Our Heroes


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Here’s hoping you’ve had a wonderful Veteran’s Day holiday of blessings and cheer, and also observance of our wonderful veterans and men and women in the armed services!

I thought I would share this video I put together in honor of my husband, Frank (City Boy), as well as many, many other service men and women and their families, who gave so very much of themselves for this country.

Have a wonderful, peaceful night, and a great day tomorrow!

One Fall Day


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Sunrise over our Hillbilly 'hood

Sunrise over our Hillbilly ‘hood

As the day awakens and everyone wakes up with it, there is a sense of anticipation for what is to come.  The new day holds a promise of things yet realized — what it brings is up to us.

Sunset over our Hillbilly 'hood

Sunset over our Hillbilly ‘hood

As the sun sets and nightfall is near, our sense of anticipation can still remain.  Our bodies and minds need rest, but our spirit and drive are still there, waiting to start another day tomorrow.

Moonrise over our Hillbilly 'hood

Moonrise over our Hillbilly ‘hood

Lock the joy of the day in your mind and heart, let go of the trials and pain of the day as you lay down to rest, and let troubles fade away as you drift off to sleep.  Whether joy or trouble, a new day full of new possibilities awaits you.  Nothing is carved in stone — a day and a night can change everything.

Meanwhile, someone is getting ready for her trip to the pumpkin patch…

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It’s me, Precious Baby!  And I’m kinda unsure if this will be a  trip that babies like.


Still not real sure about this…am I for sale?


All right, so, now what?


Am I supposed to be doing what he’s doing?


Well…this…MIGHT not end up being so bad…



You’re not gonna cry again, are you?  Between teething and wearing a diaper I’m already pretty wet.


This turned out to be kinda fun!


I’m so glad Daddy and Mommy brought me!


And look what Mommy took a picture of — a bug on a pumpkin flower!  She’s getting pretty good at this picture-taking stuff!  But then she’s had lots of practice taking pictures of ME!

Things in Hillbilly Land and this side of the world are coming to a close for the day, and blessings abound everywhere if we look for them.  Whether it is a beautiful grandchild, a beautiful sky, a bug on a flower, or anything that shows us God is near, enjoy your blessings tomorrow as you travel through the day and through life.  Blessings to each and every one of you!

Migraine Update — Tips For Easing the Nightmare


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Prior version of the Gatorade logo, in use (wi...

A little over a year ago an idea for migraine relief was given to me by a friend at church (read about that here).  I have referred to it since then as the “Gatorade Diet,” and I have since discovered more tips for easing the trauma that most migraines bring. To just say the gist of what that post was about, it mainly suggests that some migraine sufferers might find a little relief if they drink Gatorade at the onset of a migraine.

Gatorade to Keep Me Hydrated

Since I don’t tend to drink a lot of fluids, and I feel fairly certain that may be part of the problem, I also drink Gatorade whenever I do drink anything during the day and evening.  With meals, while taking meds, just whenever I get thirsty, and, of course, at the onset of migraines.  Since I don’t drink fluids that often, it’s not as if I down gallons a day.  A large can of Gatorade powder will last me awhile.


Since starting this routine a year ago, I have suffered four migraines.  Since I was having rounds of them that would trigger migraines every other day, I find that four times a year is quite an improvement!  Not only that, but the migraines I did have only brought minor pain or none at all.


The migraines I did have this past year were in the beginning couple of months after I started drinking Gatorade.  I am guessing that it may take one or two weeks of regular Gatorade drinking to start seeing some effects.  Since I was going around dehydrated most of the time, it probably took awhile to build things back up in my system.

So, here are a few tips for getting the most out of your migraine experience (eye roll):

  • Take migraine meds and drink Gatorade at first suspicion of the onset of a migraine.
  • MigraineBefore the pain begins, right after taking your meds, put an ice pack on your head.  I’m not sure why it works for me to put it on even before the pain starts, but when I have done it, there was a marked decrease in overall migraine pain.  The flexible kind of ice packs that are used in coolers to keep things cold will work for this.  I keep two in the fridge — I can plop one on my head without having to put a towel around it first, and also I can switch to the extra ice pack when the one on my head warms up.  Again, what works for me may not for someone else, and may not always even work for me, but it can’t hurt.
  • If you do not drink many liquids during the course of a day, incorporate Gatorade into your daily routine.

6318911_sOne blogger friend (Bob) pointed out to me that Gatorade contains a lot of salt, and mentioned an alternative that has the same things in it that Gatorade does, only minus the salt.  I will have to look back and see what the name of it is and update it to this post.  It may have been Powerade, but I’m unsure.

The problem with trying substitutes is that the salt may be what makes the Gatorade effective.  But I’m willing to give the alternative a try and see what happens.  I’ll post about that here, too.

Note: Bob has since confirmed in a comment below that it is, indeed, Powerade that he was talking about.  I will get brave and try it to see what happens.  If it works it will certainly be more healthy.  Thanks Bob!

At any rate, if you feel like trying these tips, give it a few weeks and see if you notice an improvement.  After a month you should see marked improvement if it is working for you at all.  As I’ve said in my previous post, this does not work for everybody — it depends largely on what is causing your migraines.

I hope this helps.  As for me, I am virtually migraine-free at this point, so if it turns out that drinking salty Gatorade is the only way to go, it’s just a choice I will have to make.  Migraines every day is not the way I want to live.

Update: Since I made this post, my daughter, who had insisted that Gatorade did not help her migraines, went to see a neurologist who specialized in migraines.  He told her that migraines really never go totally away, and that they are genetic.  Then he put her on a regimen of (here it comes, you’ll never guess) Gatorade!  I’m guessing from this that it’s been confirmed by at least some of the medical profession that it helps with migraines, at least in part.  That makes it even more worth a try if you suffer from these horrible, debilitating trials of the body.

Whatever you do today and in days to come to make your life and the lives of others better, I hope you receive blessings.  Have a glorious weekend, no matter what your weather is — you deserve it!

Rainy Fall


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Just because those of us in Hillbilly-land are waiting with such anticipation to take pictures of the glorious Fall colors, the golden hues of Autumn have decided to be late this year.  All around us in this area everything is still green, with just a hint of Fall color here and there.

11309355_s After a little mishap I have been spending the last month or so getting back to normal.  Most of the physical damage was on my left side, but I have been careful and healed nicely.  There are only the residual problems that come with broken ribs, which take forever to heal, and I still can’t grip things with my left hand.  Handwriting anything is out, but I can finally type with both hands, so I’m mostly back in business.  Yay!

We have been getting lots and lots of rain here, with just the occasional sunny day.  What that adds up to is that the grass is still growing rampant, while mowing has to be a rush-job between rains during the short times the sun is out.

But, it’s nice to still have a green lawn, although City Boy would beg to differ with me — he is the one having to mow it.

Believe me, I have offered to mow it many, many times, but he has never quite trusted that I can do it correctly.  Now that I actually have not been capable of doing it at all for the last month, it has truly become his and only his chore.

He has been wondering how I can stumble around holding a camera and taking pictures, when things like cooking dinner or doing dishes has been a hardship for me.  Amazing how that works, don’t you think?

Well, for one thing, the shutter button is on the right side of my camera, and it’s the left hand I have the problem with.  And cooking and doing dishes involves getting food and water on a person’s hands, which I have not been able to do with my left hand, so that’s the way it goes.  Now that I can at least do these things again, City Boy is really looking forward to me cooking chili tonight and making banana bread for him.  It’s the least I can do for his first day of handing the reigns (mostly) back over to me.

Actually, City Boy has been a good boy and I have really appreciated his help and understanding while all this has been going on.  I married a wonderful guy, and not because I’m a good guy-picker, but because I got lucky that he came along when I was doing the picking.  Amazing how that works, don’t you think?

And, actually, he picked me, but we’ll just keep that between us, winky-wink.

So, Fall has come in around here with a whimper.  But, the weather people say that the colors are just a few weeks later than usual because of the unusually warm Fall we’ve had so far.  Well, that makes sense I guess.

Until some photo-worthy color comes in, I’ll post pictures I took just before the monsoon started.  After all, even with all of my limitations of late, I never became unable to manage taking pictures.  Amazing how that works, don’t you think?

Bugs and Slugs of Fall


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Today was a good day to wander around taking pictures, and the insect population was teeming, so I took advantage.

This little critter crawled right up to me on a rock at my feet where I was sitting.

This little critter crawled right up to me on a rock at my feet where I was sitting.

We used to call these "stink bugs," I think, but I had no idea he was in the picture until I processed it.

We used to call these “stink bugs,” I think, but I had no idea he was in the picture until I processed it.

Reminds me of what it looked like when our kids would spill red kool-aid on our light colored carpet.

Reminds me of what it looked like when our kids would slosh red kool-aid on our light colored carpet.

I think this poor little sow bug (we used to call them "roly-polies") was about dead -- he was barely moving.

I think this poor little sow bug (we used to call them “roly-polies”) was about dead — he was barely moving.

During all this bug photographing, Lucy just HAD to be let in the house, so I let her in.  When I finally finished taking pictures, I went inside also.  The weather was so wonderful it was hard to go in!

Walking through the living room I noticed a dead leaf on the carpet from one of the plants on the mantle, so I snatched it up to throw it away.  Just as quickly, I yelled and gave the cold, slimy thing a toss in the air, and it landed on the front of the fireplace.  It was definitely not a leaf, nor was it dead.

I stopped to take pictures, only because I was in no hurry to pick the thing back up, and then I scooped it onto a paper and took it outside in the back yard.  Hey, I don’t have anything planted out there it could destroy, so what the heck.

I know, the usual thing people in Hillbilly land do is dump salt on them and watch them die in agony, but I wasn’t up for that today.

I figure the nasty thing probably rode in there on Lucy and dropped off onto the carpet.  I have the best luck with that kind of thing (eye roll).

Hope you all are having a wonderful start to your Fall, and that your weather is gorgeous!  Take care and enjoy your bugs!

From the Wabi Sabi Ranch


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Up to now, this blog has been leaning more and more toward my growing interest in amateur photography, although it didn’t start out that way.  My original intention when I started this blog was to highlight the down-home Ozarks lifestyle.  And my photographs, however inexperienced and crude, do highlight that.

As I learn photography and become somewhat better at it (I still have LOTS to learn), I want to also highlight some of the bloggers who are really talented at their photography and for whom it is a passion.  I have learned a great deal and a multitude of skills from these bloggers.


The photographs in this post are taken by Robin, whose blog is Breezes At Dawn.  Robin recently moved to her home on the Eastern shore of Maryland with her husband, who she calls M, and lives on some acreage with a lake and a dock, plenty of flowers and foliage and a multitude of animals and insects.


Robin refers to her home as the Wabi Sabi Ranch, and it is fertile ground for many photographic opportunities, which she takes full advantage of.  Robin has a good eye for picking out things that will make a picture beautiful, stunning, interesting, and/or just plain neat.


Robin is about to enter her first Fall and Winter seasons there at Wabi Sabi ranch, so it will be so interesting to see the photographs in her future blog posts during these upcoming seasons.

Last Fall and Winter Robin was at her former home she calls Breezy Acres.  For those of you who would like look at Robin’s stunning pictures from there, her other blog is Life In the Bogs.


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Robin also has a tutorial or two included in Life In the Bogs and Breezes At Dawn, which help us have a clue to a few of the ways she gets the fantastic results she does with her photographs.


A place to purchase some of Robin’s wonderful work can be found on her page at Redbubble Portfolio.  These photographs would look wonderful adorning any home.

For now, Robin has given me permission to feature some of her work from her blog, so sit back, admire, and enjoy!









Check out Robin at Breezes At Dawn for your daily dose of inspiration, fun and loveliness.  I’ll end this post to you wonderful bloggers with her own sign-off:

“Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just be.” — Robin

Summer’s Over and Fall’s Cookin’!


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Ah, Summer.  It’s still here for a lot of us.  Warm, humid weather, sunshine.

Why, just a few mornings ago I was out taking these pictures of the summer flowers, skies and grass in my neighbor’s overgrown yard.

The neighbor just moved in and thinks he’s been hoodwinked.  He does not feel that it is his responsibility to mow his yard, and argues with the city about it.

At any rate, things are suddenly changing.  Almost like clockwork, with Fall officially beginning Sunday, it’s just now starting to look a little more like change is in the air.

In the early morning sunlight this week I’ve noticed things that are usually green are starting to turn shades of red, orange and yellow.  Leaves are starting to fall a little, the air is getting cooler at night, the Fall smell is in the air.

Fruit trees are ripe for a final harvest, and fruit is starting to litter the ground.

Even an old acorn cap, probably from last year, has joined the menagerie of falling objects from trees.

But, after all, we’re still getting the occasional 90 degree day.  That’s why I take pictures in the early morning still, so I don’t sweat all over my camera.  There are still vestiges of Summer holding on as long as they can.

I am one of those holdouts.  I like Fall, but I also like the sunshine and outdoorsy feeling of Summer, and have not been in a hurry to let it go.

But, with the change of season also comes the promise of good and different things, so saying goodbye to Summer and embracing Fall starts us on the path that opens us up to all the wonderful things ahead.

In the past several months I’ve had an ongoing mantra of promising I’ll do better at blogging.  I’m not sure what has happened, but I’m trying to figure out why I have just had the blues for the last several months.  

There have been some very bright spots, though, and I am grateful for the blessings of wonderful people and great relationships.  There is not a problem in the world that can’t be made better by these blessings.

At the risk of letting my overwhelming pride turn me into a bad blogger, I wanted to share this video with you.  This past week my family and a host of friends celebrated the life of my Uncle Bud with a party — jazz band playing, food, fun — it’s what he wanted rather than a funeral.  But, the video is the tribute to Uncle Bud done by KYTV, the NBC affiliate station here in southwest Missouri.  This is my final blog about Uncle Bud, but far, far from my final thought and memory.


A great weekend is coming up, and I’m looking forward to starting fresh.  Just like the seasons change and another one starts anew, so we each can do the same thing.  It’s what makes life interesting!

Have a fabulous and blessed weekend!

Poms To Beat the Blues


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Of course, there is a story behind the pomegranates — it’s not a long one, but worth telling.  The kindness of others is always worth talking about.

Yesterday was a not-so-easy day.  I wanted to go to the hospital to visit Uncle Bud (if you are not up-to-date on what’s going on there, catch up here), but City Boy was working and had our only vehicle.  He was sure he wouldn’t be home until too late for me to see Uncle Bud.

Uncle Bud with his daughter Susan in 1977 while on a Rocky Mountain vacation

When I talked to Aunt Ann yesterday, the news was not good, and I was in a funk.  I had a feeling I was not going to see Uncle Bud again, at least not to where he could see me.

My mother had taken ill with some bug, and I was also concerned for her, so I was trying to stay busy to beat the blues.  Lucy, our dog, started barking loudly and consistently, so I knew someone was approaching the front porch.

Sitting there by the door was a box.  I figured it was the vitamins I’d ordered.  But it wasn’t.

A friend who has been following my blog almost since the first day I started it had sent me some pomegranates from her own trees where she lives.  When I opened the box and saw the little card and the pomegranates, I just started bawling.

The timing couldn’t have been more needed and excellent, and the sheer kindness of this blessing made my broken heart melt.  I had really not had any problem with the weepies until I opened that box.

7 lbs of beautiful pomegranates were sitting on the dining room table when I got the call later that evening that Uncle Bud was gone.

Uncle Bud used my 110 pocket instamatic camera to take this picture of a 17-year-old me (who rarely wore those funky glasses) while I was vacationing with his family in the Rocky Mountains.  If a person stood there holding a peanut in the air, a bird would eventually swoop down and grab it.  

The kindnesses you do for a person may not seem like that big a deal to you, and you may feel like the recipient probably doesn’t consider it anything special as well.  But you don’t know what is happening at that moment in someone’s life, and you may be granting anything from a brighter day to saving their life.

My heartfelt thanks and many hugs to Cindy for the lovely pomegranates!  Cindy and her husband travel extensively, and she posts the most fantastic photos of her travels.  Home is a place Cindy calls “The Holler,” and it has many wonderful things and places that she photographs and posts as well.  Stop by Cindy’s blog for a visit — you’ll be glad you did!

Many blessings to you all, and I wish you a happy and peaceful Sunday!

And Now, the News


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Dick Willingham (right), NBC affiliate anchor, in 1970

One of the many things I like about my uncle having been a newscaster is that he has always had the most interesting stories to tell.  Before he retired, he spent 25+ years as an anchor for KYTV in Springfield, Missouri, and then as news director for KSMU radio station.

He and his wife, Ann, and daughter, Susan, were my second family growing up, and during my college years and as a married adult and mother.  They are a strong Christian family and have always been active in the church — Uncle Bud is a deacon and longstanding member of the choir, among other things.


Richard, Susan, Ann — 2008

One thing about my Uncle Bud (the name my brothers and I called him from the time we could talk, so it stuck), is that he has never raised his voice in my presence.  It’s a safe bet that he has rarely, if ever, raised his voice in anyone’s presence.  I have never heard him react to even the most annoying things with a loud voice.


The photos here of Uncle Bud at the tv station span from 1970 to perhaps the very early 80’s.  They are from KY3‘s website, where the station is now celebrating their 60 year anniversary.


There aren’t enough hours in the day to tell about all the things Uncle Bud has done, all the experiences he has had, and all the laughter, learning, holidays, and fun spent with him, my aunt and my cousin.

It’s too bad I don’t still have a picture of it, but Uncle Bud and Aunt Ann gave me my very first car.  It was a white Buick Skylark model from the early 70’s, in pristine condition.  My uncle has always made sure the family cars stayed in top condition.

They even took me on vacation one year with them to the Colorado Rockies for two weeks.  Their home was my home away from home.

English: Tiny Tim performing for media intervi...

For some reason I remember one interview my uncle did more than any of the others.  He interviewed Tiny Tim, for whom singing “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” in high falsetto was a trademark.   It was not all that long after Tiny Tim had divorced, and it hadn’t been a pretty break-up.  I just remember that interview because Tiny Tim was such an odd duck.


Uncle Bud has been an avid photographer as long as I’ve known him.  It seems appropriate, since his total career has been involved with the media in one way or another.114 125 133

A few months ago Uncle Bud found a lump on his neck and decided to check with a doctor, just in case.  It wasn’t likely to be anything too complicated, since Uncle Bud walked every day, ate healthy things, and lived a healthy lifestyle.  That’s why our whole family was in shock when he was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma in three places.

When my uncle asked the doctors why the cancer had not been detected until it was so far along, they told him he had the health of a teenager, and the cancer was detected late because he hadn’t had any symptoms at all.  And he still didn’t — until the treatments started.  After two sickening rounds, Uncle Bud was listed as terminal.

Uncle Bud this past Christmas, at my house showing my mother (his sister) how to use her first digital camera

Now, at any moment, I expect that call that no one wants to get, or perhaps even be present when Uncle Bud is ushered into the presence of God.  Uncle Bud is near death in the section of the hospital reserved for patients who the staff are trying to “keep comfortable.”  My heart breaks for Aunt Ann and my cousin Susan.  Uncle Bud and Aunt Ann have been each other’s best friend and spouse for many years, and Susan is their pride and joy.

I always took it for granted that Uncle Bud would outlive me, both because of his stellar health, and also because of my poor health.  Many people have told me that we humans don’t always pick our exact time of leaving, and that we are not promised tomorrow.

This is true, and I know it is.  But, grieving is what it is.  Knowing that you’ll see a person again doesn’t keep you from missing them while they’re gone.

Sorry to end my blogging break with such a post — there has been so very much going on this past few weeks, and it is occasionally difficult for a person to be totally cheerful.  I’m glad you dropped by — my highest blessings go out to all of you, and I pray that you all have a joyful weekend!

Looking Ahead


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Today I discovered that my sweet niece is contemplating suicide.  

She struggles with physical pain, and has been trying to let go of a troubled past.  She is happy with her marriage to an attentive, great guy, and that’s a big blessing in her life.  But sometimes, when it all is crashing in on her at once, she is unable to hold on to her sweet and caring spirit enough to realize that she matters too much to give up.

The Secret Sisters at Newport 2011

The Secret Sisters at Newport 2011 (Photo credit: wfuv)

The first time I ever heard this song, performed by The Secret Sisters, I was visiting another blog (Let’s Have Another Piece of Pie) and I loved it instantly, so I sent it to my niece along with my prayers and an invitation to call any time.

I thought you might like it as much as I do.