Mary, Mary, How Does My Garden Grow!

To say I have been busy is an understatement. Since my greenhouse arrived I have been planting and replanting flowers, tomatoes, cucumbers and a few pots of green beans. I am having so much fun.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockleshells and pretty maids all in a row.

Not sure I know what those things are Mary planted, but I know what I have planted and flowers are coming up everywhere. I asked David to take my camera and go around our property and take closeup pictures of our flowers and he did.

Didn’t plant these. Sunflowers came up in our meadow we are trying to grow.

We have these old fashion day liles all over our yard. We try to get rid of them and they just keep coming up. My mother loved these and I think I got my first start of them from her. Didn’t know they were invasive. They will be around for a long time. You see them growing wild by the side of the road here in Indiana.

We went on the Country Neighbors tour where several women and a couple of men have things for sell in their shops on their property. This particular lady had some really pretty flowers in cute containers and, of course, I could not resist. She also makes the nicest birdhouses and we have bought several over the years and we got a really neat one this time. When David gets it hung, I’ll do a blog on our birdhouses. All our birdhouses have bird families in them and we can sit on our back porch and watch Mama and Papa birds feather their nests and feed their babies.

A close up of one of our geraniums. They are in my top five of favorite flowers. I can never have enough of them. I have some started from seed in my greenhouse right now and I hope to over Winter all my geraniums this year.

Gerbera daisies are fast becoming some of my favorite flowers. Deadhead them and you will get twice as many flowers. They go well with all my geraniums.

More Gerbera daisies.

Aren’t these gorgeous? I got these at Lowes. More geraniums.

I have these beautiful daylilies all over my yard, front, side and back. A few years ago a man stopped at our house and asked if he could get a start of them. I said, “Sure, and do you have any plant you would like to share? ” I dug him a flower and a few days later he brought me three lilac bush starts. I planted them all, but only one survived and it is now producing flowers every Spring. I love to share my flowers and I love trading flowers with fellow gardeners.

These teeny flowers are on a vine I was given for Mother’s Day a couple of years ago. I over Wintered it and it spread it’s vines all over. I had to cut it from different places it had grown so I could repot it and set it ourside. It is flourishing and spreading and has dozens of these tiny flowers on it. I will put it in the greenhouse when it gets cold. We are going to hook up gas to the greenhouse and we already have a small gas furnace to keep it warm in the Winter.

One of the first Zinnias to bloom. Love the little tiny yellow flowers inside it. This is just a small view of all my flowers. Every season there are an abundance of them growing. I planted flowers every year since we have lived here and we have lived here almost forty-seven years. That is a lot of flowers. Some have grown and expanded. Some have died and I have had several do that. Some were dug up by dogs and I expect that. Sugar and Lucy’s favorite place to lay is right next to one of my lilies.

I watched Sugar wagging her tail and knocking the petals off this plant the other day. It is really amazing that any of my flowers survive the backyard with three dogs roaming it, but, they do.

Now that you have seen a few of my flowers I will show you inside my greenhouse. Come with me as we walk through the door.

I decorated the shelf with garden paraphernalia.

My daughter gave me that little toad years ago. He’s been keeping me company in my shop and now he has found place of honor in my greenhouse. I love him so much.

This is a working greenhouse so I have a lot of pots and things around. David was so glad to get all my gardening things out of his shed. I have collected pots for a while and it is a good thing I did because I use them to repot my seedlings. I am so excited that I can start geraniums from seed. One plant costs as much or more than a packet of seeds.

I bought this solar powered chandelier and it is pretty day and night.

This is the little vine I was talking about. See its tendrils reaching out. Just like the beanstalk in Jack and the Beanstalk. If I one day appear with a goose that lays golden eggs, you will know it grew way too fast!

This is a fountain we bought probably twenty years ago. The birds like to drink from it.

I love my little greenhouse . Wish I had gotten it years ago.

A few weeks ago I got a call from one of the managers at Ralph Lauren Polo store where David works. She sounded very secretive and I soon learned why. David’s twenty years of working there was coming up and they wanted to throw him a surprise party. Well, I am not one to tell to keep a secret. It’s a real problem for me, especially if I have to be around the one I am supposed to keep the secret from. I had two whole weeks of keeping my mouth shut and trying to not act guilty. Ever see that skit on SNL where the lady could not keep a secret and she went to all extremes not to tell the secret? That is me. One year my daughter-in-law was throwing a surprise party for her then husband, our son’s birthday. She was flying in his sister and brother-in-law from Florida to Chicago. The day of the party David and I were to go to the airport and pick them up. Well, the day before we were all sitting around when out of my mouth popped, “What time is Sara and Jeremy supposed to get here?” I knew immediately what I had done and I went up their stairs into a room and cried because I had spoiled the surprise. The thing is, no one held it against me and our son did have a fun party even if he did know his sister and her husband were coming.”

Well, I managed to keep the surprise. David was shocked to see me sitting in the room waiting for him. He got a call from the District manager thanking him for his time at Polo, a hand signed letter from Ralph Lauren thanking him for his long service and a Ralph Lauren clock that I won’t tell you how much it would cost to buy, but it’s not cheap as most of Ralph’s things aren’t. They had a picture of David set up and a very nice spread of food for everyone. Some employees came in and celebrated with us. I thanked the managers over and over for what they had done for David, but they told me they really depended on him. He has been at this particular store since it opened. He’s been everything from the trash takeout person to Assistant manager and now he folds clothes all day in the back room which he says he likes because he can have a video on and work at his pace. The thing is, this store was lauded for having the most organized backroom where all the clothes that come in are folded and prepared to go on the floor. This was due to David. I wish you could see the back room at a Polo store. Racks and racks of clothes and they all have to be neatly folded and David does most of it. He has trained others to help him. I know he is a good folder because he folded all the clothes in my closet one day. I have to admit it is not as neat any longer, but he did do a good job of it at the time. My closets tend to be messy.

David got this basket of his favorite snack foods. It was packed. And it is all gone now! Ths little box with the brown ribbon held the clock he received. The signed letter from Ralph Lauren is in the frame. David loves working there and hopes to stay until his 25th year when he will receive a gold watch. I pray he makes it as he will be 80 when that day comes.

We finally got our house painted and I love how it looks. The barn quilts I painted go so well with the colors of the house.

I love painting barn quilts. These patterns I got from one of Lori Holt’s quilt books. I have made quilts with those barn patterns.

Father’s Day came and went rather quickly, but David did get a card that gave him a laugh. If you are not a Trump supporter, you might want to look away now. But we both liked it and were surprised our daughter picked it out.

When you open it up, you hear in Trump’s voice, “I love you!” David got a kick out of it.

We have had some very hot days here and I have actually been in our pool a few times. The water has to be 82 degrees or hotter before I will even think of getting in, but it’s been 86 for a few days and felt wonderful.

Our pool looking towards the meadow. I feel like Moses in the bulrushes when I am swimming. The tall grasses are so lovely and with the flowers among it, it really is a pleasant place to be.

We have had the Summer Solstice and now the days are getting shorter so enjoy every minute of each one…We only have a little time on this earth, so make the most of it, but remember the One who created it and who you want to spend eternity with. I have been reading a lot about the Rapture lately. If you don’t know what that is, look it up or better yet, read a Bible. I feel so blessed that one day in a little church in my little town a pastor came to preach who led me to Jesus and I have been blessed ever since even during the bad times.

Here’s to long days of Summer and surprise parties, if you can keep it a surprise! Bye.

It’s Been So Long

Sometimes it seems the days become a blur and I forget how long it’s bee since I wrote anything here. Spring has proven to be a very busy time around our house. I don’t even know where to begin and I don’t have a lot of pictures ready to show you.

First of all, we had a very beautiful Spring that is now almost over. The meadow we are growing in our back yard is getting more lush all the time. Last year we planted a lot of different grass seed and wild flowers. This year Dame’s Rocket and sunflowers are coming up all over. We had Iris, peonies, daffodils, snowball bushes, and ornamental trees blooming all at once it seemed. We have this bush with little blue flowers all over it and I’m not sure what it is. I think it is another Vibernum, relative to the snowball bush.

I managed to start some tomatoes in an old dog treat bucket. These plants are now growing stronger and larger in a larger container. Hope I will have some tomatoes before too long.

Just a few of the flowers I put in my flower boxes.

A few months ago I was browsing through Facebook when I came upon this information about greenhouses. A company called Yoderbilt had pictures of beautiful greenhouses full of flowers or decorated for Christmas and I fell in love. I have wanted a greenhouse for a long time. Decades, perhaps and I decided this was the year and this was the greenhouse I wanted. So I started the process of reading all about these particular greenhouses. They are on Youtube with different things about their greenhouses, how to plant things in them, etc. I read and watched all I could about them. I also read as many reviews about them I could find and I could not find one bad review about them. People would post pictures of their greenhouse being delivered or their greenhouse full of plants or their greenhouse decorated as a She shed. I was smitten. Then I had to decide what all I wanted included in my greenhouse. I would need a table to plant things on. Check. I would need electricity so I could have lights and could decorate my greenhouse at Christmas. Check. They were also offering a free shelf if you ordered at a certain time. Check. I wrote it all down. I E-mailed the company for information. I was contacted almost immediately. Then, one day, while I was sleeping, a member of their team called our home and David answered and he ordered a greenhouse for me. He found my sheet of paper that had all that I wanted in the greenhouse and he told the lady on the phone what I wanted. He told her if he was wrong, I would be calling back, but he got it all right and I was so excited. Christmas! It felt just like that as I waited for it to be delivered. They have free delivery to certain parts of the states and fortunately we are in one of the free delivery zones. We set May 9 thru 14 as the possible delivery dates and they would call us for the exact date when it was almost here. They even called me when my greenhouse was built. It is a great company.

So while I was waiting, I ordered seeds and I ordered more seeds and then because I didn’t think I had enough, I ordered more seeds. Let’s just say my seed cup runneth over! I ordered half pounds of certain seeds. So while we were waiting, I started sowing some of the seeds outside wherever I could find a place. I have seeds planted everywhere. And I still had plenty to grow in the greenhouse. More than enough. It should be really pretty around our house in a few months.

So the day finally came when my greenhouse was to arrive. They set the time and David and I sat out on my shop’s front porch swing and watched for it. When the Yoderbilt truck pulled up I screamed.

Back of the truck was a big trailer with three greenhouses on it.

Mine was the one in back, of course. My greenhouse!!! Yay!

David directed traffic while the delivery man got the greenhouse on a lift and brought it across the road. Thankfully, there wasn’t much traffic at the time. Sometimes our road gets busy when work lets out.

Here came my greenhouse down our drive. As you can see, there is not a whole lot of room. It was amazing to watch this guy move that greenhouse into position.

He got the greenhouse turned around in a very small space and set it down exactly on the cement pads David has put down and leveled. It sat down perfectly. I will have to show you the green house all settled with flowers around it later. I am planting planters and pots full of flowers for the outside. Then I will start more seedlings inside for later in the year. I made a lot of work for David and myself by getting this greenhouse, but I am loving every minute of it.

This Spring brought graduations. We had three grandsons graduating. Two from high school and one from Taylor University. We made it to two of the graduations, plus we had a graduation dinner at a nice Italian restaurant and a breakfast with a few of our grandchildren at the House of Pancakes. My favorite place to eat. I don’t know if my body is built to sit so long on hard wooden chairs. My legs were so sore after this week so I am hoping the pain will go away soon. I told David we need to get some of those padded things you put on chairs or bleachers if we can make it through anymore graduations. We still have two grandsons in high school who will graduate int he next few years. Cannot believe all the babies have grown up, but there you are. It happens overnight, almost.

This is where we ate a really good Italian dinner with the graduates, their girlfriends, their Dad and his wife, and their sister, brother-in-law, and cousins, aunt and uncle. You ordered either a large or a small order of whatever you wanted to eat. Several shared as the orders were so large. They brought out three huge plates of garlic bread and a huge Caesar Salad and Large bowls of different pastas. It was all delicious. It was served family style and you could have seconds if you wanted and there were still boxes and boxes of leftovers left to take home. We had a nice time and it was fun to be with many of our grandchildren and their girlfriends.

Our granddaughter and her husband. They are the cutest couple and fun to be around.

Our oldest grandson and his beautiful girlfriend. I must refrain from saying anything as he reads my blog! But Grandma can dream. If you know what I mean.

His brother who graduated from high school and will attend Taylor University this Fall. His sweet, pretty girlfriend. I see David and I a lot in them as we were smitten with each other when we were their age, too. Still are. Look at those smiles.

Cousins and the next one to graduate. I am not prejudice, but I do have the most handsome grandsons on earth and they all are so nice and gentlemanly. Around me, at least. Their parents are doing something right for sure.

Next was the House of Pancakes. One of my most favorite places to eat. We have eaten there several times through the years of visiting grandchildren.

The usual suspects. He has a good job waiting right out of college. He is looking to move into an apartment with a couple of friends. She is going to continue her schooling.

Two brothers and their big sister. How short a time ago it seems they were all little. We had a nice time visiting, but it was time for us to go home. There was another party that afternoon, but David and I were worn out. We’re old! We can’t party like it’s the sixties any longer! But it was a fun and busy week.

Now onto the next thing. We are getting our house painted. The painters have been caulking, repairing places in the wood and around the windows and preparing the surface for the paint. I cholse a beautiful shade of green, but its name is awful Brackish Water. Sounds really ugly, doesn’t it? But it is so pretty and the rust color I had chosen turned out to be a very pretty orange. Exactly the color I was hoping for but just could not seem to find in a paint chip. I don’t know how it turned out. Serendipity, I guess. That happens to me once in a while. I have painted barn quilts that will go perfectly with the colors and I can’t wait to see them on the house.

this is close to the color of the house and trim. A long time ago I really wanted an orange house with green trim, but David could not get on board with that, but I am perfectly happy with these colors. For so long we have lived in the brown house with green trim. It will take us a while to get use to the green house with orange trim.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day. David has to work. I plan on sleeping in, reading, maybe planting some seeds and doing laundry, but not in that order or however I feel. Remember those who died to keep our country free. So many young men and women have lost their lives to protect us or other countries and many come back with severe handicaps. God bless them all and I give thanks and prayers for those who gave their lives. Some day there will be no more wars and I am looking forward to it. Bye.

A Week in the Life

This is about more than one week. It’s a post about several weeks. Weeks I have been meaning to write blog and life just gets in the way. By evening I am completely pooped and ready to just watch a little tv and go to bed and read a good book.

Let’s see. What should I talk about first. We had a really beautiful first days of Spring. All the planting I have done through the years really comes through when the first warm days of Spring are here.

Daffodils by the hundreds. They last a couple of weeks and were everywhere. I use to plant one hundred bulbs every Autumn, but haven’t in later years. So glad to have these harbingers of Spring to cheer us up.

Next came all the pinks. Crabapple, Redbuds, Flowering Quince, Pink Almond, Weeping Cherry. My front yard was a burst of color in all shades of pink. It never lasts long enough and if I don’t make it a point to go out the front door, I could easily miss it.

Decorated our mantle for Easter. The little bunnines hanging in front I made when we had a store downtown. First time I have ever hung them! I have a collection of bunnies. I didn’t plan to collect them, but they multiplied, well, like bunnies!

Love my little bisque bunnies I found at an antique store.

This year for Easter, I did not have to cook the complete meal. First time ever in our fifty-four years of marriage. Our daughter-in-love(our son’s ex-wife) offered to fix the meal and we gladly accepted. We went to our granddaughter’s church for Easter services. She and her husband attend a huge church that was completely filled Easter Sunday. The music was beautiful and our granddaughter sang in the choir which is why we really went. After church we had a great dinner and afterward we had an Easter egg hunt. Our grandchildren are growing up, but they still love hunting eggs. We set the age limit to 18, but we still had several hunting.

Here are our grandsons and our grandson’s girlfriend. Aren’t they all cute little children! David and I brought the eggs and we gave a dollar for each egg found.

It was fun watching them hunt the eggs. They did not find them all. Somewhere in that yard there is a lone egg waiting for a lawn mower to find it. I was on our porch a couple of weeks ago and looked over the edge and there was an Easter egg from last year! I couldn’t believe it.

It was a fun day. I got to meet another girlfriend of one of our grandson’s. She played basketball for Taylor University and he played Lacrosse where he just won a very prestigious award this week. A great way to end his Lacrosse career.

Here is the cute couple We may be looking at wedding bells in the future!

Here is his younger brother and his girlfriend. It is so nice to see our grandchildren growing up and having good relationships. He graduates from high school and his brother graduates from Taylor University this year. We also have another grandson who will be graduating from high school.

This is our daughter and her husband. They have two teenagers which I cannot believe. Seems she was just a little girl yesterday.

I have been working on several projects. We are getting our house painted as soon as the weather settles down. I have four barn quilts on it right now, but wanted to paint new ones to go with the new paint color.

I need to polyurethane them to make them waterproof, but I am happy with the results. The patterns came from Lori Holt’s book Farmgirl Vintage sampler. I have made so many things from her patterns.

I have done a little sewing. It’s been so long since I made any clothes for myself, I wasn’t sure I could do it. I managed to make a tunic apron and I like it so well, I ordered more fabric to make a couple more. I get so many threads on me when I’m sewing and my clothes get dirty when I play with the dogs so I needed something to wear to cover my clothes. I will have to show you the finished product in another post.

This fabric looks vintage. . It will make a pretty apron.

The fabric came wrapped in this pretty paper, tied with a ribbon. It was like getting a birthday present!

Were you where you could see the total eclipse of the sun? We were smack dab in the middle of it and could see it very well, indeed. As the moon passed the sun there was an eerie light. Not a light I have ever witnessed. Like someone had a very dim bulb on. We bought our glasses and sat out in our back yard with the dogs. We had heard that eclipses cause dogs anxiety like thunder storms, but out dogs were not fazed at all. Of course, they are use to loud sounds outdoors like trains passing and the weather warning siren going off every Friday at noon. So the earth getting dark? They’ve seen that. It did seem to disturb the birds a bit as they acted like they didn’t know whether to fly or settle in for the night. Not sure you can tell by the next picture what the light was like, but it was not really light and not really dark and a light I have never witnessed before. Kind of a grey over everything. Then it got almost completely dark.

This is what we saw right above our heads. We could see the solar flares off the sun. It was pretty amazing. Not something I would travel hundreds of miles to see, but when it’s in your own backyard, it’s fun to watch. I heard of a lady who follows the total eclipses all over the world from one country to the next. She must have a lot of money and time, but if she enjoys it, more power to her. I can think of a lot of other things I’d rather see.

Made hundreds of these three and a half inch blocks and sewed a quilt together. It seemed huge, but when I spread it over our kingsize bed I had several more rows to go all around so that is what I worked on today. I really want to get my sewing done before my new greenhouse gets here. A lady called me yesterday to tell me the greenhouse was done and that it would be delivered between May 9 and 14. They will call us when the date gets closer. These greenhouses are built in Arkansas and shipped for free to several states. We were lucky we are one of the states. I cannot wait to get started growing things in the greenhouse. I have wanted one for decades and finally I will have one.

And to top it all off, our house is getting painted very soon so it will be exciting around here for a while. Then with all the graduations and other things, May appears to be busy. I think when June gets here we will be glad to rest.

Hope you are enjoying Spring or is it Autumn where you live? Our world is sure amazing, isn’t it? Bye.

Quick Peek

Just jumping in here to say I’m alive, just very busy and David and I have had really bad colds the last few days. He coughs all night so I’m up watching tv. Any of you watch Rock the Block where home decorators are challenged to design and decorate houses on a block? The Unsellable Homes twins were in for the challenge and I was so pleased they won I actually screamed and clapped sitting in our living room all by myself! Loved the fireworks too.

There’s been Easter, a total eclipse and other things occupying our time and next month we have three grandsons graduating. Two from high school and one from college. I just hope I am up for the challenge as I have been having some physical problems.

Anyway, I will try to get back in a few days with pictures. Spring has been beautiful. Bye

Waiting for Christmas

Remember when you were a child and waiting for Christmas? It seemed like that day would never come and you looked at the calendar every day and wished it was here. You dreamt in your bed about what Christmas morning would bring for you under the tree. You went and saw Santa and you told your mother over and over what you wanted and your mind would not stop thinking about that special day.

Well, this blog is not about Christmas at all. It’s about the anticipation of the day. But it is not about anticipating Christmas Day, either. You see, there is something I have dreamed about having for years. I am a gardener and love to grow flowers and vegetables. I dreamed of having a place to start my plants where the frost and snow would not harm them. I have tried starting things in the house in a window, but nothing ever did really well. I remember David’s grandmother, who started her tomatoes in an upstairs, south facing window and she always had the most beautiful plants. Strong and sturdy and ready to plant in the ground when the weather was right outside. Not me. Right now I have a few tomatoes coming up in makeshift greenhouses made out of milk cartons. The poor tomatoes are so tall and spindly, I don’t know if they will ever be stron enough to survive in the ground.

So on to what I am anticipating. Several weeks ago I was looking at Facebook where I shop, converse with friends and family and just see what is happening in the world when what should pop up but an ad for a greenhouse. Not just any greenhouse. A Yoderbilt greenhouse. I had never heard about them before so I started to investigate. I gave myself greenhouse 101 online by searching for things about this particular greenhouse, the people who own one and everything else I could find about it. There were never any bad reviews about these greenhouses and usually, with any business, you see a few bad reviews, but not with Yoderbilt greenhouses. I watched them being delivered to different people’s houses. I looked at how some decorated their greenhouses and made them an oasis in their yard. A place to go to sit and be quiet, plant and care for plants and just enjoy the solitude. Some women have made their greenhouses so wonderful with chandeliers, yes, chandeliers in them, comfy chairs, tons of flowers all over and just a lot of great gardening objects that I drool when I see them.\

I searched about the prices, the delivery, it’s free in many cases, and what people thought of their greenhouses. Not a bad word did I see so I e-mailed the company asking some questions and before I knew it I was answered back and I was ready to order one, but still could not make the commitment. I made a list of all the things I wanted for the greenhouse, size, what color I wanted it stained, the color of the metal hinges, double doors and a shelf across the back.

I still had done nothing about it, but I showed my list to David and he said I should order one. I was planning on doing it, but one morning, while I was still asleep, the owner of Yoderbilt greenhouses made a call to our house asking if I was ready to order on. David was up and talked to him and told him he had my list ready and that he would order one. So, he did. When I got up that morning thinking I was going to call the company that day David said, “It’s already ordered.” He told the man that if he had left anything out that I wanted he would be calling back, but he ordered everything I wanted and now I just have to wait for them to build it. They build each greenhouse on order. You give a small down payment and pay the rest when the greenhouse comes. My greenhouse should be here by May. So now I am in anticipation mode all excited about finally getting a greenhouse. I picture what I will do with it and I am sure I will be writing blogs about it in the future. Some women say they even sleep in their greenhouses! And I am hoping mine will be warm in the Winter. We already have a small furnace we will have installed so that will be the heat source other than the sun.

I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas. I really do. Every time I see someone’s greenhouse on Facebook I get all excited all over again.

But that is not all I have been doing. That tiny nine patch quilt group I joined, well I now have over four hundred three and a half inch blocks ready to sew together between muslin blocks. I barely made a dent in my tub of fabric pieces even though I cut thousands of squares from it.

This is positively the last quilt I am starting until I get some completed that I have had in boxes for years.

But it’s been fun sewing and it is a great way to showcase a lot of your fabrics. I’ve been finding some I had forgotten about. Like a treasure hunt, really.

We are having an early Spring. I really don’t like it to happen this early as a lot of times we get freezing weather that burns all the buds on the trees and they aren’t a pretty as they can be. A lot of Magnolia trees have already bloomed all around town. They are beautiful trees, but won’t last long and be gone for another year. The daffodils are already blooming.

A lilttle primrose surprised me by the back porch. I wasn’t sure it would make it through the Winter.

These are miniature daffodils. Just one little bunch, but they are so sweet.

We will be celebrating my daughter’s birthday and Easter the same weekend. We have been invited out this year. First time I have not fixed Easter dinner for decades and I am happy about it. We are taking the eggs to hide and I will bake some things, but I don’t have to worry about the complete meal this year and that mekes me happy! Our granddaughter will be singing at her church, so we are going to go to her church this year. First time we have missed our church’s Easter celebration in forty some years!

I will let you know more about my greenhouse as the time grows nearer. Some good news today for me was that my eye doctor said my eye is getting better and I don’t have to go see him again for eleven weeks. I’ve been going about every six to eight weeks to get a shot in my eye so I am hoping we are seeing this drawing to a close. I have not seen any floaters in my eyes for a long time. When I first started this, I was seeing so many floaters I felt like I was in a fishbowl with gnats flying all around it, so it’s been a blessing not to see them. \

A Happy and Blessed Easter to all you who celebrate. Jesus died for us all and I give Him all the praise. Happy Spring, too! It’s really coming next week. Bye.

February News

How did it get to be the middle of February already? I know I am always writing about how time flies, but it really does. First, I must say, I have never been bored in my life. I learned early that if I was bored, my mother would find something for me to do and it usually entailed working in the kitchen with her, which I hated. I never have enjoyed cooking. I like to bake and I keep David supplied with the sweets he so desires. I guess never being bored means your time is filled all the time and it seems like I always have something to do and if I don’t, I love reading. I never have enough time to read. Most of my reading is done in bed and just before I go to sleep or a few minutes after I awake in the morning I try to read a few pages.

I joined a quilt block challenge online where we make so many blocks every week. I don’t join these things very often as I get too busy with the challenge and less busy finishing projects I have already started. I planned to finish several quilts this year, but instead, I have pieced five more small quilts and hand quilted two of them already.

This is a Kathleen Tracy quilt challenge she had earlier. I really loved making this little quilt and have it quilted and half the binding on it now.

Here is another small one I made from Kathleen Tracy’s book. of sampler blocks. The quilt took seventy-two small blocks and somehow I ended up with eighteen extra blocks so I made two more small quilts with them. I do like blue and brown together. It looks like a vintage quilt. Hand quilting is so relaxing for me. The easy going in and out of the needle in the fabric and seeing the quilt transform from a piece of fabric pieces to a quilt with substance. I really believe quilts get heavier as you quilt and add more thread to it. I can watch tv and quilt at the same time. I really cannot just sit and watch tv. I have to have something in my hands to work on.

The small block challenge I started has three different sizes of blocks you can make. I tried making the smallest one which ends up being only one and a half inch square. Here is it by a button. This is my one and only one of those I made. Too fiddly for me so I decided to make the three and a half inch blocks which are much easier.

Here are the two different blocks together. I know some ladies are trying to make the smallest blocks and I cheer them on, but me, I will stick with the larger one.

Here are more of my blocks by the tiny one. Can you imagine how many blocks it will take of that tiny one to make even a twin size quilt? I am hoping to make a full-size quilt with my blocks, but we shall see.

These blocks are like potato chips. You cannot stop at one, or two, or three or……….

Here is one of the quilts I have finished this year already. I just quilted it on the sewing machine using straight lines and it was done very quickly. I will probably give this one away to someone in the family.

This is one of the two small sampler quilts. It has already been quilted. Sorry I don’t have a finished picture of it right now.

Besides making quilts, I had one to repair. I have given all my grandchildren at least one or two quilts and one of my grandsons had loved his so well, it needed some repair on the label and one of the blocks.

This is the label I put on my grandson’s quilt. At one time the family raised goats so I put goatsby the truck and one of their dogs and my grandson’s picture in the window. His name begins with an F so I put that in the truck. My grandson is a lot older now. Just got his driver’s permit. He is my youngest grandchild. They have all grown up too fast. But that’s the story of my life. Everything is fast forwarded it seems.

We took a trip to Cincinnati and took our daughter-in-law out to eat and gave her and my son and grandson their Christmas gifts. Kind of late, but they have been busy, our son has been in Florida and so we never could make the connection. Anyway. She was so happy with the picture I painted of her son, I think. I sure enjoyed painting it.

David finally got the 2000 piece Gone With the Wind puzzle done. It was quite a puzzle. It filled up almost our entire dining room table. Now it is back in the box and we have our table back.

I bought this wonderful sign recently. There is a reason I bought it. I want to put a green house around it. Yes, I am getting a green house later this Spring. Look up Yoderbilt greenhouses online and you will see these wonderful pictures of people’s greenhouses. Some have decorated their greenhouses with lights, furniture and rugs. I plan to grow things in mine, but that is not to say I won’t decorate it a little bit. I am never anywhere for long before I am filling it with something. I have wanted a greenhouse for a long time. It will be nice to be able to start flowers and vegetables earlier. I told my doctor I would raise some tomatoes for him next Winter. I hope I can keep that promise.

Since we are putting the green house next to our house in our driveway we had to cut a tree down. I hate to see trees cut down, but David showed me this Maple was split down the middle and was liable to fall in the future on my shop and greenhouse so we had it cut down this week. It was interesting to watch. We have had the same family business cut down trees on our property before. They have become hi-tech since we used them last. They have a big saw that is operated off a guy’s belt! No one climbs a tree.

Limb by limb they took the tree down.

These big claws wrapped around each limb and cut it off the tree. Sawdust would fly everywhere.

This is the operator. Several other men stood around and waited until all the logs were down and they cut them into pieces for us. So we will have wood for our firepit for a long time.

Now it is nice and sunny where the greenhouse will sit. All we need to do, well, David needs to do is lay down some special paper that keeps out weeds and lay gravel and level it all and we can have the greenhouse delivered. It comes from Arkansas, I believe and they deliver free in several states.

So that is what has been going on at our house. We have gone over to our daughter’s house and cleaned one day. She has MS and cannot clean so she usually hires someone to clean for her. We took an afternoon and hired a cleaner to come in and deep clean and we organized a little. Now I wish I could get my house deep cleaned. That lady really did a great job. The rooms were spotless when she left. i am so thankful there are people who do this for a living as so many people need the help.

We finally had some snow this week.

It was so beautiful. it didn’t last long, though. Today it was in the forties and the snow is quickly disappearing. I really wanted to see a deep snow that lasted a few days.

We went out to eat for Valentine’s Day at Red lobster, but there was an hour’s wait so we picked up some White Castles and went down by the river and ate them. That is how we roll. But we did finally eat at Red lobster’s last Sunday and it was very good and not crowded at all.

I’ve ordered our seeds and now we just have to get some warm weather and planting season will start again. Seems like time is flying! Yes, it is. Bye.

Filling in the Pieces

I left so much unsaid and no pictures in my last couple of blogs. So this blog I will try to fill in the pieces much like the puzzle my husband is doing right now. David got a couple of puzzles for Christmas and he finished them both in record time so he rooted around in one of our closets to see if there was one he would like to put together and he found a Gone With the Wind one I don’t remember ever having. We have another one that he has done, but this one is a 2,000 piece puzzle that is becoming a little harder to put together. It has taken over our entire dining room table.

Gone With the Wind is my very favorite movie and this puzzle has a few scenes from it that are memorable.

This is one of the Christmas puzzles that has been done and put away already.

This is a puzzle made from wooden pieces cut into very interesting shapes. David said it was the hardest puzzle he ever put together mainly because it didn’t have straight outside pieces like most puzzles. He always puts the outside together first most times, but not this time. It is a pretty puzzle, though.

I painted all my grandchildren’s pictures with paint by number pictures I ordered online. You send them a picture and in six to eight weeks they send you a canvas with the picture printed on it with the numbers of the colors to paint and all the paints needed to finish it. I really loved doing these paintings and I think they all liked them.

One grandson plays on the Lacrosse team at Taylor University and I painted this of him. It is not done in this picture, thus the white splotches.

This is our one granddaughter and her husband. The picture was taken last Christmas and it was the very first picture I painted by number. That shirt of his has about twenty different colors in it even though it looks like only three or four and took me so long to paint. I have a rule now, no more plaid shirts in my pictures. The same goes for backgrounds that have a lot of trees in them. But it was a learning experience. I already know what I am going to paint next.

I painted this boy with his dog, but I cannot find the picture on my computer at the moment. This would make a nice paint by number picture, though.

I always think of January as a time to rest after all the holiday uproar. It begins at Halloween, through Thanksgiving into Christmas and the new year and it’s nonstop. I always wish there was at least a month between the holidays, but January has nothing but David’s birthday which is pretty low key. I baked him a cake and took him out for dinner. He is three quarters of a century old now. Wow. I never thought I’d be married to an old man, but then, he never though he’d be married to an old woman. Honestly, it seems such a short time from our I dos to this time in our lives. You know the saying, “grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.” I don’t know if it’s the best, but it isn’t bad and I am glad we have made it this far. David still works and I have my hobbies and animals to keep me busy.

Speaking of hobbies, this is what I have made since Christmas.

Autumn Leaves designed by Kathleen Tracy. She had a sew along and I liked this so much in blues and browns, I made two.

I have made two sampler quilts using this book by Kathleen Tracy. All her blocks are four and a half inches and there are seventy-two of them in this quilt, plus a center medallion. My first one was made with reproduction fabrics, my second in Christmas colors and now I am working on a brown and blue one.

I love these two colors together.

Some of the fabric I am using is from the line of fabric, Hibernation, which has little animals in it asleep for the Winter. I love it so much.

And I am still knitting socks although I don’t plan to make so many this year. Everyone got a pair at Christmas.

This yarn is called Fiesta by Abiyarns. She dyes all her yarns and has some wonderful combinations.

I love to knit and I knitted a few hats for Christmas this year that were very popular. I cannot just sit and watch tv, I have to be doing something with my hands and knitting seems to work for me so I probably won’t be stopping soon. I am hoping we still have some wintry weather where I can stay inside and work on my projects, because as soon as it starts warming up, it’s garden time again and I have more time and better weather to play outside with the pups. We have had such dreary weather the past couple of weeks and it has rained almost every day. I look forward to seeing some sun this week.

Something else will be coming to our house this year, I hope. I saw an ad for Yoderbilt green houses on my Facebook page and have been doing some research on them. They have a Facebook page and you can also see them on Youtube where they tell you how to set up your greenhouse, among other things. I have wanted one for years and I do believe this is the year. We are getting our house painted this year, also so I don’t want the greenhouse delivered until after that is done. So much to look forward to. We don’t do many big trips any longer so we feather our nest and try to make our surroundings happy places to be. You can do it too. Pick something you love and organize things for it and surround yourself with only things that comfort you.. Throw out the old, as I have been trying to do, but I have so much old stuff. I refuse to allow my house to get cluttered. Whenever I feel it is, I watch an episode of Hoarders and I am soon cleaning and throwing stuff away. We all have too much stuff, really. We spend the first half of our lives acquiring stuff and the last half trying to get rid of it. So, here I am, going to buy a greenhouse which I will probably fill with stuff. I have already told David our Christmas tree is going in it this year. There are so many pictures on Facebook of greenhouses all decked out for Christmas and I want to do that, too! So, you see, it never ends, no matter how old you get. But you cannot take any of it with you, so be sure your family knows what they get when you die.

I baked homemade rolls yesterday. I wish you could smell them when they first come out of the oven and that is the very best time to eat them, too!

With the same recipe, I made cinnamon rolls and I didn’t skimp on the icing. Oh, but it’s good with a cup of coffee. I don’t know who invented coffee and sweet rolls and donuts to eat with it, but God bless them. It’s the best tastes together in the world as far as I am concerned.

Hope you are keeping warm and safe where you live. We had a really cold, cold spell last week and then when it got up into the thirties, it felt almost warm. I saw where Florida has been cold, too. And they are not prepared for it. Until next time, have a Happy Valentine’s Day. Hug those you love and give your sweetheart an extra big hug and kiss. Bye.


Did you make it through the past year? Did you celebrate 2024 coming in? I use to love staying up until midnight to welcome the new year in. I’ve had parties I have hosted and one year David and I went to a big party held at a hotel in Indianapolis where we listened to bands, enjoyed a mini casino atmosphere where we played various games. There was good food and at midnight there was a huge balloon drop. The ticket included staying the night at the hotel and having breakfast the next morning where they served everything from French toast to bagels to ham and eggs, sushi to pancakes and a whole lot more. It was delicious. We had a good time, but we decided partying really isn’t for us. Since then our “celebrations” have been low key. So low key that last night while David watched Hallmark, I went to bed with a very good book and was asleep by ten. I will have to tell you about the author. She has written some really good books. Books I can’t wait to get back to.
I’ve seen enough new years in that I know not to get my expectation for the new year too high. My plans are always altered. I never lose that weight although I have been fasting and have lost 22 pounds, although I probably gained some over the holidays with all the eating.
I never make resolutions because I break them within a week so I’ve decided the pressure isn’t worth it! This year no pressure. I plan to take it slow and easy. Just kidding! I don’t know what slow and easy means.

For example, this past Autumn I decided to paint all my grandchildren. There is a company where you can send in a picture you want to paint and they will make a paint by number of it and send all the paints you need to complete it. The thing is, it takes six to eight weeks to get the pictures back and it was getting awfully close to Christmas, but I decided I could do it. Needless to say, the last few weeks before Christmas I was painting for hours every day. But, I got them all done and gifted Christmas Day and I believe they all liked their pictures. And the pictures looked exactly like my grandchildren which I thought was quite a miracle! I can’t show the pictures here because I am not on the right computer. I’m on David’s tablet and he doesn’t have the pictures on here. I will try to show all pictures on my next blog.

This week I joined an online group that is going to make tiny nine patch quilts. That is the blocks will be small with squares maybe 1 1/2 inch big, but the quilts can be any size. The smallest block I have used before this was 2.1/2 inches with hundreds of squares. This particular quilt is next in line to be quilted. I’m going to quilt it on the machine. I just finished hand quilting a small quilt. I would show you, but, again. Wrong computer.

I have a lot of plans for 2024, but I had plans for 2023 and they didn’t include shots in the eye, an MRI,, ultrasound of my heart where they discovered absolutely no blockage and a healthy heart even with a pacemaker in, and an emergency operation on a very bad infection behind my ear. Nope, did not plan any of that . I don’t plan it again so we will see what happens. I plan to sew and quilt, play with my puppies ,go on drives with David, read lots of books, go to church every Sunday, visit relatives and friends and David is taking a whole month vacation this year. Oh, yes, and we are going to have our house painted. I may have a thing here where I show my different choices of paint colors and see which ones my readers like best. I am so excited about it. Our house has been brown with green trim for so long. It is going to change, I will tell you that.
God willing, and our health stays good I am planning for a busy, fun and happy year. Whatever happens will happen, no matter what we plan and I have learned to go with the flow, take the knocks and keep on going.
A Happy and Healthy 2024 to you all and keep your eye on the One who loves you most, our Lord and Savior,Jesus Christ. He has gotten me through so much. And He can do the same for you. Bye.

Silent Night

Finally, after traveling the eighty some miles to Bethlehem to pay their taxes, Mary and Joseph discovered there was no room in the inn where they had planned to stay. All the other inns were full to the brim with other tax payers. “Where can we go?” Mary asked her husband. She was so weary from the long, dusty journey and was ready to lay down as she was beginning to feel the first twinges of childbirth. Such a young girl with a young husband and they were all alone in the city.

“It may not be the best place, but you could stay in the stable in back,” The innkeeper told them. “At least it is warm and dry and I just put fresh bedding down for the animals. I have no blankets, but here are a few rags to cover you.” Joseph looked at Mary and she sighed and nodded her head.
They entered the stable and looked around. A few cattle stomped their feet and looked with curiosity at the new visitors. A mother sheep and her lamb baaed. Even a few chickens rustled where they were roosting. The young couple quickly fixed a makeshift bed and lay down to sleep, but nature had other plans because Mary was feeling the contractions coming faster and harder.

The birth pangs came regularly. Joseph prayed for his young wife that she would soon deliver. He hated seeing her in so much pain. She squeezed his hand so tightly as she pushed harder and harder. And then it happened. A tiny baby boy was born. Joseph looked at him in wonder because according to Mary, this was God’s own Son and she was to call Him Jesus. He would be the son of God. He remembered the day she told him she was going to have God’s son. He had read the prophesies and knew what would happen, but he had never thought it would affect his family. An angel had spoken to him in a dream and he knew Mary was a devout, godly young woman and he believed her. Not wanting anyone to look wrongly at her or,God forbid, stone her for being pregnant before they were married, Joseph had married her quietly and kept the gossips at bay.

Now here they were, in a stable meant for animals bringing the King of Heaven into this world of darkness. How would he ever protect Him and keep the secret he and Mary shared? The baby was so fragile. Who would ever believe He was God? The day before he was ruling the angels. Tonight he lay in a cattle manger swaddled in some of the rags the innkeeper had given them.

Mary looked at Joseph and smiled. “ If God decided this is how He would come to earth, He will certainly help us care for Him.” They both knew they had some very interesting years ahead of them.
Joseph had noticed an unusually bright star shining in the sky. He was sure it had something to do with the new baby and he discovered that it shown right above the stable. And soon they had visitors. Several shepherds that had been watching their flocks on the hills surrounding Bethlehem had had a Heavenly visitation. A whole choir of angels had appeared in the sky, worshipping God and telling the shepherds to not be afraid for God’s own Son had been born tonight and they were to find a stable for that is where they would find Him. They looked in awe at the little family and fell to their knees and worshipped the baby. Mary saw all this and pondered it in her heart. She was given such a great responsibility and she felt humbled and blessed at the same time.

Whether you believe or not, these things did come to pass. God came to earth as a tiny baby. Nonthreatening. In a humble state. Powerless for a time. He came out of love for the world and all the people in it from the beginning of time. He came to save. He came to take away our fear of death because if we just believe on Jesus and have a relationship with Him, our eternity is established in Heaven with Him. Christmas means love. The greatest gift of all was sent that night. For you. For me. For everyone. You don’t have to work for His love. He already loves you, just give Him your heart. A Merry and blessed Christmas to all who read this. May Jesus live in your heart now and forever.

All is Merry and Bright

Coming to the last countdown until Christmas and I still cannot believe it is just a little over a week away. I feel like I have been preparing for it forever and also feel like I am not prepared at all! I think about Christmas all year and look for things I think loved ones would like. I think I have come up with a humdinger this year. Humdinger. Where did that word come from and do only old people like me use it anymore? But anyway, I have worked on something I believe will surprise everyone this year. I can’t wait to give it to them. I have also planned some fun things to do. I will take pictures.
This year I decorated with snowmen, I have a collection of them. More than I realized. My Santas are not coming out this year to make way for the snowmen,

Here is our mantle this year. I made the quilt hangings with snowmen on them. David made the wooden fence that the stockings are hanging on and all the snowmen and ladies have appeared through the years and this year I decided to showcase them.

Funny thing about my decision to decorate with snowmen. We have been several places, including the hospital where snowmen were the decorations so I must be on something this year. Speaking of hospitals, my nurse practitioner at my cardiologist decided I needed an MRI and an echo of my heart as I have been feeling breathless for a while. I go see her next week to find out the results. Nothing different for me in the way I have been feeling for years, but suddenly it has to be checked. The MRI wasn’t too bad, but if you are claustrophobic I could see how it would bother some people. I kept my eyes closed the entire time and said a prayer and it was over before I knew it. So everywhere we looked in the hospital there were snowmen.

I love my Jim Shore snowman. A good friend gave it to me one Christmas. Years ago we were in Savannah, Georgia and there was a store with all Jim Shore things for sale. The man who owned the store knew Jim personally and said he had the largest collection of Jim Shore merchandise than anywhere. And he certainly did. The store was stuffed from top to bottom with Jim Shore creations. I like his things because each one has a quilt pattern on it. I have a nativity scene that was created by Jim Shore, also. I treasure it.

I bought this snowman online and he fits quite nicely on top of my clock. I painted the dog picture behind it. I love doing paint by number pictures. The company, Masterpiece Pictures, is not your usual paint by number company. The pictures are very intricate and there are a lot of different colored paints you get with each one and it makes things look real in the painting. These dogs just looked like blobs of paints until I stood back and saw they actually looked like dogs. The same thing happens when you paint people. A bunch of blobs until you step back. I have been looking at real artists’ paintings and it is the same with those. Up close you cannot see the picture then when you step back there it is. I could never paint something my self from scratch. It would look like a bunch of blobs! Even when you stood back.

The Christmas cactus decided to bloom on time this year. Last year it bloomed at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. At least it waits for the holidays. It has more blooms than ever this year. I put it outside this Summer and it thrived and next year I will have to put it in a bigger pot. It is about twice the size it was when it was given to me.

What tells it when to bloom? It still has several buds on it ready to pop so I am hoping it will still be blooming on Christmas morning.

I am so hoping it will snow for Christmas. Does it snow on Christmas where you live? We have not had a big snow for several years now, but the Old Farmer’s Almanac tells us we will be cold and snowy this Winter. It’s cold alright. Now bring on the snow.

We had dinner with our daughter and her family last week and then went to see the stage production of Christmas Story playing at the Nashville Playhouse in Nashville, Indiana. Nashville is such a pretty little town with lots of interesting shops. It’s a tourist town and people come from all over the world to visit here. Anyway, Christmas story followed Ralphie who wanted a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas and everyone kept telling him, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” The narrator was amazing. He talked all through the play with no script to look upon. All memorization. All the actors were good and Ralphie was played by the son of a friend of our daughter’s family. He did a very good job. I love going to theater. We are going to have a Beatles show at the music center in Nashville that is supposed to replicate an actual Beatles’ show from the sixties. I saw the prices for it and almost fainted. I saw the Beatles for real in the sixties and my and my best friend’s tickets only cost six dollars in total. Of course they were not the best seats, but we got to see and hear the Beatles and that is all that mattered. Best time I have had in my life. Well, almost the best. The center is also going to have a Barry Manilow concert without Barry, I think and those tickets are beyond our willing to pay. I saw Barry Manilow in concert for real years ago and could that man sing and perform! I remember after I had our daughter and had the baby blues, Barry got me through them. I would play his album over and over and cry. Thank you Barry.

So next week we will be busy shopping, cooking and cleaning and getting ready for Christmas day. Christmas is on a Monday this year which is nice. I pray everyone reading this has a blessed Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. Jesus.. He may not have really been born this time of year since the shepherds were in the fields, but it doesn’t matter What matters He was born. . We celebrate Him and I, for one, am very glad He was born. His birth changed everything for everyone. So, Merry Christmas, everyone. I will see you on the other side. Stay warm and wrap your loved ones in your arms and thank God for His precious Son. Bye.