Monday, December 19, 2016

Birds on the Deck

We have had some REALLY cold temps this past weekend, 
cold by Kansas City metro standards. 

Friday and Saturday were bad driving days.  My two oldest 
grands, Chris and Nathan, were able to get here from Garnett, 
but we were held inside all day Saturday with blowing snow, 
ice and treacherous driving.  Our Yoder family Christmas was also cancelled on 
Saturday, as driving was unsafe. 

However... the birds.... have been enjoying their bounty both 
on our patio and on the back deck. 

The other day, tapping interrupted my reading of the newspaper at the kitchen table. 

I looked up to see this. 

I have seen him twice since then (red-bellied woodpecker). 

I bought peanuts for the mix at the end of last week, but no one is eating them... the 
mice are going to have a blast (and maybe stay outside!) .

Mourning doves have joined the finches, chicadees and juncoes on the deck. 

I have a heated dog bowl out there, too, and am also maintaining water on the patio. 

I'm having to take pictures through the window. 

I love the doves. 

It's hard to get the juncoes... the sun doesn't hit them and it's hard to get them on the camera. 

Sister watches Bird TV most of the day.  She turned as she heard me behind her. 


and Lilly are going stir-crazy, we haven't been able to walk since 
Thursday.  Maybe tomorrow. 

Are you all ready for Christmas? 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Where Did I Come From?

Okay, Sr. Mary Josephine, from where did I come?

Many of you long-time blog readers will know that I have
written in the past about the fact that my little sister, Kathleen, and I were adopted.

We were both "orphaluns" at the orphan's home, St. Anthony's, in Kansas City, Missouri.

We were not blood sisters.

My parents, Joe and Mary, had two natural sons, my big brothers Pete and Mike.
As my dad told us many times, their family was not complete without two little girls.

My sister was always tortured by the fact that her mother had given her away.  I never thought about my parents until my birthday rolled around yearly, when I said a prayer for them.

So, my sister found her large family.

I did not look for mine because my "real" family has always been my Dad, my Mom, Pete, Mike and 

OK,back story is finished.

I have always wondered if I really was Welsh and Irish, as the 
orphanage told my parents.

So, last week...I did this.

I know some of you have wondered about it, too.

The kit is simple.

The instruction card is clear.

You literally fill the tube to a certain line with spit. 

You then mix the contents of the cap tube with it
to stabilize it.

Enclose it in a protective sleeve.

Pop it in the prepaid box and voila, it is ready to go.

They do warn you it is a six to eight week process, and they do try
to get you to join Ancestry. I had been a member before, so renewed my membership.

I have to admit it would make me laugh to find out I was Welsh and Irish.

So...the rest of the story...

I am picking this story out with my left index finger and thumb.

I fell on Friday at the Ag and broke my right wrist, my dominant wrist.

The morose face is for real. Everything is hard to do, that is my dominant wrist...
but I am so grateful it was not leg or hip, and thank God for that.

A hard cast will go on after Christmas.

Anyway, I am eager to know the test results and will share them with you when I
get them!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas in the Heartland

A week ago, I went with an old friend from the Civil War Round Table of 
Western Missouri to see the Bingham-Waggoner mansion in 
Independence.  Many of you will remember that I did this for numerous years, 
taking pictures of both the Bingham, and the Vaile Mansion, another big 
beautiful house in Independence. 

All the volunteers working there that day were so very nice. 

The front parlor was decorated in blues this year.  Be sure to note the beautiful friezes in each room. 

This was a formal parlor.  

I have to tell you I am not a fan of blue Christmas decorations, but I thought these well-done. 

There is a wide, beautiful hall on the first floor, and this gorgeous clock stands in it.  That is the pantry (butler's pantry) on the right, and could be closed off. 

This tree was in the parlor directly across from the "blue" tree. 

My friend Beverly was fascinated by the restored (huge) music box ... it was restored at a cost of 35,000.00.  It is a beautiful piece of work, and I should have showed it to you closer. 

The dining room is always gorgeous.  

There was a planter on either side of the bay window. 

The gorgeous centerpiece. 

The whole atmosphere made you feel warm and Christmassy. 

Uh oh, more blue upstairs in a bedroom.  There are seven bedrooms. I just realized in going through my pictures that the theme was "Past, Present and Future" and there were LOTS of blue trees! 

The door of the office (one of the bedrooms) was open for the first time in a while, and I stepped in to take some pictures of the frieze.  This door is usually closed. 

Can you imagine living with this decoration? 

A beautiful water jug and "pot de chambre".  There were sinks in many of the 
bedrooms, and two bathrooms. 

This unusual lady was in the sewing room upstairs, which was the original upper stairway hall. 

The house, built by John Lewis, was originally an L shape.  George Caleb Bingham, the painter, lived there six years and enlargened it, and then it was sold to the Waggoner family, who lived in it longest.  A Waggoner lived there from the late 1800's  to the 1970's. 

His heirs sold the house to the city of Independence. 

The servants had four rooms, a gathering area, and a bathroom on the third floor. 

While the servant's rooms all had windows, they were not well lit, and I doubt that the servants would have had quite so elaborate a tree. 

One last look at the dining room fireplace. 

The Waggoner Milling Company was directly across the street from the house.  It was a large mill.  This is all that's left. 

Even the carriage house is decorated. 

And there is still a weathervane on the carriage house to this day. 

All the dependencies are in good shape, and used for storage. 

We went on a beautiful fall day... here in Leavenworth County, it is 
now very cold, and snowed today very lightly. 

True Christmas Weather!