Wednesday, November 23, 2011


It is THANKSGIVING! I love baking, eating, serving it, even sorta cleaning it up! I was setting out the dishes stuff goes into tomorrow. I always do this to make sure nothing it "bowless or spoonless". It was then I remembered "salt and pepper". OH SALT AND PEPPER!! It means I can pull out the beautiful Lenox salt and pepper shakers that Warrens mom got for me about 33 years ago. I LOVE these. They make me smile each time I look at them.  Even if we are eating off paper plates or Corelle ware,  we have LENOX salt and pepper shakers!  They come out at Thanksgiving and go away after Easter.  My way of justifying getting 5 months of use out of them. Technically (in a man world) they are Christmas trees. BUT they have gold and brown sparkles, which are fall colors. And the day AFTER Thanksgiving they are totally "legal". So what is ONE day! The other thing is there are also pastel sparkles, which are of course, EASTER colors.

We were sitting around the table several years ago and Jana picked them up and said "when you die, I WANT these!" SO I picked them up and wrote Jana on the bottom of each one. This also makes me laugh. When they are stored away up high in their "off" months, I often climb up and look at them. I remember my special mother in law, who is not here helping me make gravy any more. She had the gift of giving. I miss her lots. She is up with  the Lord of Heaven and Earth, rocking our Carter.

I am so thankful. I have so much. Kids and Grandkids close by. Wonderful family and friends.

"I Will Rise" by Chris Tomln. 

There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead 

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb" 

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

Chris Tomlin, I will rise

I don't know how to add video, but you can find the music here.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

"Surviving the Holidays"

It's not something I will "get over".  It's something we are all living: missing Carter.

Cohen's first visit to Grammas house was this week. I put up the bed, put up a Christmas tree, had on the Christmas music. It was baking day, so the house was full of cookies. Cohen came, and well the bed would not stay up, and I could not get the lights on the tree to work. All that is pretty normal, here. But the music, cookies, Cohen and Jana and Gramma 2 were here. Then it started SNOWING! It was perfect! Almost. That started a week of  grieving Carter so much. I picked up the pumpkin we had put on his grave. Got his teddy bear, to wash. It was all frozen in snow. I just lost it. I don't want to but bears on his grave, I don't want to put a tiny tree there. I want him! I want him in his first Christmas booties! Or both wearing their Gonzaga Bulldogs T shirts! Here beside his brother. I want to make HIM a blanket! I want Jana to have both her boys. I know he is with Jesus. That IS the reason for the season! Jesus was born at Christmas so that we might LIVE! Carter can be with Him forever. But the pain is so overwhelming at times.

We are making blankets for other babies, sewing and baking. It is almost Christmas. I had not given much thought to that, till Jana brought home a flyer for  Griefshare, "surviving the holidays". Will I survive? I am old enough to know to take the help that is offered, cry with a friend, cry with my husband, cry with my family. Turn to the lord. He knows all our sorrows and he does care. Maybe someday I can write about how I survived the holidays!! Right now I am  just living the holidays.

Then Cohen got to visit again last night, Grampa got the bed fixed, the lights on the tree to work and he got to sleep in my arms thru the football game! So much love. He even gave me lots of smiles! This journey  is so up and down, so happy and sad. Full of thankfulness and miracles!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

NICU Care Packages, from Jana's blog

This is a post from Jana's blog. SUCH a great idea. Just email me if you can help in any way. Carol
NICU Care Packages

I know it's getting to that busy time of year where everybody has way too much to do. I also know what it's like to have a baby in the NICU and I know some of you do too. Sitting in the hospital day after day is tiring and stressful and can be lonely. I want to do something to help other NICU moms and maybe just brighten their day a little. I know how hard it is to have a baby in the hospital on a regular day but I can't imagine how hard it must be during the holidays. I LOVE Christmas and anything I would like to be able to maybe make someone else's a little better. We have been given so much love and support and I would love to be able to pass that on to someone else.

So, I am putting together some little care packages to drop off at the NICU for other moms (or dads :)
I'm thinking:

Little lotions
Granola Bars/Snacks/Gum
Emergen-C (Since it's cold season!)
Maybe a little notebook for keeping notes about baby
Vitamin Water
Hot Chocolate or Tea
Hand Sanitizer
Baby Hats and maybe little Christmas blankets (if I get around to knitting/sewing them)

 I'm going to try and start getting things together now because I know once Thanksgiving hits everything gets super busy. We have another appointment at Children's in December so I am thinking I will drop them off then. Anybody want to help? Have any other ideas of things to add? Let me know :)

*Updated to add:

If you knit, here is a website that has patterns for preemie hats

If you crochet, here is more patterns for preemie hats

I also thought it would be fun to put some of the stuff in the stockings. I'm telling you, I love Christmas so this is all really fun for me :) Here is the pattern I might use, again depending on how much time I have. If you sew, it is here or here's just an outline.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Quilt

I love to quilt. Find the fabric, cut it, put it together. Put warm flannel on the back. And then give it away. I have made quilts for all my grandchildren. Special, amazing beautiful kids. Last week was a sad and happy week. I finished Cohen's quilt. He is grandchild number 5, his brother Carter, grandchild number 6. Each one so precious and special. I had great plans to have the quilts all done for the boys, in opposite pattern. I cut them both out, laid them on the floor, gathered them up in the exact order, and made sure the colors were in opposite spots, so we could tell them apart. I would present them to Jana at her shower. God had other plans for our family the past 6 months. Cohen and Carter (I LOVE saying their names together!) were born at 25 weeks. Much to soon. Carter passed away at birth. Cohen continued the fight for his life.130 days in the NICU at the University of Washington. Carters quilt was done, early, before the showers, before the homecoming.I sewed it in one night. Thru more tears and anguish than I ever imagined. But it was done for him. For his burial.   I finished his quilt in a teenie tiny version, a 2 lb and 13 1/4" version. He was wrapped in it and laid to rest.  Forever loved. Forever with Jesus. How we miss him! Over the days and months, I tried to finish Cohen's blanket. I wanted him to have it to come home in.  I could not quite muster the energy. When I realized he was coming HOME I got to work on it. It seemed so much bigger, than I had first laid out. But I kept on sewing.  Heck, he can use it for a toddler bed, or take it to college... I showed it to Jana, and pointed out how I had included a square from Gramma Rineharts fabric stash. Jana had written about Gramma and Carter after I had typed this post, but did not publish it. (which does not surprise me, we had many "thinking of Carter" moments at the same time.) I was thinking of Carter, Gramma and quilts all week. How much I miss her. How much I miss Carter. She would have cried with us and talked with us and loved and prayed for Cohen and his journey. What I love about quilting is the history, the stories each quilt has to tell. Cohen's quilt was extra big, because I had not realized, until it was done,  I had included all the extra pieces of Carters quilt. As I sewed Cohen's quilt, I kept thinking of Carter and his identical tiny little quilt. Cohen's quilt  had Carters pieces in it, a piece from Gramma, and I had also stuck in one piece of fabric I used to make a quilt for Jana in college. So there are the generations. The 4 generations, which have so shaped our families story. My special connection with Gramma was the quilting and the love of sewing, and of course her son! She loved each and every grandchild and great grandchild. she would have been SO excited about Jana having twins. The first EVER in ANY Rinehart history! I understand her great love and excitement for each and every grandchild. I love them all so much. Gramma Rinehart is watching and rocking Carter for us, for now. And we are loving Cohen to bits!

Friday, October 21, 2011

LOTS of eggs

In April I refreshed my flock of chickens and bought 24 of my favorite breeds. 12 Barred Rocks and 12 Americana. The barred rocks lay brown eggs and the Americanas  lay blue/green "Easter Eggs". Jordan(5) was over yesterday and we were working outside and he went to get the eggs. I explained to him why some were brown and some were green "Easter eggs". I was working in the garden and he came back, after I had asked him to set the eggs on the porch. He had 1 green egg in his hand. After seriously examining the egg for about 5 minutes, he asks, "Gramma, is there CANDY in these Easter eggs?" For snack he wanted scrambled eggs. MY kind of guy!

Any way, lots of eggs. So This is rapidly becoming one of our favorite meals:
Eggs, potatoes, cheese, onions, peppers, what ever you want to "pile" on there. 
I bake the potatoes, and then just flatten them with a potato masher. Fry the eggs, and top with your favorites. We like, cheese, onions, peppers, salsa, tomatoes, what ever is out in the garden at the time. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I used the name "Out There" because we are. Not really on the way to anywhere.  We  don't get many "drop in" visitors. And our life seems to be a bit "out there". But I love it. Brownie, our little 15 yr old pygmy goat died this week. That was kind of the "end of an era". We have had goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, dogs and cats when the kids were growing up. My husband always said he'd NEVER have a goat. That was my thing. I asked him if we could PLEASE get 2 little pygmy goats, as they are sooo cute. That was about 14 years ago when he first started work at BP. He agreed and we brought them home. They followed us around like little dogs. Then someone had some "free" sheep they wanted to give us. Oh boy... not. But my husband also adopted these sheep.  They ate the nice grass and the goats preferred the yucky stuff. It made a good combo. Over the years they have all moved on the the big pasture in the sky. EACH while my husband was not at home. There are some kind of funny stories about that. Another time. The goat dying just caused me to think about all the memories we have here.And all the times to come!   

Here's to you Brownie!!
Brownie waiting for a handout. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Party Food?

September 20, 2011

I kind of remembered I had started this blog.I though it might be a good idea to keep it up, as it will help me remember things that might need remembering someday.

Today I held my grandson, Cohen, who is in the NICU at the University of Washington Medical Center. I went early and held him for 4 hours.Makes a day seem REALLY special! He is doing well and hopefully will be coming home soon. That is a WHOLE blog in itself. Go here to read about a miracle journey from a courageous young woman. (my daughter). Jana's Blog.
Sleepy little man

Jana said this should read "My Gramma is Nuts"

BUT on the way home I stopped at The Green Barn  to get some fresh peaches I have been craving. There was a young lad in line behind me. I kept hearing him go on and on about the McIntosh Apples. I turned and he was 20ish, nice haircut, clean clothes, Telling us old gals how McIntosh Apples are great to serve at parties, as the do not brown, as they are so acidic, they to not need treating in lemon juice and do not turn brown. That kind of cracked me up, the "great to serve at parties" line, Then I saw what he was buying, Some sort of large winter squash and LEEKS!! LEEKS?? I THINK they were leeks. What is a young 20ish guy doing buying SQUASH and LEEKS and he knows all about PARTY FOOD? I mean WHOLESOME party food? I almost said, for party food the AM/PM is just down the road! I am still amazed by this. To most guys, party food would be Doritos and 6 pack!

Paint job

I never posted this, either. But it was about March 2011?
The dining room, Entry project. OK, the painting is pretty much done. It took me about 6 years to take the plunge. That is when I took all the stuff off the walls and wanted it done. The delft blue and pink and ivy stenciling had to go. But the problem was there was no texture on the dining room walls. So that was a biggie BUT we got it done, painted and I love it. It is "evolving" as Nancy says. (Nancy Haugness, Interior Redesign, Custer, WA). I use Nancy as she can see the "whole" picture and saves tons of time, energy and MISTAKES!!! 

My Old (110 years) house is back to it's Farmhouse roots and I love it. 
 Here is John ripping off the old wallpaper. 

Here is Michelle helping. 

John heading back to college, OUTSIDE the house

Christine and I in the kitchen, but you can't see much. 
I can't see to find the photos I took of the finished project.Maybe another day. Any way, still loving it. 


November 2010?? Do you remember, Karen?
OK, this will be some practice. My daughter said I should have a blog! After I did some "crafty" things around the house.

This is our thanksgiving:
Daughter Karen cooked the turkey. I dropped it at her house the night before, so she could get him cooking! I left cooking directions taped to him. I thought it was funny she took a picture of it!!
Then we cook and snack. Never too many cooks.
I never posted this. I think it was 2010. But it makes me laugh, still.