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.

Calm Before the Storm

We have lived in our old house for almost 40 years now and there has hardly been a year where we have not done something to it like removing wallpaper, putting up wallpaper, removing wallpaper, painting, stripping woodwork, replacing woodwork, putting down tile floors, removing tile floors, ripping out old floors, putting down new wood floors, replacing windows, adding a bedroom and bathroom/laundry room, putting on a deck, ripping down the deck, building a bigger deck, building a brand new front porch(which, to this date, is our most favorite thing we have ever done to this house) and multiple paintings of every room in the house.  David says our walls are at least one inch thicker because of all the paint I have slapped on them for the last 40 years.  One year, when our children still lived at home and the neighborhood kids would come over, one little girl asked me one time, “Are you always painting?”  I had to confess to her that I love to paint and yes, I was always painting something.

Well, we think we are almost done remodeling.  This year we are completely gutting the upstairs bathroom except for the big, old tub, which I love to soak in and having new walls put up, new wiring, new light fixtures, new plumbing, new cabinet and sink, faucets and new flooring put in.  We are also finishing up getting all our windows replaced. It has taken several years, but they will be done this year. Yippee!  Except for our hall window which I love because it slides up into the wall and they cannot find one like it to replace it, so it’s staying.

So today I cleaned the downstairs really well because I know for the next few weeks, my house is going to be tracked in, dust will fall as the plaster walls come out and total chaos will reign for a time.  I’m not good with chaos, but thankfully our contractor is not one of those who takes his time doing a job. He comes in, keeps his men working  until the job is complete.   At least he has in the past and I have no reason to think he has changed.  David has said we have him on retainer because he has worked on our house so much.  We still have one bathroom to go and I don’t know if we will get that done this year.  He and his men are very nice to work with and are very respectful of other’s property.   I worry about my tub getting scratched, but I have been assured they will lay something in it to protect it.   All the tilework around the tub is going to be replaced.  I have wanted to have that done for years.  No amount of scrubbing can make that tile look good, so brand new, sparkling white tile is going up around my old tub and my old tub will be so thankful! And after all the dust has settled and everything is done I will repaint the bathroom myself. I have the colors all picked out  We purchased this really big, old mirror to place above the cabinet.  Now I am wondering if I really want to see that much of me when I get out of the bathtub!   Right now we just have a little medicine cabinet in the wall.  One I am going to keep because it is vintage.  Probably put in the bathroom in the 1950’s.

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So, here are pictures of the bathroom as it is now. A very nondescript little room. But it has served its purpose well for these last few decades.  I have bathed my  children and grandchildren in the big, old tub.  I have waited impatiently outside its door for teen-agers to get done doing whatever teen-agers take forever to do.  I have been so sick in this bathroom, I’ve wanted to die.  I have spent hours soaking in the tub.  I like showers, but a good soak in a bathroom is bliss to me, especially when my muscles are screaming in pain, which they seem to do more often these days.  Yes, it’s been a good little bathroom and deserves to be remodeled and brought into the twenty-first century. Or as far into the twenty-first century as I am willing to go.

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The tub. One would think I would have prettied things up a little before taking this picture, but, well, this is how the bathroom looks most of the time.   I am planning to be neater in the new bathroom.

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We did replace the commode years ago.  The old one had been there since the 1950’s.  But we are getting a newer, more high tech one.  Thank you for looking at my toilet.  I am sure it’s been the highlight of your day!

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Yes, we are keeping this little drawer by the bathtub which has absolutely nothing in it.  And, yes, I do buy shampoo a lot and don’t use up the bottles.

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I love this corner cabinet, but there is nothing you can do with this corner with it there.  So, it’s going.  I’m going to look at antique stores for a storage cabinet of some kind to replace it. Who knows what I will find in the dark, back corners of this cupboard when I take everything out.  It kind of makes me sad it’s going.  Is that crazy, or what?  I tend to hold onto things.  Does anyone want a nice corner cabinet? Let me know before next Wednesday.

I painted this bathroom several times.   The last time was many years ago and my, then, daughter-in-law put the wallpaper border up for me. I have always loved this wallpaper.  I will be sad to see that go too.  I still am friends with my daughter-in-love although she is not technically related to me any longer.  And she is a great mother to my grandchildren.

So, I will be taking pictures of the remodel.  I hope I won’t be screaming in agony as the old bathroom goes.   Who gets attached to a bathroom, anyway?   There is a lot of history between me and this bathroom.   And the people who live in our house down the road will be glad that the bathroom doesn’t date to the 1950’s.  I hope that won’t happen for a long time.  Bye.

 

Easter Celebration

We had a lovely Easter this year.  The weather wasn’t, but the rest of the day was.  It poured rain Sunday morning right before we went to church. Then while in church, the sun came out. Our choir sang an amazing cantata which touched me deeply.  There were a lot of people in church. There were two baptisms and one little girl went forward to make a profession of faith. She is the pastor’s granddaughter, so I know it was a special time for him.

After church we rushed home where some family were already there waiting for us as church ran a little long. We had a delicious meal of ham, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, homemade rolls, corn, salad, potato salad, strawberries and for dessert, chocolate pie, banana cream pie and lemon meringue pie.   I hadn’t made pies in a long time, but these were a success and today there is only one piece left.

We visited for a while, but the children were excited about hunting Easter eggs so finally we told them it was time. There were about 200 eggs hidden, some with pieces of paper with dollar signs on them to turn in for dollar bills and some with smiley faces on them to turn in for candy.

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We made them pose for pictures which was like herding a bunch of cats.

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Could not keep their hands off each other.

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Finally, a picture we liked.  Although they still all were not looking at the camera.DSCN5090

A picture of our beautiful daughter. I have never written this on my blog, but she has MS.  She is the bravest woman I know how she handles this horrible disease. She works almost every day and raises her two boys.  I don’t know how she does it, but she took them to the zoo the other day without help.   She does have a little scooter that she runs around on and that helps.  If you have MS or know someone who suffers from it, you know it’s a very unpredictable disease and people who have it are in pain a lot of the time.  Anyway, I am proud of her and I pray every day for a cure for this horrible disease that affects so many people.  I thank God she has a husband who is very supportive of her and loves her and tries to make her life easier if she will let him!

Anyway, we finally let the kids go and they were all over the yard like a mouse on cheese and soon they were bringing their eggs up to be counted.  Everyone got some money and lots of candy.

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David was the banker. This is our granddaughter.  She asked me  how long she got to hunt Easter eggs before she was too old. I told her eighteen when she is an adult.  She will be eighteen next year. It broke her heart that she was getting too old to hunt Easter eggs.  It broke my heart, too, because she was just a baby yesterday.

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She got her money this year, though and was happy about it.

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Her brother, who I always tell him he looks like my dad, and his winnings.

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David and I saved dollars all year for this day and it’s worth the smiles.

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Smiles?

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Our oldest grandson. He’s about six feet tall and weighs one hundred and eighty-five pounds and is a tremendous athlete, lacrosse being his favorite sport.   He’s fifteen.

After all the eggs were counted, there were still five left with dollar signs in them that hadn’t been found so out they all went again and scoured the yard until they found them all. I know there is still an egg or two out there in the yard somewhere. Just recently I found one from last year.

It was a fun day and the weather became just gorgeous in the afternoon. The garden was at its perfection.  After everyone left to go home, it poured down rain again.

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Oh, I wish you could smell these lilacs.  They perfume the entire front garden. We cut several bouquets for us and  some for the kids to take home with them.

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This has certainly been a beautiful Spring.  It lasts such a short time so I take lots of pictures I can look at in the dead of Winter to remind me the garden will come back again next year.

I hope you had a wonderful Easter.  Bye.

 

 

 

The People in My Shop and Other Things of Interest(for me anyway)

This past week I got some people who arrived in my shop.  They are pretty quiet people.  They don’t exercise much.   They just kind of stand there and wait around. For what, I don’t know.  They didn’t have any clothes to wear so I have been trying to come up with things to cover them.

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They meet me at the door. No hello. No nothing.

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They stand by my work table and watch me work on my projects.   Gee, I wish they’d put some clothes on.

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I finally threw some lace tablecloths over a couple of them and I thought it looked kind of nice. Maybe I could dress them as brides with flowers and everything.

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Or I could take some Modge Podge and make them into patchwork people.

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I have hundreds of these two and a half inch blocks I could Modge Podge all over the people.  I could even Modge Podge  old maps on them.  There are so many ideas to dress these people up.

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Whatever I do, these people are probably here to stay for a while. Actually, where David works they were going to throw out these  dress forms and I offered to take a few off their hands. I got five of them. I could have gotten lots more, but there is only so much room in my shop.  I have all kinds of ideas for them to dress up my shop with these people.  I am going to do some major cleaning and painting and redoing this year and David is going to build me a large table where I can pin my quilts for quilting.   I want a shabby chic look because that is the look I am fascinated with at the moment.  Throughout the years, my decorating style has changed drastically.  I loved the country look, the primitive look, and right now our house has an eclectic look.  Every room has its own theme.   Maybe I will dress one like a policeman and set her in front of a window. I could have a police station theme!  There are so many things I could do.

I have chickens in my shop too.  Six little girls I am raising for my daughter although now I am becoming attached to them.

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This is Shannon.  I thought she was a Buff Orpington, but she isn’t.

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These are her wings. They look like angel wings.

 

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There is also cute little Mary Foster who is a Golden Laced Wyndotte. She has a hurt leg so I think I will have to keep her because she would go to a certain death at my daughter’s house. The chickens over there live dangerous lives with dogs and raccoons trying to get them.  Just when they think they have built a better chicken cage, the animals figure out how to get in.  I don’t know how many chickens they have tried to raise.  Right now the ones they have are hanging in there so I’m hoping for the best.

Speaking of chickens…..

 

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This is the chicken quilt I wrote about a couple of blogs ago.  The one I got a blue ribbon on at the county fair.  I always wondered what the judges thought about all those fried eggs on it.

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I hand appliqued every one of those eggs onto the quilt.

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It was such a fun quilt to make, I may have to make another without the fried eggs.

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The pattern came from this book I have had for decades.

I got this in the mail today.

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Self striping yarn. Yippee!

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Some more.

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Stroll gradient yarn.  Not exactly striping just a gradual change in colors.

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Love these colors.

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And I am loving this yarn.  I can’t wait to get started, but I have a pair to finish first. David and I cannot figure out how to get into this yarn to find the end.  I always let David find the start because I always get into a tangled mess, but this one has him wondering.  I am sure he will figure it out.  I have never bought yarn like this.

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Spring has burst out all over our front garden.   I wish Spring would last for months.  It’s been so cold and windy, it’s been too cold to sit outside and look at it.

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I love Flowering Quince.

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I love you too, Molly.  This picture makes it look like Molly is a giant or I am a very tiny person. And it looks like she has goatee.

David and I found a new antique store. At least it’s new for us.  It’s called The Happy Nest. I got a few things there and saw a whole lot more I would like to have.

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I found some fabric at very good prices.

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I found this cute chalk ware bunny and chick for five dollars.  I bought a book about the pilgrims and the crossing of the Mayflower to the new world.   It looks really interesting.

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These will be added to my bunny and chick collection. These are some chalk ware bunnies I have had for years. That little house has a tiny bunny in the garden.

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I cannot believe it is only one week before Easter.  My bunnies are ready for it.  I am ready for it.  We have about two hundred eggs for the grandkids to hunt. In some will be little papers with dollar signs and they turn them in for money and the rest have smiley face papers that they will turn in for candy.   Last year it was a big success so hope they will enjoy it again this year. We have an added surprise for them, but I won’t tell it here.

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I love Easter. The real meaning and the fun part too. We will attend church and then we will have a big dinner and somebody will jump in the pool(it’s really looking good now) and we will enjoy the grandkids.  The day before, our church puts on a big Easter egg hunt and I am taking two of our grandboys to it.

I hope you have a blessed Easter.   He is Risen indeed. Bye.

 

 

 

 

Sadness and Happiness

Sadness and happiness live pretty closely, side by side.  Life can change in an instant.  Joy can turn to sorrow. And vice versa.  It happens every day to people.  Life is not promised and we may not see tomorrow here on earth. I have been thinking a lot about death lately only because I know so many people who have died in the last few months. When you get to be my age, you start to lose friends and family at a regular rate, it seems.  My church family has been hit pretty hard lately.  Today I just found out a friend’s husband has died.  I grieve for her although she had a pretty hard life with him at times.   She is a very strong woman, though, and will come out on the other side of this stronger than ever.

The weather has not helped my emotions. We are stuck in cloudy, gloomy weather right now.  Generally, the weather doesn’t bother me.  In fact, I look at bad weather as a good time to hunker down with a good book or go out into my shop and make something bright and pretty.  I have done both of those lately, but I still have felt a little melancholy.  I know this, too, shall pass, for I really am, for the most part, an optimistic, happy person who looks at life as one big adventure to be lived looking at everything as a miracle. Because it really is.  You reading this are a miracle. Is my life perfect?  Heck, no.  Am I sad sometimes. Of course.  But I do feel I was placed here for a purpose.  You were placed here on this earth for a purpose. Some of us find our purpose late in life while some children already know theirs.   I read a blog the other day about a family who had a little baby who was not well and died very shortly afterward and yet, that baby served a purpose. Thousands of people who read the blog were touched.  People who had lost babies themselves were touched.  It made me think. How am I touching people’s lives?   I get up every day and ask God, “Let me be a blessing to someone today.”   I don’t know if I accomplish it most days, but I try when I can.   I hope in some small way I am a blessing to those who read this blog.

I find my relationship with Jesus Christ has helped me immensely in this walk on earth. I met Him at a young age in my small church one night at a revival.  He’s been by my side since then. He was always at my side, I had just not acknowledged Him before.  He’s by your side right now. I have been reading some of my diaries from when I was a young girl and I see how my walk with Jesus has affected my life in so many ways.  I have found comfort in Him when times have been tough.  Joy when times have been happy.    I married a Christian man and that has made my life easier.   Do not be unevenly yoked, the Bible tells us. In other words, don’t marry someone who does not believe as you do or does not like how you believe.   I think that is true. At least it’s worked for David and me.

I didn’t mean to get all philosophical here or push my faith on anyone, it’s just who I am.   It’s what I have been thinking the last few days.   I have been blessed beyond measure. If I were to die tomorrow, I have lived a blest life.  I was blest to be brought up in a Christian home, although my daddy did not become a Christian until later in life.  I saw a transformation in him like nothing I had seen before when he accepted Christ as his savior.  I can vouch for the fact that Christ does change people.  My daddy stopped cursing and smoking cigarettes from that moment on and I never heard him say a curse word or see him smoke a cigarette ever again.  And Mother never had to beg him to go to church. He went gladly.

I was going to post a whole lot of pictures on here of things I have purchased at a new antique store we found, of my chicken quilt I wrote about in my last post, of the strange people populating my shop right now, but since this has become a “things on my mind” kind of blog, I will save them for another day.

I hope and pray you are having a wonderful day, that the sun is shining on you and that peace reigns wherever you live.  Bye.

 

Good-bye March or The Day Before April

      The Day Before April

         The day before April

Alone, alone.

I walked in the woods

And sat on a stone.

I sat on a broad stone

And sang to the birds.

The tune was God’s making

But I made the words.

Mary Carolyn Davies

  I found this little poem in a really old, well loved poetry book for children I have had since childhood.  I think it belonged to my mother when she was a girl or maybe even her mother.  The pages are all torn, it has no cover any longer, but I remember reading this and reading this when I was a girl.  I memorized James Whitcomb Riley’s “Little Orhant Annie” from this book.  Yes, it was spelled Orphant.   I guard it with my life as I love this book.  Who knows what will happen to it when I die, but I hope it ends up in the hands of some child who will love it as much as I have.

March is almost over.  It’s gone as quickly as all the other months go.  Like a whisper or a breath and it’s gone.  So many people I know had birthdays this month. A great month to be born, I’d say.   So many celebrations of life.   Because isn’t it great to be born and live in this life?  No matter the trouble, the problems, the fears, the worries, there is still so much to be thankful for and so many beautiful things in this world that we should not dwell on those things which worry us or make us angry.  Life is too short.  I see young people so immersed in anger and rebellion when they could be accomplishing so many wonderful things.

Yes, the month has been busy.  Here are some of the things that have caught my attention or my eye.

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The weeping cherry in our front yard. We can sit on our porch and look at it.

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Glorious flowers. The daffodils came early this year and are prolific.

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The chicks are growing and some of them can fly up to their roost now.  This is either Linda or Marilyn.  

 

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This is little Mary Foster. She has a hurt leg and I am wondering if I am going to have to nurse her like I did the Rhode Island Red I did a few years ago, giving her spa baths and laying her out in the sun.  We shall see, but she is so cute.

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This is little Shannon the smallest of the peeps.  David and I are wondering if she got in the wrong group of chicks at the store as we thought she was a Buff  Orpington, but she is not colored like our other Buffs are.  Hmmmmm.  Did something strange happen in the chicken house?

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Molly is enjoying the Spring weather playing with her toys.  This is filled with treats and she is not letting ANYONE have it.

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I made a quilt for a little baby’s first birthday.

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Each square has a different picture in it of children and kittens.

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I hope Annalea gets a lot of use out of it and keeps her warm.   Isn’t Annalea a pretty name?

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Years ago when we had a quilt shop, we sold this book.  I have made several quilts from my copy.

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This was the company and these were the women who ran it.

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The one on the right lives on a farm in Iowa and she use to run their quilt shop out of an old chicken coop on her farm. I went there once and it was the cutest shop.  I met Mary and she was so nice and friendly.   I read her blog now.   It’s called, Country Threads Chicken Scratch.  She raises a lot of animals and dog sits for people.   Go there and see some of her quilt projects.

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One year I made this particular quilt, but instead of squares between the chickens, I made fried eggs and put them on the quilt. Out of fabric, of course!   I took it to the county fair and got a blue ribbon on it.  I will show it to you next time if I can dig it out of my pile of quilts.  Or should I say, piles of quilts.

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I have always wanted to make this quilt. It’s called Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Or do without.  I like the idea of it and when I make it, I will add some things I cannot do without.

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My first pair of socks developed holes on the heels so I knitted up some patches and sewed them on. Now I think they would be cute if I put patches all over them.  In all different colors.

Of course I am still knitting socks when I should be doing something else.

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I will have a pile of them by next Christmas. Watch out, grandboys. You will get socks next Christmas whether you want them or not!

The garden has been tilled and the pool is being readied for the grand Easter splash down. It may only be fifty degrees, but I can tell you right now someone will go into the pool that day.

Hope your March was wonderful. See you in April.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

Under the Weather

I always wondered why the term “under the weather” meant one was not feeling well.   Some weather I love to be under, like sunshine, soft rain, cooling breezes and more.  But I will just say I have been under the weather for a few weeks.  Not completely under, mind you. I have been functioning and doing all the things I normally do, just not feeling completely up to par.

Today I think I felt the worst I have felt in a long time.  Let me explain what I think started all this. Two or three weeks ago, I went outside on our back deck to empty the dogs’ water pan and put fresh water in it. It was dark out and I didn’t turn on any lights.  I bent over to pick up the pan and rose up and hit the top of my head hard on a frame for canopy we have right outside the door.  And I mean hard.  It hurt.  But I went about my business of filling the pan so the dogs would have fresh water and went to bed that night thinking nothing of it. I am always banging myself on something. I drove a huge stake in my calf one year, bandaged it up and went to a Cincinnati Reds game with our son.  I try not to let things stop me. But today, I woke up aching in every single muscle in my body.  It hurts to turn over in bed or to try to get out of bed.

Part of my pain might stem from the fact that Saturday I helped with a funeral dinner for a lady in our church who had passed away , as I was carrying food out of the kitchen, returning food to the kitchen, washing dishes, taking out trash, and just being busy for several hours.  We fed over one hundred people and there was a lot of food to move around.  After five hours of this and cleaning the kitchen, we all left and went home. I was so tired, I went to bed extra early, but could not sleep because every muscle in my body was screaming with pain.  My neck, especially.  All day today I could hardly move without pain running throughout my body.  I don’t take pain very well and when I feel unwell, I just want to crawl into bed and lay there and not be bothered.     It especially bothers me as David has had four days off this weekend and I want to do something fun with him and just don’t feel like getting out of a chair.  Here I am in my husband’s lounge chair at one o’clock in the morning watching “Julie and Julia,” one of my favorite movies, and feeling, well, not so well.

I think I have a low grade fever and that makes me feel even worse.  I almost rather it was a full blown fever that would kill all the bad germs coursing through my body, but instead it’s a fever that just taunts me with unease and the feeling of always being warm.  But then I feel chilled and can’t get warm. Maybe it’s the flu and a combination of other things, but I know I am ready to be done with it.

I am not a good patient either.  I don’t want to be waited on or hovered over.  If I am hungry, I get my own food and I try to hydrate myself continually.

Gee, I am sounding like a whiner and I really don’t mean to. It’s kind of cathartic to talk about something that is bothering you and sometimes it makes things better. I am hoping this will pass before I have to make a visit to my family doctor.   I don’t like to take pills and I know he would prescribe antibiotics.  I just got over a run of antibiotics and steroids a few weeks ago that left me depleted and tired.  I have decided steroids will not be something I will take ever again.  They are really not good for people and the less you have to do with them, the better. I am not a doctor, but I saw what steroids did to my system.  It took  weeks for them to get out of my body.

Are you a  good patient when you are ill?  Do you like being cared for or are you like me and just want to hide under your blankets and be left alone?   I really hope this will pass soon. I have so many things to do this Spring and places to go.

Here’s to good health. Bye.

Why Has the World Gone so Crazy?

I’ve lived quite a few years and voted in several elections.  When I became eighteen, I was so excited that I could vote for the president of the United States.  I grew up in a family that talked politics at the dinner table and have never had trouble talking about politics to anyone.  A lot of people are uncomfortable talking about politics. Not me. I like a good rip roaring debate as long as it doesn’t devolve into name calling and swearing.

I have never missed voting in an election.  I have been unhappy with the person I voted for at times and at other times I have been extremely happy.  I am happy now.  There are people who say I am dumb, can’t read, should be dead don’t pay attention to the news and all manner of mean spirited things just because of who I voted for this time.  I have never seen anything like it.

This year has been different for some reason. I have tried to figure it out, but, honestly, I don’t know what all the uproar is about.  I have lived through several presidents I really didn’t like, but I didn’t attack them incessantly.  Here we are three months into a new president in the White House and the angst hasn’t diminished.

I began to really notice this phenomena right after the election last fall.  I went to my favorite blogs. Blogs that were all sweetness and light and suddenly I felt like I was visiting a complete stranger. The vitriol that I read was astonishing.   People so upset, they talked as if their lives were completely ruined.  So upset they said horrible things about our present president.  People have attacked me online just for mentioning something good about our president. I have been called a bigot and a racist.   I wondered how their lives had changed so much overnight after the election.  Sure, I have been disappointed when a president was elected that I really did not like, but I didn’t immediately start attacking everyone who had voted for him.  I didn’t think my world had ended.

There will be other elections that I won’t be happy about.  But for now, I am enjoying the fact that the person I voted for won.  Fair and square.  Just like every other president has done.  But now there are some who are trying to say the Russians helped him get elected.  How silly.   They are doing everything in their power to try to destroy this president. Our president who is trying to uphold our laws and help people get jobs. I read lie after lie about him and it saddens me that we Americans have become so divided that some cannot accept a free and lawful election.

I’m not even sure I should post this because I think it will make some people so angry they will not want to read my blog any longer.   They will miss out because I have some great stories to tell.     I hope all of you that are reading this don’t suddenly hate me.   There is too much hate right now.  Signs in your yard saying, “Love More” won’t work if you are not willing to love those with whom you disagree.

I pray every day for our president and our country.  I want our country to be the best it can be.  It cannot happen if people are not willing to follow our laws or attack with animosity those with whom they disagree.

I want to keep my blog happy and light and this will be the last time I write about politics for a long time.  I just felt there ought to be a blog for the other side.  Bloggers who agree with me are probably afraid to post about this.   I’m throwing my opinion out into blogosphere and who knows. Maybe someone will understand the other side.

Be happy today. You are alive in a wonderful world if you want to make it that way.  Bye.

Chickens in the House

When I was growing up, Daddy had a sick calf who would not drink milk from its mother.  It was winter and cold in the barn so Daddy brought the calf into the house. It laid on a blanket in the kitchen by our old wood burning stove.  Mother would try to feed it bottles of milk, but it became weaker and weaker and one day it died.  We were all sad about it, but that was life on the farm. Sometimes animals died.    We took each death personally.  Or, at least, I did.

Look what I got this week.

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Today I have chickens in the house. Baby chicks to be exact.  We brought in an old metal tub and put pine shavings in it and with their food and water, the chicks are surviving nicely.   It’s been very cold the last few days and I usually would have them out in my shop, but I was worried they would freeze even with the heat lamp on them.  They eat, well, like birds.  Constantly.  I fill their feeder twice a day.  It won’t be long before I will have to cage them as they are testing their boundaries and one day I’m afraid we will wake up with a baby chick running loose in our house.

This time I bought two Golden Laced Wyndottes,  one Buff  Orpington., one Black Orpington and two Barred Rocks.  I won’t be keeping them all.  I am raising some of them for my daughter who keeps chickens also.  That is, if I don’t get too attached to them. David said I shouldn’t name them, then, because I would have to keep them all.   I haven’t decided what to call them.  My present chickens’ names are Dorcas, Beatrice, Freedom, Phoebe, Penninah, and Ada. Maybe I will name them after the ladies in my Sunday school class. Hmmmmm.   Shannon, Janet, Linda, Donna, Marilyn and Mary Foster.    I wouldn’t have trouble remembering their names then!

I love watching the little chicks as they act like, well, chickens.  They preen and stretch their legs and eat and eat some more and sleep and grow.  They already are getting their pinfeathers.   I wonder what they think when I tower over them and talk to them?  When we first got them, they would go into panic mode and try to hide behind the feeder or water jar.  Now they just kind of stand there and just look at me.  I pick them up and talk to them to get them use to me.   I don’t want my chicks afraid of me since I need to check them out for anything wrong.

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Aren’t they cute?

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Little. white, fluffy bottoms.

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“You lookin’ at me?”

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Fast asleep under the heat lamp.  The striped one is a Golden Laced Wyndotte. Isn’t she beautiful?

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Barred Rocks.  I just want to hold them and pet them.

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There are so many different kinds of chickens.  If we lived on a farm, I would try one of every sort.   I wanted some that laid blue eggs, but I chose these instead.  Their eggs will all be brown.  And delicious.

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Around the watering hole.  They eat and drink so much for such tiny creatures.  I fill their feeder twice a day and change their water once or twice a day.   They are growing fast. Next week they will be moved out to my shop and into a bigger cage until they are ready to join the other chickens.

I got this the other day when David and I were out antiquing.  It caught my eye and looked like something I would have loved to have had when I was a girl.

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A sewing kit.

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Inside were patterns for  “dolly” dresses,

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a plastic doll with dresses already cut out. I wonder who was the little girl who played with this?

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These cards were in the box.  I don’t think they were part of the original sewing kit.

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These were Disney button sewing cards.  Sew buttons on the balloon areas.  There was also thread in the kit.  I may make copies of the patterns and save the originals and try making some dresses for the doll.  I loved playing with dolls when I was a girl despite the fact I was a real tomboy.   I remember getting some tiny dolls on a trip we took that Mother bought at a little store along the way and she said I played and played with them the whole trip.  This doll reminds me of them.

Well, I must get some more feed for the chicks.   Between them, the chickens and the wild birds we feed, I am kept busy filling feeders.

Here’s to baby chicks and sewing kits. Bye.

 

 

My Mom

Today is my mother’s birthday. If she were alive, she would be celebrating 102 years on this earth, but, instead, she is celebrating in heaven with my daddy and that makes me happy. I miss her. I always will until I see her again.  The day she died, I became an orphan. I became the matriarch of my family and I didn’t know if I was up to the job.

My mother grew up in the days of silent pictures, horses were still on the streets, indoor plumbing was not the norm, and clothes were hung out to dry, not put in a dryer.  There were no takeout restaurants.  No giant stores.  No cellphones.  No big screen tvs. In fact, my grandfather didn’t have a tv for a long time and when he did get one, it was about the size of a large radio and in black and white. She lived during the days of radio shows where everyone would sit around the radio and listen to show like “The Shadow.”   She was born just a few years after the Victorian era and she still had a little of that Victorian aura about herself.  She was the oldest of four sisters with whom she stayed close all her life. There is only one of the sisters left now and she lives in Michigan.   Life for my mother was school, church and home.  I never heard her speak of any vacations her family took.  They probably never did. People didn’t have time for those kind of things back then.  Making a living was all people had time for.  She did go to dances and in fact, I found a copy of a letter she wrote to some band asking them to play at a school dance.  I think she was the president of her class by what I read.  She was a woman before her time.   I really wish I knew more about my mother’s early years.  I bet I could write a book.

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This is my mother’s senior picture taken in 1932.

Mom was born just before WWl.   She grew up in a small Indiana town where she knew everyone and everyone knew her.   She lived in the same house until she married my daddy.   That is a story unto itself.  My parents were some of the most ordinary, quiet, sensible people you would ever meet, but there was a streak of rebellion and excitement in them.   I am not exactly sure when they started dating each other. I found an autograph book of my mother’s where my daddy wrote some things that made me think he was in love with her, but she wasn’t quite sure about him at the time.  I have that book  around my house somewhere, but I have lost it and have not been able to find it.  Anyway, at some point, daddy won my mother’s heart and they became a couple.  After they graduated they continued dating and then one night, when they were suppose to be going to a basketball game, they headed on down to Kentucky, found a justice of the peace and got married. They came back home, each to their own home and continued living their lives like nothing had ever happened, But….. one day the newspaper came with wedding licenses in it and my grandpa saw that Miss Jeannette Driggs  Ridenour  was wed to Mr. Paul K. Pentecost and let’s just say the roof came off.  So, parents and my parents had a meeting and it was decided that since they were married, they needed to make a home together. No more living at home with Mom and Dad.  So they started their life together.

I am not sure where all they lived, but there was one place my mother called “Tucker’s” that my mother evidently loved.  She talked about it often.  Then my daddy’s mom and dad wanted him to come home and farm the farm as they were getting old and couldn’t manage any longer, so Mom and daddy packed  up and brought their little family to the farm where I grew up.   I am not sure how many of us kids were born at that time.  But my mother and daddy lived there until they had to go into nursing homes.

Life was not always easy on the farm. It was hard work, but my daddy was never one to shy away from work nor was my mother. I believe that is where I got my strong work ethic.  Mom raised six children on that farm, making our clothes, canning, washing clothes in a wringer washing(worshing) machine and hanging the clothes on the line to dry. Ironing, cooking and cleaning.  That is about all I remember my mother doing at home. Besides reading.

My mother loved to read and every two weeks she would pack me and my younger brother into the car and drive five miles to Hagerstown where the nearest library was and we would all get armloads of books to bring home to read.  I loved going to the library.  I loved how it smelled. I loved the two older ladies that checked out the books.  I got my love of reading from my mother and I am so glad I did.  My aunt told me one time that when my mother was a girl she always was reading, even when she was ironing clothes.  I believe it. She would get up early every morning and read the Bible and read her library books.   With six children to raise, she had very little time during the day to sit down and read.  Early morning was her time and if one of us kids would get up at five a.m., Mom would tell us to go back to bed for a while longer.  It was her reading time!

My mother was the best cook for miles around.  She fried the best chicken I  have ever tasted. Just last week I fried some chicken and for some reason, it tasted just like Mom’s and I was so excited.  I hadn’t done anything differently.  Maybe it was the chicken itself. I do know the chicken my mother fried was killed one day, dressed and prepared the next, so it was nice and fresh.   Saturday was baking day and all kinds of cakes, cookies and pies came out of Mom’s kitchen.   I was often in the kitchen with her baking something for a 4-H project.  One summer my family grew sick of yellow cake because that is the kind I had to show at the fair.  And one year it was orange breakfast rolls that we had every single week until I showed some at the fair.   I love to bake and it all began in my mother’s kitchen.  I don’t like cooking so much. I think because it is something one has to do every single day if one wants to eat unless you go out to eat every day, which we don’t.  My mother was cooking all the time when she wasn’t cleaning or gardening.  She loved to garden.  I have some of her perennials in my own garden today.    I remember an old fashion rose bush that smelled heavenly growing on a fence by our vegetable garden gate. Every year it was loaded with pink roses.  She grew African violets and my daddy built her a window hothouse in which to grow them. She became quite an expert at raising them and had many beautiful violets growing all year round in the window.

My mother was terrified of storms. When one would come up, she would tell us to stay away from windows and she would huddle somewhere in the house far from any window.  One year lightning struck our house and blew the telephone clear off the wall.  That kind of reinforced Mom’s fear of storms.  And yet, she liked to watch rain come over the hill and down to our little farm. I loved storms until this year lightning struck an electric poll near our house and took out several of our electrical appliances and the internet. Now, when I hear thunder, I start unplugging things.  I understand now to be fearful of lightning.

Mom wasn’t a hugger or kisser except when Daddy would grab her and spin her around and hug and kiss her. She would act all embarrassed and we kids would go, “Ewwww!” but we really loved it.  With her strong German heritage, she didn’t demonstrate her love that way and even though I got few hugs from her, I knew she loved me.  There was no doubt in my mind.   She would do anything for her children, but she did expect us to mind her.

My mother told us interesting stories like when Pearl Harbor was attacked and about all the airplanes that flew overhead for hours heading west.   She lived through the Great Depression and told about men who would come to their door asking for food and Grandma would give them some. My Grandpa worked in a grocery so they were never without food and shared what they had.  Back then they called those men hobos although they were men out of work traveling across the country looking for a job.  She told about a little boy who went missing in her town when she was a girl and that the last time he was seen he was walking with a woman with long, dark hair.  I don’t know if she told me that story in order that I would be wary of strangers, but it sure did make me so.  She told about the days when she would go home for lunch from school, crossing the rail road track and then when she was going back to school a train would be on the track and how some kids crawled underneath it to get back to school on time. I asked her if she ever did and she told me, no.  I wish I could talk to her again and hear her stories. I know I would listen more closely and ask a whole lot more questions.  She told me about walking to church and the library just a few blocks from her home. I thought it was wonderful to live so close to a library.   One of her best friends was Dr. Dubois’s daughter. He was the town doctor.  He lived just a couple of blocks from my mother’s house.  Her friend moved to California and she never heard from her again. I am glad I still hear from my best friends from school.  Not often, but we do keep in touch.  I think my mother always missed her best friend.  She told me about her Aunt Emmie and Aunt Idy whom she loved and visited quite often. They, of course, lived in the same town not far from my mother and she could visit them any time she wanted. All my aunts and uncles lived far away from me most of my life so I didn’t get to experience that closeness with them.  I wish I could have.

If you still have your mother with you, ask about her history.   Have her write it down.   One day you will wish you had.

Happy Birthday, Mom.  I miss you.   Say hello to daddy for me. Bye.

 

Skipping Merrily into Spring

March is finally here. My birth month.  My mother’s birth month.  My daughter’s birth month.  I love March because it is the start of Spring.  March, April and May are my very favorite months of the year. But I have to tell you, January and February haven’t been too bad this year. So many days of almost Spring like weather. I kind of feel cheated by winter since we never had very much snow.  Of course March could still surprise us.  Here in Indiana we have March madness when all the high schools play their sectionals, semi-state and state basketball tournaments.  In the past, the weather usually turned bad at this time with snow and ice and cold.  I remember one year my school was playing in the sectional and I wanted to go so my mother made my brothers take me with them and their friends.  The weather was so bad the gymnasium was almost empty.  I found one person I knew to sit with for the game. I still wonder why my mother allowed us all to go that night as it was blizzard like weather.   Maybe she was just glad to get us out of the house!

We have daffodils already blooming and lots of other flowers popping up all over the garden.  One week it’s gray and nothing is growing and the next, new life appears.  It’s really a miracle.  I just don’t want Spring to come too quickly and then turn immediately into hot Summer.   I’ve ordered a pound of zinnia seeds and gotten two packets of pumpkin seeds to plant.  I didn’t start tomato plants this year.  I will just buy a few plants this year.   That’s pretty much all I am planting this year other than any perennials I might have to have.  My yard is full, but there is always room for one more plant.

March being my birth month, I celebrate all month.  David and I have plans for this weekend.  Doing more antiquing and buying some things for our new bathroom remodel and maybe some paint.  I love to paint.  I have probably painted every room in our house three or four times.  I have the paint color picked out for the bathroom. A very soft grey for the walls and a soft green called “Stillness,” for the ceiling.  I thought it was a nice color to stare at while soaking in the tub.  We are not replacing the bath tub.  I love that tub.  Almost long enough for me to lay down in and it’s been there since the 1950’s and I want to keep one thing old in there. We did find an old mirror to replace the medicine cabinet.  It has an old looking mirror and is surrounded by old wood.  I will show it after we have it placed in the bathroom.  I was thrilled to find it as we were looking for an old mirror last weekend and the very first antique store we visited had that mirror.  They had just gotten it in the store.  Serendipity.  I was meant to get it.  I love when things come together.

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This flower blooms in the winter and is loaded with flowers right now.  I forget what it’s called, but it’s about the only flower that blooms in the winter this far north.

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Daffodils coming up everywhere.  I forget how many I have planted until they come up every Spring.

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Colorful train cars right in front of our house loaded with gravel.  Men have been working on the tracks for weeks.

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Men held up plywood to keep the gravel from getting onto the road.    I heard on the radio today that next year one train an hour will go through our city and some will be three miles long.  Wow.  That is really going to mess up traffic in many places.  Our city fathers are scrambling to try to figure out what to do about all the extra traffic.  Move the tracks?  Put up signal arms at the crossings so the trains won’t be tooting all day every hour?    It’s going to be interesting and we are going to have a front row seat on it all.   Little boys who come to our house love to watch the trains. Maybe we could sell tickets to parents who want to bring their children to sit on our porch and watch the trains go by.  Trains seem to draw little boys like magnets.  Our grandsons can be anywhere in our house and when they hear the train whistle, they make a mad dash to come watch the train go by.  I find I am drawn to them also although their whistle can hurt the ears.

Last Saturday David and I took an antiquing jaunt to southeastern Indiana.  I was looking for an old mirror and things to put in our soon to be remodeled bathroom.   As I wrote, we found the mirror at the first store.   I wish I had had my camera at one of the stores. When we get in the car and start driving, when we are several miles from home I will say to David, “Did we bring the camera?” or Did we remember the cellphone as we hardly ever have our cellphone with us.  We forgot both this trip so I missed some really interesting shots.  Anyway, this one store called The Whistle Stop was so chock full of wonderful things.  A little old lady was running the store(I’m a little old lady, but I always use the term when I see an older lady who may or may not be older than me!)  Anyway, she sat in a chair reading a book while David and I, who were her only customers, walked around looking here and there.  There was an upstairs with lots more good stuff.  I ended up getting a book and a bowl.

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I have read so many of Catherine Cookson’s books.  Most are about women living in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s who have to make their way alone in a very harsh world.   Most take place in England or Ireland.   I don’t think I have read this one and it was cheap, so I bought it.

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I love these little bowls.  I have a small collection of them.  I use some of them to hold my yarn balls while I am knitting so the balls won’t roll around.

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This bowl was made in Roseville, CA.

In my constant quest for vintage tablecloths, I have become more selective in the ones I buy, but this one caught my eye and it was large enough to fit our dining room table.

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I really love it.

Then this week I was looking through an old magazine I had and what  did I see?

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The exact tablecloth that I had bought in a little store in Indiana.   Maybe it’s the same one. Who knows.

This week a friend asked me if I was still working on quilts and I almost felt a little guilty when I had to tell her, “No,” because I have been knitting socks.  Well, that made me decide I needed to get back out into my shop and sew for a while.

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While it’s not a quilt, it is a quilt block I am making into a pot holder. In fact, after this one, I made a couple more in different patterns.  I think I could make these and sell them if I got my act together.   But…..

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Then I dug out this quilt I had appliqued years ago and never got quilted.  I think this one will get completed this year. It’s called Ohio Rose.

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I think I must have planned to hand quilt this one as I have drawn on designs on this one.

Then…….

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I came across this quilt pattern on a blog and decided I just have to make it.  I forget what blog it is, but when I find it, I will tell you so you can make it also if you would like. Quilt is found on Tilda blog.  A lot of beautiful things to see on it and free patterns.  

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Made like banners and I love banners.  Looks like something that will go together very quickly. The hard part will be picking out the material.  The person who made this quilt had her own fabric line and showed where to use each material.  But I like to pick out my own material and make a quilt my very own, so I will search in my stash and maybe buy some new material to make this one.

So now I can tell my friend I am working on a quilt.   I also have another chicken quilt half done.

But, still……..

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There will always be socks to knit.  Bye.