Happy Valentine’s Day or How Being Sick for Three Days Really messed up the Amour

It’s Valentine’s Day. The day for lovers. The day you send special greetings to the one you love. Flower and candy companies make a killing.

David and I have been sick since Sunday.   The full blown flu with body aches chills, temperatures, coughing a lung out and just general malaise.   I’m not sure where we picked it up. At the doctor’s office or at church or at a restaurant where a little girl in the booth beside us was coughing so hard I thought she would hurt herself.  Wherever we got it, we got it good. I spent two full days in bed trying to stay warm with the heated matress  pad set on high, a heating pad at my feet and three blankets covering me. David actually took a day off work, something he NEVER does no matter how he feels. I didn’t think he should have gone back today. but he did.  Our daughter just called and her whole family has been down with the flu.  Our oldest son was in the hospital with high blood pressure.  Yes, we are a sickly family right now.   Today I feel halfway to normal and hopefully the worst has passed.

The really sad thing was the first day I started to feel poorly, I went out to feed and water my chickens and Shannon, my big, beautiful, white Brahma was lying dead in the yard and all the other hens were cowering in their nests three to a nest.  I knew something very traumatic had happened in the coop, but since they couldn’t tell me, I will never know.  But Shannon had been murdered that was quite evident.  I really felt so sad because she was the one who was always afraid and I hate to think what her last few seconds of life were like.   I am wondering if it was a hawk.   It doesn’t matter how many times I find a dead chicken, I always get a sick feeling in my stomach and a feeling of loss.   I still have ten hens left.

I came downstairs today to find this.

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Roses and a card. David wrote some really romantic things on the card that I won’t share here. Just know I didn’t think he could be so romantic!  It was a nice start to Valentine’s day. I decided, despite how I felt, he deserved a home cooked meal.  I haven’t cooked for a week.  I made fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, peas and cranberry sauce.   David was very happy.  He’s been living on leftovers, cold meat and frozen food for days.

I have been working on some little projects for Valentine’s decorations.

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Little felt hearts.  These were so fun to make while I watched tv.

Then I made this with them.

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A heart garland.  I have to make the other half to cover the entire fireplace mantle.

The postman brought me a treat.

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More sock yarn.  And then a few days later….

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More sock yarn. I am seriously loving this yarn. David wanted a pair of socks from it, so that is what I am doing.

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Really loving how this is knitting up.

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And look at this wonderful yarn.  I have enough new yarn for seven more pairs plus I can use the leftover yarn to make patchwork socks like I have done with these….

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Three or four different leftover balls of yarn to make these socks.  I’m loving these, too.

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And this was some self striping yarn I had to make these socks.

And a while back I wrote about some Christmas socks I wanted to make with this particular yarn.

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It wasn’t as Christmassy as I thought it would be.  Too much pink so I ordered some new yarn that does look like Christmas colors.

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I sit in my knitting chair and look before me at all the wonderful yarns to work with and I am loving it. There is my Christmas yarn on the left.   I know, we just got done with Christmas, but it is always on my mind since I do tend to make a lot of presents.

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I do a lot of online shopping and order almost all my clothes online as I don’t like to shop and am an impulse buyer. I have found I save money ordering online because I don’t buy a lot of stuff that I don’t need.  Well, I ordered this denim jacket and it is my favorite all time purchase online ever.  I put it on when it arrived, wore it all day, wore it out to the store and kept it on all evening.  It will look good with just about any top I have and it is so comfortable. Great jacket for Spring.   Plus I love all things with flowers on it.  There are flowers on the front and back of this jacket.  I wrote a great review for it at the online store.

I hope you are having a wonderful Valentine’s Day. No one buy you a Valentine? Buy yourself one.  You deserve it.   Just know I love you all that are reading this today and I really think about you and your lives and hope with all my heart that life is treating you well. Hugs and love. Bye.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Who?

I am sitting here typing, not feeling so well. Stomach is upset.  Why? Was it because I went to the doctor today or that I just ate Mexican?

I am a terrified patient.  Weeks before my doctor’s visit, I think about it and worry about it. I have to go every six months, whether I want to or not, because I am on certain medications.   Today was my six month check-up. I had worked myself into an almost panic attack state so it’s no wonder my blood pressure goes up.

I got to the office and walked inside and noticed some things were different. For one thing they did not have the sheet to sign in on anymore. I also noticed that a new doctor had moved in next to mine.  An infectious diseases doctor. Oh, joy.   Just what I needed to be around.  The nice lady at the desk told me they were going completely computer. All the files were gone and her office looked almost bare.  It was like I was a new patient and had to tell them my life’s history once again so they could put it into their new system.   She asked for my social security number and I asked for a piece of paper to write it down because I did not want a waiting room full of people to hear my SS number.  She obliged and I wrote it down and she laid the paper down and for all I know it sat there all day for anyone who came to her window to see and read my SS numbers!  I told the doctor about it when I saw him and he said, “I don’t let anyone have my SS number.” And I said, “Well, why do you need mine, then?”   I really like my doctor, don’t get me wrong.  We have this back and forth that probably sounds like two old married people arguing, but I know he listens and he has made me well many times in the past decades.

So then, when I was called back into the room to see the doctor, once again the computer.  They had to put all my meds into their new system again.  I think the girl who was doing it was a trainee as there was another girl just standing there watching her.   She took my temperature and blood pressure and felt my pulse, which by then I thought was beating very rapidly. “Sixty beats!” She said, which I think is normal for a woman.   After I saw the doctor, I had to have blood work done and the girl who came in was getting things prepared and she asked me if I was afraid of needles.  I told her, “No, I have had so many needles stuck in me through the years, they don’t bother me any longer.”   Years ago when people had to get multiple polio shots, I remember being terrified of the needle. It didn’t help that my sister teased me, telling me the needle was about a foot long and the shot was very painful!

So, the girl taking my blood said and I quote,  “I am terrified of needles.”  I was slightly alarmed and said, “And you are taking blood with a needle?”  She just laughed and said she was only afraid of the needles that were being stuck into her.    She did an excellent job. I didn’t even feel anything.

Finally I got to leave and I checked out and got my date with the doctor in six months. The girl who filled out the appointment card did it very carefully, coughed on it and handed it to me.  What in the world.    I washed my hands when  got home.

Tonight we went out to eat at my favorite Mexican restaurant and I ordered a beef burrito with refried beans and rice.  When it was brought out it was on three separate, loaded plates and I guess my eyes looked surprised. The waiter was a jokester and started to put David’s plate in front of me, too.  We all laughed. Ahem.  I started feeling sick after a few bites and brought most of it home with me.

It’s been a wonderful, Spring like day.  I noticed some flowers are coming up on the south side of my workshop.    I worked all afternoon going through my library in preparation to move the bookcase in my shop so I can do more painting..  So many wonderful books.  I will write about them soon.

Here’s to good doctors and the patients that keep them in business.  Bye.

Some Things Are Too Sad

I had a whole other post I was going to write, but this week has been up and down, mostly down and there are just some things too painful to write about.  Another church friend’s husband   passed away this week and I helped with the funeral dinner.  He was such a nice man. Talked to another friend, who was helping with the dinner, who had lost her husband just weeks ago.  The pain these women have had to endure is more than I can imagine.

But it got worse when some friends from church lost their son in a tragic car accident.  I can’t talk about it.  I taught that boy in Sunday School and his parents are two of the nicest people.  I will leave it there and will keep them tightly in my prayers.   We never know when we will have the last conversation with someone we love or will see them again on this side.   Too often I forget that and when something like this happens, I think long and hard about how I treat people.   I never want my last words to be mean and hateful.  I was taught that lesson in a very hard way years ago when I was a young girl.

Now I loved my daddy and still do, but when I was growing up I could be rather sassy.   Daddy said something to me or made me angry about something one day and I told him I hated him. The very next day he almost died.  He was overcome with exhaust from his little Ford tractor and collapsed in the barnyard.  At that time it was very difficult to get an ambulance out in the country. It was a long distance call and my mother and her friend, who lived down the road, tried and tried to get an ambulance to come.  Meanwhile, my brothers and I were taking blankets out to cover my daddy and talking to him. He had bubbles coming out of his mouth and I was sure he was dead.  Finally, the ambulance came and took Daddy to the hospital and he got better, but I have always remembered that and that my last words were ones of anger.  It’s a horrible thing to think the very last words a loved one might hear from you are ones that hurt them.  So, I try to never leave someone with anger. I’m not saying it hasn’t happened, but I always pray afterward that they will forgive me and that God will keep them safe.   I never told my daddy I hated him ever again. In fact, my very last words to him before he passed away were, “I love you, Daddy.”  So glad I have that memory.

There have been other things going on.   I try to keep busy to keep my mind off sad things all th time.  I have been working in my shop trying to get it painted.

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I wish all my shop looked as freshly painted and organized as this part from the wall to the end of the grey paint. Unfortunately,……………

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This is how the rest of it looks. So much stuff.  As I was trying to walk around my shop I was thinking it was like one of those hoarder’s houses they show on tv where you have to climb over and around stuff to get to anything.  It will NOT look like this when I am done.  I have to move all this to one side to paint and then will have to move it all again to another side and then try to get it all put on shelves or get rid of some things.   That rooster picture is going in the hens’ house.  They will appreciate it more than I do.  The little brown cabinet under the cutting table holds my mother’s sewing machine. The very one I learned to sew upon many years ago. It still sews wonderfully.  If I could get to it.  I expect it is going to take me weeks, if not months to get the shop the way I want it to be.  And that cutting table is going because David is going to make me one about twice as wide so I can pin King-size quilts on it.

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The Grandboys were here to celebrate David’s birthday.  They had learned to play the game, Spoons.  I played it many years ago and had forgotten how, but soon learned and we had fun playing it.  I’m glad I have grandchildren who still like to play games.

The people where David works got him some things for his birthday. Now David is a sugarholic and absolutely loves milk chocolate covered cherries.  Here’s what he got at work.

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Five boxes of chocolate covered cherries, four boxes of Junior Mints, which he loves, too, and three bags of Dove cherry candy.   I had also given him several boxes of chocolate covered cherries because I didn’t know he was getting all this.

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A man and his riches   We laughed about this and the card was about texting since they know David and I don’t text.  I think he was a happy man.

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Valentine’s Day will soon be here and if I can get it in gear, I plan to send out some cards. I haven’t sent Christmas cards in years, but for some reason, I really like sending Valentine’s Day cards.  People don’t expect them.

Here’s a book I just finished.  I really like this author and she has written several books so I have a few more to read.

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I am reading “A Week in Winter” by her right now, plus I have a murder mystery on my Kindle I am reading.  I never want to be without a book to read.   We are studying Revelation from the Bible also, so my mind is going all different ways.

Hope your days have been going well. Hug your loved ones or give them a call.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning in the Fifties

I grew up in the fifties and sixties of the last century.  That sounds like so long ago, but to me it seems just like yesterday.  I attended a little school in a little town of about 400 people where the first through the senior classes were all in one building.  A two story brick school house with no air conditioning.  When it got hot, we opened the windows.  It was heated by a big furnace in the basement cared for by our one janitor, Mr. Mikesell.   I sat at desks where there were holes for inkwells  in the top though we didn’t use them anymore. My desk had carvings on it that other pupils had made while sitting in them.   Our books and yellow writing tablets were put underneath on a shelf.   The classroom smelled of chalkdust, paste and crayons.

We had a music teach, Miss Hower. She seemed like a little woman to me even though I was a little girl. She would come to our classroom once or twice a week to teach music. She was always wearing a dress with a full gathered skirt, a jacket or sweater and tiny heels.  She was soft spoken, but she taught us well. She had one of those pitch pipes she would blow to get the note we were to start on in a song.  Our favorite time in music class was when we could pick out the songs to sing in our songbook.   Now, I don’t know what crazy things they may or may not be teaching in public schools today, but our choice of music was not what I would think children should be singing in the classroom although I loved these songs.  One of our favorites was called, and I am serious, “There is a Tavern in the Town.”   I can still remember all the words.  Picture a classroom of second and third graders belting out this song at the top of their voices.

There  is a tavern in the town, in the town.

And there my true love sits him down, sits him down

And drinks his wine mid fancy free

And never, ever thinks of me!

Fair thee well for I must leave thee

Do not let this parting grieve thee

But remember that the best of friends

Must part, must part.

Adieu, adieu kind friends,  adieu, adieu, adieu

I can not longer stay with you, stay with you-u-u

I’ll hang my heart on a weeping willow tree,

And may the world go well with thee.

I can’t imagine what my father and mother thought of this song as they did not drink, but I am sure I sang it around our house. I loved it!

Another song we sang was “Barbara Allen.  A song that always made me sad.

I know there are several verses to it, but I can only remember three of  them

Twas in the merry month of May

When the green buds they were swelling,

Sweet William on his death bed lay.

For the love of Barbara Allen.

Oh, mother, mother, make my bed

Oh, make it long and narrow.

Sweet William died for me today,

I’ll die for him tomorrow.

And here’s where I would feel like crying…..

They buried her in the old church yard,

And they buried him beside her.

And from his grave there grew a rose,

And from hers grew a briar.

And the song from the war years, years before any of us were born.

Don’t sit under the apple tree

With anyone else but me,

Anyone else but me,

Anyone else but me, no, no, no.

Don’t sit under the apple tree,

With anyone else but me,

Til’ I come marching home.

I just got word from a guy who heard

From a guy next door to me,

The girl he met just loves to pet

And it fits you to a T!

So, don’t sit under the apple tree

With anyone else but me,

Til’ I come marching home.

We probably didn’t even know what petting was at that age, but we loved singing that song.  My question is, who put those songs in children’s songbooks back in the fifties?   I find it funny now.

We had three recesses every day. One in the morning. One after lunch and a third in the afternoon.  In good weather we would race to the schoolyard trying to get one of the swings before they were all taken.  These swings swung high and we’d swing so high the chain would buckle and of course we would jump out at the highest point.  There were teetor-totters and we tried bumping each other off them by dropping down hard on the ground while the other one was in the air.  I had the wind knocked out of me several times doing that.  Playgrounds looks so dull and uninteresting now and I wonder how the children can have fun in them.  We had a merry-go-round that the big boys would spin while the rest of us would hold on for dear life. I lost several dress sashes on the merry-go-round when they would get caught and I would fall off.  I look back now and wonder how we all survived, but we did.  And it was glorious fun.

If you have seen the movie, Christmas Story, my classrooms looked a lot like Ralphie’s  and his teacher reminds me a whole lot of my first grade teacher, Mrs. Retherford.    I loved school, but would cry every Sunday night when I realized I had to go back to school on Monday.   We had three reading groups, the Cardinals, the Bluebirds and the Robins. The Cardinals were the best readers and I was in that group as I had pretty much taught myself to read before I went to school.  I have never lost my love of reading.  I felt sorry for the Bluebirds who were struggling learning to read.   They all learned to read, though and that is what was important.

When someone would get sick in the classroom and didn’t make it to the bathroom which was in the basement of the building, Mr. Mikesell would come in with his mop and bucket and as we kids watched fascinated, he would mop up the mess without acting like it affected him at all while we kids went “eww” and “ick,” and when he left, our teacher would thank him and he would shake some good smelling powder on the floor.   It was a common occurance in our classroom, it seemed.

When it was too bad to take recess outdoors, we would play in our classroom, writing on the blackboard, coloring or jumping rope. I loved jumping rope and could jump hundreds of times before the rope would catch my legs.

Lunch time was the social time of the day as we would sit with our friends and either ate our lunch we brought from home or ate a hot meal prepared by the cooks, who were usually someone’s mothers.  The meals were delicious and we could go back for seconds.  One of the cooks baked homemade cinnamon rolls once in a while and you could smell them baking all over the school and by lunchtime you would be so hungry.  Friday was fish day for the one Catholic family who lived in our school district.  I loved fish day.

So many memories of my school days.  I pretty much loved learning and still do.  My second grade teacher, Mrs. Farmer, turned me onto writing and I thank her for teaching me how to write a good story.  My first story was about an apple and what happened to him as he was picked and taken to be made into apple cider.    I wish I still had that paper.

How was your school years?  Do you have fond memories or would you rather forget them?  Good teachers can make a big difference in how children look at education.  Here’s to those teachers who made us want to learn.  Bye.

Brrrrrrr!

It’s been so cold here in Indiana. How cold, you ask?

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So cold my little snowmen had to build a campfire.

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So cold the birds eat two full feeders of birdseed in less than a day.

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So cold Belle gives me the evil eye when I have to make her go outside.

We have been under storm watches, freeze warnings and snow storms for what seems like weeks even though it’s been about a week.  This weekend warmer temperatures are coming.  Up in the fifties  by Sunday.  Woot! Woot!

I am really like a little mouse who wants to just build its little nest and snuggle down inside it and stay warn until this weather goes away, but, alas, life happens and the chickens have to be fed and watered and the eggs gathered before they freeze and the dogs have to be let in and out of my shop about twenty times a day, it seems like.

For outside dogs, they have spent a lot of this winter inside.

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Molly in her crate.  She is very possessive of this crate. Belle made the big mistake of getting in it once and there was a huge dog brawl right in my shop.

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Anyway, Belle has her very own soft, warm bed.

David gets up every morning before five and goes to work and never complains.  He sees this weather as a challenge to be conquered while I look at it as something to be avoided at all costs.  I don’t like to be cold.  But I don’t like to be hot either and I wonder where I could live where the weather would be perfect for me,  Like the three bears’ porridge. Not too hot, not too cold, but just right.  We have those perfect days about two or three times in the Spring and again in the Autumn.  Next month the Farmer’s Almanac says we are having deep snows.  As long as it’s not this cold, I will love it.

I feel like I am on hold for some reason. I have started cleaning out my shop. This is what it looks like right now.

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Okay, this isn’t a good picture, but everything is off one wall while I paint it.  I’m doing one wall at a time and then this Spring I am doing the floor.  It’s going to be a long process I am afraid.  I did manage to take out a huge bag of stuff to the trash.   I am hoping to one day have whitewashed walls, a grey floor, everything organized and everything clean and dusted and new burlap curtains.    I am at the place where I ask myself, “Why did you start this?”   Ever been there?

I have knitted three pair of socks since Christmas and completed two quilts since October.  I am still working on the pumpkin quilt. I was doing really well on it today until I looked and saw I had sewn a row upside down.  How does one get pumpkins upside down, but I did.

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I was so close to being done piecing the top.

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That’s what happens when one gets cocky. Mistakes happen.   I really am enjoying sewing this quilt, though.  I have another quilt ready to start as soon as I get this one done. And I have a Christmas quilt in line to quilt.

We did get out into the frozen tundra to see a couple of movies.  “Downsizing.” Save your time and money. The concept was interesting, but the movie derailed halfway through. There is full frontal male nudity too, if that isn’t your piece of cake.   This movie tells me why Hollywood is in trouble.

Then we saw “The Darkest Hour” and I realize that every once in a while Hollywood gets it right.   While everyone is giving kudos to the man who played Winston Churchill, I loved Lily James in her part as Churchill’s secretary.  I have loved her in all she has done. Loved her in Downton Abbey, loved her as Cinderella and she was so good in this part.

January is already half over. This weekend David celebrates a BIG birthday.   Time marches on Bye.

 

 

Year in Review

How was your year?  Was it pretty good or did some bad things happen to you?  Did you lose a loved one?  I am very sorry.  My niece lost her husband just before Christmas and I had two friends at church who died then, also.

Did you take a vacation?  Did you do something new you have been wanting to do for a long time?  Did you lose weight?  Did you gain weight.(I can relate.)   Did you get married?  Did you get a divorce?   I know the pain that can cause.  Did you have health problems or were you at the peak of health?

Whatever happened to you in 2017, it’s over now and we can start afresh in 2018. I’m brushing off myself and looking back on 2017, so here goes.

January

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Lily, our daughter’s Golden Retriever had her first litter of pups.  They were so cute. I hope they are in good homes and are well loved.

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We practiced shooting guns in our son-in-law’s woods.  I rather enjoyed it.

February

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Wintery blue skies.  Looks like the new Crayola crayon color “Bluetiful.”

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Made some Valentine type projects.

We attended the Indiana Home Show in Indianapolis where I saw this kitchen island which is like a cutting table I want David to build for me for my shop.  He hasn’t gotten it done yet.  Maybe this Summer.

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We actually did some porch sitting even if we did have to bundle up.

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I cannot wait to sit out here again. Maybe next week when the frigid temperatures will be gone for a few days. I see thirty and forty degree days on the horizon.

March

My birthday month.

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I knit David a pair of socks and he loves wearing them.

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Molly Marshmallow enjoyed some sun while sitting in her favorite chair.

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More porch sitting.

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More sock knitting. These were gifts for Christmas this year.

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This flower bloomed in the snow.  Helebores.  They are so beautiful in the winter landscape.

Wow, do I miss the flowers outdoors.

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Did some antiquing for my birthday and bought this tablecloth that I then saw featured in a magazine about antiques.

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I really need to get that tablecloth out and starch it and put it on my table now to brighten our days.

April

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Bought new chicks.  These little girls have become excellent layers.  We get a dozen eggs every two days. Miss Mary Foster, my little lame chick, is the one in front. I love her.

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More sock knitting.  Do I see a pattern here?

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Made a quilt for a sweet baby girl in our church.

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The redbuds burst into bloom. Spring was here!

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Was time to put the Easter decorations out.

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The grandkids here for the annual Easter egg hunt.

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Flashing the dollar bills they got for collecting the dollar eggs.

May

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Finally flowers all over the garden.  I am so looking forward to this time again.

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We got our upstairs bathroom remodeled. This is the before picture.  I can hardly remember it looking like this.

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Our baby chicks were turning into pullets.

May or June( I can’t remember the date.)

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My fairy godmother….

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took me to a Trump rally in Pennsylvania. One of the best times I have ever had and I’ve had some good times.  Made me love my country even more than I did.

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Our almost finished bathroom. I don’t think I ever took a real after picture.  I love my new bathroom and I love soaking in that big tub.

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Dame’s Rocket.  A surprise flower that came up from my wildseeds I had planted last year.

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My other “wild seed.”  Miss Molly is such a playful pup.

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Clematis growing up on our deck.

Really June

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My  baby brother’s baby girl got married

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She was a beautiful bride.

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Her dress was exquisite.

That same weekend, because her brother was home from Germany, my other niece, my brother’s oldest child got married.

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Unfortunately, we were not able to stay over another day for her wedding as we had to get home as I was having tests the next day.  My health issues were resolved, thankfully.

July.

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Found a darling garden shop on one of our little trips.

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Bought more sock yarn. This yarn is already socks and most were given away.

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The garden just kept getting more and more beautiful.

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Played with fire with friends from church.

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And watched fireworks, but the music accompanying the fireworks was so dreadful, I contacted the radio station who sponsored the show and complained.  The music was the least patriotic music I have ever heard.  And rap.  Ugh.

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David and I made a trip to Evansville so I could see….

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Beth Moore.  On the drive home we saw President Grant’s childhood home and passed through some wonderful little, historic towns.

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August

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Went to King’s Island with this crew.

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The garden began to look like Autumn.

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Pumpkins were growing on the fence.

We took our three youngest grandsons to the state fair.

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I think they had a good time and we ate our way through the fair.

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Went to my fiftieth class reunion and saw some school friends I hadn’t seen since we graduated. They didn’t look quite the same as in our yearbook!

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Although these three really look the same to me.  I have many memories with these friends.  The lady on the left is David’s cousin and drove us on our first date. We saw the movie, “Joy in the Morning.”  I still love that movie.  David held my hand through the whole movie.

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Visited with James Whitcomb Riley.

September

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Went to Grandparents’ Day at three of our grandchildren’s school.

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October

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Worked on a pumpkin table runner which was given away this Christmas.

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Watched our grandsons play soccer.

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October

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Decorated for Halloween.

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Did some driving on country roads to see the foliage.

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Made an apple quilt. I’m keeping this one.

November

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Attended our younger grandsons’ school’s Veteran’s Day program.  Love attending this every year.

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Saw our granddaughter in the Music Man.  It was wonderful.

Time to get out the Thanksgiving decorations.

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Lily had her second and my daughter says, her last litter.   She is such a good mother.

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I can’t stand how precious this picture is.   Everyone should get to hold a puppy every single day. The world would be so much happier.

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Drove some really beautiful back roads of Indiana.

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And toured some primitive shops on those back roads that hardly anyone ever travels.

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Had Thanksgiving dinner where I didn’t get that one picture for some reason.

December

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The puppies were older and even more cute, if possible.

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Christmas came all too quickly.

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I was feeling so nostalgic this year remembering Christmases past.

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If we could only spend one day in those times gone by.  But it would probably make me cry that I would have to leave it again, so maybe it’s best to leave the past in the past and keep the sweet memories.

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Socks were a part of the gifts to everyone.

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But when You get right down to it. Spending time with those you love is worth all the money in the world.

I know that it will be a split second and I will be writing about 2018 and looking toward 2019 if I am blessed enough to live that long.   So here’s to another year. May it be the best ever, free from care and heartache.  Full of love and joy.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018

We are standing on the threshold of a brand, new year. It’s like getting a new box of crayons, a new unmarked journal, an unread novel, a bright, shiny penny, a new fallen snow that no one has walked on.  It’s so fresh and new you can smell the hope in it.

I am leaving 2017 with gratitude, relief and a little sadness. It was a good year in many ways, but a sad year also as we lost several church friends and a family member.   It’s been a year of ups and downs with mostly ups, thankfully.  It held many surprises, some tragedy and some comedy.

This year I want to be more faithful, less fearful of new things, more determined in my quest to walk 10,000 steps a few times a week and more happy in my circumstances.   I managed most of these in 2017 except for the walking bit. I kind of slacked off on that.  Right now we have the most frigid temperatures we have ever had to endure the last few years so it’s hard to want to get outdoors and walk.  Oh, and I want to knit lots and lots of socks!

We are planning our trips for our fiftieth wedding anniversary. So far we are planning trips west, south and northeast.  It’s going to be a busy year.

I wake up every day thinking “who can I bless today.”   I write this blog not to make people think how wonderful my life is.  My life is just like yours.  I have my good days, my great days, my lousy days and my sad and lonely days. Some days I’d just prefer to stay in bed, but I get up and get going because I don’t want to be a slug.    But even through everything, I hope I have touched someone in a way that will help them.  We aren’t alone on this planet.  Everyone wants to be loved. You are.  Everyone has pretty much the same needs. I am interested in all of you.  I hope your year will be kind to you. I hope you have good health.  I hope you have someone to love.  I hope you never feel so alone that you think no one cares.  Someone does.  I hope when 2018 is over you can look back and say, “I made it through and it wasn’t so bad.”   I really hope you can look back and think, “Wow, what a year!”

Love, don’t hold onto anger, forgive, take chances, and remember the One who is always there for you.  Happy New Year, everyone!  Bye.

Signs of the Season

I’m not in the mood to write a whole lot today, but I have a whole lot of pictures from the past few days and weeks that I want to post here, so here goes.

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Our tree and presents beneath the tree.

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These little birds live in this Snowball bush in the Summer, but it is only in the Winter when we can see them.

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This little bird bit off more than he/she could chew and spent quite a bit of time trying to get this piece of corn chewed up and swallowed.   I have been filling the feeders every day and every day the food is all gone within a few hours.  Time for another trip to Rural King.  We are having frigid temperatures here and they are going to stay around for a while.

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A few of the things I made people for Christmas. Through the year I knit socks and when I would get a pair completed I put them in a sack in a bedroom in a closet upstairs and forgot about them. When I got ready to wrap presents I found I had knitted thirty pairs of socks!Enough for almost everyone to receive one or two and in some cases, three pair for gifts.

That has not stopped me from knitting, however.

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Here is some new yarn I just received in the mail today alongside two more pair of socks I have knitted since Christmas. Maybe I will get fifty pair knitted this year.

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I really love this yarn.  I wanted to knit myself a pair of Christmas socks this year, but didn’t get it done.  That yarn on the right is going to be next year’s Christmas socks for me, myself and I.  I can’t wait to get started with it.

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This is my drink of choice during the holidays.

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A good cup of coffee with peppermint mocha cream.  This is only sold during Christmas and I wait for it all year long.

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David always gets me calendars for Christmas. Or rather, I pick them out and he pays for them.  I especially love this one, Reading Women.   I am a reading woman and this just caught my eye and the pictures inside are works of art with beautiful women reading books.  It will hang in my shop which I am renovating this Spring. New paint, curtains and a complete clean out and when the weather gets warm, I am having a huge garage sale for one day to try to get rid of a lot of things I really don’t need or want anymore. I am putting it on a date on my new calendars, circling it and will hold myself to getting this done. It will be a lot of work.  I really don’t like having garage sales, but it’s better people come and take stuff away rather than me having to haul it to Goodwill.

Christmas day was unusual this year and I didn’t have anyone here for dinner. The grandchildren came in the afternoon and opened their gifts. Besides the usual clothes and socks the boys got these.

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Hoverboards!    As soon as they opened them they were off sailing through the house. I was amazed how good they were on them.  Some had had practice, but others hadn’t.

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Our granddaughter didn’t get one as she got a lot of other things, but she was proficient on them, too, and I told her she needed one to get around college next year.

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David enjoyed playing Santa. He no longer has his beard as he shaves it off immediately after Christmas. I tell him he looks twenty years younger without a beard and he does.

I am looking forward to the new year when David and I will be celebrating our fiftieth wedding anniversary all year.  We have some vacations planned.  One to Oklahoma to visit Pioneer Woman’s mercantile store.  I can’t wait.

Happy New Year  and may it hold blessings overflowing for you. Bye.

 

 

 

Sleds and Santa

I am sitting here and it’s Christmas Eve remembering the wonderful Christmases I had when I was growing up. Christmas always centered around the Christ child. There was church and nativities and carols sung and candles glowing.  Packages under the tree.  Trips to the department store to see Santa.  How I wish I could relive those years again. They were the best of times.  I heard that some people don’t even think of Christmas as a Christian holiday anymore.  I don’t know what they think it is or what the word Christmas means to them, but for me, it always is about Jesus.    Years ago I wrote a story about Christmas and I will share it with you now.   It’s as true as I can remember it.  Most of it really happened and some may or may not, but that is for you to decide.

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A heavy blanket of snow covered Daddy’s Indiana farm.  Katie looked out the kitchen door and saw drifts of snow on the sidewalk and back porch.  Daddy came in the back door stamping his feet and  carrying an armload of wood to put in the big black iron stove that sat in the kitchen.  As Katie ate her breakfast of hot sweet tea and cinnamon toast, she felt warm and cozy.  Daddy sat at the head of the table and Mommy sat next to him.  They were discussing what needed to be done that day on the farm

Katie’s brother’s came down from the cold bedrooms upstairs.   The window in Katie’s room had had frost on the inside of it that morning and she had not wanted to leave her warm nest in her bed.

“Hey! Let’s go sledding this afternoon,” cried Andy. That sounded like a great idea to all the children, but first all the chores had to be done before play.  On a farm the livestock comes first and all the animals must be fed and watered before anything else.  The eggs must be gathered before they froze in their nests.  That was Katie’s job.  Soon they were all bundled up   to go outdoors to do their chores.

The cold wind whipped Katie’s face as she walked to the chicken house.  Inside it was warm and the chickens began to cluck.  Sometimes Katie would have to reach underneath a setting hen to take her eggs. The hen would not like this, but it had to be done.  Eggs were never left to be hatched in the henhouse.  Mommy used many of them in her baking each week ad the ones she didn’t use were carefully washed and crated and taken to the grocery store to be sold to the grocer for him to sell.   Mommy’s chicken eggs were especially good. They were fresh and the yolks were almost orange.  That was because the chickens were allowed to scratch and peck outdoors and to eat a lot of different things like juicy bugs and worms besides the ground corn Daddy fed them.  The grocer was always glad to get them.

After a good hot midday meal, Katie and her brothers dressed in several layers of clothes and snow boots and went out to Daddy’s workshop where the sleds were kept. They walked down the road to a hill owned by a neighbor, Mr. Bond.  They climbed over the fence and trudged through the deep snow to the top of the hill.  The first few times sledding down was not very good because the paths had to be made through the snow.  After a few rides down the hill, it became slicker and slicker until you were absolutely flying!  At the bottom of the hill was a little grove of tree that you had to steer your sled through.  It was dangerous, but fun at the same time. Sometimes the neighbor boys, the Clevengers, would join in the fun. The boys would throw snowballs at one another as they slid down the hill.

All too soon for Katie it was time to go back home.  She was chilled to the bone but hadn’t noticed while she was sledding.  Back in the warm house Mommy made hot chocolate and Daddy made popcorn balls.  After all the exercise, it all tasted so good!

Sometime in the winter,  Daddy and Mommy would begin whispering to one another and hiding things from the children.  It was Christmas time, one of the best times of the year for a child.  Soon after Thanksgiving, the tree would be put up and decorated and Mommy would put up the red plastic wreaths with the red candles in the windows.   A plastic Santa riding a white reindeer and that lit up was one of Katie’s favorite Christmas decorations.  The nativity that Daddy had built was put in a place of honor where Katie would look at it every day.  It had a blue lightbulb that gave the holy family a heavenly glow.

Soon it was Christmas Eve and the children were all excited about Santa’s coming visit.  The boys wanted Davy Crockett coonskin  hats and Katie wanted a doll.  Her older sister, Joanne, wanted new clothes.   Katie wanted to stay up and see if Santa really was the one who brought the toys each Christmas.  She begged Mommy to allow her to stay up if her sister stayed up with her  “You may stay up, but you will be asleep before Santa gets here,”  Mommy told her.

That night Katie and Joanne each picked a chair to sleep in. With pillows and blankets, they settled in and  prepared to stay up and see old St. Nick bring their presents.  Everyone else went to bed and the house settled down into a deep, dark quiet.  Not a thing was stirring.  Katie was so excited.   She waited and waited until her eyelids became heavier and heavier.  All at once there was a soft glow in the room.  Katie rubbed her eyes because she could not believe what she was seeing. Right in front of her, so close she could have touched him was a short, round little man in a beautiful red woolen suit with the whitest fur trim. He was bent over putting something under the tree.  It was Santa!   Katie was afraid that she might get in trouble for being there, but suddenly, the little man turned and looked right at her with his kind eyes and said, “Go back to sleep, honey.”   The next thing Katie knew she was waking up in her own bed. It was Christmas morning!

The children all had to wait until Mommy and Daddy said it was okay to come down the stairs.  When they did there was a mad dash to get to the Christmas tree and see what Santa had brought them.  Katie doesn’t remember what she got that year, but she does remember it was the year she saw the real Santa Claus.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.  Bye.

Christmases Past

Do you remember that scene in Christmas Vacation where Clark Griswald(Chevy Chase) was up in his attic  looking at old movies of his family when they were all younger?  Sitting there with tears running down his cheeks while he watched?

I just had the same experience looking through some old pictures of my growing family as we celebrated Christmas in the past.   I so miss those little children and my parents who made Christmas so special for me.   Those little children are middle aged now and my parents have gone on to live in Heaven.

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This is my mom and daddy.   I miss them.   They have been gone for decades, but you never really ever get use to being without your parents, no matter how old you get.

 

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This is how it was for many Christmases at our house on Christmas morning. The kids would come down the stairs, youngest first. Look at  those faces.  To have the joy of a child at Christmas again!

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One year our younger son played Santa Claus in his school Christmas play.

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Who is that handsome man and who are those babies?   I think this was taken in the Virgin Islands when we visited David’s mother there one Christmas.  Our daughter sits on his lap and her cousins are watching her open a gift. This was the trip where she fell into the swimming pool and was afraid of water for a long time afterward. It was even hard to get her in the bathtub.

 

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New pajamas?  I remember that sofa.  I really loved it for a long time. Now I think it’s kind of tacky.  LOL.   And it clashed so well with those drapes. An interior designer I was not at that time.   I still have that jug lamp only because my daddy made it for me.

 

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Someone got a new bicycle that year.  Snow didn’t stop the first ride.  We lived up a hill with a park right next door to us and we could walk down a path to a lake and to a playground where the children could play. I loved living in that house.

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And the Big Green Machine. Remember those?   This was a fun Christmas for those two boys. You can see the lake behind them. We use to go ice skating on it. There would be a big bonfire and lots of skaters and it was so much fun.  I wish I still had my skates, but I sold them in a garage sale before we moved to our present house.  I guess I knew my ice skating days were over.

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I made those coveralls my younger son is wearing.  I made a lot of their clothes back then. I believe I made the plaid shirt also.   I think they are adorable.

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David’s Grandma reading to the boys. I loved her. She was such a wonderful person and really loved her great-grandchildren.   And they loved her.

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The year our younger son had one of his first of several broken bones.  He was playing on a hill behind our neighbor’s house and jumped off a little hill and landed wrong, I guess, because he broke his leg.  I thought he had stepped on a nail and pulled off his shoe while he was screaming.  Probably didn’t help the break any.  I was so surprised when I learned he had broken his leg.   He got very proficient on those crutches.

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I use to bake so much at Christmas. Now with just David and me at home I don’t bake as much.  I use to make gingerbread houses all the time at Christmas, too.  Today I baked two cakes and some sugar cookies because the grandchildren are coming and like sweets.

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Really wish that I still had this little girl around.  But she grew up and so did the boys and life goes on.    Now with tears in my eyes I will close. Tomorrow I will write about the time I saw the “real” Santa.   Bye.