All posts by ruthsoaper

55 Things # 55 – The Finale

Click here to learn more about my “55 Things” and here to view previous posts in this series.

They say that hindsight is 20/20 meaning that looking back at something gives us a clear picture or understanding of the situation. This expression is usually used to indicate that we could have handled things better. Oh, if we had only known. Rarely in life do we get do-overs so the best we can do in these situations is learn from it and hope to do better in the future.

Now that 2020 is hindsight I would like to know if there are things you would have done differently had you known what 2020 would bring. Are there lessons that you have learned or changes that you have made or plan to make?

Personally the biggest change I have made is to protect my mental health. It was after only a few weeks of being barraged with pandemic news that I began feeling overwhelmed. Stress and anxiety were creeping in. I realized that I needed to address this. Here are some of the things that helped me remain sane in this seemingly insane world.

Limiting the amount of news I listen to/read.

Gratitude

Laughter

Prayer and Scripture

Kindness toward others

Keeping life as normal as possible

Living in the moment

Most of these are things I already practiced but I found them to be the most valuable weapons to defend against the covid blues.

While we have heard repeatedly this year that “we are all in this together” reality is that it’s different for each of us. That’s why I believe that there is value in sharing any lessons that 2020 may have taught you. We’re looking forward to learning from you.

Wishing you all the best in 2021. 🙂

55 Things #54 – It’s Been One Year

Click here to learn more about my “55 Things” and here to view previous posts in this series.

🎈 Today we are celebrating.🎈

It’s been one year since Ranger joined our family.

Looking at this picture I was tempted to write a Dr. Seuss-type blog

about a dog near a log

being snug on a rug

or a pup with a cup

using a straw with his paw.

Do you think this is even legal for a beagle to drink? (Wink wink.)

But these words are absurd.

They’re quite over-the-top

so I will just stop.

I’ll just ask for a round of cheers

and toast to many more years.

Hear! Hear!

Homemade Holiday Décor

I have received some early Christmas gifts, gifts that were cleverly and loving crafted by the giver, so I wanted to share them with you.

Coat Hanger Ornaments

The first two are some Christmas decorations that my dad made.

Both the angel body (above) and the star (below) are made from plastic coat hangers and zip ties. So creative! Since these are made with plastic they are suitable for either indoor or outdoor decorating. I added the lights since I planned on displaying them outdoors.

Incidentally, I hadn’t told my dad that I been looking for an angel ornament to hang outside but had not seen any in the stores I had visited. It is the perfect gift.

Broom Corn Ornament

The other hand crafted gift (pictured below) came from my neighbor.

This lovely decorative broom is even more special because some of the components are things that we grew on our farm.

It was one day this past fall when our neighbors Matt and Karen stopped by the farm for a visit. Karen asked if she could collect some pinecones for some crafts that she was working on. After I showed her the tree where the pinecones were most plentiful, and she collected as many as she wanted, we walked back to the barn where my husband handed her a bunch of broom corn and said, “see what you can do with this.”

What is broom corn you ask? The short answer is that it is the plant that makes up the base for the above broom decoration.

Broom Corn 2020

A longer explanation is that broom corn is not really corn at all. It is a variety of sorghum that has historically been grown for use in making brooms. Out of curiosity my husband picked up a couple packets at a yard sale last year and planted them along the garden fence this past spring.

Broom corn grows very tall. Some of ours reached about twelve or thirteen feet, but I have read it can grow as tall as 18 feet (5.4864 meters). Unlike corn the seed does not grow on a cob. They grow on branches at the top of the plant.

Broom Corn Drying

When cut and dried these branches become very stiff. It is these branches that are used for making brooms. The video below show the broom making process.

Nowadays broom corn is more commonly used as a decorative plant, put in vases or turned into decorations like the one Karen made.

Speaking of Karen’s creation I also want to point out that the flower in the arrangement, just to the left of the two pine cones, is actually made out of a portion of pinecone which was cut near the bottom then painted. How clever!

I’ll close with a thank you to Dad and Karen for these wonderful gifts and to you for taking the time to read my posts.