Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Pops:

Updated picture of Dad April sent me. Very good picture of him
This is my Pop!!

(Couldn't find a picture of just Dad)

Well, another good day for the Feeler's!! Thank you, God.

My pop, (I don't usually call him that much, but I've noticed the last couple years I do that sometimes without even thinking. I think maybe because Mom and Dad always referred to my Grandpa as Pop, subtle memory, I guess) had to have an angiogram done today. We were worried about it with his age and the past couple years of his heart history. It went great and the blood flow from last year's stent is working very well. I have to say, this time I totally put it in God's hands and didn't worry too much. (Key word, too)

I am so grateful to still have my parents with me. My family is truly blessed.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Redbud Trees:

Friday evening after work, Dwayne and I sent to April and Mike's. Dwayne had planned on planting a few redbud trees for April. I thought with the cold and rainy weather he would want to wait but nopie, he still wanted to go over. (I think he missed his little girl) We had also taken some lillies and phlox to set out but left them for April to do. (either that, or Dwayne will go back! lol)
Poor April, she won't ever be able to be on her own with a control freak mother (did I just say that? Me? Never!!) and a dad that thinks she's still a little girl. About five miles out of St. Elizabeth, Dwayne told me to call April and tell her to put her coat on. I'm like, what? Tell her we'll be there in a few minutes and for her to put her coat on. Now, even I'm not that bad!! I didn't make the call and he got aggravated, so I tried but couldn't get service. Right outside of St. Elizabeth I got April on the phone and told her her daddy said to put her coat on and we'd be right there!!
Dwayne and April set the trees out and then we spent the evening watching tv, playing cards and then when Mike got home from bowling, we played dominoes. We had a great evening and didn't get home until around 12:45 a.m. Late for us!!
What a cold and dreary day!! We didn't do anything. Dwayne watched tv and I read a book. For supper, I had fixed fillet mignon. I fixed that with a salad and roasted potatoes, mushrooms and onions. It was very good. I have to say, it was better than the last time we went out to eat. And a lot cheaper.
Dwayne and I went to church and then out to eat at the salebarn (Farmer's Cafe). They had a good buffet.
We then went to Rolla to Family Center and on to St. James to visit with Dwayne's Aunt Jessie and Uncle Warren's. Bill and his friend were there and we had a good afternoon visiting.
Spent the evening watching my favorite show, Army Wives and went to bed early.

I am grateful to be a part of Dwayne's family, Elrod and Lennaman. They have treated me and welcomed me into their family through the years as if I were one of their own.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Day of Sorrow:

A bittersweet day. I attended the funeral of my cousin's twenty-eight year old son.
The loss of a child at any age is almost unbearable for a parent. The loss of the physical presence of the child, the goals and dreams for their future; such a grief process to endure. My heart aches for each one of them.
The legacy of Dustin's fun and laughter lives on in his nieces. One of the nieces gave a brief eulogy on his life and the pranks he pulled on them. Through her laughter and tears, she gave a glimpse of the fun times they had. The other three nieces bravely sang a song in his memory. Very touching.
After the cemetery, we gathered at my cousin, Steve and his wife, Liz's house for a meal. My Mom is the only living aunt on the Williams' side of the family and she always says the prayer at a Williams' family meal. Mom and Dad had doctor's appointments in Springfield and weren't able to attend. Steve asked me to say the blessing. I was very honored and tried to do my best. I am not a very good(understatement to say the least) prayer person. It is something my Mom and siblings seem to do with ease, but for the life of me, I cannot say more than a couple sentences. I hope my brief words were a comfort to the family.

Dwayne had to work late yesterday and didn't think he would make it to the visitation. Dwayne and my cousin, Kenny used to work together in St. Louis and always enjoy visiting and sharing their union job stories. Kenny was disappointed Dwayne couldn't make it. Just at the close of the visitation last night, Dwayne walked in. I never saw Kenny break down last night until Dwayne got there. It was very touching and I was proud my husband's visit meant so much to Kenny. They visited awhile and Kenny shared how Dustin had joined the union and he was even buried in his denim union Carpenter's Local (?, I can't remember the number) shirt.

Tonight is the visitation of my good friend and co-worker's (and the boss' wife) mother. Sheila's father just passed away in July of 2010 and the sudden illness and
death of her mother this past week is very hard on her.

Sorrow is suppose to be a part of life, but the grief and emotions on my friend and family members is hard to understand. I pray God gives comfort and strength to each one.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Got off work a little early so I decided to head to Wal-Mart. Wrong idea!! I got there around five and the place was packed. Rushed through my shopping and got out of there!!
It's been almost three weeks since I fell down the steps. It is taking longer to "bounce" back than I thought it would. Delayed reaction, I guess, but the dizziness and nausea haven't left yet. I lazed around all day, watched TV, took my muscle relaxers and napped some. Such pretty weather and I'm stuck in the house.
I did fix supper which anymore consists of leftovers or filling our plates at the stove. I don't like cooking and setting the table for just the two of us but I am trying to change that. We started out with just us and I ALWAYS fixed a whole meal and we sat at the table. We would not have even thought about filling a plate and eating in the living room watching TV. After the boys left home, I got much more lax and occasionally, Dwayne, April and I would fill a plate and watch TV. We still had sit down meals the majority of the week but the easy way out started to become a habit.
Saturday night, I fixed lasagna for our Sunday evening family meal and a custard pie to take to Mom's for Sunday dinner.
I went to church and then to Mom and Dad's for dinner. Mom had most of it done before she went to church. We had beef stew and a variety of other side dishes.
The great nieces and nephews had such a good time together. Hard to believe some of them are teenagers and the others not too far behind. I love seeing and interacting with the kids at our family dinners.
Dwayne worked in the yard and me and my muscle relaxers took a nap.
Todd came over mid-afternoon and I enjoyed visiting with him. Chad was riding horses. Imagine that!! I really miss him coming to our family meals.
April and Mike came over later in the afternoon. We all watched TV and then had supper. I had made lasagna, salad, corn, crescent rolls and Mountain Dew Dumplings with ice cream for dessert.
April was sick with allergies so they didn't stay very late. Todd stayed and watched Army Wives with us and then left.

The evening ended on a sad note as Mom called and told me my cousin, Kenny William's son, Dustin Williams passed away Saturday. I'm not sure of Dustin's age but I think he was around 28 or 29. We don't see Kenny but a couple times a year but we always have a nice visit and him and Dwayne used to work together in St. Louis. Dustin was Kenny's only child. I talked to Kenny last night but he was not in much shape to talk. I feel so bad for him and his wife, Ann. Please keep Kenny and our family in your prayers.

Amidst the turmoils of life, we always have our family to rely on and I am most grateful.

Friday, March 18, 2011

“When E. F. Hutton talks, people listen” (E. F. Hutton)

It's been a long standing joke in my family that we refer Dad to E. F. Hutton, when he talks, we listen.
Well, last night around eight o'clock, E.F (aka my Dad) called and said, "Connie, you need to drive up to Kate's if you want to see a really pretty fire". So, after I hung up, I got in the truck and drove to Kate's and indeed it was a beautiful setting.
I do need to clarify a couple things.
#1. My Mom and Dad do not interfere in our lives or tell us what to do. It is out of
love and respect if Dad says something important, we listen.
#2. I am a fire bug at heart. When I was a stay at home Mom, I burned leaves A LOT!! It is a joke in the family that when they smell leaves burning (anywhere), they say, "Connie is at it again"!! I have had a few times the fire got away from me. Dwayne won't hardly let me burn leaves anymore, but I have definitely got the firebug yearning as long as it doesn't rain tomorrow. I may be a throw back to my Grandpa Feeler, he also loved to burn leaves and brush piles. Once his fire got out so bad, the conservation had to send in airplanes to get the fire under control. That was probably in the late sixties or early seventies. The last few months of Grandpa's life, he could hardly be trusted to walk the quarter mile drive to the mailbox for starting little piles of leaves/brush on fire. I'm not that bad, but hey I could be when I get to that age. lol

After talking with Kate and Pauley and watching the fire for awhile, I went to Mom and Dad's for a short visit.

So, next time Dad calls, I will listen..........

Thursday, March 17, 2011

2 for $20:

I treated Dwayne at Applebee's last and got the special of 2 for $20 with an appetizer. Didn't figure in price of drinks for the total spent, Dwayne may have to drink water next time! lol
I went out of my comfort zone of steak and tried the Bourbon Street Chicken & Shrimp. Usually when I order something different I don't care much for it, a very good choice this time.
Ran into some friends from Vienna while there. It was nice to see them and the new babies, very cute.

What has this world come to? Dwayne and I eating out on a week night? Guess we're going through some "mid-life crisis" or something!! lol

I am grateful that in these crazy times of earthquakes, tsunamis and other disasters, we have each other and the next phase of our life ahead.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Beatrice (Ballance) Feeler:
Great Uncle Evert Ballance:

I went to Mom and Dad's last night for a visit. My Aunt Fern had given Dad a box of pictures my Grandma(Ballance)Feeler had. I wish I could remember all of the stories and history Dad and Mom shared as we looked through the old pictures. I could sense their joy of reliving the past as I find myself often doing that now as I look through pictures.
Most people think I am related to Lona (Feeler) Hance and her brothers, Ladair and Lonnie on the Feeler side. But actually, we are not even close related through the Feeler's. I think my grandpa and their grandpa were cousins. But I am related on the Ballance side of the family, as their Mother, Beatrice (Ballance) Feeler was my Dad's first cousin. Beatrice's Dad, Everett (I'm not sure on the spelling as the back of the picture had Evert) was my Grandma Eliza (Ballance) Feeler's brother. I can remember Uncle Everett and Aunt Inie as they lived close to us when I was small.
I was so surprised looking at pictures when I saw a picture of Beatrice as a baby. I can barely remember her but know the name well. Beatrice died relatively young, I believe in her early forties.
I am going to mail the pictures to Lona today. I think it will be a nice surprise to see her Mom as a baby.

I am so grateful for my parents and the family history they share.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Weekend Recap:

I spent the morning cleaning house and then took a nice long nap. I am finally feeling better after my fall down the basement stairs.
At Christmas, our neighbor had given us a gift certificate for Benton Square, so Saturday evening Dwayne and I went for supper. I'm a country hick I guess, but the evening meal is supper to me and dinner is at lunch. They had decorated for St. Pat's day and it looked very nice. They filled our water glasses with green water, even though it was only tinted green, I couldn't bring myself to drink it. I tried to take a picture of Dwayne with the green decorations but it didn't show up on the camera. Me and modern technology don't get along!! Understatement of the year!!
I went to church and Dwayne went over to help cook in the kitchen. We had a corned beef and cabbage dinner after church. We always have a good time visiting with everyone and especially the "Howard" girls.
Todd came over for the afternoon and supper. We had a nice visit with him.

I am grateful to have such a loving family and friends.

Friday, March 11, 2011

King Ranch Chicken:

King Ranch Chicken
1 whole chicken 1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 onion, chopped 1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup green pepper, chopped 1 can Rotel tomatoes (original or mild)
(I used two cans chopped green chiles) 1 package corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cheese (any kind) 1 cup sour cream
Boil chicken, let cool and then cut off bone into pieces.
Mix chicken, 1 cup of the shredded cheese and all other ingredients, except tortillas.
Butter 9x13 baking dish. Dip tortillas in chicken broth and place in dish.
Spread some of the mixture evenly over top along with some shredded cheese.
Repeat layers and top with cheese and pour half a cup of the chicken broth over all.
Bake at 350 for thirty minutes.

I made this dish to take to April's Sunday.
My cousin's wife, Donna made this one year and brought it to Mom and Dad's for Molasses Making. I had invited a dear friend I worked with at Visitation School, Ruth Rother. Ruth is a character and there is always fun to be had around her.
We were all sitting around tables eating and all of a sudden she stands up, grabs the baking dish with the chicken casserole in it and started banging a spoon on it and going around asking people (as she bangs the spoon over and over) if they had made the dish. I think most people were afraid to admit it even if they had made it. They were all asking quietly, "who is that"? It was a memorable day and Donna was finally found and asked for the recipe. We have all joked about it for years.
Ruth moved back to her hometown in northern Missouri and I have lost contact with her. I may have to try and look her up as we had some fun times.

Believe me, after eating this dish, take it to a dinner and you will have people banging the dish with a spoon and asking for the recipe!!

April & Mike's:

Sunday evening, we went to St. Elizabeth for a family supper. Mom and Dad had not seen April's house and were anxious to see where their "little granddaughter" had moved.
Todd was there and we were able to have our family dinner, minus Chad. He was working on his truck.
Dad was so proud to take April a flower Mom had grown from a bulb in a bowl filled only with rocks.
Mom took a loaf of homemade applesauce bread. It was very good.
We had a great evening visiting.
April & Dad when we first got there:
Dad giving April a flower growing in rocks:
Dwayne, Dad and Mom:
Todd, Mike, April, Dwayne, Dad & Mom:
Mike and Dad; they love telling their farm stories:
Dwayne and Todd:
Mom and April in front of Albert's hutch:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Martha Ellen Williams:

February 28, 1892
I stopped by Mom's last night after work. She was telling me that today (28th) was her Mom's birthday. I did not know that and wrote it down on a piece of paper to file away.
My grandma died relatively young, I believe either 47 or 48 years old right before Christmas, leaving four children still at home. I may have the ages wrong, Aunt Tobie was around 13, Mom was 10, Uncle Jr. was 3 and the baby, Aunt Ella Mae was 18 months old. The other five kids were already grown and married with families of their own.
Growing up, we were together with Uncle Jr. and Aunt Ella Mae's families most weekends. It was like we were our own family, the younger ones and then the older ones. We knew the other aunts and uncles and visited periodically through the year but they seemed more like distant relatives. Aunt Tobie had moved to Kansas and then California. My Uncle Glen had also moved to California.
Mom name her first daughter, Judith Ellen after her Mom. Aunt Ella Mae (known as Babe to her older brothers and sisters) also named her first daughter, Martha Mae after her Mom.
Grandma's death seemed to have a different effect on each of them. Mom helped care for Uncle Jr. and Aunt Ella Mae and they (and their children) seemed to look at Mom as more of a grandma than aunt. Growing up, I have often heard my Mom say, be a kid as long as you can because you're a grownup for the rest of your life. Smart woman, my Momma!!
My dad has memories of my grandma when he visited their family when he was a boy. He said she was smart witted and was often times very funny. I think my Mom must have gotten her sense of humor from Grandma.
My main memory of the older aunts and uncles were going to the Watt's cemetery where my grandparents were buried. Their "decoration day" was always the fifth Sunday of whichever month it happened to fall on each summer, as that was the tradition years ago when the circuit preacher would be there. We followed the "decorating of the graves" by having a family reunion, usually at Flat where Aunt Mary and Uncle Ike Mathis lived as it was relatively close to the cemetery.
Last summer I wrote about taking Mom and Dad to the cemetery and reminiscing. I took pictures that day and have never got around to posting them. They say there is a reason for everything and what better way to tribute Grandma than posting the pictures today.