Thursday, November 27, 2008

Well, as you can see above..we had a White Thanksgiving!! That's not all we had. We had a new permanent little visitor for Thanksgiving and I do believe she'll be sticking around for many more Thanksgivings! Our newest and second grandchild, Miss Ciannon Bailey was born Wednesday afternoon. She is doing fine and so is Mom & Dad. They've spent their Thanksgiving day together as a family at the hospital today and will be home tomorrow.

Here's a pic of the little one. There are more pictures and her story on "Ciannons Page." You can find the permanent link to the left. ENJOY!

As you know, I'm still in New York and will get to spend about a week with Ciannon before I have to return to South Carolina.
I've truly enjoyed the visit, the snow and the cold weather! (about as much as I did last year when we visited!)

Ciannon will have many more visitors over the next month, she has a large extended family..from all over. Many in South Carolina and Virginia, even all the way out to California and everyone is anxious to see her.

Our plans are to celebrate our Thanksgiving on Saturday, after everyone gets home and things are 'settled' a bit more. It's all good as long as their is turkey and all the 'trimming's that go with a Thanksgiving dinner.

I hope everyone who visits had a wonderful Thanksgiving and shared it with everyone you wished to. Till next time!

Saturday, November 22, 2008 it's cold outside!

Hi all..
That big jet in the sky flew me away to the land of 'cold!" (well, one was big, the other..not so much!)
I arrived at my son and DIL's house on Monday night, we celebrated Niel's birthday the day after and now we sit in wait for the newest member of our family to arrive. DIL, Ashley was due yesterday and so far of course, no baby yet, but we sure do hope soon.

The average daytime temp here in upper NY is about 30..nighttime, I said it's cold outside!

We've taken the week easy for the most part, played "rock band 2' (a video game), cooked, taken walks and done a little shopping since Monday, but nothing exciting. Just waiting.

I'll be boarding that bird in the sky to return to the land of the south on Dec.5, so we have a little time yet in hopes that the little one will make her grand entrance.

As Ashley has said, "she's keeping her fans waiting" ..and that she is.

Till next time!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Some of those 'pics' I promised!

Ok..I promised to post some pictures of a few of those items that I finished lately..craft wise for the most part. SO here ya go...

First..the stitchery. I got the stitching part finished months ago it seems, but just had not framed it. I finally pulled out the box of random frames the other day and found this wooden one. It was really scratched up and not looking good at all, so I dry brushed some black paint directly on top, leaving a bit of the wood showing through in places.

Same thing goes with this jar here. I finished the stitching many moons ago but finally sat to getting the 'ufo's finished, and so here it is. No, I did not 'prim' it..I'm not sure I like that 'prim aged' look on the jars. It really holds the flour I use in the house and sits out in view all the time. I MAY sew a running stich around the top cover and fray the edges before I'm completly happy with it. The jar itself is an empty gallon pickle jar. A five pound bag of flour fits in it just perfectly.

The bottles you see in the next photo, beside the flour jar are homemade bottles of Vanilla. Yep, that's right..vanilla. I purchased the beans a while back, have kept them in an airtight container and decided to prepare some 'vanilla' extract for some Christmas gifts this year. How do you do it? Simple..get some of the best highest in 'proof' grain alcohol you can buy. (Everclear or a bottle of simple 'grain alcohol' which they do sell at the liquor stores). Toss in one or two vanilla beans (it really only takes one, but I use two..will explain why later in the post) and let the mixture sit till it turns a lovely amber/brown color. You'll have to shake it once in a while. Once the beans get 'wet through' you can pour the contents into a bowl, take each bean, split it and scrape out the insides putting it all back into the bottle and returning the alcohol to the bottle as well. It will be a stronger vanilla that way. I just started out with these bottles of vanilla a few days back and you can already see the beautiful amber color starting to come out. on to the 'rag quilt' that I began many moons ago too. I set myself to finish this project and I did. Mind you, I'm still 'fraying' the edges when I find one I haven't done. I will wash it one more time when I can't find any 'unfrayed edges'. It's easy to fray the edges (well..sort of) because I simply go at it when I'm covered with the gem at night while we are watching a movie. It's bold in it's colors, but I wanted something that 'stood out'. The back and matching squares on the front are a Celtic Tartan that once washed almost feels like flannel. VERY heavy and VERY warm on these cold evenings.

And finally a few of the village houses that I had the time to paint a week or so back. I buy them unpainted (ceramic bisque) and go about painting them to the colors I choose. I add shadows and such with a black paint wash, then 'age' them somewhat with a dry brush technique in white. I have about 5 more to go before I'll have enough to 'create' a village look. I still have to buy the 'lights' to put up inside them, but those are easily gotten. I forgot to put something next to the houses so you could see their size, but the house is about 5'' high at it's tallest point, and about 6-6 1/2'' in length. I love painting these little guys and at one time had a full village with the train to go round them. Since I lost those in a house fire several years back, I'm beginning to remake my village. (I've got grandkids coming along ya know!) This isnt' the best of pictures, but as I paint more of them I'll try to get more pictures posted of the whole village as I go along.
Now, to why I use two vanilla beans per bottle of alcohol. When the bean has been split and scraped, putting all the goodness back into the alcohol (bean, scrapings and all) it makes the vanilla stronger and darker. Once I get it to that point, I can split what I have..doubling my amount. Here's how: Buy another bottle of alcohol and get an extra empty bottle out. Pour 1/2 of the 'extract' already made into the empty bottle, adding 1 of the beans in the current bottle to the new bottle. Fill up both bottles with the new alcohol you just bought, cap, shake and wait another two weeks. You've doubled your amount with 2 vanilla beans. When each bottle gets to about 1/2 empty, simply add more alcohol and wait a little bit and you'll have vanilla again. You can do this several times before the vanilla bean finally 'gives up the ghost'. Keep it stored right (cool dark), you'll just about have a never ending supply of vanilla...or some for gift giving! :)
Well, I hope you've enjoyed seeing the 'UFO's finished up as much as *I* have!'s good to feel a sense of 'finished' accomplishment when you can finally end a project that you have put off completing!

So, what are all YOUR Ufo's??

Enjoy the Holidays!!

Sage (The Hedgewife)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sage's Adventures with Badge #407

As most of you who visit the blog know, every week (usually) I do ride alongs with the local law enforcement Badge #407 aka Buckwild (my nephew Tony).

During my ride alongs over the past month, I've met many Police Officers from County, City and even State Patrol. A finer group of companions you could not ask for.

These Officers share amongst themselves a true brotherhood of the badge.
They share it with the ride alongs too. I am included in their conversations, their adventures and even their tragedy.

It's like any other job, in the good the bad and the ugly as far as 'jobs' go, but what is unlike any other job, is the danger these Officers are in every day.
Their life is on the line by simply stepping out of their vehicle or even driving home. From the simple traffic stop, to the drive thru window to grab a bite to eat, Police Officers are always a target.
At any point and time, anyone with a 'personal cause' can take aim.
Just think about that for a moment...being an Officer of the Law is a job that makes you a target every minute of every day.

Therefore..I salute every Police Officer out there, who voluntarily puts his life on the line and makes himself a target every day to 'walk that thin blue line' for me.

I said earlier, as with any job there is good bad and ugly. Trust me when I tell you, the good..or comedy is on the list of things an officer will do during a shift in order to possibly 'break up' that constant thought of being a target and the tenseness this job brings. Whether it's over the radio with each other or the dispatchers on duty, laughter will play a part of their shift.

Case in point:
The first call of the shift came in; a group of people trying to cause a fight at one of the local apartment buildings. They had fled the scene and a description of the vehicle was given. Just so happens, we were on the way and saw them coming toward us. We flipped the patrol car around and 'caught' them at a local gas station.

To make a long story short, the driver was not the owner of the vehicle (it belonged to his fiance' who was on her way into town) and he was driving on a suspended license. He was quickly arrested and given the option of 'towing the vehicle or having someone else with him drive it home'. He took option two.

After depositing said offender at the local 'big house' we get back out on the road again, and within 5 minutes a call comes from dispatch, that the fiance is in town and would like to meet with Tony to discuss where her vehicle might be. (not like we know, but she is clueless as well)

Now, a couple of things you need to know here. All correspondence via an Officer over the radio starts with a badge number so the dispatchers can tell who they are talking to. Most times, in return, the dispatcher will begin or end their end of the conversation with the same badge number, so the officer knows dispatch is talking to them. Got that??

The rest of the conversation between Tony ..badge 407 and dispatch goes something like this:

Badge 407 gets on the radio and says (chkkk).."407 to dispatch"..(chkkk)
Dispatch; (chkkk) "go ahead 407" (chkkk)
407: (chkk)...'have her meet me at the police station I'll be there in five"....(chkk).
(chhkk..) "10-4, 407'(chkkk)
(A minute passes)
(chkkk)'407 to dispatch, what is she driving'? (chkk)
(chkk) "a black nissan 407' (chkkk)
(chkkk)"10-4 dispatch, you can tell her I'll be driving a black Crown Vic with a gold star on the side" (chkkk)
(chkkk)....(silence)...(chkkk)...(chkkk) can here the undertones of a chuckle trying VERY hard to be contained...'10-4 407' (chuckle..chkk)

Now..this may not SEEM funny in the written word..but when your stuck in a car..and you can hear the very muffled, very controlled, very contained about ready to burst laugh on the other end of that radio..and not to mention what Tony said..I bout died!! I was rolling..(if you can roll in a police car)..I was doing it!

EVERY time that dispatcher spoke with badge 407 for the next 5 minutes, she was trying to contain that chuckle.
I found great amusement in this. Am I easily entertained?

Now, since I've been doing the ride alongs, and Tony has switched to the night shift, I don't get the pictures I used to. HOWEVER..there was always a certain 'lightness' I tried to keep in the pictures I did take.
I had the opportunity to take pictures tonight, but I refused. I do try to keep Sagewood semi family oriented and the pictures that I could have gotten tonight were NOT something a 'family' would want to see.
BUT..I'm here to "TELL" you what I saw.

The last call of our night just happened to be right down the road from where I live. Not a mile from my house. My road is not a straight road, there are several curves on it that are very dangerous.
A young man who had been drinking heavily was driving home in his truck on that same curvy road.
Alcohol impairs everything about you. From the decision to drive, to driving fast, to driving too fast and to the speed in which you THINK you are making adjustments for what your eyes are seeing.
He had to be cut out of his truck and airlifted to the hospital. I'm not sure of his age, but he wasn't very old..still young. Did he survive? Yes. Thanks to the EMT's and the fire-department who came to the scene and did what they had to do to save his life.

What was left of his truck was unimaginable. There wasn't much. I'm not sure how he was saved, but saved he was. (at last check) I'm totally in awe of how a body can go through the mangled wreck I seen tonight and still come out alive. I can only hope that this very hard learned lesson is one that will sink in.

Ladies and Gentlemen..alcohol and vehicles do not mix. EVER!
If you're drinking, stay home.
If you're not at home, call a cab, catch a bus or give your keys to someone who has not been drinking.
Take along a DD.
Do whatever you have to do to have your fun and still go home, instead of being airlifted to a hospital.
I can guarantee you it will be a much safer bet and a much less painful ride.
You will see no pictures of what I saw. What I said has been enough.

Till next time..
See you down on the farm!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's that time again..

Yep, it's that time again when we are to be bombarded by the commercialism of the holidays.

Don't you just hate it?

I go into the stores (not very often) but already, they are pushing Christmas so hard it's not even funny, and Thanksgiving has not even happened yet! Of course, in all truth, they were putting out Christmas stuff before Halloween was over! (GASP!)

I truly hate the commercialism of the Holidays! The market pushes and urges you to buy what you don't need, or anyone else needs, just to 'fill that spot' for a Christmas gift for someone you may or may not normally buy for! What in the world are we thinking!?

What happened to the simpler times when gift giving meant something?
Money that's what. People saw Christmas as a time to make money.
Not only that, people worked all year to make more money so they no longer had time to 'make that gift' they had to buy it! And boy do they buy it! Anything and everything with a tag. Sometimes the more it costs the more they think it's worth something.
It's not.

I'm not a scrooge, don't get me wrong. I love the holidays, for what they are or what they should be. Celebrations, gathering times, family. Not this monster of 'consumerism' that has been created.
BUY BUY BUY, that's all we hear for months before the event!

I'd much rather have my children and family be able to visit, along with the new grandbabies and enjoy a simple dinner round the table, loaded with home baked and prepared foods, lots of laughter and a willingness to linger there simply for the conversation and the togetherness of family and friends.
How novel.
I will say that over the past several years our family has done our level best to cut out much of the commercialism and overspending within our own 'tree'. Our rules for Christmas? If it can't be a homemade gift, it cannot be more the a $20 spendature.
Most times, the gifts are homemade and well thought out. Most times, we love them more then anything that could be 'bought and sold' at the local five and dime!

So let's be honest here..are you going to go into the 'great debt' for your holiday season this year? If so, I have one question for you...WHY?

Here's the challenge..and it's for this year and next.
Do you level best to reduce your holiday spending by 1/2 this year. Try, try and try again. If you can't manage 1/2, then at least some. Send baked goods, home canned goods, hand crafted treasures or simply a card that says what you mean.
And for the following year, of 2009, keep your eyes open and Christmas in the back of your mind all year. Shop wisely and see if you can get by with less for the holidays. Put a limit on your 'per person' spending. Make what you can, think outside of the commercialism box and reduce your spending by 1/2 for 2009.

It's time we show the 'big boys' out there that we Hedgewives are taking back the Holidays and what they mean to us.

And with that said :
Happy Holidays!