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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.


It came from this magazine.


And this is how long I have had this magazine!


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.


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


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.




Spa Day and Father’s Day

I did something unusual for me.  I got up at six o’clock, something I very rarely do nowadays.  I have become a lay-a-bed in the past year or so because I have been staying up late at night.  Last night I sat outside and watched the lightening bugs flit around in my garden.  It was magical.  They would light up all at once and then there would be a short period when few were lit up and then they would light up again.

Anyway, I jumped out of bed this morning, ready to go, got dressed and out the door to do some chores before it got too hot.  David was still asleep.  He is almost always up before me.  I was thinking he was supposed to be at work at five, but his employer changes his hours often, so I just thought he was going in later.    I weeded a flower bed and spread some mulch.  I watered the flowers.  I took out an unwanted bush that had grown up on the fence. I trimmed down a small tree that had popped up in one of my flower beds.  Then I went inside and it was seven o’clock and I thought if David was going in later, he should be up by now so I went upstairs and he was still asleep.  I really hated to wake him, but I was wondering when he was suppose to go into work.

“You didn’t have to go in at five this morning?” I asked him as he opened his eyes.  “No, I go in at ten,” he replied.  “That’s your Saturday hours,” I told him.  “It’s not Saturday?!”  he asked and jumped out of bed.  He was dressed and out the door in fifteen minutes.  As soon as he left the phone rang. It was his manager wanting to know if something had happened to him.  I told her what had happened and that he was on his way.  I think this is only about the second time David has ever been late for work.  He prides himself on arriving early.  This will bother him for days.  He was also hoping they would keep him for two hours longer to make up for the two hours he missed this morning.   Yes, he has a very strong work ethic.

After he left for work, I went out and cleaned out the chicken house, spread some new bedding, raked their yard and fed and watered the chooks.

Then I decided I would do something else I have not done in years.  I took a spa day for myself. Not a go to a spa and get myself pampered.  My spa day was a long soak in the tub, washing my hair and reading all morning.  I very rarely get time to read during the day.  I do most of my reading in bed at night.  So this was a treat for me today.  I am reading a very interesting book by Vernon Coleman.  He has become one of my favorite authors. He not only writes fiction, but he writes about the medical profession, politics and the EU, which he hates.  He was a general practitioner in England until he retired to write.  I didn’t know if a doctor retires in England, he loses his license to practice medicine ever again.  Is it that way here in the United States?  Sounds like a horrible idea to me, but it’s one of the EU’s laws.  Anyway, I read one of his books all morning and enjoyed myself immensely.  Maybe I need to do this more often.  When I was a girl, I would read all day sometimes swinging on the porch swing.  Now that I’m retired(if a homemaker can ever really be retired) I should find more time to read.

I got this book and DVD in the mail today.



At the Creation Museum near Cincinnati, Ohio, they have built an exact replica of the ark as described in the Bible.  It’s longer than a football field and four stories high.  I sent some money to help it get built and received these for donating.  Very interesting.   It opens on our wedding anniversary, but I think we will wait a while to go see it until the newness wears off it, because the crowds to see it will probably be enormous for the first few months.

This Sunday is Father’s Day. I lost my daddy decades ago, but I still think of him every day and miss him.  I know he’s in heaven, probably building something or taking care of animals.  My daddy taught me a strong work ethic.  Because of him, I am not afraid to work.   In fact, I love to work.  He was a farmer and a factory worker. He raised six children with my mother and I think all of us turned out pretty good.  He saw some tragedies in his life that would have broken weaker men.  He was a Christian.  He got saved later in life and I remember when it happened. Now my father was always a kind and good man, but he could swear with the best of them, especially if he hit his finger with a hammer or some such accident and he smoked cigarettes continually.   The day he was saved, all swearing disappeared, the cigarettes were tossed and he started going to church every week and became very active in the church. Before that, he only attended once in a while.  I kept waiting to hear him swear, but I never heard him say a swear word for the rest of his life.   He took his salvation seriously, as we all should do and lived it until the day he died.

My father showed no favoritism to any of his children.  I loved being out with him when he was working especially when he was in the milking parlor where he taught me how to milk cows by hand.  Later he got milking machines.  He showed me how to squirt milk into a barn cat’s mouth from several feet away.   We kids always loved it when he took some time out from his always busy days to play basketball with my brothers in the haymow.  Daddy didn’t have a lot of time in his days.  He was always working.  Later in his life he slowed down a little and he would come in, lay down on the floor and take a short nap.  Then it would be up and out and working again.  He was the love of my mother’s life and when he died, she lost her best friend, lover and constant companion.  She was never truly happy after that and I understand her completely.

I received some books of my mother’s a while back and in one of the books that was like a high school annual, my daddy wrote my mother a poem.  From the words, it appeared they weren’t dating yet and daddy was trying to get my mother to like him.   Later they would date and elope and were married for over fifty years.


My daddy was a very handsome man.  He had very blue eyes.  I remember once when I was about five years old, I did something naughty and all daddy had to do was cock an eyebrow and look at me sternly and it would crush me.   I only got one spanking from my daddy in my life and it was when I was grown and old enough to know better.   I said something very disrespectful to my mother and my daddy whipped around, threw me over his lap and gave me a few whacks on the bottom.  I was more embarrassed  than hurt, but daddy was not going to stand by and hear his wife talked to in that manner.  Now that I look back, I sure deserved that spanking and I have never held it against my daddy.  In fact, I rather admire him for sticking up for his wife, which every man should do.

One of my grandsons reminds me so much of my father.  I tell him that all the time.  Daddy had delicate features, but was one of the toughest and strongest men I know.   He wasn’t a big man either, but was tall in stature in my eyes.

Happy Father’s Day, daddy.  I know  you are watching over me and I will see you again one day.  Say  hi and give my love to mother, too.  Bye.



Cozy and Content

The last few weeks of Winter are quickly passing.  I was looking forward to Winter, surprisingly, this year as I had a lot of projects I wanted to complete before warm weather.  I have finished three quilts since the beginning of the year which is good for me.  Small quilts, though.  Not king size like I have been making.   I have managed to clean out drawers that haven’t been touched in, gulp, years and found a boy scout flashlight that belonged to one of our boys.  It’s surprising what you will find around our house if you look.  We have closets full of old stuff from the sixties and seventies.   With three children growing up in this old house and me as a collector, things have managed to pile up.  I’m not a hoarder, though.   Everything is put away and has its place.  I just have to find it!

Today it is raining and the house feels so cozy.   I wish you could hear the rain beating on the metal roof of our front porch.  I love the sound.  I told David if we ever built our little house in the woods I want it to have exposed beams and a metal roof so we could lay abed and listen to the rain overhead.

The weather has been topsy turvy the past few weeks.  First we have this…….


Then we have sixty degree days.  On those warm days David and I have been cleaning up the yard.  It’s nice to get out and work in the sun and clean up debris in the yard and find all the flowers that are starting to peep through the ground.  I think we are going to have a beautiful Spring this year with all the daffodils, magnolias, azaleas, and other plants blooming.  We planted two more flowering trees last year so I am looking forward to seeing how they will look.

I am already planning my garden and what more flowers I want to plant this year. More hydrangeas, I think.  Another tree, perhaps.  Pumpkins and tomatoes are all I am planting in the vegetable garden this year.  With just David and me, it’s too time consuming to put up so much food that we won’t eat.  I have fought the critters who come and eat my beans for years and when I can buy a can of beans almost as cheaply as I can put up my own, it seems silly for me to waste my time.  I really don’t think home canned beans taste much better than store canned beans if you cook them with a little bacon fat and onion and I always put garlic salt on ours and they are very good.

I have been sewing some dolls for Samaritan’s purse.  Samaritan’s purse is an organization headed by Rev. Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, that fills shoeboxes for Christmas for children around the world. The boxes are filled with toys, school supplies, candy, clothes and anything that can be stuffed inside them.  These boxes are handed out to the children at Christmas time.  Our church has been filling shoeboxes for years.   Here are my little dolls.


I designed them myself and each has his or her own personality.


For instance, Rose, who wears her floral hat quite beautifully.


Mary, who is so proud of her new glasses.


Frankincense, Frank for short.


I hope some children will find them fun.  They all come with their own little quilts too.


I finished quilting my chick quilt.   I love, love, love it.  It’s so darn cute and I could make another one.

Oh, I did.


This one is ready to be quilted.  In blacks, reds, greys and pinks.  I love how it turned out.  It’s a small one.


These chicks were so much fun to sew.   They can become addictive to make.DSCN2947

Lori Holt, who designed the pattern, really came up with something entirely too cute for words.


This is the third quilt I made and it is completed. I hand quilted most of it.


Looks so nice on the back of a chair in my girly room.


Yes, you may come and sit on this chair and visit.

With the days still chilly and needing comfort food, I baked this week.


Apple crunch.  One of my favorite desserts because it is so easy and quick to  prepare and David loves it.


Cracker Barrel biscuits with dried beef gravy.   I don’t mean to brag, but my biscuits are better than any I have ever eaten at Cracker Barrel or anywhere, for that matter.  I make them extra thick and they are so good.  Definitely don’t last long around here which is why I only make them occasionally.  They are wonderful with strawberry jam or blackberry jam on them.  I am making myself hungry.

Hope your days are filled with comfort and contentment.  Remember it’s the little things that really do count.  Count your blessings.  You may have more than you realize.  Bye.



Paper Dolls and Valentines

A friend posted on Facebook the other day, “do you remember paper dolls? ” Do I remember them?  I was the paper doll fanatic in my day.  I grew up in the fifties and sixties and during that time I cut out my share of paper dolls.

When I was a little girl, I would go to the grocery store with my mother.  While there, she told me I could pick out a couple of comic books.  Back then the comic books were on a revolving rack and there were so many choices.  While my brothers went for Superman and other Super heroes, I went for the comic books that had paper dolls in them. Veronica and Betty and there was another one who was a model and there were always several fashions to cut out.  My favorite by far was the Katy Keene comic books.  Katy was a model and while I read her stories, what I looked for were the paper doll cutouts of her in its pages.  I have not met anyone who remembers Katy Keene comic books. (Note: I looked up Katy Keene comics for sale and they are bringing up to twenty-seven dollars or more. Comics I use to buy for ten cents or a quarter.) But every week I would look for her comic books. Sometimes there would be extra thick comic books that cost twenty-five cents instead of the usual ten cents.   When those would be on the rack, I would be in heaven.   Through the years I gathered quite a few paper dolls.  They were really one of my most favorite things to play with when I was little.  One time I even designed a paper doll complete in her bra and panties and designed clothes for her and I gave my creations to my best friend at the time in second grade. She was happy to receive them.  I wish I could see that paper doll now.   At the time I thought she was really pretty, but being a second grader, and her artist, she was probably pretty primitive.  My creative juices were flowing even back then, though and continue to this day.

I was cleaning out a drawer the other day looking for Valentines when I came across some paper dolls I had been collecting.  Several years ago there was a magazine called Home Companion created by Mary Engelbreit.  There was always one framing quality picture Mary had drawn and always a page of paper dolls.  These were not simple paper dolls, but bright, detailed, beautiful dolls.  I began to look through them.





Ann Estelle was one of my favorites.  I think she was Mary’s, too.


If you have seen pictures of Mary Engelbreit, you will notice Ann Estelle looks a little like her.  I remember the first time I saw Mary Engelbreit in a magazine telling how she was given a closet in her home, when she was a little girl, to go into and create.  How neat was that?  Her creating turned into an empire of paper dolls, calendars, greeting cards, fabric, dishes and much, much more.  But I loved her paper dolls.  Sadly, Home Companion went out of circulation a few years ago.  Wish it would come back.


As you noticed, I didn’t cut out many of the paper dolls.  I just couldn’t bring myself to, but I did cut out one Ann Estelle and some outfits for her. Here she is in her Halloween costume.


Dressed for a rainy day in London.


As far as I know, Ms. Engelbreit only drew one boy paper doll.  Tommy.


I’m sure she copied him off someone she knew.  He was so cute.  And he got several pages in the Home Companion through the years.


One year(2003) Mary Engelbreit came out with this paper doll calendar.  Now I am going to expose a deep,  dark secret I have held inside for years.  I bought this calendar to give to my only granddaughter and just couldn’t give it away.  I’m so ashamed!   But, it is still around and it would probably be gone by now if my granddaughter had had it because she would have probably actually played with it.  Now I can look at it and enjoy it once again.

Each month had a different outfit for four different paper dolls that were also included in the calendar.


Really cute outfits. With accessories.


Yes, I love Mary Engelbreit paper dolls. They sure brought this “little girl” a lot of pleasure.

Another paper doll I collected when I was a girl came in the McCall’s magazine each month. My mother subscribed to McCalls, but I was the first one to look through it to look for the Betsy McCall paper doll.


Yes, I saved some of them.  Not many.  In fact, I forgot I even had them.


Betsy came ready to dress with a story about her adventures.


There was a game on the page.


And a crossword puzzle.  So much fun in such a little space.  Some magazine needs to bring back paper dolls in its pages. I believe it would sell them even faster.


I found these paper dolls in my stash.  I really don’t know where I got them, perhaps at an auction or in an antique store.


Clothes to color and cut out.

Besides paper dolls, Mary Engelbreit  has designed some really cute Valentine’s Day cards.


I can’t show them all because some people I love will be getting some for Valentine’s Day.


Valentine stickers by Ms. Engelbreit   I love them.  I love stickers anyway.  If I can stick a sticker on something, I will.


These are especially nice.


I’m still coloring in my adult coloring book I got for Christmas.  I ordered a tin of seventy-two colored pencils.  This is half of them.


The tin is really nice to keep them in.


A picture by Mary Engelbreit.  Since this Sunday is Valentine’s Day, I want to wish you all a happy day.  You are loved by someone.  And you are the apple of Jesus’ eye.  Just wanted you to know.  Love you all.  Bye.









Chicken Version of the Night Before Christmas

  ‘Twas the night before Christmas

And all through the coop,

Not a chicken was stirring

Not even their poop.

The chickens were nestled

All snug in their beds

 While visions of mealworms

Danced in their heads.

 Me in my pjs

 And Dave in his chair

Soon gave me to know

I had not a care.

When out in the yard

I heard such a clatter

I ran to the door

To see what was the matter.

Belle and Bonnie were having a rumble

Biting and jumping

  A right good dog jumble.

As I came back inside

And proceeded to bed

I saw a fat man

Dressed all in red.

He looked at me funny,

He looked at me weird.

He sure wasn’t Santa

He had no white beard.

Instead of a beard he had feathers on his chin

As I kept staring, he started to grin.

You don’t know me, do you?

He asked with a smile.

I don’t come round usually

Just once in a while.

Only to good little hens

I come to see.

Your hens have been just as good as can be.

I’m Chicken Santa,

I’m new at this job.

Seeing chickens whose names might be

Beatrice or Bob.

I’m bringing the chickens something they want

Something they usually have to go hunt.

 And then in a twinkling he opened his bag.

What I saw in it made me want to gag.

 A big bag of worms squirming around

Something I don’t see except in the ground.

He spoke no more to me, but went out to the birds.

Filled up their feeder without any words.

And looking at me with nary a sound

He disappeared from sight as I looked all around.

But I heard him exclaim, though he wasn’t in sight,

Merry Chickens to you and to all a good night!

You Meet the Nicest People

I have traveled in just about every state in our union except for Hawaii and Rhode Island and David thinks we have been through Rhode Island, but I must have blinked.  In all our travels we have met some nice people.  Helpful people.  Friendly people.  No state holds a corner on the market for friendly people.

During our visit to North Carolina I got to meet a friend of my sister-in-law’s.  She is a quilter. She showed me several of her quilts.  She also showed me a quilt block she had had trouble making.


This one.  With all the points that have to come together it reminds me of Lemoyne Star, a block I have never mastered in all my years of quilting.  I even taught classes on the Lemoyne Star block and my students could make it better than I could.   For some reason I could never get the points to come together neatly.   It shouldn’t be that hard, but it is for me.


I have a feeling these points are going to be the death of me!  Arrgh.  But I am going to try it.

Today I got this pattern in the mail from Jan, my sister-in-law’s friend.  I was so surprised.  And not  only this pattern, but she sent me this….


A box crammed with pieces of fabric of all colors.  Christmas!!!   Thank you, thank you, Jan.  This was so nice of you.  But now I am going to obsess about making that block come out right.  The block comes from this block of the month quilt. Wait, I just noticed the pieces were cut for a large Dresden plate quilt with some already pieced!!!!  And patterns for a large Dresden Plate block.   I will have to retake my pictures and show you what she sent me.  What a treat.   Wow, am I blessed.


This would be a gorgeous quilt to make. The block pattern I got goes in this quilt. Do you see it?

Flowers are everywhere in my garden now.  It never fails to amaze me how there can be no leaves on trees one day and no flowers and the next day it’s like there has been an explosion overnight and there is color once again after a long season of grays and browns.


Foggy mornings usually mean it’s going to be a sun shiny day.


Absolutely love redbuds.  Saw so many of these in the North Carolina mountains.  Like they had been planted, but were actually growing in the wild.  Well, I know who planted them.




Daffodils of all colors.  I can never get enough of these.


My little magnolia that I protected from the builders last Spring while our new porch was being built.   I was so afraid it would not survive all the activity around it, but it did, and is so pretty.  I bought another one to plant in another part of the garden this year.


This particular magnolia bloomed a couple of times last year.


I told my North Carolina relatives we couldn’t grow azaleas here in Indiana, but I guess I was wrong because this azalea lived through a pretty bad winter and is blooming profusely now.  I planted three more this week.   I want my garden to look like those gardens I saw in North Carolina.   Some of those azaleas there were probably decades old.

Hope you are enjoying Spring where you are.  It goes so quickly which is why it is so special.

Here’s to nice people,  Spring flowers and surprises in the mail.  Bye.




What I am Reading

A couple of years back, someone asked me if I read books.  I immediately knew exactly how Sarah Palin felt when she was asked that inane question by a silly so-called journalist who evidently hadn’t done her homework.  Of course she reads. How else could she have ever become a governor of a state?  It was a question posed to make her look stupid, but she is still around and the so-called journalist isn’t. I am sure Sarah Palin felt that was an insulting question because men politicians are never asked a question like that.  Okay, that’s all the politics for the day.   Anyway, when I was asked that question I felt slightly insulted and amazed that there was someone who knew me and didn’t know I loved to read.  But I nicely told this person, “yes, I do read.”

I may look like a dumb blonde, and some may think so, but I read incessantly.  I have to have a book to read at all times.  I read magazines, books, and Bible studies.  I read several blogs that are very interesting.   There are many talented writers out there who have their little blogs and should be writing novels, I’m telling you.

Anyway, yes, I do read books and here is what is on my bedside table right now.



A wonderful daily devotional that makes one feel that Jesus is actually writing to them.  It seems each day, the subject covered fits what I am going through at that particular moment.


Ahh, Pride and Prejudice. I have had this little paperback book for ages.  I think I got it at a garage sale once.  I kept telling myself I should read it.  I have seen many adaptions of the book in movies.  The one with Greer Garson as Elizabeth Bennett was kind of silly, I thought. But Lawrence Olivier was wonderful as he always was and so handsome as Mr. Darcy.    Then there was the nightmare that was Keira Knightly as Elizabeth that was made in the last few years. I don’t even remember the Mr. Darcy in that version.  I am sorry, but I didn’t like that version at all. Maybe it was because I was spoiled by the best version ever.  My very favorite Elizabeth was Jennifer Ehle in A and E’s adaptation.  And who could forget Colin Firth?  Sigh.  He is the only Mr. Darcy as far as I am concerned.  I have that version on tape and think I will watch it soon again.  I finally read the book and just loved it.  I could see Elizabeth(Jennifer Ehle) and Mr. Darcy(Colin Firth) so vividly in my mind’s eye.


The Reader’s Digest.  My mother use to take it for years and I took it for years also.  I think I got this particular book at an antique store where I buy a lot of my books now.  I am reading Fannie Flagg’s “Welcome to the World, Baby Girl.”  I  read Norah Robert’s “River’s End” years ago.  Both very good.


Our church has a Christian book library and I get a book out of there once in a while and this is the one I am reading now.


Gladys Tabor’s book, “Stillmeadow Calendar.”  Ms. Tabor use to write for Woman’s Day, I think, and I would read her articles in my mother’s magazine.  She wrote homey things about keeping house and a farm and doing all the things that come with that.  I found this book at an antique store and read a little bit from it once in a while.


Jan Karon has a new book out about Mitford, hurrah, hurray.  If you have not read any of her books about the little southern town of Mitford and Father Tim, you have missed something wonderful.  I have read the whole series three times through and will probably one day read them again as they are so good.  It’s been a while since Ms. Karon has written about Mitford and I cannot wait to get into this one.  We visited the town of Blowing Rock, North Carolina last fall, which I wrote about in my blog.  The books were based on a town just like Blowing Rock where Ms. Karon lived for a time.


There is always a book on my Kindle.  I love my Kindle because I can read in the middle of the night without turning any lights on and waking David.

We did some antiquing Saturday and among the things I bought were some more books.


Since Christmas is just around the corner, I thought this book would be nice to read.  I saw the made for tv movie from it and it was so sad, but good.


Some James Patterson’s books I like and some, not so much.  I hope this will be a good one.



Since I am training yet another dog, I thought I could use a refresher course in dog training and bought this book cheap.


I have read many of Anne Rivers Siddons’ books, but I had not seen this one before.  It’s one of her earlier books so I am glad I found it.   It’s about the south and how it changed over time.  I love books about the south.  I would have made a great southern belle.  Yet, I would love to live in Alaska.  Call me crazy.


Yes, I love to read.  I hope you do too.  Bye.



Lipstick is one of the first cosmetics girls are allowed to use when they are growing up.  At least it was that way when I was growing up.   I couldn’t wait to get my first lipstick.  I was in about the seventh grade when my mother allowed me to wear some to a dance.  I felt so grown up.

I have had a love affair with lipstick ever since.  I don’t wear much other makeup,  just a little powder on my nose, but that’s it.  Ever since seventh grade, I have used Covergirl makeup.  It doesn’t have oils in it to clog your pores and washes off easily.  Sometimes I will use their liquid foundation if I am not in a hurry, which I usually am.  I love the smell of new powder makeup.  Even if I don’t use it very much, I like to keep some in my purse.

Remember the first Parent Trap movie with Hayley Mills?   If you are under fifty, you may not unless you have seen it on television.  I loved the part where the one twin got to go to the camp dance and the other one didn’t and what she did to her twin who was at the dance.  Anyway, Hayley Mill’s character was talking to a boy and said, ” I feel naked without my lipstick.”   That is kind of how I feel when I am out in public and don’t have lipstick on.  In case you wondered what the one twin did to her sister, she and her friends cut the back of her sister’s dress off while she was leaning against a railing and there she was with her underpants showing for all to see.  A huge fight insued with all the food for the dance being knocked to the floor and the twins being banished from the camp to a cabin away from everyone else.  If you haven’t seen this movie, I hope you can see it some time.  Lindsey Lohan did a remake of the movie years later and I liked it just as well.

So I decided to gather all my lipsticks from around the house and in drawers and in my purses and see what I had.  I was amazed at how many tubes I had.


This is what I had left after I threw a few away those that didn’t have much lipstick left in them.


My Covergirl lipsticks.


This has lipstick on one end and gloss on the other.  Both applied with a wand. At least that’s what I think you call it.


One of these things.


I seem to tend toward the same colors.  I have never worn bright red lipstick although I think it really looks good on some women.


My lipstick comes in all types of tubes.


I don’t really like the long, skinny tubes very well.



This tube fooled me at the store.  I thought I was buying a stick of lipstick.  Not so.


It was lip gloss.  I use it, but I don’t prefer it.


These are my newest lipsticks.  That bright pink one, I’m not so sure about.  Sometimes I put two or three shades on my lips at a time and try to come up with a new shade.  I just love lipstick.  I even wear it sometimes when I take the dogs a walk.  David will ask, “Why are you putting on lipstick just to walk the dog?”  I don’t know why.  My mother instilled in me when I was growing up that when you went out in public you tried to put your best foot forward.   She was aghast when she would see young women with curlers in their hair when we were out shopping. You know the ones I am talking about?  Back in the sixties girls rolled their hair on these huge rollers about the size of a can of vegetables.   She told me to never wear curlers in my hair in public.  That has stayed with me.  I always change my clothes and put on lipstick before I go anywhere.  If you see me out and about and I don’t have my lipstick on, something is wrong.

Now I see people in their pajamas in a store.  Their pajamas!! I know I have written about this before, but really.  Can’t you take the time to put on some clothes before you go out in public?   I know pajamas are comfortable.  Some days I don’t get out of mine until almost noon, but I don’t go out in them.

Anyway, I will continue my love affair with lipstick.  When or if one day I am put in a nursing home there are two things I have told my daughter to be sure to take care of if I can’t do it.  Tweeze the hairs off my face and apply lipstick for me.  I hope the funeral director will put an especially pretty shade on me for my funeral.  Seriously!   Then when people stand around and say,  “Doesn’t she look natural?”  I will.  Bye.


Give a Wife a Camera……..

Yesterday I was sitting in my girly room, minding my own business, knitting a hat.  Suddenly David pushed the camera into my face with this picture.


Okay, I thought.  A little blurry and I said take another one and he took this…


Much better.  You like my blue fingernails?   Then David started to show me more pictures.



Okay, what’s going on?  ” I used the zoom lens,” David said.  “Here, look.”  I looked at my camera and saw the zoom was fixed.  You see, last summer on a small trip we took, I dropped the camera in my car and broke the zoom thingamajig on it.  I have still continued to use my camera, but couldn’t zoom in.  Then, David, bless his heart, bought me a new camera for Christmas.  Unfortunately, me and that camera did not get along well.  It was heavy, took too long(for me) to focus and I had to change lenses if I wanted to zoom.  It’s really a nice camera, just too much for me.  I told him he could have it and take pictures for me while I would continue to use my little, broken camera.   It’s worked out pretty well.  David takes good pictures.

Then today he starts using my little camera again. “Did you fix it?”  I said.  “How did you fix it?  Oh, I am so glad to have my camera working again.”  Then he began to laugh and I looked at the camera closer.  It was a new camera.  Just like my little broken one, only better.  And I could zoom again.

David had ordered a new pump for our water fountain and I had brought him the box from the mail thinking nothing about it.  The camera was in the box with the pump.  He sure surprised me.  Soooo, today I went around taking pictures just checking it out.  Here they are in no particular order.



Getting ripe.




You know those bulbs I bought at a big box store and didn’t think they would grow?  Well, they are growing and blooming.  I have several different gladiola right now and each one is so pretty.



This one was almost hidden behind the Shasta Daisies.  It’s amazingly beautiful in person.




Magic or August Lilies.  In the Spring these flowers grow their foliage, but no flowers.   Then as the Summer progresses, the foliage completely dies and disappears and then these spikes of flowers appear.  Then they turn into this.



What I am wondering is, how do they know it’s August?


I have a lot of these around the garden.  Whoever lived here before us planted them and they have come up every year since we’ve been here for thirty-seven years almost.



Last Summer a friend and I went to a shop hop and I won this quilting book.  I haven’t made anything from it yet, but I keep looking at it and planning.


I think this is a darling pillow.  I would make it with wools and I think I will make this pretty soon.


Isn’t this bee skep pin cushion cute.  It’s kind of labor intensive, but I won’t take it off my list to make yet.


I love this purse although the giant bee on it kind of turns me off, but I could put something else there where the bee is.


Right now I am making a quilt from this book.


Yes, I am making a sheep quilt.  I am not going to make it exactly like in the book, but I think it will be cute when I am finished.  I’ll try to remember to show you when it’s done.  I won’t guarantee it.  But I will try.



For those of you too young to remember these are insulators that use to be on the top of electric line poles.  When the poles started to be taken down, the workmen would often just leave these laying around.  My dad collected a few and I have found some at auctions.  They are just a part of history and I like history.


My trusty Riccar sewing machine.  One of four I have plus I have a few other sewing machines.  A friend asked me one time why I had so many sewing machines.  I told her it was because I never wanted to be without a sewing machine when I am working on a project should the one I am using break.  Plus, we sold these years ago and I brought the leftovers home with me when we closed our store.


I collect old chairs.


I come from creative parents.  My dad used to build and paint these little houses and sell them.  I was blessed to receive some from him.


He made this little church.


It even has a bell in the belfrey.


This was the last thing my dad gave me before he died.  The cow’s eyes are a little wonky which makes me love it even more.  Dad had had gall bladder surgery that year and his health never got back to normal.  I use to just put these houses out at Christmas, but I keep them out all year now to remind me of my father.  I can’t wait to see him again and I know I will.


Shhh, this is my favorite chicken, but the others don’t know it.  Penninah always greets me when I come into the chicken yard.  Honestly, sometimes I think I can understand what she is clucking.  Here she is engrossed in my pants.


Ada and Abby are now in with the big chooks.  David said they went into the coop all by themselves last night.  He had been putting them in after it got dark.  Seems things have settled down and the big chooks have accepted them more or less although there is an occasional peck when the younguns’ get around their food.


The best fertilizer.  I’m just sayin’.


Bonnie.  I love this dog.  She is getting old. Ten years.  We are looking to get another puppy maybe this Fall.  When we got Bonnie, we had an older dog who got a new lease on life when Bonnie arrived.  They played together and ran and had so much fun.  That dog, Subaka, lived to be eighteen years old.  I hope Bonnie lives that long.  Seems that it would be nice if your dog could live as long as you do, but it’s not the way.  I have many dogs waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge.  Dogs are the best and the nearest thing to how we people should treat each other.  They love us unconditionally, forgive everything and only live to be with you.  Sounds like God, doesn’t it?


Belle, the silly girl.  She always manages to strike a very silly pose every time I try to get her picture.

Here’s to new cameras and the wonderful husband who surprised me with one.  Bye.








Camping Days

Did you go camping as a child?  I went camping with the girl scouts a couple of times.  It was fun and scary at the same time.  I was a girl who didn’t like to be away from home.  I would be invited someplace and I would get all excited about going and then at the last minute I would not want to go.  My mother made me go sometimes and I was always glad she did because I always had fun.

Anyway, camping with the girl scouts meant crafts and swimming and games.  I was one of the younger scouts, a brownie,  and the older scouts liked to play tricks on us like hiding our underwear or putting something creepy, crawly in our beds.  But other than that, I have fond memories of it all.

One of the things I liked best was sitting around the campfire at night roasting marshmallows and singing songs.  Cuckaberra was one of them.  We would sing it in rounds.  One group would start:  Cuckaberra sits on the old gum tree, merry merry king of the bush is he-e, laugh, cuckaberra, laugh, cuckaberra, how gay your life must be.   Then the next group would start and so on until we had sung our rounds.  I loved that song for some reason.

I went to church camp a few years where we learned from the Bible and went swimming and boating and ran around the campground and laid in bed at night talking.  One year our church went camping with another group of church kids and well, it didn’t go so well.  The other kids took a disliking to us as they were from the city and we were small town kids.  Also there was a couple who couldn’t keep their hands off each other and our leader wasn’t too happy about that.  I had another bad camping experience once I will tell you about sometime if I remember.  But, for the most part, I have loved to camp.

My cousins went to a different camp than I.  They sang different songs obviously.  Great big gobs of greasy, grimy, gopher guts, greasy grimy gopher guts, greasy, grimy gopher guts, great big gobs of greasy, grimy, gopher guts hanging on the mess hall door.  Hanging on the mess hall door.  Hanging on the mess hall door.  Great big gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts hanging on the mess hall door.  They sang that song all the way to a lake where we were going swimming, in our car, with my parents and my mother was not amused.

My cousins, who are twins by the way, just visited me last week and mentioned that song.  I was waiting for them to burst out singing, but they didn’t.

Another cousin taught me a song from her camping days, John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmitt, his name is my name too. Whenever we go out, the people always shout, there goes John Jacob Jingleheimer, Schmitt.  I don’t know why, but I can remember all the words to camp songs and can’t remember where I put my car keys last.

David and I bought a camper years ago and spent several happy years camping.  Our daughter was but a few weeks old when she went on her first camping trip.  She still likes to camp.  We camped in Michigan when David was doing training with the National Guard.  One day some tear gas was actually accidentally dropped near the campground where most of the children were playing and they all, including our two sons, came running back to the campers crying with tears running down their faces. David said that is what had happened as he recognized the smoke.  They all were okay, though.

We camped with my parents a couple of times.  We went to Yellowstone National Park and to Pikes Peak in Colorado.  My dad was a snorer, so we all tried to get to sleep before he did because he could rattle the camper.  Four adults and three children in a camper for a week is very interesting.

Now David and I have a campfire area in our yard where we sit and roast marshmallows.  We don’t sing, though.  We talk and just watch the flames leaping and sparking in the wood and I think back to camping days. Bye.

To all my Australian friends, if I misspelled cuckaberra, please forgive me.  I couldn’t find it in any dictionary I had.