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.

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.

The Week Between

Santa has hung up his hat for another year.

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There really ought to be a name for the week between Christmas and New Year’s.  I mean, you just spent weeks in a wild scramble to decorate, buy gifts, wrap the gifts, plan a special meal, attend a Christmas cantanta, do some partying if you are so inclined and then Christmas comes and all the gifts are opened, the family comes, the family goes and in a few hours, it’s over.  I spent the day after coming down from a complete high.  Nothing to hurry to get done.  No cleaning to do. No where to go.  Ahh, sweet, sweet nothingness.   Sleep in, read, knit just for the enjoyment.  Work on a new little project I was chomping at the bits to start before Christmas.  But I still felt a little lost. Like something was missing.  The week of nothingness.   I just wish Christmas had  lasted longer.  And all the tv has is reruns.  Glad we have Netflix, but we finished the final show in the series of Longmire, which had quickly become my favorite show on television.  I understand there will be a sixth season of it so will have to wait until it comes on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it and like good stories, good acting, handsome men and the west, you will love it.  Lou Diamond Phillips is in it and he’s a hunk and the star, Robert Taylor isn’t bad either. (Hope David doesn’t read this!)  If we didn’t have Netflix, we probably would not watch much tv.  I am trying to cut back and do more reading.  I’ve put several books on my Kindle.  Does anyone else who has Kindle feel like they read faster than when reading from a book?   I feel like I fly through books now.  I got Kindle Unlimited because I was buying so many books.  Now I can read as many as I want for the price of one book.   There is an author I discovered, George Mahood, who has written books about things he has done like bicycle from the bottom tip of England to the top tip of Scotland with no money, no bicycle and no clothes, except the shorts he had on.  No bicycle, you ask?  You will have to read the book.  He and a friend did it in three weeks with absolutely no money in their pockets.  He wrote a book about a trip he took through the United States which was really good and made me love my country even more. That book was called, “Not Tonight, Josephine.”  You will have to read it to find out who Josephine is.  It’s nice when someone from another country says so many nice things about my country.  Another book he wrote was about different holidays no one has ever heard of before and he tried to celebrate one each day of the year.  Did you know that January 2 is cats’ new year?  It’s called Happy Mew Year. If you want to laugh out loud, read one of his books.

We are the grandparents of four brand new golden retriever puppies.  Our daughter’s dog had them on my grandson’s, her son’s birthday.  What a gift.  We haven’t seen them yet, but hope to see them this week.  I will get some pictures to show you.

Now that the new year is here, I am planning.  One of the things that makes life worth living, is to have something to look forward to. I read that somewhere.  Someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to.  I have been blest all my life with all three.     I am always planning. I have known friends who were still making plans on their deathbed.  I think that is the human condition.  We make plans.  Of course, life almost never goes as we plan it which is what makes it so interesting.

This Christmas almost everyone got socks that I had hand knitted.  It became a running joke as each person opened a package and there were socks.  My youngest grandson looked at me with a worried look and said, “Grandma, I hope I’m not getting socks!”   He didn’t.  All the younger boys got train sets this year. And Nerf guns with plenty of Nerf bullets.

Here is a picture of those who got socks this Christmas, or at least their feet.

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From the leftover yarn I am knitting patchwork socks.  I already have a pair ready for next Christmas!

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Yes, it was a sock year.

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Once you have worn hand knitted sock, you never want to go back to store bought.  They are warm and comfy and stretchy.  One year I bought a couple of pair of socks from the Ralph Lauren store that were really cute, but when I got them home, they had absolutely no stretch in them.  I could barely get them over my heels.  Sad, too, because they were really, really cute.  I have no trouble getting hand knit socks on and off.  I hope they last longer than store bought socks also.

Not to say we have been doing nothing this week.  I made a big pot of potato soup with jalapeno and cheese sausages.

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David and I spent a quiet New Year’s Eve. We went to an Italian restaurant and ate dinner. That night while watching one of the New Year’s shows I suddenly got hungry for pancakes.  “I’ll make some, ” David said.  And he did.

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With strawberry preserves and whipped topping.  Yum.  What better way to end one year and start the next.  I just said we were having breakfast extra early.

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The project I have worked on this week were these little trees  Patchwork pines.  Tattered Trees.  They are  the creation of Ann Wood, a blogger I just discovered who makes the cutest things out of used things, paper machine and  anything she can find.  She provided the pattern for these for free.  I, of course, could not make just one and ended up with a little forest of them.

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Then I put them with little houses my daddy had made years ago and made a little village on our mantle.

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With kissing Grandpa and Grandma, of course.  Ha.

Besides all the other things going on, we had three birthdays in December and on Christmas day we celebrated our youngest grandson’s eighth birthday.  It’s hard for me to think he is already this old. Just seems he was born and he’s half grown almost.

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I made him a cake with a banner with his name on it.

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He seemed happy with it.

And just because we have nothing else to do, David and I started a puzzle this week.

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I ordered this from the Current catalog months ago and we said we’d wait until after Christmas to start it.  It is really a fun and interesting puzzle to do.  Not sure about the marijuana leaves on it, but some states have legalized it.  Even though I was a teen and a college student in the sixties, I can honestly say I have never tried marijuana  and don’t plan to start.  I have always been careful about the drugs that go into my body.  I don’t like taking aspirins too well, but will if necessary.

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This is a pretty big puzzle.  I like how the light is shining on it right now.

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Spread out on two tables. David is really the puzzle maker in our house.  I get impatient and frustrated after a while and have to leave. David will sit for hours working on it and he is not intimidated by all the white pieces in this puzzle.

Well, we don’t know what this year will bring.  Just living it one day at a time and trying to enjoy every moment.  I hope January goes really slow.  We will have a presidential inauguration and David’s birthday on the same day.  That will be fun.

This is the year I am going to start walking again  I was up to five miles a day a couple of years ago and then I hurt both my legs at different times and it was hard to walk a mile without pain, so, this is the year I am going to try to get back to walking again.   I will start slow with a mile or so and work up from there.  I will keep you posted and maybe you would like to start this journey with me.  After all, a journey begins with just one step.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Fresh Start

Ah, a brand, spanking new year to celebrate.  Clean, bright and shiny with nothing to tarnish it for a short time.  Once the clock says twelve midnight, we say good-bye to 2016 and hello to 2017.  When I was a young girl, this year would have seemed like it would take  forever to get here.  I would be an old lady then(or older lady, anyway.)   There would be flying cars and robots doing all our work for us.  Well, it hasn’t turned out quite like that, but things sure have change a lot since I was a child.

When I was a child, we still had television antennas and three or four channels.  We had no indoor plumbing and we heated with wood and coal oil.   We did have electricity and telephones but the phones were connected to the wall and we could only take the phone as far as the cord would stretch.  No telephone conversations that the whole family could not hear.   My daddy drove a big old station wagon and we could sit clear in the back without seat belts and even lay down and take a nap.   I was raised on a farm where the animals were fed and cared for before my daddy would come in to eat.   We ate our meals around a table with conversations and no cellphones to interrupt. Now, it’s the other way around. Conversations interrupt people texting on their phones.  I don’t call that progress.  I call that sad.   Every meal was freshly prepared by my mother, who was the best cook in the county, if not the state. Never any takeout meals.  No McDonald’s or Wendys when I was growing up. Our little town did have a restaurant, but I don’t think our family ever ate in it.     We washed dishes by hand together, drying them with a towel and talking as we worked.  Until we had a bathroom installed, we washed from a wash basin in the kitchen.  My mother would cover all the windows with newspaper so no one could see us bathing.

I enjoyed growing up on my daddy’s farm.  I think I had one of the best childhoods anyone could wish for.  I spent hours in the barn playing.  I dreamed of having a horse and every Christmas I always thought I would get one.  I did get one, but my brother helped me buy him and I will be forever indebted to him for being such a good big brother for helping me get my horse.   I roamed the farm playing with all the animals, even the baby pigs and calves that were born in the Spring.  I rode my horse on the country roads and even into town.   I worked in our garden, fed the chickens, helped my mother clean the house.  We were always cleaning house, it seemed.   We washed clothes in a wringer washer and I loved putting the clothes through the wringer, being careful not to catch my fingers in it.  We hung our clothes out to dry. I still miss the scent of air dried clothes, fresh from the clothesline  My mother didn’t get a washer and dryer until after I got married and left home.  Mother did the washing every Monday and I helped do the ironing on Tuesdays.  Fridays we always had hamburgers for dinner which was a treat for me.  Saturday dinners were always fish.   Sunday dinners were almost always fried chicken or beef roast. Saturday night and Sunday night suppers we got to eat on a tray in front of the television and it was the only time I got to drink a coke.

I never thought I would grow up, grow old and not live on a farm.  I still have a farmer’s daughter’s blood running through my veins and I always will.  I loved when every new year came.  I always got a diary for Christmas and loved writing on the very first page about the very first day of the brand new year.  Some day I will share some of my diaries writings.  But not all of them!  Some things must remain private!

We don’t know what this new year will bring.   I know we will get a new family member through marriage.  Will I get a new puppy?  More chickens?  Will David and I journey someplace new?  Will we lose a loved one?   Will we keep our good health?   Will I gain a new friend?  Every day when I get up, I pray God will send me another friend.   I pray for all my friends.  Some have had a bad year and some have had good years. I have lost several friends in 2016.  We have seen several celebrities die. Ones I watched when I was a girl.  We don’t know what life will bring us in the coming year, but we can know one thing. We can have a relationship with the very One who gave us life and put our trust in Him.  My hope is in Jesus Christ.  Whatever befalls me, He has my back.  I am not alone in this walk through life.

So for all of you reading this, I pray for God’s blessings on you and that this year will bring you peace, joy and love.  Love being the greatest of these.

Happy New Year, friends.  Bye.

 

On This Most Blessed Day

 

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The tree is up and shining,

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The stockings have been hung.

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Santas on the mantle,

Carols to be sung.

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Manger scene so precious,

God’s own little boy.

Here on earth to bless us.

Bringing hope and joy.

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Children so excited,

World is all aglow.

Christmas will be coming,

Awaiting the first snow.

Carols sung with gladness,

Hope is all around.

The Christ child came to save us,

Our blessings to abound.

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What’s your prayer this Christmas?

Peace to all mankind?

Fellowship with others?

Our hearts as one to bind?

No better present ever,

Than God’s own holy Son.

Seek Him first this Christmas,

So we can all be one.

A very blessed Christmas to you all.   See you next year!  Bye!

original poem by Kate Craig

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Inn Keeper

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a degree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed……….And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city, Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem;(because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary, his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  KJV Luke 2:1-7

No room for them in the inn.  Has that ever happened to you?  It has happened to David and me.  One time when we were traveling, we stopped in a college town to find a motel.  We didn’t know that there was a major football game happening there between two rival teams and we could not find one motel with a room in that town.  We traveled to the next town.  Same thing. So we drove and stopped at motels and I would run in and ask, “Do you have a room?”  and  I was told several times, “No, sorry.”  So we had to drive a good distance from the first town we had stopped at to find a place to lay our heads that night.  I kind of understood how Joseph and Mary felt when they arrived in Bethlehem and they could not find a place to sleep. Plus, Mary was in her ninth month of pregnancy and was due any time.

Not a whole lot has been written about the innkeeper who told them they could stay in his stable.   Some think he was cruel.  Others say, “How dare he not give a room to the holy family?”  Well, he didn’t know at the time they were a holy family.  Only Mary and Joseph knew who the baby was that Mary was carrying.  God’s only Son.   I am sure they had kept it quiet ever since they found out Mary was pregnant and still a virgin.

In Bethlehem in those days, there weren’t motels and hotels like we have today.  Most inns were probably quite small and accommodations were probably crude, at best.  No white, fluffy towels.  No showers.  No bathrooms, probably.  No little bottles of lotion and shampoo.  So, all the inns were full to capacity because people had come to Bethlehem to be taxed.  The city’s inns were overflowing, kind of like when there is a Super Bowl happening in a city and you can’t find a motel room anywhere.

So, here is an innkeeper, looking at this young couple at his door. The girl(Mary was probably in her teens) was obviously pregnant and he had no more rooms to let.  What was he to do?  He had a stable( more like a cave) that he knew was dry and warm and had clean straw, so he gave them the choice of staying there and they took it.

If you have never been in a barn, you would not know that it can be a very cozy place.  When I was growing up. I played in my daddy’s big, red barn almost every day.  In the Summer it was cool.  In the Winter, it wasn’t exactly warm and toasty, but it was comfortable.  If there were cows, pigs and my horse in it, it was warmer because of their warm bodies heating it up.  I loved the smell of the barn.  I would lay in the straw in the barn loft and play with kittens that were born between the hay bales.  A stable is not the worst place you could find yourself.

So Mary and Joseph went to the stable and looked around and found a manger, from which the cattle ate, probably found some straw and padded it and awaited the birth of their son.  And when Jesus was born, they found some rags in the stable and wrapped him up in them and laid him in the manger.  Why would God allow His son to be born in a lowly place like a stable?  Prophets had foretold hundreds if not a thousand years before Jesus’ birth, that he would be born to a virgin, of humble estate.   There are several reasons why Jesus was born in the stable, but the main one was to show the world the humbleness of the man that would be.  That he came, not to conquer the world, but to save it.   It may have been God’s way of protecting  Jesus because the king of that country was looking for the Savior and king that was to be born.  He would never have thought of looking in a stable for a king.

Anyway, I believe the inn keeper was in God’s plan.  He provided the humble place for Jesus to be born.  He was not mean. He did the best he could.

In this glorious season celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, and that is what Christmas is really all about, let us thank God for the wonderful blessing he gave to us that first Christmas day and say a thank you to the inn keeper who provided a safe, dry and warm place for the holy family to stay. May our hearts provide a place for Jesus in them, too.  Bye.

 

 

 

Despite

Despite it is only five days before Christmas and despite I haven’t finished shopping yet and despite I haven’t wrapped any of my presents(David has almost all his done) and despite I haven’t decided what I want to feed the mob coming Sunday and despite the house needs a good cleaning and despite the henhouse really needs a clean out and despite I really need to go to the grocery to get enough food for Sunday and despite I really need to get a new hairdo(which will not happen before Christmas, now)  and despite I feel this sense of urgency, this is what I am doing instead.

I get up lazily every morning. That’s what you can do after you are retired after decades of working and raising children.  It’s been really cold here and getting out of my warm heated bed is so hard to do. I make coffee and pour some peppermint creamer in it and light the cedar candle.   After Christmas, I just may plan one day to spend in bed and read and sleep.   Like that will really happen.

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I all of a sudden decided today I needed to go through all the magazines I have collected through the years. Don’t judge me.  I have magazines from the 1970’s and still love looking through them. Magazines were much better years ago. A lot more reading in them and less ads and pictures.  Now they are all ads(mostly drug ads) and pictures with very little reading to do.  I remember when Good Housekeeping had several stories in them every month.  I don’t know why I felt this was something I needed to do, but I found satisfaction in it.  I find magazines that set me off on my love of antiques.  The décor in our house seems to have evolved through the years depending on what the magazines had in them.

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I have been knitting patchwork socks using the leftover yarn from all the socks I have been knitting.   Yes, I need to get this done immediately!

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Binding a Christmas quilt that still won’t be finished this Christmas.

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My Christmas Chickens quilt.  I still have some quilting to do on it.

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Feeding the birds. They eat all this in one day.

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Loving seeing these pretty boys in the shrubs.

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Watching this silliness on the bird feeder and laughing.

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Watching Longmire on Netflix and taking naps.  I am under all these quilts and blankets.

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Playing with these two.  I have a gun that shoots tennis balls and they would play chase the ball all day as long as I have treats for them.  See how alert they are?  I have treats in my hand.

 

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Going around the house snapping pictures of things that look Christmasy to me.

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And last but not least. I found a new blog by a woman who creates wonderful things out of fabric, paper mache, and found objects.  I will write about her blog sometime.  Anyway, she made these really cute little trees and provided a pattern and directions for them, so, of course, I had to stop everything I was doing to try to make a few of them.  I will show you after they are finished. They don’t look like much now, but trust me, they will look cute, I hope.  Her name is Ann Wood if you would like to check out her blog.  She has a pattern for hens on nests that I plan to get and make.    All this makes me so happy.

Of course none of this is what I should be doing, but I feel free and easy and probably won’t really get to work finishing up everything until Friday.  Christmas will come whether I get it all done or not.   I want to enjoy every single day.

Hope you find things that are making you happy too.  Bye.

 

 

One Season Following the Other

 

 

We did have Thanksgiving.   We really did.  It just came so quickly after Halloween and was quickly overtaken by the Christmas season.  I just want to slow everything down. Take one day at a time. Savor each moment.  Remember why we celebrate.  Spend time in prayer.  Go out into nature. Play with the dogs.   Knit.  Sit quietly and just be for a time.

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I was lazy this year and used paper plates and plastic glasses. My excuse was that then we would have time to spend time with family, play games and not be in the kitchen all afternoon.  We had ten to eat and way too much food.  I am going to have to rethink my portions and how many leftovers I want to have. The dogs and chickens got some special treats after Thanksgiving.  We really could not eat all the leftovers and it’s hard to freeze salads.  I still cook for twenty or thirty and there are never that many around our table.

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The boys modeled their turkey hat.

We played “Say Anything,” which is really a fun game for everyone.

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Gobble. Gobble.

Then it was time to decorate for Christmas.

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Out came the Christmas quilts and pillows.

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“Light” the fire.

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Set up the tree.  Every year it is fun to find the ornaments we have put up year after year.  I bought a couple of new ones this year, but most are decades old.

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I love our tree.  I don’t always enjoy putting it up and decorating it, but it is always worth it when it’s in all its glory.

Our town has a Festival of Lights every year. This year there was a Christmas village with vendors and games for children and a magician.

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We took our two youngest grandboys.

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First we took them to the indoor playground. It was packed with children. This is a climbing thing that all the kids seem to love.  It looks scary to me, but the children were climbing on it like little monkeys.   It’s a long way up there.

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The magician performed and made a little girl this hat from balloons.   He also pulled a scarf from my grandson’s sleeve. I asked him if he knew it was up there and he said, “No!”

Then we went outside and waited for the parade to start.

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The Cheer Guild was giving away cups of hot chocolate.  My grandsons enjoyed that.

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Santa made an appearance.

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Then the parade began.

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A vintage Coca Cola truck all decked out in lights.

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So many pretty, lighted floats.

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And what do you know?  Santa appeared again.  The end of the parade.  There were fireworks, but we were all hungry so we decided to drive out of town and get something to eat.  It took so long to get out of the parking lot we got to see some of the fireworks.

It was a fun night.  Only nineteen days until Christmas. I plan to enjoy and embrace every day.  Bye.