Thursday, January 31, 2008

Planning The Kitchen

Recently on my homesteading board the discussion centered on our "dream kitchens" and what we would want. Most people want cabinets. Or 2 dishwashers. Or islands. I took out all the cabinets in my kitchen after we first moved here. I wanted my pantry to be a separate room. A room where everything is in plain view. Open cupboards. Someone can come to my house and help me in the kitchen and all they have to do is to walk into my pantry and see immediately what they are looking for.

Most of the people on the board wanted the refrigerator near the sink and the stove. Living as I do, with an alternative energy system, I don't recommend doing that. I would rather my refrigerator be in my pantry if I had the room for it. Cooler in there and not near my two cooking ranges. No heat near it. Better for your energy system. Of course, they want it closer so they don't have to walk so far. I have bad knees from arthritis, yet I really don't mind having to walk a few feet more to get something from the pantry. I do it all the time. Since my refrigerator is so small anyway, I keep much of my cold stuff in the pantry that is a very cool room anyway. My water jug is always kept in there and the water is very cold all the time.

The other door in the pantry leads to my root cellar. All old houses used to have those two rooms, the pantry and the root cellar. I am reorganizing my root cellar right now. I had cleaned it all out last year, but now I am trying to add shelves and storage containers that are completely rodent free. Then I can use it again. It has a dirt floor and fieldstone walls. It also has a big wooden bin that was built off the floor, attached to the ceiling. It looks like a wooden wagon......big! I love it. Probably was used for apples as our property had over 30 or 40 apple trees on it.

In my kitchen I do have 2 cooking ranges, one is my Premier Gas Cooking Range. It has no electrical parts on it at all. No clock. No oven light. Nothing. No glow bar in the oven. The other cooking range is my black cast iron wood cookstove. We use it daily, including all summmer. It is the first thing guests notice when they come into my house.

So basically my kitchen is set up the way I want it. We just have to finish our walls, windows, doors, floor and ceiling. Then I will have my dream kitchen too.......

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Tribute To An Amazing Woman!

On January 17th my mother in-law, Lucille Lupole passed from this life to the next. She had been through so much suffering from diabetes which was a drain on her poor body.

But I do not want to talk about her dying. I want to talk about her living. And living she did! She was a woman who was always busy doing something. Never one to just sit and watch television like most people, her hands were always busy working on a project. I remember many times her showing me what she was working on. Showing me the squares of fabric that she would soon make into a quilt or a pillow. She had a knack of remembering what each person really liked and making them something that had to do with that.

Often times she would pick up old lawn chairs that people put out for the garbage. Then she would turn them into works of art of which everyone in the family has a set of four. She would macarme the seats and backs in pretty colors and they were just beautiful! She was a recycler before her time. She made us pillows that had pictures of horses on them. The unique thing about these pillows is the fabric came from curtains that they had in their house when my husband was growing up! Talk about saving fabric for a special project!

Her musical talent far bypasses what most people possess. I do not know if it was just her striving for perfection, but she could play most any instrument that she set her mind to. With quality sound as she would never settle for anything less than the best. Thankfully her music talent has been passed onto her own children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Her talent with the musical saw and cow bells is legendary in our area. She was better known for her talent playing the organ and putting on her programs in area churches and nursing homes. As the violinist in the Binghamton Community Orchestra she was able to shine outside her usual realm of religious music.

I will never forget the first family dinners I was a part of in her special family. Most families can't wait to turn a television on to watch football on Thanksgiving......not this family. Everyone took out their instruments and would play music together. It was such a new experience for me.

I will miss coming into her house and see her smiling happy face light up when we would walk in. She would be delighted to have her grown children and spouses around her. We would sit and talk and tell all our news since we had last been there. She was so interested in everything...... even in things you wouldn't think she had any interest in. Such as when my husband and his brother would discuss their latestest inventions or ideas for making a new one. She would think about it and offer suggestions of her own.

I am so thankful to be a part of her wonderful family. She raised my husband to be the man he is today.....and what a fantastic job she and my father in-law did! My husband and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary yesterday and I am as madly in love with him as I was the day we got married. He knows how to treat a woman and always puts my feelings or wishes above his own. He is a extremely smart man, not to mention very musically talented. So I feel truly blessed.....indeed.

If you would care to read the post I wrote about her and my conversion to becoming a saved again Christian, which was passed out at her funeral celebration, this is it: An Inspiration To Her Faith.

Copyright © 2008  Kathleen G. Lupole

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Thoughts On Dying and Death

When someone close to you passes away, your life is never the same. Something is missing from it. Even if it was a person that you did not see often, now you know that you will not see them or talk to them again. So it weighs heavy on your heart. Sometimes you think of something or hear something that you really want to tell them.

My mother died in November 2002. Nothing tore at my heart more than her passing. I knew she would die.....I expected it. She had been ill for many years. Many times I heard her say that she wanted to die. She was in so much pain. So I understood she was better off.....but I missed her so and still do. She was such a part of my life.

I did not really know how to deal with my grief that well back then. It wasn't until I started reading the Bible did I start feeling my grief lessen. I see that for people who know the Lord, our grief and missing the person is only a for a little while......we will be together again. When you are with people who are dying that are saved and believe in Jesus, dying just seems to be so much easier for them. They know where they are going and that they will see you soon.