the farm update
January 9, 2009
....it is still winter. I just looked out and verified that. When I get a new calendar I intend to start my countdown to spring. Of course, I have my fabulous calendar I got last year from Candy and Max of www.simplegoods.net  that goes for 6 months of 2009 BUT, you KNOW I can't mark on that. That is only for glancing at to check the dates. Sometimes you acquire an item that is just TOO good to use. So I look at that to get dates, but don't write any information on it. I need a calendar I can write stuff on. One would wonder, perhaps, why I didn't think of that in December. Actually I did. But it never got put on my 'town' lists. If it isn't on the list, I rarely come home with it. And that has been the case, the last few trips to town. And you will recall my fondness NOT, for grocery shopping!
I have now concluded after the record snow falls of December, that perhaps I am not as fond of shoveling snow as I once was. As my only winter activity besides grumbling, I am now down only to grumbling. I do admit, however, that my new winter 'sport' is sitting on the couch with a big white ironstone cup of steaming coffee, looking out the french doors watching the smoke wisps curl up into the sky from the wood stove. Knowing of my former fondness of snow shoveling, a long time reader of my letters, Kim Cleveland sent me the most humorous rendition of one man's love of snow and his new found move to where it required shoveling of snow.
Somewhat nasty here and there, but OH SO TRUE, and I about laughed myself silly as I could visualize each paragraph as the snow got deeper and continued each day. If you would like to read it, ask and I will forward the snow shoveling experience to you.
Those of you like my dearest J-Pok who lives in North Carolina and sees little snow who wishes for a flake now and then could not relate to this story, but Stan the Handsome ( her great looking husband) knows a lot about snow as he is from the North.
I am doing better walking around on the ice, now UNDER the last few snows, when we got probably our 'January thaw' that often takes us down to bare ground for a few days, and makes my world a much better place.... but that thaw came with rain, and while taking the snow levels down several feet, where the ground and roads were plowed, it made them a virtual skating rink of ice.
Downright nasty. Fearful of falling, I was very careful walking. But of course, if you KNEW you were going to fall, you wouldn't do it!!
The kids got both Ronnie and me these gripper contraptions to put on our boots to grab into the ice better. So now along with all my outside fashion wear, I have added grippers to the arctic packs. Oh, and it has been cold. With colder yet to come this weekend and next week. To the -0 and below degrees. To combat the cold, early in December, we all from the farm, (us, kids and grandkids) bought Radar hats. Now, as if, all my layers aren't bad enough, and forsaking my beloved ski cap occasionally, the new addition of the Radar hat just tops it all off. Thankfully, or maybe not, my hat doesn't have faux fur inside. Mine has sheepskin. But a few of us of the farm have the ones that have the fur. They, while looking good said with a bit of sarcasm, like we all do, appear to have a raccoon stuck inside their hats. Gives bad hair day a whole new meaning!
Spring cannot come soon enough!
I do not make resolutions. I have told you before of my lack of discipline and my many other 'lacks', so resolutions are simply a waste of time for me. However, I did think January would be a good time to start in some new directions.
Like old underwear, with stretched out waistbands, and thin here and there...makeup should be re-evaluated from time to time.
When we moved, I threw out drawers of old makeup. But not all of it. The lipstick that didn't look good after you paid $7 a tube for it. But it was too expensive to throw out, so you just kept it, but never wore it. And somehow, much to my surprise, I often have jars of moisturizer etc, that have only a smidge of stuff left in it, and bought new, but never quite threw the old out. The tubes of conditioner that comes with my hair coloring that MUST be used with coloring to 'set' the color, but I never use again after the initial required use, because it makes my hair look and feel like wet snot, I have way too many of them. Why do I keep them?  Before the move, I gave probably 50 of those one squeezed tubes to a charity that requested such things.  
But I am turning a new leaf. I am pitching stuff out. So armed with this new me, I went to the store one day and spent about an hour in the makeup aisle, which I tell you is NOT enough time to review all the products for sale. I was after a new look, a new me. I have worn the same eye shadow for 30 years. I like it, it suits me. But I am ready for a change. This thinking mode is what often gets me in the most trouble.  Most of the time that doesn't work out too swell and that's why I have all that stuff in the drawer! But with reading glasses over my contact lens, and determination, I read the many labels. NOT that I believe that any mascara will not clump (it ALWAYS does!!) and that your lashes will be long and beautiful... but I was in a trusting mood that day. I came away much later, with about $50 of new 'me'. Came home, full of
enthusiasm, washed my face and tried out my new stuff. I wish you could have seen the face looking back at me from the mirror!
First off, this new makeup is mineral based and dry. So am I. Dry that is. So that didn't work too well. And the foundation color in the kit (which saved me $12 by buying the kit with all the stuff in it, so I didn't have to decide on things individually...) made my skin tone so white, I looked like I have banged myself in the face with a  kitchen flour puff. But still experimenting, thinking this still might turn out ok, so I continued, it only got worse.. I do like the eye shadow. I will buy it again. IF I can find it. You know when you find something you like, the store promptly discontinues it. Yes, yes, they do. Why do you think I have all those lipsticks?  It is because they discontinued the one brand and color I loved and always wore. The kit came with eye liner. I don't wear eye liner, even though in that mess of old makeup, I do have some. Probably the reason I don't wear eye liner is because I don't know how to put it on. That day was no exception. You know the commercial they occasionally air that shows Ellen DeGenerres with two black eyes and a raccoon, and her comment (to the raccoon) "Do you think it is a little heavy on this eye?" Yup, that's what I looked like. After peeling some of that off and peeling is about the right description, and touching up my foundation, I thought I would top myself off with the mascara. Clumps, despite my every effort. I have since read somewhere, to let the m. wand set on the counter for a moment to dry some and you lashes won't clump. That does work better.  So I do have a new me. Probably a Tammy Faye look alike, but I am trying it for a couple weeks to see how it works out. I will mention that if I go to bed and don't take it off, I get up in the morning with it still ON. But during the course of the night, I morphed from Tammy Faye to the evil guy on BatMan. It doesn't come off on my pillow but just rearranges itself. I think under my new makeup I have produced another frown line.
The holidays were fraught with irritation, BIG time, on my part, as I agreed one day (the week before Christmas) in a phone call, to change ISP carriers, and have my internet, phone service, long distance AND dish network all in one place and on one bill. Like my makeup, this didn't work too swell. I did have high-speed internet for 3 days. Which I loved. Otherwise I am dial up, which as you know is slow. I used to be slower than it was. But as I have become more knowledgeable of the computer and honed my skills more, I was faster. Like I said, this lasted 3 days. Per AT&T, I could only send out 100 emails per day ( with 20 people in one email, which is considered 20 people. This I found out from the top people that it only took me 2 days to find by the many phone 'transfers'. There are 372 of you on my mailing list for newsletters. I found out all this valuable information after I literally spend HOURS ON HOLD on the phone while I was either transferred to another place, or merely listened to annoying raspy music that was interrupted every 90 seconds ( I counted), to remind me how valuable I was to them, and to please hold as a representative would be with me shortly. One time, after 66 minutes of being on hold in that place, I hung up.  But I will tell you that we made some changes.
Our ONLY Email address is:
That is also our paypal address.
And I will NOT be making any further changes, until like childbirth, I have forgotten the pain of this 'improvement' to my computer.
Rosemary is sitting out in the back room, where it is cooler on the sewing machine after being moved to put the Christmas tree in.
She is still there. I think she likes it there. So I can see out the french doors better.
I have read THREE books in the past few months. Two of them in the last two weeks. In a book club of Frannie's for the
Secret Life of Bees, I assume the idea was to read a chapter or two each day. I never read that way, and finished the book off in two days. So I can't address the book club, because I know all the stuff already. Highly recommend the book! And just last night finished The Wednesday Letters, also because of Frannie. Like the Shack, (the first book), I am deeply moved by the words and thoughts.
I am struggling in a process I must do, and finding help with my failure, with these books. But this is WHY I don't read. I don't do anything else when I read, BUT read. When I curl up and read even a few lines (rarely), I most often think of Miss Elspeth (Wendy) of www.pineberrylane.com , an avid reader of old books, who shares paragraphs with me, and is a most talented writer in her own right.
I LOVE getting mail from her.
Beulah has a new thing on the home page of the website. She began a blog. Different from many, I find it most rewarding to read. Of course, I know all this stuff anyway, but her talents for photography, much more talented than her mothers, are evident, and her thoughts are deep and soulful. www.onestillframe.blogspot.com  Have I told you before how proud I am of this child of mine? Beautiful inside and out, she is one of my best accomplishments!
www.lemonpoppyseeds.com and www.simplyprimitives.com showed new things on the 1st of January. I am really late getting this letter out, aren't I? We can be found at the links below. Also LPS is having a garage sale on the 15th, where each booth is supposed to have at least one item that is a garage sale item. I have mine all ready to update. www.theprimitivegathering.com will begin anew with the February 1st issue. Please continue to whisper the owner, Deena's name in prayer as she continues with her cancer journey.  Also, and my mind will not let me know where, goodest friend Bittersweet Susan shows her wares. I think it is simply primitives. Anyway, check out her work. She HAND sews all her work. Think about that for a minute!
I am working on my letter which will be entitled "A Day In June", to tell you about our photo shoot of the farmhouse for the upcoming March 09 issue of Country Sampler SPECIAL ISSUE Home Tours that is featuring 10 never before shown homes. I have been speaking with the editors and assistants the past couple weeks and am anxious to see the issue. I am told it hits newsstands March 3rd. BUT it does not come with your subscription. You must order it. IF you call or email CS before January 31, you will get free shipping. The cost is $5.99. I will have some copies, and it is available I am sure, from shops that always sell Country Sampler.
After working on the Gundrum Mercantile building for the past year, the restaurant part of it, opened the December 18th. It is an amazing place. It is called Bevins Crossing in LeRoy, Michigan. www.BevinsCrossing.com  We have a blurp about it on our home page of the website. I will write of it in more detail another time. This letter is already too long!  But if you live in northern Michigan, I can assure you, you will NOT be disappointed to take breakfast, lunch or dinner at this great new place. Be sure to look at all the wood trim,  I stained it all, mostly by hand rubbed technique. The construction and rich detail of the entire place is the work of Ronnie, who is a most talented finish carpenter and jack of all trades. He can master anything (except me of course!) and did.
Remember new email address!  byersp@triton.net
Should you choose to be removed from the newsletter, ask and I will kindly do so. (Well maybe with a tearful eye, but I will..)
in fond regard,
waiting for spring
the makeup queen (or drag queen, should the look fit)
did I mention waiting for spring??