Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why I’m Never Making Plans Again

Do you make plans?  Do they always go as you planned?  Or are you like me. As soon as you make some plans nothing goes according to plan.  This has happened to me a lot lately.

When my daughter decided she wanted to do a ten week twenty day physical therapy routine in Indianapolis I said, “Sure, I’ll be glad to go with you.  Then David had to have eye surgery on both eyes and I had doctor appointments I could not cancel.  So I could not go with her every time. Plus our son bought us tickets to Walt Disney World for four days in November and I would miss one week going to Indianapolis with her.  My plans went all askew.

Our oldest son bought us tickets to Walt Disney World and rented a house for us and our daughter’s family and we all were looking forward to spending some fun time together.   The first day in Florida we went to Legoland and had a great time.  Then the first day at Disney I began to feel really bad. It was hot and I thought it was just the heat. I could barely walk around the park without feeling like I was going to faint.  When we got home I went to bed and slept hoping the next morning I would feel better, but I felt worse.  So we went to a new clinic just down the road from our rental and the doctor there sent me to the hospital. That’s where I’ve been ever since. My heart rate is very low and now they are talking about my kidneys.  Help!  So here I sit in the hospital on what should have been a fun day, waiting for the doctor to give me more news. I also have to have more tests………

If you are a praying person, pray for me right now.  Bye.

To Eat or Not to Eat, That is the Question

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oliver the Miracle Dog Part I

This story is based on what happened to our daughter’s dog, Oliver.  I have taken literary license with some of it, but a lot of it really happened.  This is illustrated by my grandson, Tristan, who is an aspiring artist.  He is also one of the “little buddies” mentioned in the story.

 

Oliver, a beautiful Golden Retriever, lived at the top of a tall hill with his buddies, the Larsons, his goofy son, Farley and Lily, the mother of Farley.  They were a wonderful Golden Retriever family.

It was a wonder life.  Eating, sleeping, running after thrown balls, exploring the forest all around.  There were head rubs and playing with his little buddies as they rode their bicycles in the driveway or played in their hideout in the woods.

One cold Winter’s day Oliver awoke and went to the door to be let outside.  Now Oliver was a roaming dog.  At one time he disappeared on one of the coldest nights of the year and didn’t return home until the following morning, no worse for wear.  It had worried his buddies greatly.  Big buddy had called for him for a long time. He heard him, but the smells of the forest were too enticing.

This particular day he lifted his nose into the air and grew giddy with the wonderful odors that wafted on the breezes.  “I must see where all these smells are coming from,”  he thought to himself.   So off he bounded.

Oliver ran quickly on his four sturdy legs, his tail like a plume, stuck in the air.  There was a squirrel smell.   The squirrel had not been there for a long while.  Move on.  There a possum smell.  Not much to Oliver’s taste, but playing with a possum as it played dead was great fun.

Then Oliver smelled coyote.  These were ones with whom he did not want to cross paths.

Deeper into the forest Oliver ran, nose to the ground.  Suddenly, he saw movement.   A rabbit!   Off Oliver went chasing the rabbit among the trees until the rabbit reached his home in the ground and popped inside.  Oliver sniffed around the hole and would have dug around it if the ground had not been frozen solid.   “Hmm,”  Oliver thought to himself.  “I’m hungry, must go home.”  But which way was home?

The day was coming to an end.  Oliver had been in the forest all day. His buddies would be home fixing supper and doing homework around the kitchen table while the dogs would be eating their final meal of the day and settling down for the night.  The sun was lowering in the sky  Oliver ran and ran, so full of life and happiness just being alive when suddenly, SNAP!  He felt a great pain in his back leg as a coyote trap snapped its ugly jaws around it.  He yipped in pain, trying to jerk away from the trap.  But the trap was attached to a chain that was wound around a tree.  Whoever had set this trap meant to keep his prey right there.

Again and again Oliver pulled and could not get free.  Blood gushed from the gruesome wound.  The sun went down.  It was cold.  Oliver was all alone.  He whined and moaned.  The pain was great, but nobody could hear him or knew where he was.  The pain was almost too much to bear.

Day 2

   Oliver had managed to sleep a bit through the night, but the pain and his hunger would not let him sleep very long.  He also was beginning to feel a terrible thirst.

   All that day he pulled and pulled to try to get away from the trap, but it just held on tighter.  The pain was so great.  Where were his buddies?   All that long day Oliver felt sad and lonely and scared.  it was cold and night came again and the forest was quiet all around except for the rustling of the night creatures and the birds who were settling in for the night.

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  Day 3

  Another long night for Oliver.  He had heard an owl hooting in the tree above him.  A sad, lonely sound to Oliver.  He missed his buddies. He missed his soft bed and the warm house.  Most of all he missed his food and a cold drink of water.  He spent part of the day trying to pull free, to no avail.  He lay panting and feeling very sad.

Day 4

  Snow fell gently on Oliver as he lay with his nose on his forelegs.  A tear fell from the corner of his eye.  He had been forgotten.   He didn’t realize his buddies were looking for him and calling his name into the forest, but Oliver had traveled so far from his home, he could not hear them.  He only felt the pain of the trap on his leg. He pulled and pulled on it.  His beautiful golden coat had become dirty and stuck through with dead leaves and twigs.  Night came.   Nobody came to save him.

Day 5

  Oliver felt dizzy and sick.  Where was he?  Why wasn’t he in his nice, warm bed?  Where were his two little buddies who lay on top of him and scratched his ears?   He slept and dreamed of playing with Lily and Farley in the yard with his buddies all around.   Would he never see them again?  Pull on the trap chain again and again, but it remained securely wrapped around the tree.  Night time and danger was lurking.

  That Night Oliver heard strange noises in the forest.  He smelled smells that worried him.  He must get free.  Pull harder.  Lunging and jumping with every bit of strength he had.  The chain moved a bit, but still was attached to the tree.  He did not want to give up.  His buddies were waiting

Day 6

   Oliver was so tired from the last night’s exertions.  He felt so helpless.  Suddenly a squirrel came close to him and sniffed Oliver.  Seeming to know it had nothing to fear from the sad looking dog, the squirrel proceeded to gnaw on a nut it had just dug up from a hole where it had hidden it in the Autumn.  Oliver just lay there and watched it listlessly.  “I’d bite you in two if I could get to you,” he thought about the cheeky squirrel.  It made him angry.  “If only,”  he thought.   Oliver was in that poor, thin, starving dog somewhere.  He was so cold, hungry and thirsty.  Why was he here?  Did no one love him anymore?

Day 7

    A day of rest from pulling on the chain.  By this time Oliver had grown use to the pain.  His leg was growing numb. If it  wasn’t attended to soon, gangrene would set in. Luckily, Oliver knew nothing about gangrene.  All he knew was that he wanted the trap off his leg. He wanted out of the forest and into the arms of his buddies.    What was that?   He heard rustling in the brush. He smelled what he didn’t want to smell.  Coyotes were close.  But the worst had not yet happened.

To be continued………

Authors in the Family and Letter writing

I always have loved to write.  If I were disciplined enough and didn’t have so many hobbies like quilting, knitting, gardening and reading, I might have had time to write a book.  I have written short stories for my grandchildren in which they are the main characters, but that is as far as I have gotten to being an author.  Writing here on my blog seems to satisfy my need to write.

Our oldest granddaughter actually wrote a book when she was fourteen and had it published.  One of our grandsons likes to write and wrote a story about me trying to get to my birthday party.

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I guess that’s me in the picture!

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Wish you could read it. According to the story, I took a subway from Chicago to Lafayette, Indiana. There was a ship wreck and cyclone I had to deal with also.  Quite a feat if I do say so myself.  But I did get to my birthday party!

His brother made a really nice birthday card for me also.

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Better than any store bought card any day in my estimation.

I got a letter the other day from the same grandson who wrote the story, asking for a size 11 pair of socks.  I think he was asking for his dad because I did not knit his dad socks for Christmas this year.   Not sure.  I was just glad to get a letter. The art of letter writing in this day of cellphones and texting and E-mails has gone the way of the Dodo bird.  It takes time to gather a pen and paper and sit down and write down your thoughts, then find an envelope and a stamp and go to the mailbox and mail the letter. If someone does that for you, it’s a real blessing. It means they are thinking of you and you are worth their time.  I wrote him back and also told him to tell his brother to write me also and I would write back.  Maybe we have started something here.  Maybe I need to sit down and write a letter to everyone who means something to me.  Have you ever written a person and told them what they have meant in your life?  A teacher, or relative or friend?     I bet if you did, they would be so happy to get it. I got a birthday card a couple of weeks ago in which a friend had written a prayer for me and it meant so much.   For some reason, a letter means more than a text or even a quick phone call because it means the person thinks you are worth it.

Do they even sell stationary any longer?  I remember as a girl looking at all the pretty stationary and spending time selecting some. Stationary came in pretty boxes and there was usually a picture of something on the top of each page.   I had pen pals I wrote to in Sweden and around the United States.   The two girls I wrote to in Sweden would send me little gifts and I would send them something and we did this for a few years and then we lost contact.  I still have a picture they sent me of the two on them on ice skates  by a lake.   Hard to imagine they are old ladies like myself now.    I often wonder about them. I tried to find them on the internet, but someone I contacted, who  I thought might be one of them, never contacted me back, so I figured it was the wrong person.

I just finished writing a story based on my daughter’s Golden Retriever who lost a leg in a trap a few weeks ago.  I tried to write it from the dog’s point of view and I tried to imagine what he went through, caught in a trap in the middle of the forest for fourteen days.   I still am amazed he survived his ordeal.  My daughter says he runs fast now and coming toward you, you can’t even tell he is missing a leg, but he limps when he walks. It’s amazing how resilient animals are.  After I have done some polishing of the story I will give it to my daughter and her family to read and then I may post it on here.

Have you written a letter recently?   Is there someone who would LOVE to hear from you?

In other news, the work on my shop is going quite well. I have several shelves painted and all but one wall painted and now I am working on the floor.   It takes two days for each coat of paint I put on the floor to dry so it’s a slow process.  Plus, I can only do small portions at a time as I have to move stuff from one side to another.  When this gets done, I am done for a while. I did mention to David that my girly room is in need of fresh paint and he told me to get one project done before I started thinking of the next one!  Maybe this Autumn that room will get freshening up.

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It looks like the walls are pink, but they are dazzling white.

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It’s so nice to have clean, freshly painted walls on which to hang things again. I have decided I am not going to burn candles in here anymore as everything was blackened by the candle smoke.   I have burnt a lot of candles in here through the years.   While I love to burn candles, they do leave a bit of soot even if you cannot see it at the time.   So air fresheners will have to do unless someone can give me some advice on what to use. I’d like to do something with peppermint extract because spiders don’t like peppermint.

I also am trying to make some little quilts from these two books I got in the mail a couple of weeks ago.

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I really love this quilt on the cover and want to make it.  There will be some appliqueing in my future.  In this book, Kathleen Tracy writes of a young woman, Adelia, who lived during the Civil War and shows us some of her diary entries.  It is very interesting. I love reading about this time in American history although it was a very hard time and many lives were lost.

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This is another quilt in the book that I want to try. I love green and pink together.  So Spring like.

I am working on this quilt right now and am loving the process.

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It’s a small quilt and just about all I can handle right now.   Its from this book by Jo Marten.  I want to make every single quilt in his book.  I’m thinking of having a quilt wall in my shop of all little quilts.

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It’s becoming Spring in my neck of the woods. Daffodils are blooming on the south side of my shop and many more are getting ready to burst into bloom.  I know this sounds crazy, but I’m kind of sad to see Winter go as I had so many plans to finish so many projects that did not get done.  I did get some more socks knitted.

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Believe it or not, David loves these and wore them to church this morning.

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These go in the gift bag. I have another pair completed and am working on my Christmas socks. Yes, Christmas. I think about Christmas all the time because I make so many presents.  But the Christmas socks will be mine. The first pair of Christmas socks I knit turned out to be too pink, so they go in the gift bag also.  I also have yarn to knit David Christmas socks.  So, there you go.

Spring starts next week.   Enjoy it because right behind it comes Summer and the heat.   I hope we have a mild Summer this year. Not too hot or cold.

I will leave you with a smiling face.

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Molly Marshmallow says, “Hi.”   Took her to the vet for some shots and  she remembered him from when she was there a few months ago because she got so excited when he walked in the door like she was greeting her long, lost friend.  She doesn’t greet me like that!  Here’s to happy dogs. Bye.

 

 

Learning in the Fifties

I grew up in the fifties and sixties of the last century.  That sounds like so long ago, but to me it seems just like yesterday.  I attended a little school in a little town of about 400 people where the first through the senior classes were all in one building.  A two story brick school house with no air conditioning.  When it got hot, we opened the windows.  It was heated by a big furnace in the basement cared for by our one janitor, Mr. Mikesell.   I sat at desks where there were holes for inkwells  in the top though we didn’t use them anymore. My desk had carvings on it that other pupils had made while sitting in them.   Our books and yellow writing tablets were put underneath on a shelf.   The classroom smelled of chalkdust, paste and crayons.

We had a music teach, Miss Hower. She seemed like a little woman to me even though I was a little girl. She would come to our classroom once or twice a week to teach music. She was always wearing a dress with a full gathered skirt, a jacket or sweater and tiny heels.  She was soft spoken, but she taught us well. She had one of those pitch pipes she would blow to get the note we were to start on in a song.  Our favorite time in music class was when we could pick out the songs to sing in our songbook.   Now, I don’t know what crazy things they may or may not be teaching in public schools today, but our choice of music was not what I would think children should be singing in the classroom although I loved these songs.  One of our favorites was called, and I am serious, “There is a Tavern in the Town.”   I can still remember all the words.  Picture a classroom of second and third graders belting out this song at the top of their voices.

There  is a tavern in the town, in the town.

And there my true love sits him down, sits him down

And drinks his wine mid fancy free

And never, ever thinks of me!

Fair thee well for I must leave thee

Do not let this parting grieve thee

But remember that the best of friends

Must part, must part.

Adieu, adieu kind friends,  adieu, adieu, adieu

I can not longer stay with you, stay with you-u-u

I’ll hang my heart on a weeping willow tree,

And may the world go well with thee.

I can’t imagine what my father and mother thought of this song as they did not drink, but I am sure I sang it around our house. I loved it!

Another song we sang was “Barbara Allen.  A song that always made me sad.

I know there are several verses to it, but I can only remember three of  them

Twas in the merry month of May

When the green buds they were swelling,

Sweet William on his death bed lay.

For the love of Barbara Allen.

Oh, mother, mother, make my bed

Oh, make it long and narrow.

Sweet William died for me today,

I’ll die for him tomorrow.

And here’s where I would feel like crying…..

They buried her in the old church yard,

And they buried him beside her.

And from his grave there grew a rose,

And from hers grew a briar.

And the song from the war years, years before any of us were born.

Don’t sit under the apple tree

With anyone else but me,

Anyone else but me,

Anyone else but me, no, no, no.

Don’t sit under the apple tree,

With anyone else but me,

Til’ I come marching home.

I just got word from a guy who heard

From a guy next door to me,

The girl he met just loves to pet

And it fits you to a T!

So, don’t sit under the apple tree

With anyone else but me,

Til’ I come marching home.

We probably didn’t even know what petting was at that age, but we loved singing that song.  My question is, who put those songs in children’s songbooks back in the fifties?   I find it funny now.

We had three recesses every day. One in the morning. One after lunch and a third in the afternoon.  In good weather we would race to the schoolyard trying to get one of the swings before they were all taken.  These swings swung high and we’d swing so high the chain would buckle and of course we would jump out at the highest point.  There were teetor-totters and we tried bumping each other off them by dropping down hard on the ground while the other one was in the air.  I had the wind knocked out of me several times doing that.  Playgrounds looks so dull and uninteresting now and I wonder how the children can have fun in them.  We had a merry-go-round that the big boys would spin while the rest of us would hold on for dear life. I lost several dress sashes on the merry-go-round when they would get caught and I would fall off.  I look back now and wonder how we all survived, but we did.  And it was glorious fun.

If you have seen the movie, Christmas Story, my classrooms looked a lot like Ralphie’s  and his teacher reminds me a whole lot of my first grade teacher, Mrs. Retherford.    I loved school, but would cry every Sunday night when I realized I had to go back to school on Monday.   We had three reading groups, the Cardinals, the Bluebirds and the Robins. The Cardinals were the best readers and I was in that group as I had pretty much taught myself to read before I went to school.  I have never lost my love of reading.  I felt sorry for the Bluebirds who were struggling learning to read.   They all learned to read, though and that is what was important.

When someone would get sick in the classroom and didn’t make it to the bathroom which was in the basement of the building, Mr. Mikesell would come in with his mop and bucket and as we kids watched fascinated, he would mop up the mess without acting like it affected him at all while we kids went “eww” and “ick,” and when he left, our teacher would thank him and he would shake some good smelling powder on the floor.   It was a common occurance in our classroom, it seemed.

When it was too bad to take recess outdoors, we would play in our classroom, writing on the blackboard, coloring or jumping rope. I loved jumping rope and could jump hundreds of times before the rope would catch my legs.

Lunch time was the social time of the day as we would sit with our friends and either ate our lunch we brought from home or ate a hot meal prepared by the cooks, who were usually someone’s mothers.  The meals were delicious and we could go back for seconds.  One of the cooks baked homemade cinnamon rolls once in a while and you could smell them baking all over the school and by lunchtime you would be so hungry.  Friday was fish day for the one Catholic family who lived in our school district.  I loved fish day.

So many memories of my school days.  I pretty much loved learning and still do.  My second grade teacher, Mrs. Farmer, turned me onto writing and I thank her for teaching me how to write a good story.  My first story was about an apple and what happened to him as he was picked and taken to be made into apple cider.    I wish I still had that paper.

How was your school years?  Do you have fond memories or would you rather forget them?  Good teachers can make a big difference in how children look at education.  Here’s to those teachers who made us want to learn.  Bye.

Roy Rogers

    Happy trails to you, until we meet again.

 Happy trails to you, keep smiling on ’til then

Who cares about the clouds when we’re together

Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.

Happy trails to you, ’til we meet again.

If you grew up in America in the 1950’s, you probably watched the Roy Rogers’ show on television. Roy Rogers was the ultimate cowboy.  My brothers and I watched it every week without fail watching Roy and his wife, Dale Evans, fight the bad guys.  Roy rode his beautiful horse, Trigger, a palomino.  Years later, he would have Trigger stuffed and put in the Roy Rogers museum.  At the end of every show Roy and Dale would sing the above song.   One thing I always noticed.  When Roy Rogers was on his horse galloping after a bad guy, his cowboy hat never fell off his head.  Don’t know why I noticed that, but I did.

  This is a long way around to telling you about another dream I had the other night and forgot to write about on my last post.  I dreamed I was at Roy Rogers’ funeral.  There were a lot of people there, but no one was crying. In fact, people looked pretty happy. And then, I noticed something you don’t see at funerals. The guy they were remembering was alive and standing in the crowd of people, talking and laughing with them   Yes, there was Roy Rogers standing there.  It made me so happy to see him. And then I woke up.   I know Roy Rogers is happy where he is right now so the dream actually made me happy, too.

 There was actually Roy Rogers’ fabric for sale a few years ago and I got some.  I hate to cut it up, though.   Maybe I’ll get it out and make a little quilt to remind me of all those shows I watched  with Roy and Dale.

  Here’s to Roy Rogers, one of the greatest cowboys of all time.  I hope to see him one day.  Bye.

Why I Haven’t Written for a While

Things are happening right now beyond my  control.  Some are good. Some not so good.  I really don’t like reading blogs that give a hint of disaster and then don’t continue telling what  they are talking about.  Just suffice it to say, when I find out some things, I will tell you all what has been happening with me.

It’s not horrific and I’m not dying or anything. At least, not today.   Just some issues I am having to deal with that are taking my time and energy.

That’s not to say we haven’t been having some good times.  We went to a wedding this past weekend and I got to see several relatives I have not seen in months, if not years.  We also came across a wonderful little gardening shop on the way home. I’ve got lots of pictures and lots to tell.  Just one thing. If you are a praying person, say a little prayer for me. God will hear you and know what I need.   I could use it right now.  I’ll  feel your prayers.  Believe me.  I’ll be blogging again soon.  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.

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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…….

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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.

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

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

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Mary, who is so proud of her new glasses.

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Frankincense, Frank for short.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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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.