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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Folding, Folding

I live such an exciting life.  I sometimes can’t stand myself it’s so exciting.   My heart rate gets up to almost 70 beats a minute most days, my life is so exciting.   Here is what has been going on that is so exciting in my world.

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Of course, socks.  I am having entirely too much fun knitting up little socks for little boys in leftover yarn from other sock projects.    These knit together so quickly.  I am still astounded  I can actually knit socks now. Exciting.

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Train watching.  They are working on the tracks in front of our house. See that big pile of gravel?  They dumped several loads of gravel to put on the tracks.

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David and I spent some time sitting on our front porch watching them dump these three carloads of gravel. Exciting.   In another year there is going to be up to twenty trains a day going by our house.  They are trying to fix the rails and crossings to get ready for the heavy train traffic.  Molly howls every time a train goes by.  She will be howling every hour on the hour once the train traffic picks up.  Fun times. Not so exciting.

Did I say something about porch sitting?

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We spent some time porch sitting with our grandchildren.

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Some of us are porch layers.  But that’s okay.

I know there is an honorary Porch Sitting Society somewhere out there in the world, but David and I have formed our own private Porch Sitting Society with David as president and myself as vice president. Membership is open to any friend or family member who wants to join us on our porch.  People who like to sit and watch the world go by. Conversation not mandatory, but welcome. We had our first meeting last week. Some friends brought pizza, but it was too chilly to eat out on the porch so we ate inside, but we still called it the Porch Society meeting!  We plan to have them all Spring, Summer and Fall.  Exciting.

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Baking. I love to bake.  David enjoyed this pineapple upside down cake.  I don’t like it  so he had it pretty much to himself. I had made a chocolate chip applesauce cake last weekend, but we had grandsons over and it didn’t last long and I made another one today for a funeral dinner.  I still don’t have any cake to eat.  Exciting.  Not the funeral so much.

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Watching sunsets. I have noticed several people have posted beautiful sunsets on Facebook recently.  We have had some gorgeous ones.   If you never look out and see a sunset or sunrise, you are really missing something. Exciting.  God’s wonderful creation for all to see. No charge.

And last, but certainly not least, I have been in a cleaning mood lately. Early Spring fever I think since the weather has been Spring like the last week or so. My shop has been neglected and with the dogs spending so much time in it this winter, it just needed a good cleaning.  I also want to paint it sometime this year so I started removing fabric from the shelves, taking it off the boards and washing and ironing it all.

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I’ve been working on it for a couple of days.  Ironing for hours.  I don’t mind ironing, but not so much at a time.  Finally finished it all today.  I have been watching Victoria on PBS the past few weeks and got to wondering about who had to iron all those yards and yards of fabric that were in those Victorian ladies’ dresses.  The Queen had her own laundresses and ironers, I am sure, but the common folk had to do their own ironing.  No dry cleaners back then.  No wash and wear.  Mostly cottons, silks and linens.   It would be like me ironing yards of fabric all the time.  Folded and folded fabric until my arms ached.  But, it’s done now and I am excited about it.

  Talked to our contractor today about replacing the rest of our windows in our house. We have been doing that for years now, it seems, because there are so many windows in this old house. Only four more to go. We also are gutting the upstairs bathroom that hasn’t been remodeled since the 1950’s and putting in new dry wall, tile,  toilet, a new cabinet, sink and faucets. I’m not looking forward to the mess, but am excited at finally getting it done.  The last room in our house to be remodeled.  Thirty-nine years of working on this old house.   Exciting.  

Hope your life is as exciting as mine.  Bye.

 

 

Winter Wonder?

Well, the blizzard I was hoping would hit us in January never appeared. In fact, we had the warmest January in years and February is turning out to be warm also. Today it was 67 degrees out.  It smelled like  Spring.  We sat on our front porch and watched the  Sandhill cranes flying above us heading toward Camp Atterbury where they will rest.  They have a distinctive call as they fly and David heard them before we saw them. Trill your tongue against the roof of your mouth and that is  kind of what they sound like.  We saw two flocks today, but there will be several more.

I wanted January to last for a long time. It seems it’s the only month we are not super busy. A time to get things done inside before Spring.  I have knitted three pairs of sock, made one quilt and completed another since Christmas.  I also made a couple of new pillows last week from some leftover patchwork fabric I found.

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I’ve been working on this quilt for a while and was so happy to get it completed. All machine quilted.

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I used a lot of different fabrics in this quilt which gives it an old fashioned look which I was aiming for.

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These are the two pillows I made this week.  They are big and fat and comfy to lay your head upon.

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These are socks I knit for David. No, they do not match exactly because this yarn did not have a repeating stripe, but he likes them. He has to wear blue jeans and navy shirts to work at Ralph Lauren so these socks will go with his outfit.

I also knit a couple of other pair, but since they might be gifts one day, I can’t show them now.

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Oh, I forgot I made this pillow also. It came in a kit for a small wall hanging, but I wanted a pillow out of it.  I really love it.  It was so much fun to make and I’m thinking an entire quilt made with this pattern would be cute.

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We have missed sitting on our porch and when the weather is even halfway decent we sit outside and watch the world go by.  Even when we have to bundle up.

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But, as I wrote, our temperatures have been such that we sat out in our shirtsleeves today and were quite comfortable.

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The skies have been so blue. You can see the Snow Moon peeking between the branches of this tree. Last night it was full and so bright. They say we had a lunar eclipse which we missed and a comet was supposed to pass close to earth. We didn’t see that either.  I saw the moon early this morning from our bedroom window and it was so beautiful. There is something about a full moon that lifts my spirits, know that there is a God and makes me feel at one with Him.   He set the moon to guard the night, lift the tides and light our way.

Speaking of lighting my way, this dog does it for me every day.  She is so sweet and makes me laugh just to see her.

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The sun was shining on her this particular day and she looked absolutely beautiful.  A shiny coat, a broad chest and that little white patch.  OOOOh, she is so cute.  David has been working with her as she likes to bite his feet so I told him to keep treats with him and when she starts to bite his shoe, stop, tell her to sit and then give her a treat. He also has been playing fetch with her and she seems to be breaking the habit of biting on him.  He has been sorely tested by this dog I will have to admit. She has been slightly more rambunctious than any of our other dogs have been.   She has the sweetness of a Labrador, but the playfulness of a Boxer and sometimes the two don’t mix well.   We think she is more Boxer than Labrador.

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But how can you be angry with her when she has chewed up one more thing, when you look out and see her with her chin on her chair fast asleep?  Kind of like naughty children. They look so sweet when they are asleep!

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Sent out a few Valentine’s Day cards.  I like sending them better than Christmas cards because people don’t really expect to get them.

Can’t believe February is almost half over already. This year is speeding along.  One season following the other in quick succession.   Hope your year is going well. Happy Valentine’s Day.  Bye.

 

A Most Excellent Weekend

  Last weekend was David’s birthday.   He had the whole weekend off so we made plans. 

First of all, Friday, his birthday, we spent most of the day in front of the television watching the presidential inauguration.  This election in the states has been like none other I can ever remember.    But now, we have a new president and we celebrated it because we live in a free country where we can elect a new president every four or eight years and the country doesn’t fall apart.  Or at least, I hope it doesn’t.  Some people are taking it pretty hard, which I don’t understand because I have lived under several presidents I was not fond of, but they were my president and I lived with it.   Anyway, I enjoyed all the pomp and circumstance of the ceremony. Loved seeing what all the women were wearing.  Loved the music. Well, most of it.  Loved the parade.  The high school band in my town played in the parade.  They were asked to play for Vice President Mike Pence, who is from Indiana, at another venue before inauguration day.   It was an exciting time for them, I am sure.  Something they will remember all their lives

David and I enjoyed the day and later, I took him out for dinner where he got a free dessert for his birthday and then we came home to have cake and ice cream. David is a sugarholic so he was in heaven.

Saturday we got up and drove to Indianapolis to the Indianapolis Home Show.  There were many exhibitors in three buildings, but David and I missed one of the buildings because we didn’t read the program they gave us.  We did that the last time we went to the home show.  You’d think we would learn.  There was so much to see, but it was very crowded.  In one booth I found the table I want for my shop or at least what I want my shop table to look like.

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This one cost ten thousand dollars!!!  It had a granite top and a special finish, but I didn’t think it was that special.  David can make one that looks like this for a whole lot less than this one costs, but he knows what I want now and has a picture of it.  His may not have drawers either, but that’s okay.   I don’t think our whole kitchen remodel cost as much as this table.  There were a lot of exhibitors, a lot of window displays and outdoor furniture and patios and flowers.

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Planted just for this show.

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Forsythia.

There were birdhouses for sale, pots and pans for sale, mops for sale with people demonstrating them.   I bought a new toy.

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A steamer.  Actually, I bought me more work.  A note to whoever has a steamer.  Don’t use it on wood floors or laminate floors. They say you can, but my son-in-law sells flooring and he said that steamers will ruin them very quickly. Glad he told me because the salesman did say I could use it on wood and laminate, both of which I have.

We spent much of the day at the show and afterward went to our motel where we were staying the night.   Then we went to Olive Garden where David got another free dessert for his birthday.   And our weekend was not over yet.

Sunday we lazed around and then drove to Nashville.

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Driving down the hill into Nashville.  We were meeting some family for dinner.   When we got into the restaurant the waitress immediately told us they were out of rice and cornbread!  Well, we hadn’t even looked at the menu yet.  My son said he wanted the fish with rice and a huge order of cornbread!    The food was good and the company was even better.

Then we went to our daughter’s house to visit.

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The men went outdoors and shot guns.

The women stayed inside and played with these.

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Golden retriever puppies. Two boys and two girls.  That’s their mother, Lily.

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And this is their daddy, Oliver.

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“I did nothing.”

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How cute is this?  They are going to keep this one since he was born on our grandson’s birthday.   They named him Farley.

David and I walked outside and found this.

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What is this, you say?  Looks like a pile of trash, doesn’t it?  Oh, no.

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Come closer and see.

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Just a hole in the ground, you say?  It’s a hideout, built by our grandsons and some of their friends.

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Complete with a mailbox!

David and I walked down the hill by our property and on to another property that is for sale on the mountain.

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The man who owned all the property had originally wanted several houses built around a cul-de-sac.  We walked back and around the cul-de-sac with our grandsons.  I love being on the hill.  It’s so peaceful up here and even in the dead of winter I think it is beautiful.  There is a log cabin for sale by here that we looked at.  We have pondered selling our house and building a house on the hill, but it would be a twenty mile drive to doctors, dentists and our church and we are not sure we want to make that move, yet.   Who knows?   We are open to change.  I told our grandson that we might sell our house and he said, “But, I like your house.”  Okay, we won’t sell it until he’s grown.  So many happy memories in our home.

We finally came home tired, but happy that we had such a nice weekend and decided we need to get away more often.  My birthday is coming up in March.  Another trip?  Hmmmm.

Here’s to birthdays and puppies.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quiltin’ and Knittin’

This last week has been a productive week for me. I had all kinds of energy and put it to good use.   I made an entire quilt for Valentine’s Day.   I haven’t been quilting much since I discovered the joy of knitting socks.  I have become as much a yarn fanatic as I am a fabric fanatic.   I just received more yarn a few days ago and already have two pairs of socks almost knitted.

But, back to my quilt.  I have many old quilt magazines and I enjoy looking through them on occasion and a quilt caught my eye that I was sure I wanted to make.

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It came from this magazine.

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And this is how long I have had this magazine!

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And this is the finished quilt.  I love it.  I just put the last stitches on the sleeve on its back so that I can hang it.

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I dipped into my stash of red and pink fabric and I love how each heart turned out.

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And this is the backing. I can’t remember where I got this fabric, but it was probably in some western state with all the little cowboys and cowgirls on it.

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Very vintage looking.  This was an easy quilt to make and I got it finished quickly, which I loved.

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You corralled my heart.  Love it.  Looks like a Valentine I might have received when I was a school girl.

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It took a lot of pins to pin it together, but nothing like a king size quilt takes which takes hundreds and I have to crawl around on my hands and knees on the floor to pin it.  I have asked(begged) David to build me an extra big table for my shop on which  I could lay a king sized quilt to be pinned.    He says he will do it this Summer.   I am planning on doing some remodeling in my shop, painting and moving things, so Summer would be a good time to get a new table.

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Since I was in my shop and had some extra squares laying around I made a couple of pin cushions since mine are looking a little raggedy.

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Looks like a porcupine, doesn’t it?  And speaking of animals.  We had crescent rolls for dinner last night and one looked very much like an animal.

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Does anyone see a walrus in this, or is it just me?

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I love this yarn so much.  Whoever gets this pair of socks, I want to borrow them! Ha!

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Using up some of my yarn, I have knitted some patchwork socks.  These look a little wonky right now because I haven’t blocked them, but I do love how they turned out. Notice, I say, “love” a lot.  We kids use to say to each other in school, “Well, if you love it so much, why don’t you marry it?”    Yes, we did say that to each other.   I still say it once in a while.

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We(David) finished the puzzle. I liked working on the colored pieces, but when we got to the white pieces I left them all to David. He’s like a little dog with a bone when he has a project like this to complete. He would sit at this for hours looking for pieces. Kept him out of trouble.  I must find another puzzle to do.

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From Maine lobsters, which, by the way, true story,  I never ate one lobster in Maine when we were there.  Something I have always regretted.  Maybe if we drive to Nova Scotia like we want to, we will go through Maine again and I will eat lobster.

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To the Golden Gate bridge, which we have driven over. It really is a beautiful sight.

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Michigan cherries.  If you ever get the chance to be in Traverse City during the cherry festival, do it.  It is so much fun.  David and I honeymooned in Traverse City during the festival.  Got stopped by a policeman for running a red light.  Ate a lot of Burger Chef hamburgers. Anyone remember Burger Chef?   The Burger Chef in Traverse City had hamburger buns that tasted like homemade and we ate them every, single day while there.  There were some awesome French fries at the festival, too.  We watched otters play in the downtown zoo.  I doubt it is still there.  We have a road named after our family in Traverse City. Craig Road.  At one time only Craigs lived on it, but I don’t think that’s the case now.  We slept on David’s uncle’s boat one night and watched fireworks on the bay.  I have very fond memories of Michigan, and Traverse City especially.

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Mount Rushmore.  We have been there a couple of times. The last time we were there they had a special program for veterans and asked all the veterans to come up on stage.  I was so proud to see David up there as they sang patriotic songs.   Love Mount Rushmore.

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Texas blue bonnets.  We were in Texas, Fredericksburg, a little over a year ago.  The blue bonnets weren’t blooming then, but I think it would be a sight to see. While in Fredericksburg at Wildseed  Farms I bought this poster.

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It has a lot of different butterflies on it.  I am going to Hobby Lobby this week and see if I can get it framed.  I’ve been moving it around and worry that it will get torn or damaged.  I have a wall just waiting for it.

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The puzzle even had a rooster on it.  Chickens seem to follow me everywhere. Speaking of chickens, a friend came up to me in church last Sunday with a big bag and handed it to me and said, “Enjoy.”    I was so excited, I looked inside and there was a box and I ripped it open and here is what was inside.

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A chicken night light. OMIGOSH!!!!  I love it.  It now has a place of honor in my kitchen where I can see it every single day. Thank you, Nancy.  It was so sweet of you.  It looks reddish in this picture, but it is more yellow.

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I bought this kit years ago and came across it a few weeks ago.

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I am working on it. It’s supposed to be a wall hanging, but I am going to make a pillow.  I will show it to you after it is done.

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We have been having a few Spring like days.  The ground smells like Spring and the buds look ready to burst, which I hope they don’t do as we will have more freezing temperatures.  This is a bud on a little lilac bush.

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A bud on one on my magnolia trees.  I just planted this one last Spring. We have an older one that was planted before we built our new porch.

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It will have lots of blossoms on it this Spring.   One year when our oldest son was in kindergarten, the school had a science fair, so I took him outside and we collected branches from different flowering bushes and shrubs and put them in jars of water to watch them burst into bloom. Our son showed all these branches at the science fair and got a blue ribbon.

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There are still some green plants in my garden that will stay green all winter, but don’t ask me what this is right now. I’ll tell you when it blooms.

Now I am going to tell you a deep, dark secret about myself.  Since I let it all hang out here(although there are some things I will never tell since my children read this blog.)   I do not like to dust.  Really hate it, actually.  We live in this old one hundred year old house that seems to produce dust in bushel baskets.   I do try to keep a clean house, but every once in a while I find a spot that makes me say to myself, “What happened here?”   For the last couple of weeks when I ran the dryer, I kept smelling something like it was hot.   And I noticed that the laundry/bathroom seemed to always need dusting.   Then when I was taking a shower I noticed this huge cobweb on the wall and said to myself, “What in the world!”  Then I decided to check behind the dryer and found that the pipe that runs to the outside and sends the lint away was disconnected from the dryer.   I told David about it and he said, “Oh, yeah, I noticed that a few days ago.”  What!?!?!?  Well, just suffice it to say I wasn’t happy about the situation.  So, I spent most of a morning cleaning out from behind the dryer, washing the floor and baseboards, cleaning the walls and wiping down the dryer.  Then when David got home he brought in the shop vac and finished cleaning behind the washer and I washed the floor behind it and the walls. Found several Decon boxes under there and a Terro bottle. Terro kills ants by the way.   David also found one of my paintbrushes.   Anyway, I think we dodged a tragedy here because lint is very flammable and who knows what would have happened if the dryer had overheated.  So I thank God for watching over us.   We have had a couple of near misses through the years that could have turned into tragedies like the time the furnace man came to clean our furnace and the chimney where the gases went up through was so clogged with dirt and leaves that he told us we were lucky we had not all died from carbon monoxide poisoning.  We had not lived in the house very long before that and didn’t even know the flue had to be cleaned out in the basement!  Now I make sure it is checked.  Anyway, after the bathroom/laundry room was all clean I rearranged it.  We are planning on remodeling both bathrooms this year, but after we got all done and I looked at this bathroom, I was quite pleased with it.  All we want to do in there now is take out the old tub and shower around and have it all tiled.

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This little dresser has been in hiding in the bathroom and I brought it out where it can be seen and I like it very much.    The new tiled shower will be on the opposite wall from this.  We hope to remodel our upstairs bathroom which was put in in the 1950″s we think.  New sink and cabinets. I love the tub in there.  It is almost long enough for me to lie down in.

Well, I have rambled on long enough.  Looking forward to the presidential inauguration this Friday. So glad we live in a country where we can change leaders without too much distress.

By the way, that policeman who stopped us for running a red light while we were on our honeymoon, just gave us a warning after we told him we had just gotten married. Thank you Mr. Peaceman.  Appreciate you didn’t give two stupid kids a ticket that day.  Bye.

 

 

 

What Happened to My Favorite Blogs?

I got into the blogging world late.  A late bloomer, you might say.  The day I found out about blogs, I spent almost the entire day reading them.  I discovered Posie Gets Cozy and Pioneer Woman.  I read every post they had written.  I discovered Henhouse and Posey and Attic 24, blogs from England. Nostalgia at the Stonehouse.   Tales From the Coop Keeper.  Pamkitty Morning.  I read and read them and wanted to start a blog of my own.   I read so many blogs that I have forgotten their names and wish I had written them down so I could visit them again. Posey just disappeared one Christmas and has never come back. I hope she is well.   I really do care.  Tales From the Coop Keeper started a business and has stopped blogging regularly.   I can understand.  Henhouse opened a guest cottage and hasn’t written since.  I would love to visit her guest cottage in England one day.   I imagine she is kept busy.

Still, I found more bloggers and went into their worlds and read about their lives and their businesses and families.  This week, Ree, the Pioneer Woman wrote about the loss of their beloved dog, Charlie, and I cried like it was my own dog. Ree has created a mega business from her simple little blog.  A tv cooking show and a store.  Dishes and books for sale.    I read From My Front Porch in the Mountains and about her horses and the birth of a new foal and watched as that foal grew up.   The writer suffers from a debilitating illness and wrote about that, but always foremost were her animals.  All her dogs and cats and horses.  Then, suddenly, one day, she stopped writing and has not written another post.  I feel like I lost a friend.   I wonder if she is well.  What happened?

I read blogs from almost famous people, like Susan Branch who designs calenders and writes beautiful books and illustrates them herself.  I even got to meet her.  Many bloggers have become almost celebrities in their own right.

Then there are the blogs that talk about quilting.  I love those blogs.  Many have quilt alongs where you can make a quilt right along with them as they instruct you.  One of the bloggers, who use to own a quilt shop in Iowa and that I met once, also is a designer of quilts and has written several books and patterns with a friend.  I visited her quilt shop before she closed it. It was so cute.  In a former chicken coop.  And she talked to me and took me on a tour around her house.   How about that?

There are blogs about knitting which has drawn my interest lately.  Cozy is a prolific, outstanding knitter who seems to knit a sweater a week.  Canadian Needle Nana is a like minded soul who loves creating with her hands and I love the scenes from her Canadian home.

I finally decided to try this blogging thing a few years ago and my first blog was called,
I LOVE MY DOGS.   I wrote it for a while until I lost a lot of pictures on it.  Then my son bought me another site and I began this blog.   It’s become a hodge podge of different things about my life, stories, poems, history and English lessons, my dogs and chickens, our travels.  Whatever I feel like writing about.   It’s become a diary of sorts that I hope one day my children will read about their mother’s life.

There is a blog of just pictures called Murmuring Cottage. The photos are exquisite and many make me wish I could go inside them and live they are so beautiful and warm and cozy.

There is a blog called Quiet Life and she is still blogging steadily.  Almost every day.  She got me interested in reading a book about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Christian man who was murdered by the Nazis because of his beliefs.   She was having a book discussion on it, but stopped suddenly.  Perhaps because the book was about a thousand pages long and it got to be tedious. Not the book. The book was wonderful. Written by Eric Mataxes.  I think that is how his last name is spelled.  I even read a blog where the blogger was all excited about having dinner with this author.  Small world, isn’t it?   Sometimes I think all we bloggers are connected in some way.

Wishwishwish.   A blog written by a young English woman who models her clothes and is now earning her living with her blog.   She has style and travels a lot and takes her readers with her through all the pictures she shows us.   I often wonder how one so young got so smart and mature so fast.   Of course, when I was her age, I had two children, had bought two houses already and was working and raising our family.   I still don’t think I am so smart and mature!

I have learned so much from blogs.  Things to cook.  Things to sew. Creative things to make. The latest blog I have found is Ann Wood’s blog. She is a creative person who shares some of her patterns for free.  She made the most glorious flamingos from paper.   I can’t wait to see what she will come up with this year.

There are many more blogs I have read.  Some have just disappeared or the blogger has found something else to do with her time or something has happened in the family that causes them to have to stop blogging.  I know blogging can be time consuming with taking the pictures and putting them on the computer and then writing the blog.  Notice all the pictures I have here today?!   Sometimes I just feel like writing without pictures.

Another blog I loved was Coal Creek Farm.  The blogger wrote about her family with humor and often had videos of her dancing or the family dancing.  Then the kids grew up, her husband got cancer and her blogging stopped, which I could understand, But I wonder how they all are.  If everything is okay.  I worry like they are one of my family.   I will tell you, if I ever decide to stop blogging I will tell you why I am stopping, if I am able.  I look at blogging like it’s a book.  A beginning, a middle and an ending and you must include the ending.

So that’s why I blog.  So many people inspired me to do so.  To all you who have stopped blogging,  I miss your blogs and to all you that I still read, keep blogging.    Bye.