of their classmates. (CONGRATULATIONS! to Eric Lemmel, Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, and to another roomie, Steven Loudenback, Bachelor of Science from the College of Technology. Three more roomies will graduate in 2015 through the CoOp programs.)

Mr.&Mrs.Boilermaker GraduateMay2014 &GraduateCandidateDec2014

The three REAL Boilermakers!

In front of Union Hall at PURDUE University.

Yeah, Mom just hadda photoshop this one w Mickey in it. :p  lol!

There it is! Their tassle/and scarf color is Orange for all areas of Engineering. Considering the warning color for Nuclear as being was kinda fitting! That's a little pun on our Berber who got his nickname from his springy-blonde hair that was in a huge 'fro' prior to his Junior Year at Purdue....thanks to his Wife, Holli and her oldest sister, Shawna. :) For THIS graduation, the hat actually FIT onto his head!
CONGRATULATIONS, SON!! We are so proud of you, and we love you !!! :')

THANKS for sharing this Special Post with us!
Hope you check in again and Happy Blogging!

Monday, May 26, 2014

MAY TAG- The 12 Tags of 2014

While it may seem like I always wait until the very last minute to work on my Tags, the opposite is true. I actually get so excited to get busy on them, that I stay up through the night of the last day of every month just to get a first-hand glimpse of Tim's newest creation! And a few very "lucky" times, I've even logged in just seconds after he's posted one! :D  More often than not, I run into my studio to grab whatever supplies he's listed into a pile, and might even start cutting shapes needed or at least choosing 'the perfect paper' or the best color/shades for that Tag project. My own creations get done on a VERY timely manner- believe it or not!- usually within that first week. Mostly because I just know....that with my ChiefHubby and the busy life he drags me along in....I'll never get time to finish it if I don't get right to it. Which is the reason why it's always POSTED last-minute. :/
    But, at least it all works out, and that's all that really matters. :D And Tim's May Tag is yet another one of my 'VERY FAVE' Tags! As an OCD person; those little perfectly-lined-up, itemized collectibles in a very oh-so-orderly pattern are such a dream!!! With this month's Tag, I've followed the same techniques with the only exceptions of the items used and the layout for them to fit. Since my photography is always a central part of my Tags, and the ocean is my obsession; last month's Florida trip photos made THE perfect project in moho! I've even added one of the photos as a miniture postcard with embossed lettering & even miniturized a TH "Post Card" stamp on it. The sets of shells were actually found by me during our stay and my usual walks on the beaches. I've fitted the heartcharms (which I ADORE!) with a photo of my ChiefHubby &I in one, and Our FFCaptSon & his girl in the other. I happened to get a pkg of those that was MISSING THE CLEAR TOPS that give the illusion of that was a HUGE BUMMER!!  :'(   The apothocary bottles each contain real Emerald Isle, Florida, sand with tiny pearls in I dropped into the sand. I added a piece of a found sand dollar to mine, and a tiny halfshell to the other Tag that was made for our FFCaptSon's US Navy girl for her to keep as a keepsake of their trip with us in April. Since Ashley is Navy, along with her family, and Memorial Day is an important holiday to honor those who gave their lives for our freedoms...I've chosen a US Flag background. I simply adore Americana, Colonial, wood primitives, etc, and have no ending of such items throughout our home and property. Being a Firefighter's Wife, Mom, & DIL (retired)...what other decor would I choose?!? :D

THANKS for the kind notes, to those who have been so encouraging in my artwork!
Hope to make time to check in on the MANY WONDERFUL blogs of so many HUGELY TALENTED, and warm-hearted fellow artists out there!!!