Author Archives: Snickelfritz

About Snickelfritz

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, quilter, walker, reader, gardener, painter, knitter and Jill of many trades. I have two of the sweetest Labs and a wonderful husband who aides me in my addiction to fabric.

Been Through the Wringer

Do you feel like our country has been put through the wringer in the past few weeks?  Or months?   Or years?    Being put through the wringer is being twisted, squashed, pounded, and completely drained.   I have never seen anything like it in all my years on this earth.   Before you read much farther, this may get political.

I love politics. I will be up front with you about that. Ever since I got to vote for the first time at eighteen, I have loved politics.  I watched CSPAN faithfully.  I kept up with and still do, all the news I can watch.  Being honest with you, I believe there are several “news” shows that have drifted from being the news to being opinion shows and that is fine, I just wish they would admit to it.   I voted for Jimmy Carter.  GASP!     I grew up and started to see how politicians affected my life and my pocketbook.  Politics seems to have become all touchy feely anymore. Not about the operation of our great country and how our money is spent and how protected we are.  It’s about how people FEEL, not the facts or what is good for them.

During the last confirmation hearings of the new Supreme Court judge it went from finding out how well the man would serve on the court, how qualified he was, how long he has served with distinction, to something he didn’t do years ago, could not be proven and then he was called a drunk, that he threw ice in a bar, the horror, and that he did not have the temperament to be a judge despite the FACT he has served as a judge for decades and been praised over and over for how he performed on the job.   I know many women reading this are saying, but, but, he may or may or may not have done something to a girl in high school?   Well, there were no witnesses, no one to back the woman up, no evidence of anything she said and yet the “news” media continued the lies and deception over and over to try to brainwash people into believing one thing only.   How many of us can say we were perfect in high school?  How many of us have done things we would not want brought to light?  Would we want our lives ruined because someone may or may not have remembered something we may or may not have done thirty, forty, fifty years ago?  Things that could never be proven?   We live in a very dangerous world if someone can throw allegations at you with absolutely no proof and then you are found guilty.  It could happen to anyone.  Even you or me.

Then we watch as people, mostly young men and women throwing what I call tantrums and rioting in the streets. They are not peaceful demonstrations. I have seen people punched, signs torn from people’s hands and ripped apart, elderly people harassed by dancing young women who get in their faces and shout.  There is absolutely no respect for anyone from most of these people.  Is this the kind of country we all want? It’s not the country in which I grew up.  Do we want to hear our leaders telling others to get in people’s faces and shouting them out of restaurants?   Where has civility gone?   I noticed it began years ago when a certain young president told his followers, “If they bring a knife, you bring a gun.” I wondered then, who was bringing a knife??  Another politician tells people to get in the faces of those with whom they disagree.  And just this week I heard the woman who wanted to be president tell us that liberals cannot be civil with conservatives.  What kind of leadership is that?  Certainly not a leader who wants to unite people.   I don’t want a leader like that who promotes violence.  And less you say our president does that, I have listened to most of his speeches and he has never promoted violence. Yes, he has asked protesters to be removed from his rallies which I don’t find a bad thing.  And yes, people say “Lock her up,” about Hillary even though we know that family can get away with just about anything and nothing will happen.  It’s called letting off steam, but I have been to a Trump rally and there is no violence there and it was fun.   I’m telling the world most of all the negative things you are hearing about President Trump is not the truth. If you are reading this just know, most of us like the job he is doing. We have more money in our paychecks, we haven’t entered anymore wars and he is trying to protect our borders that have become like a sieve.

I love peace and harmony.  I don’t want to see people shouting at each other, striking each other and doing all kinds of mean things because of politics.   I want to get along with those who may vote differently from me, but if my man or woman wins, I want people to respect the office and respect our country enough not to throw a tantrum.  I certainly kept quiet for years when people were elected to office with whom I disagreed.  I just waited and quietly voted. It seems one side is not content to do that any longer. If someone beats their candidate, there has to be something wrong with the world.  Maybe we should all just turn off our tvs, get together for a pitch-in dinner and talk among ourselves and ignore the politicians and talking heads for a while.   I’d love to invite you for a cup of coffee and cinnamon rolls and just talk about our lives and our families. Most people all around the world only want the simple things. Freedom, enough food, shelter, friends and family.   This is what I pray for the world,  my country, my family, and my friends.

We don’t want to be put through the wringer any longer. Stop threatening to impeach someone duly elected or confirmed in his job.  Stop telling us what you want us to hear or believe and start telling us the truth.  Get along for a few months, at least, and let the country rest.  We have had enough.

Here’s to freedom and being able to voice my opinion.  May it never be taken away. Bye.

Autumn Weekend

Autumn has officially began with all its glory.  No, the trees are not changing color yet, but lots of things shout that Autumn is here. Everywhere you go, you see pumpkins at roadside stands, in fields and at grocery stores.  Mums in all different colors are displayed and tempt us to buy one, two or three.

Candy corn and candy pumpkins are put out in the stores. We have already gone through three bags of candy pumpkins or I should say,  David has gone through three bags of pumpkins. I ate one pumpkin, but I think they taste like wax.   I did some baking in an Autumn theme.  Cookies for a bake sale iced in orange icing and sprinkled with orange sprinkles.  My daughter said they made $275 for the MS Society at the sale, the charity the children chose to donate to.  I also baked a caked, iced in orange icing with candy pumpkins on top.

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I am slowly decorating for Autumn.

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The little tray I bought at an antique store filled with, what else, pumpkins.

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I love getting out all my Autumn quilts.  I am working on a pumpkin quilt right now and have an apple one to finish.  Maybe this week or next  I will be done painting and will have time to devote to quilting.  Speaking of painting, I have been painting on something since the first of the year.  I painted the inside of my shop, the shed, the outside of my shop, boards for our new screened in porch, stained and polyurethaned  two screen doors, and today I finished staining the floor of our front porch once again. I also am preparing to paint four new barn quilts to hang on the front of our house.   To say I am growing tired of painting is an understatement.

I love changing out my wardrobe from Summer things to cool weather things. I am getting out my clothes and washing and ironing them getting ready for a new season.

 

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Our Grandboys spent the weekend with us.  It’s always fun to have them here. We went to see the movie, “Small Foot” about a man taken in by the Yeti who considered him an object of curiosity.   It was cute, but I thought the music was way too loud.  The movie, “Goosebumps 2″ that is coming looks really good. I don’t see too many movies anymore because most just aren’t my cup of tea.  There are very few movies made for adults that appeal to me.  There is always a hidden message that I don’t care to see. Why does Hollywood do that?  Just make a good movie with good dialogue and we will come.

Took the boys to church and right in the middle of it, one of them left to go to the bathroom and was in there for a very long time so David got up to check on him. A while later, here they came and Foster had lost a tooth.   He put it in his pocket to take home, but later I saw it lying on the floor underneath a pew.  Wonder what the janitors would have thought about finding a tooth in the sanctuary?  I use to clean our church. I found some strange stuff at times.

Anyway, he put the tooth back in his pocket and I hope the tooth fairy was good to him.

We took the boys home and visited with our granddogs.  I love Golden Retrievers, but I will never have one because of the long hair that has to be brushed all the time.  My daughter’s Goldens are just beautiful and the sweetest things.  I took lots of pictures of them with the boys.

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Lily, on the floor is the mother.

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Two sweet faces.

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Now that’s a doggie smile. My son-in-law was telling me that one day when he was off work, he was putting his shoes on to take a walk and the dogs all knew what was happening and he said they all looked like they had big smiles on their faces because they knew they were going out for a walk with him. Oliver, the dog who lost his leg in a trap, still wanders sometimes.   You would think he had learned.

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This is Oliver, the one I wrote a story about. He is so beautiful and you hardly notice he has a leg gone.

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You can tell the boys and the dogs love each other.

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Really tried to get a picture outside, but the dogs didn’t cooperate.  They wanted to play.

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My grandson made a basketball goal out of paper just because he wanted to.

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I like to encourage creativity.  I think he did a good job.

This week will be more trips to Indianapolis for my daughter’s PT.  We had a little excitement coming home last time. We were driving along on the interstate and a car with some men inside, drove up beside us and a man pointed to our car and wanted us to stop. Me, being the paranoid person I am, and having heard of scams where men do this to women to get them to stop, I told my daughter to just keep driving. The men had pulled off to the side of the interstate thinking we would follow them. We were near our exit and the outlet mall where David works so we drove to the store and I went in and he came out to see. Lo and behold, we had a sort of flat tire.  David looked at it and had us go to a filling station to fill it with air.     A side story. Once when we were traveling through Arizona, we stopped at a filling station and suddenly a man came up and looked under our car and said if we didn’t have a certain thing repaired, our car might flip. David, being a mechanic in the military, knows about cars and blew him off.  We traveled thousands of miles in that car afterward with absolutely no trouble, so I believe we were being scammed in that instance.  But me, I worried all the time about that car flipping!   I am completely useless when it comes to cars and their repairs.

Remember when we had the kittens under our porch?  Our daughter took one and Sunday was the first time I had seen him since she adopted him.

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He is beautiful with a beauty mark on his face.

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But very hard to hang on to.  He’s made them a nice pet.

Here’s to Autumn, Goldens, Grandboys and Cats. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

September, I Hardly Knew Ye

I’m sitting here with a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee laced with Pumpkin Spice creamer watching WPC56, a British crime drama on tv. David and I have a penchant for British shows, especially ones that take place in the middle of the last century when he and I were just babies.  We pretty much watched all they had on Netflix, quit Netflix and started Amazon Prime which has a large selection on Britbox.    One of my favorites I’ve watched in the past few weeks was the Village about a late nineteenth and early twentieth century British village and all the happenings in it. It was before women’s suffrage and during the first world war.    Very interesting.

But enough about what I’m watching. This month has flown by in a haze.  Earlier David and I had both gone in for eye exams and because I have had problems with one of my eyes and am blind in it, I figured the doctor would find something wrong with me, but instead, David found out he had very bad cataracts and had to have surgery to remove them.  He had told me a while ago that when we were sitting and bird watching that the birds looked a little blurry. I thought he just needed a new glasses prescription.  Surprise to us.  So, this week he had the first eye done and while the doctor was in there he fixed David’s astigmatism. After he gets his second eye done he won’t have to wear glasses any longer. Just use reading glasses.   I have only known him wearing glasses and I’ve known him since I was twelve, so it will be strange to see him go without them.  He has already seen a difference. Amazing what they can do nowadays.

My daughter has MS and has entered a new physical therapy study in Indianapolis and I volunteered to go with her two times a week for moral support.  Plus I have to get her scooter out of the car and put it back in again.  Let’s just say, I have very little upper body strength so it’s been fun getting that scooter in and out of the car. We practically have to take it all apart so I can lift it, but we get it done.  She has a very nice therapist whose name is Depak who is very inspirational and makes us both feel like he can help her movement a lot more.  So I’m looking forward to the next ten weeks as she is put through the paces.

I have been knitting up a storm.  David and I took a road trip to a little town that had a really nice yarn shop and I bought this yarn

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I’ve already knit one sock from this.

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This is knitting up into a beautiful sock.

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This is the yarn I am using. It was a bit pricey, but the yarn is wonderful and knits up so well and I can probably get a couple of pair of small socks from the remaining yarn when I get the larger socks knit.  As of today I have knit fifteen pairs of socks since January and hope to get several more done before Christmas.  I was thinking I would like to knit socks and sell them and was checking out what other people charged for handknit socks and the prices ran from $40.00 a pair to $65.00 a pair depending on the price of the yarn.  I may have to start selling some socks to feed my sock knitting habit I have acquired.   Believe me, the time it takes to make them, getting a pair of handknit socks is a wonderful gift.  I did knit one sock in a couple of  days this week only because I was challenging myself to see if I could do one that quickly.  I know there are lots of faster knitters than me out there, but I never thought I would ever be able to knit one sock, let alone dozens of pairs.

I am hoping to branch out into larger knitted items. I found this pattern at the same store. It looks fairly easy. Just knit rectangles and sew them together. I’m thinking of knitting it in a soft lavender.

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I had Thanksgiving dinner Sunday for my family since we will be gone on Thanksgiving this year.    I hadn’t made a big meal like that for months and it plum wore me out.  I baked a pie, homemade rolls, made homemade noodles and several other dishes to go along.   After I have cooked a big meal like that, I am not hungry until everyone goes home and then my appetite suddenly comes back and then I eat.   As you have read, cooking isn’t my favorite pastime, but I can do it when the need arises.  This next week I will be baking cookies for a bake sale.  One of our grandsons is in a club at school where they do things for others and they are having a bake sale and the profits will go to a charity they have picked, but they have to ask people to bake something for them so my grandson called me on the phone and asked me if I would bake something. Of course. I would do anything for my grandchildren if I can.  Glad they are teaching the children to think of others.    We need more of that.

I didn’t get any pictures of our “Thanksgiving” dinner only the aftermath.

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The table really looked pretty. You’ll have to take my word for it.  But I find I am living more in the moment nowadays and don’t think of taking pictures until it’s too late.   I used my Fiestaware dishes and it was a very colorful table.

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Then we gathered around the tv to see some videos of Disney World rides we will be riding( well, some of us will be riding) when we all go there together.   I’m afraid riding anything that drops suddenly is off my list of rides, but I am sure I will have plenty of things to see and do while we are there.  See the guy in the red shirt on the floor? That’s our oldest son. He is almost fifty and he loves amusement parks. He has a season pass to King’s Island in Cincinnati and goes there almost every day before and/or after work.  He’s ridden all the roller coasters. This is the kid who was afraid of heights and once when we had to sit way up in the uppermost seats at a Cincinnati Reds game, he was afraid.   Things have changed.

October will bring another surgery and more trips to Indianapolis.  I’m hoping to get some quilting done. Ever since we remodeled my shop, I have had hardly any time to just go out there and sew. I did finish sewing together a wall hanging today which thrilled me beyond all reason.   Plus we are getting our house painted and a new screened in back porch built.  It’s going to be another very busy month.

Hope your days are filled with some work and some play and that you will enjoy the Autumn weather because the heat will soon go away.  Halleluhah.   Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Eat or Not to Eat, That is the Question

I have never liked to cook.  I like to bake, but cooking just bores me, but it’s the one thing I have to do several times a week whether I want to or not or we’d just be eating sandwiches and salads.

Through the fifty years we have been married I have probably spent thousands of hours in the kitchen doing that which I find boring.  It’s a necessary evil and someone has to do it and I’m that someone.  I’m a pretty good cook, too. That is what is amazing. I did have a good teacher when she could get me into the kitchen.   My mother.  She was the best cook around.  I still miss her fried chicken.   My chicken doesn’t hold a candle to hers.  My mother wasn’t all that fond of cooking either and yet, she spent most of her life in the kitchen cooking up big meals for our family of eight and huge dinners for company which we had quite often. I always thought people showed up right at dinner or supper time on purpose to eat some of my mother’s cooking.    I did it a few times myself after I got married. Mom always had something good to eat and always a dessert.

Now when I cook for company there is a whole new dilemma.  What to cook.  Today so many people are on diets or special diets or can’t eat certain foods or are diabetic or can’t have salt or are lactose intolerant or eating gluten free or on the keto diet.  I find cooking for company isn’t at all fun anymore.  I can’t fix several different things to fill all the needs of everyone.  When my mother cooked, she didn’t ask what one could or couldn’t eat. She cooked a meal and you ate it.  If you couldn’t eat something, you didn’t say anything.  Now you have to take notes on who can eat what.

So many people are dieting all the time now.  I know it’s healthier to be slim, but there is fanaticism to it one didn’t see years ago.   I’ve been on every diet in the book and I just gave up and eat pretty much what I want.  Even if the doctor says don’t eat this or that.   I’m going to die some day anyway, I might as well die happy.   My husband eats everything with lots of salt and is skinny and hardly ever sees the doctor.  His grandmother was a thin woman and lived into her nineties, so I think he takes after her.  And if he does go on a diet all he has to do to lose weight is leave out a slice of bread and he’ll drop pounds.  Life is not fair!

So do you have a special diet? Do you love to cook?  How easy is it for you to plan meals?  That’s another thing.  Planning all the meals just makes me have to think of food all the time. When I ask my husband what he would like to eat he always says, “I don’t know, let me think about it,” so that is what we will have one day.  A plate of I don’t know with dessert being I’ll think about it!   Hope he likes it.

I don’t even know why I am writing about food and diets and all that anyway. I think it’s because I am about ready to go grocery shopping and the whole vicious cycle will start again.  What to eat or not to eat.  That is the question. Bye.

Where Were You?

Today is September 11th.  A day we Americans remember with sadness, some anger, and hope that it never happens again.  It was a day like no other I have experienced, when for just a little bit of time we Americans were banded together against one enemy.  An enemy who thought nothing of flying two airplanes into office buildings and murdering thousands of our citizens.  An enemy who used our airplanes to attack the Pentagon and would have done more damage if some brave souls on one plane didn’t fight back.

Now years later, we are still fighting this enemy while allowing many of them into our country. Something I just don’t understand at all.  Would we have welcomed Nazis during WW2?  I don’t think so.  And less you try to tell me all muslims are not terrorists, just know that almost all terrorists are muslims.  I watch them torture and murder Christians in several countries.  What would happen here in the United States if we were under muslim control?  May it never happen.

Where were you when the attack happened?  I was cleaning our church at the time. I would go in at two o’clock in the morning and work until nine or ten that morning. On 9/11 I was taking out the trash in my car when I heard that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. My exact thought was, “What nut flew an airplane into that building?”  I was thinking a small plane.   I didn’t know until I got home and turned on the tv that it was an air liner and I saw the second one fly into the second building and I knew we were under serious attack.  I sat glued to the tv all day.  I had so many emotions that day. Grief, anger, disbelief, fear.  When the pentagon was attacked I thought it was all out war.  Maybe it should have been. Maybe we should have annihilated the enemy once for all in the days afterward.  My heart broke for all those who lost loved ones that day. Remember all the pictures and messages posted on fences and walls by family members looking for their loved ones, hoping they had survived the attack?   Those pictures still haunt me.

But true to form, the Democrats and Republicans could not remain as one voice for very long and soon some were for protecting all muslims at any cost while some wanted to bomb muslim countries into oblivion.   Maybe if we had done that then, we would not be having the continuous threats to our country and many other countries around the world with muslim infiltration.   I read about rapes going up in European countries because of muslim infiltration.  In Sweden, rapes have sky rocketed in that small country.  All because of their leaders allowing so many muslim men into their country.

I don’t know what the answer is.  I ask God to protect our country from those who would destroy us.   Just this week a hundred Banglesdesh people were stopped at our border.  People are flooding our borders as never before.  I heard today that since 9/11 border patrol and ICE have turned away eleven million people at our border. Millions more have come into our country illegally. Muslim Terrorists were even found living  in a compound right on our border, who were training children to attack our schools.  Our president is trying to stop this with a wall, but, as usual, the politicians can’t come together and get it done.   I hope there will not be another 9/11 to wake some up.

This day brings many thoughts.  If you live in a country being invaded, you understand what I am writing about.  If you believe muslims are a peace loving people, and many are,  that is your right, but the religion was founded on conquest and destruction and taking over people by force, if needed.   The culture of Islam is not compatible with free countries.   I never really thought much about Islam before 9/11, but I have thought a lot about it since and I have done some studying of it and nothing has proven to me it is peaceful.  It’s only peaceful when kept in control.

So, when you ponder where you were and what you were thinking on this day, just know we must all come to some conclusion one day about who the enemy really is and what should be done about it.  I pray we never have to endure another horrible day like 9/11 ever again.

Say a prayer for those who lost loved ones this day seventeen years ago and pray God will protect our countries from any more harm.  Bye.

Once There Was A Summer

Remember those first few days of Summer when you thought they were spread out before you like a gift just waiting to be opened?   So many plans made for picnics, road trips and long, lazy days by the pool.   Blue, blue skies?   Warm sun on the face?

Days when clouds had curls on the top like a Dairy Queen ice cream cone? 

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Summer didn’t quite turn out that way for me.  I have spent a great deal of Summer painting and gardening.   We have talked for years about painting the house so this year we have decided to get it done.  But first, we wanted to try some paint colors to see what we would like. We painted the shed and my shop a deep, dark syrupy chocolate and I like it.

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Between David and myself we got them both done with two coats on each.   We are having the house painted.  No tall ladders for us.

It’s rained so much this Summer so we painted between the rain drops.   The rain has done wonders for my garden, though.

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The pumpkin vines have spread everywhere and I have seen a few pumpkins starting to form.

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One vine grew up and tree and then down and there is a pumpkin hanging in there somewhere.

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And the vine continues to grow down to earth again. Who knows where it will end up?

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These pumpkin vines are waist high on me.  The leaves are huge.  I hope the pumpkins won’t disappoint.

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Being a farmer’s daughter, I am always glad to see that the farmers have good stands of corn and soybeans in their fields. I heard on the radio that harvest may come early this year.  Good for the farmers.

And even though it’s Summer, I have still found time for knitting.  In the early morning or in the evenings I try to knit a bit.  Here are a few of the socks that have come off my needles.

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With all this yarn I knit a pair of patchwork socks.

 

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Not sure anyone but me will want to wear these colorful socks, but I do love them.

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Another pair of socks from odds and ends of yarn leftovers.  I rather like these, too. These were a bear to knit for some reason. I tore out one of them three times, once when I was at the toe.   Grrrr.

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And I found the colors in this ball of yarn almost matched my patchwork socks.

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And here they are.  See the mistake?  It’s hardly noticeable, but I know it’s there.

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And I also did some patching of holes on some older socks I knit.  These are some of the first socks I ever knitted.  I knit little squares and sewed them over holes.

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Then I did a little yarn embellishing.  I will be glad to wear these on a cold Winter’s day.

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The children are all back in school sitting at their desks hopefully filling their brains with useful information that will get them far in life.  Our oldest grandchild started college this year and our youngest is in fourth grade. How fast they have grown.    Soon the leaves will begin to change. The air will have a crispness in it that I have longed for all Summer.  I am not a hot weather person.   We have plans for this Autumn.  I will be making trips to Indianapolis with our daughter as she takes part in a physical therapy study for MS patients.   Pray for good results.   Then we will all go to Walt Disney World together and have some fun.  That’s our plans.

Hope your Summer was full of everything your heart desired and that Autumn will be the same. Bye.

Oh, and Belle and Molly give their regards.

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Woof!

 

 

 

 

Nobody and Everybody

I’ve been hearing and seeing a lot on opinion sites about Nobody and Everybody.  Everybody loves this tv show. Everybody is flocking to see that movie.  Nobody likes our president. Nobody believes a thing he says.  Nobody goes to rallies willingly.  They are paid.  Everybody wants a woman in the White House. Which woman?  Everybody loves this new food, book, tea, laundry detergent, store etc., etc.

Just who are these Nobodies and Everybodies?  And why don’t I always agree with them?   I went to a movie once that Everybody was raving about and it even won an Oscar.  Most boring movie I have ever watched and some people even got up and left when full frontal nudity came on he screen.  Who are these Everybodies? Don’t they have any taste?

I went to a restaurant Everybody said I should not miss. It would be the highlight of my life.  Worst food and service I have ever received.  Everybody was wrong, evidently.   Maybe I am a Nobody.  Because I don’t always agree with all the Everybodies.

What do you think when you see something advertised and it is said that Everybody loves it?  I immediately become suspicious because these Everybodies have steered me wrong more times than not.   I hear that Everybody is getting a certain vaccine.  Well, I haven’t and I probably won’t.   Some vaccines have been proven to be more harmful than helpful in the long run. I got vaccinated for something a while back only because a friend had been affected by this particular disease and told me I really must get vaccinated against it.  So I did. A few weeks later I heard that getting the vaccination could CAUSE you to get the disease. What????!!!

Who are these Everybodies and Nobodies?  Where do they live. Do they live in a nicer house than me, have a better dog, car, cat, refrigerator etc?    How did they get so smart that Everyone wants to follow Everybody?    And the Nobodies are just party poopers.  Really.

So the next time you hear something advertised and someone says, “Everybody loves it, or wants it, or has used it, etc.,”  just remember, if you aren’t part of those Everybodies, it isn’t true.

As for the Nobodies. Nobody listens to them anyway. Bye.

August and Where did Summer Go?

When I was a girl, I lived for Summer.  School was a necessary evil.  I did well in school and made good friends, but I preferred to be outdoors and with my animals.    The last day of school was such a celebration for me. I feel sorry for children now who seem to be going to school all year around and don’t have the luxury of long, lazy Summer days to do just what they want to do. It seems children’s lives are so planned now. Even times to play with friends are called “Play Dates.”      Sports and other things fill children’s time.  When do they have the time to be bored?     Being bored is not a bad thing. It’s been made to be a bad thing in today’s fast paced, go, go, go society.  One must be entertained every moment of every day.

I was never bored as a child.   There was always so much to do on the farm.  I did have chores to do, but when they were done, my time was my own.   If I wanted to play a game of baseball, I joined my brothers in the barn lot where we would play all afternoon.  A game of croquet or badminton sometimes was the order of the day.  But mostly I played with the dogs and the cats and the calves and baby pigs and chickens and ducklings on our farm or swung on the swing and read a library book for hours.   Because we lived in the country, I didn’t have friends close by to play with so I had to entertain myself.  I learned to sew on Mother’s sewing machine, how to cut apart a chicken for Sunday dinner and how to saddle a horse.   I was in 4-H where I learned to embroider, bake cakes, tube paint, weave baskets and raise a sheep.

I still love Summers, but they seem so busy now.  Every year we plan a project and this year it is painting all the buildings on our property.  Most have not been painted for years so they are due.  I wanted to paint the outside of my shop, but first I had to remove everything that was on the front porch.

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This is not all of it. It looked like we were having a garage sale.

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And so I began to paint.

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Going from the color Chocolate which has been on our house and our buildings for years and years to Oxford Brown or as I like to call it Dark Chocolate. The paint looked just like chocolate syrup in the can.   Between David and myself we have the shop just about done. I love how it looks. We are hiring someone to paint the house because no more going up high ladders for David and my anymore.      We have wood fencing all around our property which we have been painting on for years and this year we hope to have most of it completed.  I love to paint, but I have been painting on something since January and am about done for a while.

Since it’s been our 50th anniversary month David and I have been doing some traveling and visiting places from our youth

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The church where we said our “I dos” 50 years ago.  It looks pretty much like it did fifty years ago.  Golly, but it seems like only yesterday.  I can still see the people at the door of the church throwing rice as David and I got in the car to drive around town.  David’s brother was driving. He came up from the Virgin Islands,   where he lived, to be David’s best man. They drive on the left side of the road there. When he left the church, he was driving on the left side of the street and we had to holler at him to get to the right!  It was one of the best days of my life.   It’s been a great 50 years.

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David’s Grandmother’s house.  She’s been gone many years, but we use to visit her often and she would cook us dinners.  She was a very good cook.

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We’d sit on this front porch and  watch the town go by. It was and still is a little town where everyone use to know everyone else. I don’t know if it’s like that now.   I miss it.  I miss Grandma Henley. She was so good to me.

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We’ve done a good bit of swimming with the grandboys.  We got this wild steer for them to ride in the pool.

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We are still getting rhubarb.  Made this freezer jam.

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Rhubarb sauce which David loves.  He even puts it on ice cream.

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And Rhubarb crunch. Yum.

And we have done some antiquing and other things.

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Found this clock for my shop which was perfect.

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This cute little tray.

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This tablecloth which matched the clock completely.

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A birdhouse I found.  A four holer.   Hope the birds can decide among themselves.

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We ate at a German restaurant which had very good food.

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Sitting out on the shop porch one evening, we watched a rainbow be born. I have never seen it happen before.  First it was very dim and got brighter and brighter and lasted for quite a while.  God’s promise.

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There have been quite a few rainbows lately.

And so Summer continues on for just a little while. I will hold it to me as long as I can.  I have so few Summers left on this great planet of ours.  As long as my garden is blooming, it’s Summer to me.

And my garden is blooming profusely right now.

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The view from my back door.  Everything is so lush.

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The best hydrangeas I have ever grown.  Right by our front step.

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I think these are called Tiger Lilies.  Their seeds look like ripe blackberries.

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I call this my kitchen garden.  Not much food grown here except a few tomatoes.

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Hibiscus grow all over the yard from one plant I got from my neighbor years ago.

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Lawn children play among the flowers.  A long time ago real children played in my garden.  Now they are all grown and live away.

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Just a couple of the day lilies I grow. They are one of my top five favorite flowers for beauty and ease of care.

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Belle roaming in her garden.  She loves to sniff the flowers.

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And, of course, Molly follows me everywhere I go.

So, Summer slowly leaves us now. I’ll be looking at these pictures in the midst of Winter snow, sleet and ice.   I know in some places fires are raging so we must send a prayer for all those in the areas, for the people and for the wildlife. Be safe. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noise

Now I don’t have the best of hearing, but the world seems inundated with noise of all kinds nowadays.    First the alarm clock blasts us awake in the morning telling us another busy day has begun.  I will have to admit, I very rarely wake to an alarm clock any more since I am retired. David sets his alarm, which I hardly ever hear, and goes to work early.   But back in the days of school and a business and working, the alarm clock woke me every day.

Doing the laundry is no longer a silent job.  Just opening the washer lid sets off a dinging telling you the lid is up.  Then, when the wash load is completed, there is another ding to remind you that you put clothes in the washer.  Same goes for the dryer.  Open the door and there is a ding.  Clothes dry, ding again.

Driving a car use to be pretty easy.  You got in the car, turned on the lights if needed and drove.  Now the car warns you your door is open, your seatbelt is not on and if you left your lights on before getting out there is a loud ping-ping-ping that won’t let up until you turn off the lights. If you forget and leave your keys in the ignition, there is another warning sound that is so irritating, you can’t get the keys out fast enough.  And I’m sure many of you have heard the check engine ding that may or may not be warning you about something.   David ignored that ding for years in his truck and has never had any trouble.  A tire low, ding again.  Gone are the days when you were responsible for checking the pressure in your tires or remembering to turn off the lights or take out the key.

Have you listened to any news on tv lately?  What’s with the steady beat behind the reporting?  It seems the news cannot be reported any longer unless there is music or drum beats going on in the background. Sometimes it’s so loud, it’s hard to hear the reporters.  Same with movies and television shows.  The background music is so intrusive, it drowns out the voices you are trying to hear.  I read once that the makers of movies thought the loud music would make it more of an experience for the viewer, drawing them in.  It makes me want to leave.  Sometimes the music is so loud in the movie theater I have to cover my years. Is there an insidious effort to make us all deaf or deafer than we already are?    I also have been noticing a subliminal sound of a telephone ring in the background of some things I am watching.  David doesn’t hear it, but I have heard it clearly several time.  I am not going nuts.

Loud music in passing cars.   We sit on our porch quite frequently and a car will go by with the bass playing so loudly, I fear for the occupants inside.  When I can feel the beat in my chest from a car passing my house, it must be a tad too loud.

Trains.  I love trains.   I have lived by train tracks for almost my entire married life and enjoy seeing the trains go by.  But lately, it seems the train whistles have become much louder and longer in duration.   I wonder about the engineers who really lay on the horn and keep it going from one crossing to the next.   Why is it necessary for them to keep the horns going after they have crossed the track?     It’s a noise that is causing some problems in my city because there are more trains going through than ever before.  The city fathers are trying to find a solution, but I don’t think they will do anything with the crossing by my house as we are too far out of town, even though we are considered in city limits.

Dogs barking. Okay. They are my dogs.   Some day I will have to tape Molly when a train goes by.  She is louder than the train, if possible. It’s almost like she is enjoying the howling and will continue it long after the train has passed.  She doesn’t do it when I am outside with her.  I am sure the train whistle hurts her ears, but she should be getting use to them.

Talking heads on tv.  They are just noise.  Who are these people that others take them seriously and listen to them?   Watch one show there is one view. Watch another there is an opposing view and the more controversial the topic, the louder the voices get and they shout over each other.  Noise.  I find myself turning them off more and more.

Cellphones.  David and I rarely use our cellphones except for long distance calls and we do take it with us on trips in case we have car trouble.  But I see people with cellphones on continually, whether playing games or scrolling through pictures or checking Facebook or twitter.  Kids wear earplugs in their ears continuously listening to the latest music.  People turning on and turning out everywhere.  It’s not noise, but it’s another distraction from real life. I notice even in church people are sitting there scrolling through their cellphones and I know they are not all reading the Bible!  And sometimes a cellphone will ring right in the middle of the sermon. Noise.   Distraction.  We have become a nation of watchers, not doers.  Many people aren’t in the moment anymore.  If it’s not on their cellphone, it’s not life for them.

I’m as bad as the next one. I have to have background noise on most of the time whether it’s the tv or radio.  Lots of times I’m not even really listening.  Noise.    I must make a concerted effort to turn off the tv and radio and listen to the silence for a while.  I don’t know how anyone is creative anymore with sound blaring constantly all around them.  Some of the best inventions have happened when people were bored and were sitting quietly, thinking.

I hope I don’t sound like a curmudgeon.   Yesterday probably wasn’t any better than today, but it sure seems like it’s a lot noisier today.  Who listens to the birds singing or the patter of rain on the roof or the wind blowing through the trees?  If it all isn’t done with background music many probably won’t listen.    Noise. How has it affected you today?

Knee Deep in Summer

Holy moly.   July 4th has already come and past and we are knee deep in Summer and it is speeding toward Autumn.     I don’t even feel like we celebrated the fourth even though we had a picnic and pool party and we saw fireworks from our back porch for a week.  One evening the fireworks were every bit as good as our city puts on every year and we didn’t have to listen to the awful music they play during their fireworks.   Someone had a lot of fireworks because they were exploding for days before the fourth and days afterward. Belle and Molly did not like it much.  I was pretty much over fireworks by the fourth, too.

I did manage to make some patriotic looking sugar cookies. My grandkids love these.

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It was a spur of the moment thing which is pretty much how I roll anymore.

David and I celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary on the 7th.  Fifty years!  How can that be?  We have gone through a lot together in those fifty years.   Joys, sorrows, tragedies, accidents, blessings and more.  I wouldn’t want to live it all over again, but it’s been a very interesting fifty years.  We have had a lot of fun too and gotten to travel a lot and since we both love to travel, it’s been great.    I think about starting all over again and I think, “Nope, don’t want to go there.”   I look to the future and I know what my eternity holds so it’s all good.  There will probably be more good times as well as bad times. In fact, my sister- in -law, my oldest brother’s wife, just passed away this morning.   She has lived without Jack for several years so I can imagine the reunion in Heaven today.    She was one of the last few people who remembered me when I was a kid.  She married my brother when I was five or six years old.    I use to spend time at their house when I was a kid and play with their next door neighbor’s kids.  Carroll was always so nice to me.  I will miss her, but I look forward to seeing her again one day.

Anyway, David and I celebrated our fiftieth by going to West Baden Springs in southern Indiana.  In the early part of last century some businessman got the idea to build a big hotel surrounding the mineral springs that were there.  People would come from all over to drink the water and bathe.     The hotel was many things during the century.  It was a hospital,  a Jesuit school,  soldiers were housed there during one of the wars.  The Jesuits blocked up all the Springs. The hotel fell into disrepair.  Then several years ago, someone decided to resurrect the building once more and bring it back to the grandeur of its heyday.    My son-in-law’s place of business provided all the new carpet throughout the hotel and repaired much of the tile that was damaged or missing.  Here are a few pictures of the hotel now.

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Wish I had brought my swimsuit.

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Wish I looked like this in a swimsuit!

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The carpets were beautiful.

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I never could get a full picture of the hotel. It is huge and very beautiful. This picture does not do it justice at all.

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This was in the atrium, a huge room with sofas and chairs where you could sit and look at all the beauty.

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This was a balcony looking over the atrium.

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Statues all around the atrium.

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There was a billiard room where you could play billiards.

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At one time they had shoeshine men and men would sit on this marble stand and get their shoes shined.

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The halls to the rooms were luxurious.

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There were flower gardens everywhere. It was so beautiful outside.

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At one time there was a barbershop in the hotel.

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These are some of the dishes they used in the restaurant and for room service back in the day.

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Some of the commemorative plates they sold.

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Big, wide porches you could sit on and watch the world go by.  I didn’t get to do this. Must go back.

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Fountains on the vast lawn.

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These lights lined the drive.

Now David and I are more Best Western and Comfort Inn kind of travelers. We don’t stay in luxury hotels, well, not ever.   But this was our fiftieth anniversary and we splurged for a wonderful night at a wonderful place and we are so glad we did.

 

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When we got in our room there were flowers on the table and I thought, “How nice of the hotel to have flowers in the room.”  Then I saw another vase of flowers and thought, “Wow, they really go overboard here.”   I lay down on the bed and David said, “Aren’t you going to look at the flowers?”  And I said, “I looked at them, aren’t they pretty?”  And then David said, “Aren’t you going to read the card?”  and I said, “There’s a card?”  Then  I read the card and realized David had had flowers sent to the room. Oh, my.  Then I read a card next to the other flowers that read “Happy Anniversary” and we both thought they were from the hotel.   Then I found a card behind those flowers and discovered the second vase of flowers were from our children so I called our oldest son to thank him and he asked us if we liked the chocolate covered cherries and I said we hadn’t gotten any.  He said there were supposed to be twenty-five flowers in the vase and twenty-five chocolate covered cherries for David in the room.  Hmmmm.

We left to do some exploring around the hotel and when we got back to our room there was a plate with twenty-five chocolate covered cherries waiting.   I think our son did some calling.

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That same day we went to an elephant ranch.  Yes, elephants right smack dab in the middle of the country in southern Indiana.  These are rescue elephants who spend their Summers in Indiana and their Winters in Florida.   I was so excited about getting up close and personal with them.  While we waited our turn to see the elephants we looked at the other animals in the petting zoo they had there.

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Goats.

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Mama kangaroo.

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Baby kangaroo.

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A tortoise who really wanted out of his cage.

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There were giraffes. This one was slobbering so badly and throwing his slobber several feet from his pen.   I stood waaay back from this guy.  Or girl.  I don’t know.

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Giraffes sure do have a pretty coat.

And my all time favorite was there at the petting zoo.

 

 

 

 

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A chicken who didn’t seem all that thrilled about being caged with the goats.

Finally our time came to get on the bus to ride to where the elephants were and this is the funny part.  The elephants were probably a block away from where we were. We could have walked there just as easily.  We laughed about that.

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We all sat on bleachers while a man told us all about elephants.  He takes care of these elephants both in Indiana and Florida and use to take care of elephants in India.  He knew all about elephants.  They are such majestic creatures.

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What kind of people kill these animals just for their ivory tusks?  It’s terrible.   Don’t buy anything made with ivory.

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These creatures are extremely intelligent and once they have met you, they will never forget you. I tried to be sure one of the elephants got to know me. I hope my image is imprinted on her mind forever.     It was so amazing to be in the same room with three of these wonderful animals.    I got to pet them and they have very thick, stiff hairs on their bodies.    I told the lady she was blessed to get to work with elephants every day and she said it gave her great joy.

When evening came we sat in the atrium at the hotel and listened to sixties and seventies music played by these guys.

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They were really good. They sang the Everly Brothers’ song, “Dream” and David and I sang along with them.   Made me feel like I was a teen-ager again.  Ha.

At the end of the day we were really tired and went to our room where this very comfortable bed awaited us.

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And should I have needed to call someone from the bathroom, there was a phone nearby!

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We had a suite and I had to walk through two rooms to get to the bathroom.  I was hoping I wouldn’t get lost during the night.

I don’t usually sleep well the first night in a new bed, but David and I both fell fast asleep and slept all night.   In fact, when I went to take a shower and came back to the room, David had fallen asleep already.  So much for romance!  Haha.

And when we checked out the following morning, someone had paid for our room.  Wow.  What a wonderful anniversary we had.

Here’s to anniversaries and grand hotels. Bye.