100,000-149,999 SparkPoints
VONBLACKBIRD's Recent Blog Entries

Tired aching back

Friday, July 27, 2012

Well we did it..between hubby and I, we got the last 2 bushels of apples juiced and in the refrigerator..Tomorrow morning early I will get started making jelly and also a little cider..But one good thing is I will have to quit around 11a.m. due to the heat..making jelly heats the house up so much and with it supposed to be 105 tomorrow it will be nice to quit early for a change.

The good thing about all this work, is I got a really really good work out with my arms, shoulders and upper back and I'm tired so it will help me sleep better..So all together with my walks today, I got in 60 minutes of fitness. I'm still keeping my calorie count under 1400 so still managing my mini goal for this week.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HICKOK-HALEY 7/28/2012 5:38PM

    That is a lot of work, but yet sounds fun. Nothing like pure Apple Juice. Let us know how the jelly turns out. Yum! emoticon
And congrats on keeping your calorie count where you want it.

Comment edited on: 7/28/2012 5:38:56 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRAVELGRRL 7/28/2012 3:57PM

    Wow, I know how much work that is! Good for you. Our 91-year-old neighbor does all that stuff too. Bless both of you! When we moved to Arkansas from Michigan I totally gave up canning. I would have to do it in my garage (I have a glass top stove) and NO WAY would I can outdoors in the heat of summer!

Stay cool....

Report Inappropriate Comment
MCJULIEO 7/28/2012 10:51AM

    Nothing heats up a house like jelly making.... but it surely is nice if you can save the juice in the freezer and make your jelly after it gets cold in the fall....

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOROTHYBERO 7/28/2012 6:42AM

    Way to go!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MISSY455 7/28/2012 1:34AM

    Wow, emoticon I hope you got a good night's sleep :-)

Report Inappropriate Comment
LALMEIDA 7/27/2012 9:33PM

  emoticon Have a good weekend and enjoy your jelly and cider

Report Inappropriate Comment
KAREN42BOYS 7/27/2012 9:22PM

    Sounds like a wonderful way to get exhausted! Sleep well tonight!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Apples and Struggles

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I had put on my status today that I have 3 bushels of apples to put up..It is a lot of work but so worth it in the end..I'm blest.

This morning I've read 2 blogs here about struggles people are having with the current economy and jobs, etc..well thought it was about time to tell people there is light at the end of the tunnel..We have been through it all and survived and come out better than before..I truly believe that God doesn't give us more than we can handle though when you are going through hard times you don't feel this way..So here is my story...

I have rhumitoid arthritis and never give it much thought..I just go on with life. My life career was teaching school and I loved it. I retired in 1997 mainly to start up a daycare center so that my DIL's would have a place to work and keep their kids at the same time...we lost so much money on the project and had to close at a big loss a year later..we had sunk more than half our savings into it..But we sold the house the daycare was in and then my knees went out from the stress and the RA which had taken a toll..I wasn't 50 yet so doctor made me wait 3 years before I could have them replaced..so we were down to 1 income which was half of what we had been making when I taught public school..well more of our retirement income went to just living day to day. During this time, we pinched pennies so much that we got the house and land paid for. We live in a very rural area which is 7 miles from any town and 50+miles from big enough town to have a Walmarts..After 3 years wait I finally got my first knee replaced..thought it was the biggest mistake I had ever made as things went wrong. Since I was young they put a type of replacement in that is porous and the bone has to grow to it so I couldn't put weight on it for 8 weeks..PT didn't work as the rehab I went to for the first 12 days didn't allow certain things so I lost the bend in the knee and at 8 weeks I had to go back into hospital and they had to forcefully bend the knee while I was under sedation..another 8 weeks without walking but major PT..PT was the worst..well sicne I had met all on our insurance I decided to suck it up and have the other knee done before Christmas...everything went right this time and I knew then how to throw fits on those in rehab and took my healing into my own hands..The following year 2002 I went back into teaching again at another district. I saved every penny I could (thankfully I did) and worked for 3 years..then the RA took a hip and my hearing..My hip collapsed in January and I refused surgery until I finished my teaching contract that year..I hobbled around on pain killers and a cane until June and had the hip replaced then..I was back in shape and ready to start teaching again in August when I found out they had moved me to a roving position and knowing my other hip was in bad shape, realized that I didn't think I could do it..so checked on disability..sure enough I qualified and so immediately went on disability at a cut in half my salary..Bad thing was I had just bought a new car in the spring fully thinking I would be working and I wouldn't get my first disability check until December..but somehow we managed. I could not qualify for medicare/medicaid for 3 years..but wasn't worried at this point as hubby was still working..well following year the DIL and I opened a litte lunch type deli beside her house in town..She did most of the work but I helped whenever and it gave me a place to try to sell my crafts i've always loved doing. Well that fall our pickup truck was stolen from under our carport..so we were forced to get antther truck so hubby would have a way to work..Well about a month later we recovred the truck minus wood working equipment we had in the back while working on the new little shop..and we had to buy new replacements for them..well now here we are with me making half salary on disability and 2 vehicle payments..so we sold my car as it was eaiser to sell and came out even on it..then not too long after that, the company where hubby worked closed..he went on unemployment for a few months and finally found a job driving a water truck from our state to surrounding states..he hated it and I hated it..and he had lost our insurance as well..and I wasn't far enough years yeat to qualify for medicare/medicaid..Thankfully he qualified for VA medical. Well a few months after taking this first job he finally got a really nice paying job without medical benefits still but the job was working out of state..now we are talking about a 62 year old man at this pont..But we prayed a lot in those next few months that nothing medical would happen until my medicare kicked in. With the bigger salary he made we got all the bills paid off but the one vehicle payment. Then we took one of our retirement money markets I had put back when I had worked the last 3 years and got payments coming each month that was the same as the truck payment..so with all the bills taken care of, hubby retired at 63..and we haven't looked back..It has been a hard struggle but we live a great life and enjoy what we do now so much more.

Part of our planning was when we first bought our property in 1987, we really wanted to move onto the property quickly so we bought a single wide mobile home planning to build a house later on..we had built one home ourselves doing most of the work in the other place we had lived before here..but as time went by and the sons grew up, we both realized we were comfortable in the mobile home and if we spent the time and money and remodeled it ourselves we wouldnt' have another mortgage to pay off or never pay off...The house has completely been remodeled. We added a huge laundry room that not only has a washer and dryer, but 2 freezers and 2 water heaters...gas and electric. (we have power outages so it helps to have the gas one during those times) and we added on a dining room. The wood we used for the walls on the dining room and floor was from lumber we had cut from trees we lost in an ice storm one year. We took all the cherry and cedar to a small one man mill and had it cut and then dried in the rafters of our big shop..Another year we lost some pine and more cherry trees when a hurricane blew in so far north that it got some of our trees and our neighbors..we got the neighbor's trees as well as he has MS and needed help cleaning up..We have a large garden each year (have had a garden since we married in 1979..a flock of chickens for eggs and lots of fruit trees and bushes and vines we have planted over the years...Hubby loves to hunt and fish so most of our meat and fish comes from that..We do combine the deer and bought pork to make our own sausage and deer and beef or grand meat..we built a big smoker and smoke hams and turkey breasts we only buy on sale..We rarely if ever eat out anymore and yet we eat better and healthier than ever and as for boredom...I have my crafts to do and he has his wood working he does plus the chores and our doggie babies and visits from and to our kids and grandkids..live couldn't be better. So there is light at the end of the tunnel. I'm sure we will still have our down times and think it is the worse there there is always good times ahead.
I know this is a long post so thanks for taking the time to read. I truly hope it helps those going through hard time to realize there are better times coming.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ABRANDNEWME09 7/28/2012 7:59PM

    Such an inspiring story!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HICKOK-HALEY 7/28/2012 2:45AM

    You are a true example of hanging in there. I'm so glad everything worked out, and your Hubby was able to retire. Now you can both reap the rewards. My DH just turned 64, and I was worried his age might be a problem for getting hired, but if your Hubby got a good job at 62, well, that gives me hope. Thanks for your blog!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRAVELGRRL 7/27/2012 5:14PM

    What an inspiring life you've led! You are self sufficient and love each other, and what could be better than that? I would say you ARE blessed!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOROTHYBERO 7/27/2012 5:56AM

    Talk about making lemonade out of lemons - you are inspiring!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MISSY455 7/26/2012 11:52PM

    Such an inspiring story. Thank you so much for sharing with us. You have such an awesome attitude!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DRAGONFLY02 7/26/2012 2:33PM

    What a great and inspiring story. Sounds like there were many, many times you could have given up and you didn't. And I think it's amazing how you stayed positive through it all (although maybe you weren't always feeling so positive). I love your simple lifestyle, growing your own veggies, hunting, fishing, etc. I grew up in a rural area where many people lived that way. Now I'm in the suburbs of a very large city and I miss parts of where I grew up, especially the simplicity of life. And how people cherished what little they had instead of where I live now in which many seem to always be competing with the Joneses.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NIMAWEYGH 7/26/2012 1:51PM

    Your so right Barb and your so very blessed. I am so proud to call you my friend and sister of the heart and I learn so much from you through out comments and emails. I look up to you for all that you do to live off the land and how you preserve and put things up and you just emplify in my eyes what it takes to make it through *hard times* with a smile on your face.

You never think you CAN'T do anything and always give it a try. You are a motivator and such an inspiration to so many of us.

I think you just ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My oldest step daughter Gemma has RA she was diagnosed 3 years ago at the age of 21 and she could sure learn a lesson or twenty from you.

Love ya muchly emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MCJULIEO 7/26/2012 10:30AM

    What an incredible story of perseverance and depending on the Lord for peace!

Your family has certainly been through a lot... Thanks for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARYLEE56 7/26/2012 9:03AM

    You truly are blessed. Perseverance does pay off in the end!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Arkansas Wine

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

As on a previous post, I had mentioned about my state..but forgot to mention that we have our own wine producing area..The area that mainly grows grapes and produces wine is in the north central part of our state in a small area called Altus...

This is a picture of an Altus vineyard..Many were started by a couple of Swiss families but many more have followed in their foot steps and now there are other names found here as well..The 2 that first started producing wine were Whederkehr and Post..Post originally started out just making grape juice and went on into wine production..but they still sell grape juice as well as wine.

My husband and I visited Whederkehr wine cellars a few years ago..and spent hours browsing all their wines..I really don't drink that much wine but occasionally I figure a small glass in my calorie count.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMREITE 7/27/2012 12:50AM

    a local winery can be neat to visit. i don't drink a lot of alcohol, but an occasional tasty dink is enjoyable.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOROTHYBERO 7/26/2012 6:36AM

    I love visiting wineries and am luck to have several in the area that I live.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MISSY455 7/26/2012 1:22AM

    That middle picture is amazing! I love reading these things about other states. I had no idea there were wine vineyards and wineries in Arkansas.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PATTOMMC3 7/25/2012 6:31PM


Report Inappropriate Comment

Random Ramblings

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I really didn't have anythng in mind to post today so thought I would just put up some random photos of mine and just explain them.

First I got a gnome couple from one of my DIL's this past Christmas..they are already living in the gnome garden and have literally become quite bossy over the others at least little Anita has..she thinks she is the only lady gnome that it is her right to tell the others what to do.

Next I'm showing the sugar free tart I made last week..not that low on fat I don't think but not made with added sugar..It is nothing but puff pastery rolled out on baking sheet, sliced fresh peaches and sprinkled with splenda..it was yummy and with it all I still kept within my calorie range the day I ate it..hubby ate the rest..I also made a plum tart the same way but it wasn't as good but it satisfied my hubby's sweet tooth. One piece of each was enough for me. (hum reminded me to check to see if any is left over and if so..needs throwing to the chickens)

And this last picture is of the powerline. This is at the bottom of our garden..The power company had the tree trimmers come out today and clear the power line..This space is on our property between us and the neighbor's driveway..It has been so over grown that I didn't realize we had a small rise or hill between us..The noise they made sure upset our doggie babies.

A note on progress. I got out this morning later than usual to walk. It was already hot and I decided to take a detour by the apple tree and muscadine vines...Got a good 20minute walk in and noticed the apples and muscadines were falling off..but they are ripe!!! So early this year..so I got out and spent another sweating 30 minutes picking muscadines and got 2 gallon buckets full..Some I couldn't reach but hubby will get them later this week.We will also pick all the apples to make sauce..But I had my arms up the entire time while picking the muscadines and had already done my arm exercises earlier so my arms, shoulders, neck and back are so sore from all the exercise and stretching I did..so altogether I got more than 60minutes of exercise..but I almost over heated doing the picking..going to have to remember to get out earlier from now on.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IAMFRANSGIRL 7/25/2012 7:23AM

    Your tart looks yummy and your apple picking sounded quite fun! Hope you're feeling less sore today.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MISSY455 7/25/2012 12:21AM

    Oh the Peach Tart looks wonderful!

Congrats on all the exercise today! Picking all the muscadines had to be hard work! You are doing great!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NIMAWEYGH 7/24/2012 9:45PM

    Muscadines, muscadines I LOVE MYSELF SOME MUSCADINES.......tee hee hee

I so need a new gnome as the guy that was stealing our mail also got my gnome off the porch, a favorite turtle of mine and a frog. Have not yet replaced the frog or gnome.

Wow they sure cleaned that area up. Good for you. Sounds like a wonderful walk and a good bit of exercise.

Was way to hot here today but tomorrow out in it as Mom and my brother Mitch will be here for his DR appt and she needs to get her glasses she got last week adjusted and then we are off to lunch, the consignment store and then here for dessert. Baked a pineapple upside down cake today, Mom and DH favorite.

Have a wonderful hump day.

Report Inappropriate Comment

I've begun

Monday, July 23, 2012

Yesterday I reset my goals for this week..and I have begun..
I did my morning walk and then the arm exercises I wanted to do this week..concentrate on that area this week..good start emoticon

I am keeping my calories today under 1400 calories I still haven't eaten my snack I have tracked today and with it I will be under 1300 calories..So if I get really hungry I can add a little fruit to that if needed. emoticon

So I'm on my way this week...Also I have almost completed a little artsy project. I found the neatest pattern designer on etsy and bought 4 of her patterns to make up for Christmas presents (yes already thinking ahead) and so made this one up today. I will attach him to the box and add some real twigs and a cute grunged up hooty hoot or something.

Anyway I'm making good use of my time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WAYSOFGRACE 7/24/2012 11:11AM

    Nice start to the week! I wasn't as good yesterday...having accomplished only 4 out of my 5 tasks. Tonight I will have to make up for it.

Nice owl! My soon-to-be mother-in-law loves happy owls. If they looks like they're scowling, forget it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MISSY455 7/23/2012 10:33PM

    emoticon Your week is off to a great start! emoticon

I love your owl! You are so talented :-)

Report Inappropriate Comment
HOTPINKCAMARO49 7/23/2012 6:59PM

  emoticon You go, girl! You're on the right track! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 Last Page