The Myers Girls

“Well, look! There’s the Myers Girls.”

I heard it over and over again, when I took my mom to her hometown for her 60th high school reunion this year. Every place we went, someone would excitedly call out,

Well, look! There’s the Myers girls.”

And with each joyous call came a myriad of smiles, hugs, and hellos.

The Myers girls, as they are so fondly called, are my mother and her four sisters. They all are 2 years apart, except for the youngest who allowed a little red-headed boy to sneak into the family before she came along.

the Myers girls hs reunion_cropped

Although the little red-headed boy (who now stands over 6 ft. tall) was, and still is, adored by his sisters, it’s the sisters themselves who have formed a life-long bond that has withstood the test of time throughout the last 80 years.

Living in a small town in rural Missouri, Pa Dee and Grandma Lorene raised their 6 children, along with half the town, in a 2 story craftsman, that had a wrap around front porch and a humongous front yard.

Everyone in town knew the family; in fact, if you weren’t related to them, then you were for sure a close neighbor, classmate, or well-known acquaintance.

As with other families, they’ve rejoiced together through marriage ceremonies, child rearing, holiday celebrations, and personal accomplishments. They have comforted each other during life’s hardest moments: the death of their “Daddy” (as he was lovingly referred to), the passing of a spouse, and the untimely death of a child.

“Before you were born”, as the saying goes, the Myers girls roamed the streets, played on the volleyball team, drank Coca Cola at the drugstore, worked in the cap factory, and danced to “the oldies” on the jukebox. At one time or another, they have all been involved in activities that have formed their hometown.

To hear them talk, they knew everybody and everybody’s cousin. They are the gatekeepers and historians of their little rural town, connecting the dots between one generation and the next. They remember the history of their town, and the lifestyle that seems to have sadly disappeared, and share it with us youngsters who are lucky enough to enjoy time with these precious ladies.Gramm nursing home

Although three of them have made other towns their home, their hometown will always be Winona, MO. They return yearly to attend the family reunion and the alumni reunion, and occasionally they meet together on sadder occasions, such as a funeral. But regularly, they get together and visit their 96 year-old Mother and occasionally go on day trips just…to talk to laugh to share

 

So if you’re ever in southern Missouri and you see 5 lil’ ol’ gray-headed ladies with matching shirts traipsing around town, combing through the cemeteries, or wandering around WalMart, give ’em a shout out, because it’s probably going to be

The Myers Girls.

the Myers girls_cropped2

 

 

 

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The Graduation

A couple of weeks ago I was privileged to attend the graduation of Daughter #2 as she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology. This is something she has been working hard on for years, and I’m tremendously proud of what she has accomplished. Although, she says she is interested in the research side of human studies, I’m a little suspicious that her true reason may be to diagnose her upbringing, which no doubt will turn out to be her mother’s fault. I’m just kidding, she has done a great job and is on her way to a rewarding career.

So, at the graduation ceremony, each candidate was announced, presented, then led through the acceptance line of professors who were selected to represent the university. Some of the candidates received shout outs from their friends and families, others did victorious air pumps, and two of them even did a dance routine! :)

From where I was seated, I was able to witness the candidates coming down the steps, leaving all the pomp and circumstance behind them. And as each newly hooded doctor, graduate, or specialist came down the steps with their diplomas, they were all wearing the same thing—a mile-wide smile across their face!

Miranda grad from S_T cropped labeled

As I witnessed the scene over and over again, I began imagining what each of them might have been feeling; the excitement of completing a long, successful accomplishment; the mixed emotions of leaving old familiar friends behind and reaching towards new beginnings; and the sense of pride as their family and friends cheered them on to the finish line.

I was touched by each person, and the new life I imagined each of them beginning. Their smiles were contagious, and I found myself feeling excited as each person was taken to the photographer to capture one of the most memorable moments of their lives. What a tremendous time for these graduates!

During May and June there will be graduation ceremonies going on all over the country. From little ones who will be rewarded for making it through their first year of school, all the way up to a limitless age of grownups who will be reaching their highest pinnacle of education after years of schooling.

But to each individual, no matter how young or how old, they all attain the same goal—

success

“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding.” Proverbs 3:13

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What Defines A Mother

What Defines A Mother?

Such a seemingly simple word, the term Mother encompasses one of the most complex relationships we have.

dreamstime_xs_10730018A Mother is a caretaker, caring for all the needs of a child—emotionally and physically.

A Mother is an instructor, instructing her child from the moment she hears the first sound escape from his lips to the final step heard as he goes out the door to begin his own life.  

A Mother is a teacher, teaching life’s lessons of love, loss, and laughter gained from the experiences of her own life.

A Mother is a disciplinarian, using correction to benefit her child, which also benefits society in whole; not out of need to control or abuse, but because of her love.

A Mother is a protector, whether the danger comes from outside the home or from inside the child. She is always a step ahead, watching for those lurking evils that disguise themselves as something good.

A Mother loves without being told how and gives without asking how much.

A Mother takes a child and cares for him through the millions of moments in his life, whether they be joyful, peaceful, and carefree, or worrisome, troublesome, and heart breaking. 

What defines a Mother?The Moment a Woman_Mother

I believe the relationship with the child, and not the number of children one has, defines the mother. A true Mother is a woman that sacrificially loves the child in her care, no matter how, or if, they are related.

Many women have given birth, but not all have accepted the responsibility of “Mother”.

A Mother “…looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed…Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.”  Proverbs 31:27, 28, 31

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The Lost Calf

It had been bitterly cold for a few weeks, but fortunately, the weatherman was finally predicting some increase in temps. Calving season was quickly approaching, and one can only imagine the possible dangers of a newly born, water covered baby calf falling on top of the cold, ice-crusted ground. And although it was down in the 40’s when our 1st baby girl came, that’s a lot warmer than freezing!

March and October are our big calving months, so we are always on high alert around here during those times. The Farmer is up and out on the 4-wheeler early every morning and early evening checking to see if we have any new additions to our herd. It’s kinda’ like hunting Easter eggs, except not as colorful and a whole lot bigger. :)

The mamas like to hide their little ones to keep them safe from predators like coyotes, and at this time of year, they think The Farmer is one, too. So The Farmer is always watchful and careful where he is driving.

The cattle do a great job of protecting their little ones, however, after a few of the calves had been safely brought into this world, we were awakened in the middle of the night to the call of the wild—wild coyotes! If you have never heard a coyote howl, it can be very unsettling. They yipe, yipe, yipe, and then there’s a high-pitched howling sound. Sometimes it sounds like people calling out to each other with crazy laughter, but usually, to me, it sounds like a bunch of frightened, screaming children being chased by a tormented banshee.

As you can imagine, The Farmer jumped out of bed and went off on the 4-wheeler to scare off the pack of vicious, varmints, invading our valuable bovine. (wow, that was good—Am I the only one that appreciates that statement?) :)

The next morning, the fog was so heavy that it was fairly difficult to see much. As The Farmer searched for new calves, checked the mamas to make sure they were doing well, and counted the babies that we knew we had, he came up one short on his count. A calf was missing, and mama didn’t seem too worried. (bad mama)

He searched everyplace he could to no avail. He went out later to search again. The calf was gone, and mama still didn’t seem worried, which is a sign that she has no motherly instincts.

Losing a baby calf is a big deal! If one purchases a newborn calf, it may cost a couple of hundred dollars, but to lose a calf that you were preparing for costs a whole lot more. As a producer, there’s a lot of cost on every baby born around here. We provide a place for mama for 9 months; we’ve built waterers to ensure she has plenty of clean water; grasses have been planted and nourished; fences have been put up for her safety; we do what we can to keep her healthy; she always has plenty of food to keep her strong; and we bought her a bull. So when that baby comes along, we’re expecting a money maker.

Well, there are no second chances around here—if you are not a good mama, then you are a goner! This cow was going to the auction barn, if the calf wasn’t found.

The only hope The Farmer could hold onto was the fact that he had not seen any trace of the calf that the coyotes may have attacked. Not wanting to be too graphic, you can imagine. The next morning when he came back from his daily round, he was all smiles. The calf that had been lost was found! (apologies to mama :) )

calf in spring

As I thought about the whole situation and the couple of days that we fretted over a missing calf, I was reminded of the parables found in Luke 15. Jesus taught that losing anything valuable is worth the effort to recover it. That’s why when sin separated the human race from God, Jesus came to this earth to find us, pay for us, and give us an opportunity to be redeemed back to the Father. We are that valuable to Him.

“For God so loved the world [us], that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world [us]; but that the world [we] through Him might be saved.”

John 3:16-17

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O’, Sweet Savings

This has got to be one of the toughest times of the year. The Farmer and I are just now recovering from the “end-of-the-year crunch”, which includes the holiday spending, taxes, taxes, and more taxes. And the weather has been a little drastic…cold, snowy, cold, and cloudy (did I mention it has been cold?)

But hey, this is Missouri, so we know the weather will change soon enough and we’ll be complaining about the heat. However, our budget will stay the same.

Since The Farmer has retired, I’ve tried really hard to stay on a grocery budget, and I must say I’ve done quite well. “No brag; just fact” (anyone remember what TV series that quote is from?) :)

I used to do coupons, but they seem to take a lot of brain power and organization, which I lack in both areas. However, stockpiling comes fairly easy to me. I make a list of the staples that I need during the month: flour, sugar, 5 pounds of chicken, 10 pounds of bacon, 3 gallons of orange juice, and an embarrassing number of 24 pack sodas (etc.), and then I use the rest for items I see on sale.

The trick to stockpiling is to buy more than you’ll need. I always buy 2 of the small ticket items like toothpaste, shaving cream, and pain reliever. If I find them on sale, I’ll buy 3 or 4. With shopping like that at Target, I’ve been able to collect quite a few $5 gift cards which ultimately purchased my shelving unit on which I store my stockpile.

One of my sweetest stockpile items was a November purchase of Oreo cookies—double stuff!

I bought Oreo cookies for an unbelievable price of only $.97 a pack! That’s cheaper than a candy bar!

I’m sure you’re asking “How in the world??” So let me tell you:

When I walked into Schnucks I noticed a sign that said all Halloween items were 50% off. Oh, okay. Great deal if you’re buying candy, but since I just swore off sweets (again), I wasn’t too excited about the deal.

So picking up a sale paper, I noticed that there was a $3 instant savings for buying 3 packages of Oreos, so basically $1 off each pack. Not too bad, and The Farmer and the girls needed some snacks. When I got to the Oreo aisle, the regular double stuff were on sale for $3.00/pk, so I picked up 3 bags expecting to pay $2.00/pack after the $3 off.

After I did my serious shopping, I strolled down the Halloween aisle because I had time to kill waiting for The Farmer to pick me up (that happens—never). The shelves were almost empty, no candy but a few vampire teeth, sparkly paint, and some items that are intended to gross you out (and it did!). But then I noticed a semi-closed box on the shelf. It was full of Halloween Oreos. Wow! I could get 50% off of Oreos. The regular cookies were on sale for $3.00, so I could pay $1.50 instead of $2.00…maybe I should get more than 3 packs?

Being the suspicious shopper that I am, I had a quick thought that these cookies’ price was 50% off the not-on-sale price. But then it hit me! I wondered if I could get the buy 3 save $3 and the 50% off. Unwilling to pack up my cart and go up to the checkout, I just grabbed up three packages of cookies and took them to the cashier.

“Can you check the price on these?” I asked innocently.

“Sure, but they’re 50% off, ” she informs.

(Yeah, I know. But staying quiet, I wait for her answer.)

“$1.97. That’s a great price!” she exclaims.

(Yes, but that means the regular price was 4 bucks!)

Attempting to maintain my innocence I ask, “Oh, I wonder if I buy 3 packages will the $3 instant savings work on these?” (noticing my voice raising an octave higher)

“Oh, I doubt it,” she quickly replies as I hand her the other 2 packages of Oreos to scan. “Oh. Wow. It’s only $2.91 for all three!”

Grabbing the packages and rushing back to the aisle, I called out, “I’ll be right back.”

Daughter #5 was with me, so I told her the good news, as we went to get a small shopping cart. We rushed back to the Halloween aisle (like someone was going to get there before we did), and began loading the cookies into the small cart, three packages at a time.

“What are we going to do with all these?” she asked.

“Eat them, cook with them, freeze them; I don’t know, but they’re only $.97 a pack!”

I grabbed 15, then 18, and then consulted with her, “Twenty-four is not too many is it?”

After “the look”, I put some of them back. “Okay, 20 packages, that’s only $20. Should I spend $20 on Oreos?”

She wasn’t answering by this time, I don’t think… so I carried the conversation on with myself.

“No, I can’t spend 20 bucks on cookies. 18 then; 18 is reasonable, that will be less than $20. Ok, ok, 15,” I gave into myself reluctantly.

Back up at the register, I paid for my real groceries, and then loaded the 15 packages of Oreos onto the conveyor belt. After the cashier (new cashier) rang them all up and saw the price was under $15.00, I could tell she was trying to do the math. I just smiled and kept on walking. (I don’t know about you, but when I get a steal like that, I Do feel like I’m stealing, so there is a little guilt involved with my excitement.)

Unfortunately, The Farmer was late in picking me up, so I had time to lament over the fact that I didn’t get more! To give to others, of course.

I hate shopping, and unfortunately it is a necessary evil. But when I save money, and my pantry is restocked, I’m a very happy farmer’s wife.

oreos

Happy Holidays To You!

Happy Holidays! Are you ready for the holidays? Yes, holidays. I know that some people have a problem with saying “Happy Holidays”, but in my opinion that’s an all inclusive blessing. During this time of year, we celebrate several holidays–Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.

As quickly as Thanksgiving comes and goes, Christmas and the New Year seem to rush right up behind it and there isn’t a lot of time to separate the greetings. It’s like celebrating three different birthdays that’s close together at the same party.

When we have the kids over to do a birthday party, we usually have two or three of them celebrating at the same time, and although they all get their own cake, we only sing “Happy Birthday” once. And “most of them don’t feel slighted because we didn’t say their individual names, they just appreciate the celebration.

Oh, I know some people make a big to-do about saying or not saying Merry Christmas, but what makes that greeting acceptable? After all, the true reason for Christmas isn’t so we can all be “merry”, even though there is a song that heralds, “God rest ye merry gentlemen…”. But Christmas certainly isn’t a restful time, is it. And the purpose isn’t to be merry.

Christmas, just like all other traditional holidays, was celebrated for one reason and has slowly evolved to something different today.

And what about Halloween which was All Saints Eve, or Celtic’s harvest (or visa versa), or like I used to tell my kids, “the devil’s birthday”. I was kidding, but to hear them tell it, it was a practiced belief! (sheesh)

The 4th of July was set aside to celebrate America’s independence and show patriotism, but now it’s all about backyards, BBQ, and bathing (well, swimming, but I was forming an alliteration) J

What about Martin Luther King Day, or President’s Day (which was Washington’s birthday until someone decided to squeeze Lincoln’s in there), or Valentine’s Day (that was sweethearts day — not everybody you love day)? And don’t even get me started on Mother’s day, Father’s day, or Grandparents day!

Thanksgiving day commemorates the Pilgrims and Indians celebrating a bountiful harvest in the 1600’s, after the civil war President Lincoln suggested it as a time to unite the country (although the Congress gave us the official day as the last Thursday in November), and now we are scheduled to celebrate God’s blessings, gathering of family and friends, the consumption of an ungodly amount of food, and the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.

And speaking of Christmas…what’s your reason for celebrating? (I’ll tell you mine in another post.)

The point is that we don’t have to take offense over this simple greeting, but be glad that someone has actually taken the time to wish us well, and understanding that most who say “Happy Holidays” are doing just that. So when you hear me say “Happy Holidays”, you know I mean:

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Wish you a blessed Christmas!

And may your New Year be blessed!

And an extra bonus is that those who think they are taking away the “Merry” out of Christmas by being Politically Correct, will unknowingly be blessing all three celebrations! (sneaky huh?)

 happy holidays

Affordable Phone Plans — Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless is a fairly new company (launched first Beta product in 2011) with a new idea on how mobile phones should work.

The premise of the plans offered is to use WiFi as a default instead of cellular.

WiFi technology is an inexpensive option that you already have on your Smartphone. But your Smartphone, by default, connects to your carrier’s cellular technology. Like AT&T, Sprint, Virgin Mobile, T-Mobile…etc.

Republic Wireless sets their phone’s default to WiFi. Which, if you have internet in your home, would be free for you to use!

And this is where it becomes affordable–using Republic Wireless, by default your phone is connecting to WiFi instead of those expensive cell towers.

Republic Wireless offers 4 different phone plans, starting at only $5 per month.

For $5 per month you get unlimited Talk, Text, and Data. Sounds great, but this plan is restricted to WiFi only. Which means as long as you have an internet connection, you can talk, text, and search the internet as much as you want.

But if you were to lose that connection, your phone would be useless at that point. This plan would be a great starter plan for a young person, or a first phone, or maybe a home phone (if you have internet already).

The plus side is that there are free Wifi hotspots almost everywhere you go, and this is a really affordable plan at only $5/month.

The second plan (which I have) costs $10 per month. With this plan you get unlimited Talk, and Text over Wifi and cellular. But unlimited Data only when connected to Wifi (home internet or free hotspots).

Which means, as long as I’m connected to the internet, I can search the web on my phone. But if I’m not connected, I can still receive unlimited calls and text messages. If you’re on a limited budget, this plan is perfect. With taxes and fees (which are astronomical at AT&T) I pay a little under $12.00/mo. FOR A SMARTPHONE!!

The third plan costs $25 per month. If you want an affordable cell phone plan, but arent’ willing to give up any perks, then this is the plan for you. For $25/mo. you get unlimited Talk, Text, and Data whether you’re using WiFi or cellular (3G). I’m not sure, but it seems that they are requesting that each phone stay below that 5 GB of data. Which is understandable, because Republic Wireless is trying to give us a quality plan for an affordable price. (everything in moderation) :)

The last plan is $40 per month. It, too, has unlimited everything, just like the $25/mo. plan, but it runs on the 4G network. That’s not even an issue for me, but if you live where 4G is available, you may be more interested in this plan. At $40/month I bet you will still be saving 50% on your current phone bill.

Okay, so if I still have your attention, there is one more difference in this company than the other Big Boys (AT&T, Virgin Mobile, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc.)… Republic Wireless only offers Motorola Phones. In fact, starting tomorrow, they will issue their newest phone the Motorola E.

The Moto E will debut at Republic Wireless for only $99.00! (of course there’s going to be taxes and shipping–this is America for pity sakes!)

But $99 for a SmartPhone!! Click Here if you want to see the specs on the Moto E.

The other two phones offered are the Moto G at $199 and the Moto X (I have this one-excellent phone) at $299. Click Here if you want to see the specs on the Moto G or the Moto X.

And guess what– the white phone is the same cost as the black phone! And not to confuse, but the Moto G and E both come with optional colored phone shells.

Okay… ’nuff said… if you are interested in this plan click on the link below (disclaimer: this is an affiliate link…so, Thank you!)

I think all of your questions will be answered on Republic Wireless website, but if not, leave a comment below and I will answer any questions I can.

republic wireless moto e logo

Disclosure: I do earn a commission if you signup to Republic Wireless using my link–at no additional cost to you. Please know that I only recommend products and services that I find helpful and useful. If you do choose to purchase through my affiliate link, thank you for your support!
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For The Service You Gave

Veterans day 2014

 

thank you vet

Jesus said, “This is My commandment,

That you love one another, as I have loved you.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

John 15:12-13

 

Just a Note: If you have a Veteran that you would like to add, please send their picture and their name to my email: cindra e @ ymail . com (no spaces) I will continue to add to this wall, so please share this post with others.

 

Apple Pie in an Iron Skillet, aka Apple Tarte Tatin

Last year about this time, Daughter #2 saw a recipe on Food Wishes, that she wanted to make for her French class (I think there was some extra credit involved). So she needed an iron skillet and I just happened to have one.

It is so very easy, and super delicious! There are only 4 ingredients:

  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1-9″ pie crust.

She spread the butter onto the bottom and sides of the iron skillet. Then she sprinkled the sugar over the butter. After peeling and quartering the apples, she placed them on top of the sugar.

She cooked this on the stove top (med. hi) for about 10 minutes. The sugar began dissolving into the melting butter, making an ooey, gooey delicious syrup.

After the apples began to soften, she placed a single pie shell on top. Then cooked it in the oven at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Allowing it to cool for about 5 minutes, she turned the skillet upside down onto a plate. The Farmer and I got to be the guinea pigs (yay!)

I can’t express to you how delicious this apple pie is! It is gooey, and sweet, and the sugar and butter creates a chewy caramel texture and flavor. Then to make it more complete, she served it with a scoop of ice cream! So good!

Chef John actually has a blog, Food Wishes, which you can find >>HERE
Its real moniker is Apple Tarte Tatin.

I’m sure you’ll enjoy this dish. Leave a comment and
let me know how yours turns out.

Life With A Knight

There was a certain peacefulness in the air, the rustle of the autumn leaves, the damp smell of a recent shower, and the gentle breeze wafting through her graying hair. Although it had not always been this way, at this very moment, she was content. Life’s vanishing moments played in the recesses of her memories. She found herself smiling at the remembrances of her beautiful children, and a small tear escaped down her cheek. Quiet laughter exhaled through her lips thinking of all the impractical moments they also had shared. There had been wearisome times, of course, but they didn’t matter anymore, and were always quickly forgotten.

But as she reclined in the Meadow of Time Past, there were other memories that would never be forgotten, these memories were of the Knight. Not a large champion, as some would think of a knight, but a common man of high character and moral tenacity. And although her Knight did not possess the strength of a horse or the agility of a lion, he had other striking traits. The way his piercing blue eyes could look straight into her soul and know what to do or say, or the way he continually stood before her and  impending danger. The Knight was a man of truth, morality, and grit. There were no others like him in the land, aside from his posterity.

She always felt safe when he was near. As they battled the giants, the dragons, and fought through the dangers that surrounded them, he led the way. The Knight always had his sword drawn. Even at times when she would ask him to put it in his sheath, he would never give in to her most insistent pleas.

Day after day, the Knight’s calloused hand would close around the dainty hand of the Lady, as they battled up the hill. Together they faced giants, dragons, and evil authorities. There were times of celebration, tragedy, and even abandonment, but they always faced these times together and their hearts became as one. He, leading the way, wielded his sword at all danger, and she was safely protected in his shadow.  And now, nearing the end of the battle, she knew the Knight had done his job well. She was confident that one day when he stood before his Lord, he would hear him say, “Well done, thy good and faithful servant.”

 


shield

Although I am not foolish enough to think that my life is perfect and that my husband is my knight in shining armor, I am wise enough to know that I have a great family and a great husband. He’s not perfect, but neither am I, but we have become perfect for each other.

But since today is our 38th anniversary, I wanted to let The Farmer know that I do appreciate his leadership in our family. And no, we haven’t fought any literal giants, dragons, or evil authorities (well maybe evil authorities), but we have fought against the Giants of Debt, Doubt, and Despair. And continually slay the dragons named Sickness, Indecision, and Busyness.

But together, and with God’s guidance, and the sword of Wisdom, we have survived. We have throttled the statistical dragon of divorce and infidelity, we have killed the giant of non-communication, and we have nourished the meadows of Love, Contentment, and Family.

 

Happy Anniversary, Farmer!