Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Hodgepodge and Good Fences

1. It's officially summer (in the northern hemisphere anyway). Which summer month is best and why?

August is my favorite summer month because my birthday is in August and I try to get all the kids and grandkids together for one weekend a year, my birthday being the leverage. It worked best the first year, 2013, but hopefully we can manage to get everyone together this August. It's a wonderful time. Family, food, fun, fire...

2. Can you swim? How did you learn? June 27th is National Sunglasses Day. How many pair do you own?

I learned to swim when I was about eight years old, just after water was invented. It was at the Barron Park, where the Yellow River runs through, and I took swimming lessons. I did manage to learn to swim and also get a permanent scar on my knee from a sharp rock.

3. What characteristic do you judge most harshly in yourself? How about in others?

Haughtiness/pride/self righteousness. I hate it in myself and I hate it in others. I try to be aware of it and keep a check on it. It's a horrid thing, so easily creeps up, and I don't like to go down that road. I mean really, as creatures whose very next breath depends upon the grace of God, who on earth do any of us think we are, that we would presume to consider ourselves better than anyone else. We are all God's image bearers. It makes me shudder in disgust just thinking about having a self righteous attitude. I am grateful for God's mercy and grace and the new life, joy, and hope he offers through his Son. I pray daily for the work of his Spirit in my life and in the lives of others.

Askrigg Common

4. Robert Frost wrote the now well known poem entitled The Road Not Taken. What's a road (literal or figurative) you've always wanted to travel, and where do you hope it takes you?

Any long and winding road in Yorkshire or Northumberland. I've explored quite a bit of Yorkshire, but none of Northumberland.

5. Popsicles-yay or nay? If you answered yay, what's your favorite flavor?

I've always loved popsicles, and banana or orange were always my favorite. I'm not sure why they bothered to make lime popsicles at all. They're disgusting. 

6. Brexit-on a scale of 1-10 how knowledgeable are you on what's involved here? (1=very knowledgeable and 10=what's Brexit) Is this news you'll follow or is it something you think won't impact your life in any way shape or form?

Mr. C. and I are both Brexit-Bremain junkies, so I think a 1. Definitely following the news closely. In such a small world, I think that anything that happens in Britain and Europe is going to impact us, most definitely. We're watching closely. I do think it's interesting that the Bremains already want to take another vote. Another vote? Really?You get to do that when you don't get your way?

7. Share a favorite song on your summer play list.

I don't have a summer play list, but the song that most likely will be heard by me is the theme song from Vera or Poirot or George Gently.

Vera, my new favorite detective
(Joe Ashworth's not bad either)

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
 Have a wonderful Fourth!


Follow me on Instagram: @cranberrymorning

Check out my natural, handcrafted vegan soap!
Buy any 5 or more, Get 1 FREE
Homemade Vegan Soap
with Oakmoss

...and more! Check out all my handcrafted soaps at

and at

Our ETSY Shop


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Strawberries and Good Fences

 Strawberries from our backyard

 Mr. C. came in carrying a little bowl of berries for me during an especially frustrating time last evening when I was having trouble with my laptop that seems to have all sorts of issues right now, (I mean Really! It's one thing after another) and something as easy as printing out a shipping label became a multi-problem, big deal task. 

I've not been blogging as much, as you may have noticed. If I could post from my Kindle, I'd do it, but haven't figured out how.  Anyway, I've missed you all and I'm going to try to get to posts today. We'll see how it goes.

I wanted to try to get a couple fence pics in here and join in Theresa's Good Fences. There's something about barns and fences that always appeals to me, and evidently to others as well.

 Granary-turned-garage and red board fence.

Fence and out buildings in the Westby area
(I don't remember if I posted this earlier or not. Unfortunately, I'm not out and about getting new photos, so I'm dredging
 the archives.)

The Strawberry Man just popped in with a refill, but I passed on it and will eat the berries for breakfast tomorrow instead. There's nothing like fresh strawberries that have been allowed to sit on the vine in the sunshine long enough to get sweet. Amazing taste!

Speaking of amazing taste, a friend stopped in today, bringing with her a treat of watermelon. I don't even remember the last time I ate watermelon, but boy was it delicious! Summertime: strawberries and watermelon. Can't beat 'em.

I'm thanking God today for good friends, a kind and thoughtful husband, animals we love, and delicious summer fruit.

Have a wonderful Thursday, everyone.

Linking to Theresa's Good Fences.

My little pal Tuppence, always nearby.
She's such a sweet kitty!

Instagram: @cranberrymorning

Check out my natural, handcrafted vegan soap!
Buy any 5 or more, Get 1 FREE

Strawberry Mango
Natural Vegan Soap
Moisturizing, fragrant

...and more! Check out all my handcrafted soaps at

and at

Our ETSY Shop


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Hodgepodging in the Photo Archives and Good Fences

Do I look comfortable?

My sitting time is limited, so I'm not sure I will get through this blog post. Blogging will be sporadic for the foreseeable future.  Thank you for your nice comments on Monday's post. I so appreciate everyone's kind words, well wishes, and prayers. 

 Join Joyce and the Gang 

She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog post
and link up.

1. If you could sit beside and/or jump in any lake in the whole wide world today, which lake would you choose and why?

If I could lie beside any lake in the world, it would be Lake Chetek, because it's the only one I might have a chance of reaching with my walker, given a few days and a good shove in the right direction.

Beautiful little red barn on Asbury Ridge

2. What's your favorite 'fruity' drink?

The only fruity drink I drink is black raspberry ICE, not every day, and only half a bottle at a time because otherwise it gives me a headache. One half bottle gets me through two bowls of popcorn. It works out pretty well. 

 Jake's sheep.

We'll pretend that I was trying to take a picture of that gate.
3. I read a list here of thirteen things to do right now to simplify your life. They were-

clean as you go, re-evaluate your relationships (cut toxic ties), unsubscribe (too many blogs and websites), de-clutter, write down your daily goals, reply to emails right away, forget multitasking, create a morning routine, re-evaluate your commitments (which hobbies and responsibilities are most important to you), say no, clean up your computer, and plan your day ahead

Clean as I go is one I kinda tend to do, and I like to reply to emails right away except don't always get around to it. I don't necessarily always plan the day ahead, but usually do, and I am a pretty good planner. I always plan tomorrow's dinner a day ahead so I know which meat to move from the freezer to the refrigerator and which additional ingredients I will need to have on hand, etc. I want to eat dinner at 5:30 PM, not be standing with the refrigerator door open, trying to figure out if there's anything in there that could be turned into a meal.  I need to de-clutter and bought a new book titled, 'The life-changing magic of tidying up.' I hope I implement the concepts in it in another couple months. I have great hopes to do so.

Which of the tasks listed do you currently find most helpful in keeping life simple? Which item on the list should you adopt in order to simplify your life this month? (see above)

Beautiful bridal wreath spirea, birdhouse, and fence
near Westby (in May)

4. What did you do the summer after you graduated from high school?

You're asking for my very long-term memory to kick in here. I'm not sure, but it might have been the summer that I worked for the turkey hatchery. That's a very long story, full of gobbledygook.

Blurry blackbird perched on a fencepost.
Tile silo.

5. Are you a fan of podcasts? If so what's a favorite?

I like the Rick Steves podcasts and N.T. Wright. But you can also find both on YouTube, which is handy.

Sign near the Vernon County Landfill

6. Do you think today's fathers have it harder, easier, or just different than fathers in the past?

Judging by our sons, fathers have it very different from fathers in the past. I think they're much more engaged in their children's lives and household chores than their grandfathers or maybe great grandfathers were.

I don't think my husband has it any easier or harder than my father did. They both had to deal with me. They are both good men. Neither is a quitter. Both feel a strong sense of responsibility. Both live their faith in Christ.  The Spirit of God is exhibited in the lives of both my husband and my dad.
(My dad is now with the Lord)

'But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.' Galatians 5:22-23

 An April photo that I didn't get posted earlier
Old brick schoolhouse and flowering crab

7. Tell us one way you're like your father? Or not at all like your father if that's easier?

I am very much like my father: You can blame him for my sense of humor, love of theology, faith in God, and often being preoccupied. Sorry, what was the question again? I was thinking about something else.

Our youngest son and his little boy, Oliver

He is a REALLY good dad and we're so proud of him.
However, if I had been there, I would have insisted suggested that BOTH of them wear shirts out in the sunshine. A cool breeze or even a cloudy day can be very deceptive.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

 Anyone else remember these?
Please tell me all about  in a comment!!
This is still on the outside of my old high school building

Although I love to read your comments, I will most likely not be able to get responses written. Still, should you choose to leave a comment, know that other bloggers and I will very much enjoy reading them. Thanks.


Join me on Instagram:


Check out my natural, handcrafted vegan soap!
Buy any 5 or more, Get 1 FREE

Raspberry Sorbet
Natural Handcrafted Vegan Soap

(My soap shops are currently 'on vacation.')

...and more! Check out all my handcrafted soaps at

and at

Our ETSY Shop


This post is also linked to Theresa's  GOOD FENCES . 
I think if you try really hard, you'll find three fences/gates in the photos above.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Explaining My Absence

 Sleeping on the job
Tuppence, always nearby

Warning: This is a long, boring post that no one is required to read, but I thought I would put out there for the person who may be wondering why I dropped off planet Blog. Also, by writing this down, I have an account I can refer to when anyone asks. I don't usually write personal stuff on my blog, and wouldn't probably be doing this now except for the pain meds, so if it's too personal, (and I just re-read it. It's WAY too much information and WAY too personal!) just forgive me and know that it's the medication talking.

SO:  Hello my blogging friends!

I thought I would tell a little bit more about why I'm absent from blogland and will probably only be blogging occasionally, depending upon how I'm feeling, for the next few weeks. 

As some of you may remember, I had a total hip replacement in December of 2013. I was the model patient (no, really I was!) doing all the exercises my doctor recommended, beginning with band and step exercises at 2 1/2 weeks and adding squats to the regimen at 4.5 weeks. At that point, everything went south. Everything hurt. For the next two years I went to doctor after physical therapist after chiropractor to try to find out WHY I wasn't recovering like I was supposed to do. My original surgeon said, 'Well, it's not your hip.' Both a different hip surgeon and a back surgeon suspected that it was a problem with my back, but I insisted that I didn't have any back pain. Finally, last fall, after doctors and bone scans and MRIs and whatnot, they threw up their hands and forwarded me on to the orthopedics department at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

At Mayo, they had given me an appointment with two different orthopedic doctors. The first one examined me and gave me orders to take to my physical therapist, that I commence  illiotibial band exercises. She didn't know that later in the day I'd be seeing the Chair of the orthopedics surgery department for his assessment. After he examined me, looked at the xrays, etc. he said that he suspected that the original prosthesis was loose, that at least there was most likely micro-motion around the tip and head of the stem, and that every time bone would flex around it, it would cause pain. (Because of the original titanium implant, an MRI is distorted, not able to show clearly what's going on). He said that if he did surgery, he would slice the bone lengthwise, fold it back (??) take out the old prosthesis and put in a longer, bigger diameter one that was of a different design, and that he thought there was a 90% chance that would help me. He expected the surgery to take 4.5 - 5 hours (whereas the original was easier and done in 45 minutes.) He also mentioned that he was booked out 6 months.

I decided to go with his diagnosis because he said that after this long, chances of it getting any better were about nil.

Back home, I was doing normal things except for walking very much. I could go up and down the steps, carry my laundry, make meals, etc. I just couldn't walk far without the leg starting to hurt. A lot. Around the house I didn't need a cane, but if I were to walk a few blocks, I couldn't do it without a cane. Okay.

Weeks and months dragged by. Winter turned to spring...

June 6 finally arrived and I was first in surgery. The surgery itself lasted about 1 3/4 hours because yes, indeed, the prosthesis was LOOSE. He said there was almost no bone at all grown in around the old prosthesis, just a tiny bit at the top. They removed the old prosthesis, put in a new one, and gave me a nice foot-long incision and a brace. I'm to wear the brace for at least 8 weeks (the time of my follow-up appointment at Mayo) use a walker, and no weight bearing on that leg for 8 weeks, no exercises, and only bend at a 45 degree angle, not 90, as last time.

 On the porch at suppertime

This time around is much more painful, and believe me, all I'm doing at this point is sleeping and taking pain meds, doing ankle pumps, and occasionally sitting up for a meal. I am so blessed to have a really wonderful husband (who is probably sick of doing this, but never complains) who helps me in and out of bed, and our daughter who is spending the first two weeks post op with us and cooking, tending to me, bringing me a little lap bench and my laptop so I can write this post and yet stay in bed, and who also helps me in and out of bed and is a good conversationalist. I suspect it will be a month or so before I can get in and out of bed by myself. That leg has had a lot of trauma.

One night I slept through, which meant I didn't get my pain meds on time. That won't happen again. I now have the alarm on my phone set to go off the 10 times a day I have to take something.

 Nurse Meow
Always at my side.

I am spending my recuperation hours in the library on a single bed with a view of the flowerbed and windbreak along the north. Since the door opens onto our screened in porch, I can have the door open at night and awaken to the beautiful sound of birdsong at 4:30 AM and the wind chimes. It is a delight!!

I think that's all for now, but you all left such nice comments on my last post and I wanted to let you know what's happening. I'm hoping to be able to join in with Wednesday's Hodgepodge. We'll see.

In the meantime, my Etsy shop and my web store are closed for another week, for I won't be doing any steps climbing any time soon and my soap room is up a flight of steps.

I will still be posting photos on Instagram because I have a huge photo archives and from my phone am able to access photos that have been on my blog or ones I've recently taken. As you know, Instagram is so much easier because I don't have to sit up. For those who want to follow me on Instagram, you'll find me there @cranberrymorning. In another few weeks I'm also going to open an Instagram account that will be all about my soaps.

I will try to respond to comments, but only am able to if you have an email attached to your blog. There are a few of you who always show up as 'no reply blogger' and I have no way to respond to your comments. Please make sure your email is attached to your blog. Thanks!

Purple and white bearded iris,

Old fashioned peony

 'curtains and fountains of roses'

The above flowers are all ones I view from my bed in the library.
Yes, the flowerbed is also full of weeds, but they're not the plants I see.

For anyone who would rather write than leave a comment on this blog post, feel free to contact me by email: Judy(at)soapnsuch(dot)com. I'd love to hear from you and can respond on my phone, which, like my cat, is always at my side. :-)

Praise God for family, for a surgeon with knowledge and insight, for the whole trained team who worked with me at Mayo, and for all who were and are continuing to pray for me. And for a room with a view.


Check out my natural, handcrafted vegan soap!
Buy any 5 or more, Get 1 FREE
French Lilac & Lavender
What a heavenly fragrance combination!

Available as soon as my shop opens again,
in another week or so.

...and more! Check out all my handcrafted soaps at

and at

Our ETSY Shop


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Berry Blue Hodgepodge

Blueberries from the Farmer's Market

Join Joyce and the Gang
 She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog
and join in!

1. Tell us about one fun thing on your June calendar. 

Waking up after hip replacement revision surgery next Monday.

 Bookstore, York

2. How careful are you in the sun? Do you tan or burn? Do you make it a point to see the dermatologist every year? 

I've never seen a dermatologist, and if I am in the sun, I wear a good sunscreen. 

Blue Pallet, Backyard

3. Describe a time when you wanted to 'throw in the towel'? 

I can't think of a time. I hate to give up.

Blue Door, Canterbury

4. What's a song you love that has a day of the week in the title or lyrics? 

Monday, Monday by the Mamas and Papas (or Grandmas and Grandpas by now)

 Blueberries, more or less

5. Are you a fan of berries? Which one's your favorite? What's the most recent berry dish you've eaten? Which blueberry breakfast food appeals to you most-blueberry pancakes, blueberry yogurt, or a blueberry muffin? 

I love berries. Blueberries are my favorite, followed closely by strawberries. My favorite blueberry breakfast food would be blueberry muffins, but I haven't made any in quite a while. I like blueberry yogurt as a snack.

Here's a link to My Favorite Blueberry Muffin Recipe

 Blue Dress and Coat
Spring/Summer Catalog, 1916

6. What's something you want to do before your next birthday? 

Walk, hike. 

 Blue Iris

7. June 1st is National Say Something Nice Day, so let's all say something nice here. 

My cat whining at me while I'm writing this is not annoying me. At all.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

Just a little red this morning, to go along with all the blue:

 Our Daughter-in-law sent us this photo of
little Oliver working on the birdhouse for his grandma.


Check out my natural, handcrafted vegan soap!
Buy any 5 or more, Get 1 FREE

Midnight Jasmine
Natural Vegan Soap

...and more! Check out all my handcrafted soaps at

and at

Our ETSY Shop



Related Posts with Thumbnails