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February News

How did it get to be the middle of February already? I know I am always writing about how time flies, but it really does. First, I must say, I have never been bored in my life. I learned early that if I was bored, my mother would find something for me to do and it usually entailed working in the kitchen with her, which I hated. I never have enjoyed cooking. I like to bake and I keep David supplied with the sweets he so desires. I guess never being bored means your time is filled all the time and it seems like I always have something to do and if I don’t, I love reading. I never have enough time to read. Most of my reading is done in bed and just before I go to sleep or a few minutes after I awake in the morning I try to read a few pages.

I joined a quilt block challenge online where we make so many blocks every week. I don’t join these things very often as I get too busy with the challenge and less busy finishing projects I have already started. I planned to finish several quilts this year, but instead, I have pieced five more small quilts and hand quilted two of them already.

This is a Kathleen Tracy quilt challenge she had earlier. I really loved making this little quilt and have it quilted and half the binding on it now.

Here is another small one I made from Kathleen Tracy’s book. of sampler blocks. The quilt took seventy-two small blocks and somehow I ended up with eighteen extra blocks so I made two more small quilts with them. I do like blue and brown together. It looks like a vintage quilt. Hand quilting is so relaxing for me. The easy going in and out of the needle in the fabric and seeing the quilt transform from a piece of fabric pieces to a quilt with substance. I really believe quilts get heavier as you quilt and add more thread to it. I can watch tv and quilt at the same time. I really cannot just sit and watch tv. I have to have something in my hands to work on.

The small block challenge I started has three different sizes of blocks you can make. I tried making the smallest one which ends up being only one and a half inch square. Here is it by a button. This is my one and only one of those I made. Too fiddly for me so I decided to make the three and a half inch blocks which are much easier.

Here are the two different blocks together. I know some ladies are trying to make the smallest blocks and I cheer them on, but me, I will stick with the larger one.

Here are more of my blocks by the tiny one. Can you imagine how many blocks it will take of that tiny one to make even a twin size quilt? I am hoping to make a full-size quilt with my blocks, but we shall see.

These blocks are like potato chips. You cannot stop at one, or two, or three or……….

Here is one of the quilts I have finished this year already. I just quilted it on the sewing machine using straight lines and it was done very quickly. I will probably give this one away to someone in the family.

This is one of the two small sampler quilts. It has already been quilted. Sorry I don’t have a finished picture of it right now.

Besides making quilts, I had one to repair. I have given all my grandchildren at least one or two quilts and one of my grandsons had loved his so well, it needed some repair on the label and one of the blocks.

This is the label I put on my grandson’s quilt. At one time the family raised goats so I put goatsby the truck and one of their dogs and my grandson’s picture in the window. His name begins with an F so I put that in the truck. My grandson is a lot older now. Just got his driver’s permit. He is my youngest grandchild. They have all grown up too fast. But that’s the story of my life. Everything is fast forwarded it seems.

We took a trip to Cincinnati and took our daughter-in-law out to eat and gave her and my son and grandson their Christmas gifts. Kind of late, but they have been busy, our son has been in Florida and so we never could make the connection. Anyway. She was so happy with the picture I painted of her son, I think. I sure enjoyed painting it.

David finally got the 2000 piece Gone With the Wind puzzle done. It was quite a puzzle. It filled up almost our entire dining room table. Now it is back in the box and we have our table back.

I bought this wonderful sign recently. There is a reason I bought it. I want to put a green house around it. Yes, I am getting a green house later this Spring. Look up Yoderbilt greenhouses online and you will see these wonderful pictures of people’s greenhouses. Some have decorated their greenhouses with lights, furniture and rugs. I plan to grow things in mine, but that is not to say I won’t decorate it a little bit. I am never anywhere for long before I am filling it with something. I have wanted a greenhouse for a long time. It will be nice to be able to start flowers and vegetables earlier. I told my doctor I would raise some tomatoes for him next Winter. I hope I can keep that promise.

Since we are putting the green house next to our house in our driveway we had to cut a tree down. I hate to see trees cut down, but David showed me this Maple was split down the middle and was liable to fall in the future on my shop and greenhouse so we had it cut down this week. It was interesting to watch. We have had the same family business cut down trees on our property before. They have become hi-tech since we used them last. They have a big saw that is operated off a guy’s belt! No one climbs a tree.

Limb by limb they took the tree down.

These big claws wrapped around each limb and cut it off the tree. Sawdust would fly everywhere.

This is the operator. Several other men stood around and waited until all the logs were down and they cut them into pieces for us. So we will have wood for our firepit for a long time.

Now it is nice and sunny where the greenhouse will sit. All we need to do, well, David needs to do is lay down some special paper that keeps out weeds and lay gravel and level it all and we can have the greenhouse delivered. It comes from Arkansas, I believe and they deliver free in several states.

So that is what has been going on at our house. We have gone over to our daughter’s house and cleaned one day. She has MS and cannot clean so she usually hires someone to clean for her. We took an afternoon and hired a cleaner to come in and deep clean and we organized a little. Now I wish I could get my house deep cleaned. That lady really did a great job. The rooms were spotless when she left. i am so thankful there are people who do this for a living as so many people need the help.

We finally had some snow this week.

It was so beautiful. it didn’t last long, though. Today it was in the forties and the snow is quickly disappearing. I really wanted to see a deep snow that lasted a few days.

We went out to eat for Valentine’s Day at Red lobster, but there was an hour’s wait so we picked up some White Castles and went down by the river and ate them. That is how we roll. But we did finally eat at Red lobster’s last Sunday and it was very good and not crowded at all.

I’ve ordered our seeds and now we just have to get some warm weather and planting season will start again. Seems like time is flying! Yes, it is. Bye.

Filling in the Pieces

I left so much unsaid and no pictures in my last couple of blogs. So this blog I will try to fill in the pieces much like the puzzle my husband is doing right now. David got a couple of puzzles for Christmas and he finished them both in record time so he rooted around in one of our closets to see if there was one he would like to put together and he found a Gone With the Wind one I don’t remember ever having. We have another one that he has done, but this one is a 2,000 piece puzzle that is becoming a little harder to put together. It has taken over our entire dining room table.

Gone With the Wind is my very favorite movie and this puzzle has a few scenes from it that are memorable.

This is one of the Christmas puzzles that has been done and put away already.

This is a puzzle made from wooden pieces cut into very interesting shapes. David said it was the hardest puzzle he ever put together mainly because it didn’t have straight outside pieces like most puzzles. He always puts the outside together first most times, but not this time. It is a pretty puzzle, though.

I painted all my grandchildren’s pictures with paint by number pictures I ordered online. You send them a picture and in six to eight weeks they send you a canvas with the picture printed on it with the numbers of the colors to paint and all the paints needed to finish it. I really loved doing these paintings and I think they all liked them.

One grandson plays on the Lacrosse team at Taylor University and I painted this of him. It is not done in this picture, thus the white splotches.

This is our one granddaughter and her husband. The picture was taken last Christmas and it was the very first picture I painted by number. That shirt of his has about twenty different colors in it even though it looks like only three or four and took me so long to paint. I have a rule now, no more plaid shirts in my pictures. The same goes for backgrounds that have a lot of trees in them. But it was a learning experience. I already know what I am going to paint next.

I painted this boy with his dog, but I cannot find the picture on my computer at the moment. This would make a nice paint by number picture, though.

I always think of January as a time to rest after all the holiday uproar. It begins at Halloween, through Thanksgiving into Christmas and the new year and it’s nonstop. I always wish there was at least a month between the holidays, but January has nothing but David’s birthday which is pretty low key. I baked him a cake and took him out for dinner. He is three quarters of a century old now. Wow. I never thought I’d be married to an old man, but then, he never though he’d be married to an old woman. Honestly, it seems such a short time from our I dos to this time in our lives. You know the saying, “grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.” I don’t know if it’s the best, but it isn’t bad and I am glad we have made it this far. David still works and I have my hobbies and animals to keep me busy.

Speaking of hobbies, this is what I have made since Christmas.

Autumn Leaves designed by Kathleen Tracy. She had a sew along and I liked this so much in blues and browns, I made two.

I have made two sampler quilts using this book by Kathleen Tracy. All her blocks are four and a half inches and there are seventy-two of them in this quilt, plus a center medallion. My first one was made with reproduction fabrics, my second in Christmas colors and now I am working on a brown and blue one.

I love these two colors together.

Some of the fabric I am using is from the line of fabric, Hibernation, which has little animals in it asleep for the Winter. I love it so much.

And I am still knitting socks although I don’t plan to make so many this year. Everyone got a pair at Christmas.

This yarn is called Fiesta by Abiyarns. She dyes all her yarns and has some wonderful combinations.

I love to knit and I knitted a few hats for Christmas this year that were very popular. I cannot just sit and watch tv, I have to be doing something with my hands and knitting seems to work for me so I probably won’t be stopping soon. I am hoping we still have some wintry weather where I can stay inside and work on my projects, because as soon as it starts warming up, it’s garden time again and I have more time and better weather to play outside with the pups. We have had such dreary weather the past couple of weeks and it has rained almost every day. I look forward to seeing some sun this week.

Something else will be coming to our house this year, I hope. I saw an ad for Yoderbilt green houses on my Facebook page and have been doing some research on them. They have a Facebook page and you can also see them on Youtube where they tell you how to set up your greenhouse, among other things. I have wanted one for years and I do believe this is the year. We are getting our house painted this year, also so I don’t want the greenhouse delivered until after that is done. So much to look forward to. We don’t do many big trips any longer so we feather our nest and try to make our surroundings happy places to be. You can do it too. Pick something you love and organize things for it and surround yourself with only things that comfort you.. Throw out the old, as I have been trying to do, but I have so much old stuff. I refuse to allow my house to get cluttered. Whenever I feel it is, I watch an episode of Hoarders and I am soon cleaning and throwing stuff away. We all have too much stuff, really. We spend the first half of our lives acquiring stuff and the last half trying to get rid of it. So, here I am, going to buy a greenhouse which I will probably fill with stuff. I have already told David our Christmas tree is going in it this year. There are so many pictures on Facebook of greenhouses all decked out for Christmas and I want to do that, too! So, you see, it never ends, no matter how old you get. But you cannot take any of it with you, so be sure your family knows what they get when you die.

I baked homemade rolls yesterday. I wish you could smell them when they first come out of the oven and that is the very best time to eat them, too!

With the same recipe, I made cinnamon rolls and I didn’t skimp on the icing. Oh, but it’s good with a cup of coffee. I don’t know who invented coffee and sweet rolls and donuts to eat with it, but God bless them. It’s the best tastes together in the world as far as I am concerned.

Hope you are keeping warm and safe where you live. We had a really cold, cold spell last week and then when it got up into the thirties, it felt almost warm. I saw where Florida has been cold, too. And they are not prepared for it. Until next time, have a Happy Valentine’s Day. Hug those you love and give your sweetheart an extra big hug and kiss. Bye.

2024

Did you make it through the past year? Did you celebrate 2024 coming in? I use to love staying up until midnight to welcome the new year in. I’ve had parties I have hosted and one year David and I went to a big party held at a hotel in Indianapolis where we listened to bands, enjoyed a mini casino atmosphere where we played various games. There was good food and at midnight there was a huge balloon drop. The ticket included staying the night at the hotel and having breakfast the next morning where they served everything from French toast to bagels to ham and eggs, sushi to pancakes and a whole lot more. It was delicious. We had a good time, but we decided partying really isn’t for us. Since then our “celebrations” have been low key. So low key that last night while David watched Hallmark, I went to bed with a very good book and was asleep by ten. I will have to tell you about the author. She has written some really good books. Books I can’t wait to get back to.
I’ve seen enough new years in that I know not to get my expectation for the new year too high. My plans are always altered. I never lose that weight although I have been fasting and have lost 22 pounds, although I probably gained some over the holidays with all the eating.
I never make resolutions because I break them within a week so I’ve decided the pressure isn’t worth it! This year no pressure. I plan to take it slow and easy. Just kidding! I don’t know what slow and easy means.

For example, this past Autumn I decided to paint all my grandchildren. There is a company where you can send in a picture you want to paint and they will make a paint by number of it and send all the paints you need to complete it. The thing is, it takes six to eight weeks to get the pictures back and it was getting awfully close to Christmas, but I decided I could do it. Needless to say, the last few weeks before Christmas I was painting for hours every day. But, I got them all done and gifted Christmas Day and I believe they all liked their pictures. And the pictures looked exactly like my grandchildren which I thought was quite a miracle! I can’t show the pictures here because I am not on the right computer. I’m on David’s tablet and he doesn’t have the pictures on here. I will try to show all pictures on my next blog.

This week I joined an online group that is going to make tiny nine patch quilts. That is the blocks will be small with squares maybe 1 1/2 inch big, but the quilts can be any size. The smallest block I have used before this was 2.1/2 inches with hundreds of squares. This particular quilt is next in line to be quilted. I’m going to quilt it on the machine. I just finished hand quilting a small quilt. I would show you, but, again. Wrong computer.

I have a lot of plans for 2024, but I had plans for 2023 and they didn’t include shots in the eye, an MRI,, ultrasound of my heart where they discovered absolutely no blockage and a healthy heart even with a pacemaker in, and an emergency operation on a very bad infection behind my ear. Nope, did not plan any of that . I don’t plan it again so we will see what happens. I plan to sew and quilt, play with my puppies ,go on drives with David, read lots of books, go to church every Sunday, visit relatives and friends and David is taking a whole month vacation this year. Oh, yes, and we are going to have our house painted. I may have a thing here where I show my different choices of paint colors and see which ones my readers like best. I am so excited about it. Our house has been brown with green trim for so long. It is going to change, I will tell you that.
God willing, and our health stays good I am planning for a busy, fun and happy year. Whatever happens will happen, no matter what we plan and I have learned to go with the flow, take the knocks and keep on going.
A Happy and Healthy 2024 to you all and keep your eye on the One who loves you most, our Lord and Savior,Jesus Christ. He has gotten me through so much. And He can do the same for you. Bye.

Silent Night

Finally, after traveling the eighty some miles to Bethlehem to pay their taxes, Mary and Joseph discovered there was no room in the inn where they had planned to stay. All the other inns were full to the brim with other tax payers. “Where can we go?” Mary asked her husband. She was so weary from the long, dusty journey and was ready to lay down as she was beginning to feel the first twinges of childbirth. Such a young girl with a young husband and they were all alone in the city.

“It may not be the best place, but you could stay in the stable in back,” The innkeeper told them. “At least it is warm and dry and I just put fresh bedding down for the animals. I have no blankets, but here are a few rags to cover you.” Joseph looked at Mary and she sighed and nodded her head.
They entered the stable and looked around. A few cattle stomped their feet and looked with curiosity at the new visitors. A mother sheep and her lamb baaed. Even a few chickens rustled where they were roosting. The young couple quickly fixed a makeshift bed and lay down to sleep, but nature had other plans because Mary was feeling the contractions coming faster and harder.

The birth pangs came regularly. Joseph prayed for his young wife that she would soon deliver. He hated seeing her in so much pain. She squeezed his hand so tightly as she pushed harder and harder. And then it happened. A tiny baby boy was born. Joseph looked at him in wonder because according to Mary, this was God’s own Son and she was to call Him Jesus. He would be the son of God. He remembered the day she told him she was going to have God’s son. He had read the prophesies and knew what would happen, but he had never thought it would affect his family. An angel had spoken to him in a dream and he knew Mary was a devout, godly young woman and he believed her. Not wanting anyone to look wrongly at her or,God forbid, stone her for being pregnant before they were married, Joseph had married her quietly and kept the gossips at bay.

Now here they were, in a stable meant for animals bringing the King of Heaven into this world of darkness. How would he ever protect Him and keep the secret he and Mary shared? The baby was so fragile. Who would ever believe He was God? The day before he was ruling the angels. Tonight he lay in a cattle manger swaddled in some of the rags the innkeeper had given them.

Mary looked at Joseph and smiled. “ If God decided this is how He would come to earth, He will certainly help us care for Him.” They both knew they had some very interesting years ahead of them.
Joseph had noticed an unusually bright star shining in the sky. He was sure it had something to do with the new baby and he discovered that it shown right above the stable. And soon they had visitors. Several shepherds that had been watching their flocks on the hills surrounding Bethlehem had had a Heavenly visitation. A whole choir of angels had appeared in the sky, worshipping God and telling the shepherds to not be afraid for God’s own Son had been born tonight and they were to find a stable for that is where they would find Him. They looked in awe at the little family and fell to their knees and worshipped the baby. Mary saw all this and pondered it in her heart. She was given such a great responsibility and she felt humbled and blessed at the same time.

Whether you believe or not, these things did come to pass. God came to earth as a tiny baby. Nonthreatening. In a humble state. Powerless for a time. He came out of love for the world and all the people in it from the beginning of time. He came to save. He came to take away our fear of death because if we just believe on Jesus and have a relationship with Him, our eternity is established in Heaven with Him. Christmas means love. The greatest gift of all was sent that night. For you. For me. For everyone. You don’t have to work for His love. He already loves you, just give Him your heart. A Merry and blessed Christmas to all who read this. May Jesus live in your heart now and forever.

All is Merry and Bright

Coming to the last countdown until Christmas and I still cannot believe it is just a little over a week away. I feel like I have been preparing for it forever and also feel like I am not prepared at all! I think about Christmas all year and look for things I think loved ones would like. I think I have come up with a humdinger this year. Humdinger. Where did that word come from and do only old people like me use it anymore? But anyway, I have worked on something I believe will surprise everyone this year. I can’t wait to give it to them. I have also planned some fun things to do. I will take pictures.
This year I decorated with snowmen, I have a collection of them. More than I realized. My Santas are not coming out this year to make way for the snowmen,

Here is our mantle this year. I made the quilt hangings with snowmen on them. David made the wooden fence that the stockings are hanging on and all the snowmen and ladies have appeared through the years and this year I decided to showcase them.

Funny thing about my decision to decorate with snowmen. We have been several places, including the hospital where snowmen were the decorations so I must be on something this year. Speaking of hospitals, my nurse practitioner at my cardiologist decided I needed an MRI and an echo of my heart as I have been feeling breathless for a while. I go see her next week to find out the results. Nothing different for me in the way I have been feeling for years, but suddenly it has to be checked. The MRI wasn’t too bad, but if you are claustrophobic I could see how it would bother some people. I kept my eyes closed the entire time and said a prayer and it was over before I knew it. So everywhere we looked in the hospital there were snowmen.

I love my Jim Shore snowman. A good friend gave it to me one Christmas. Years ago we were in Savannah, Georgia and there was a store with all Jim Shore things for sale. The man who owned the store knew Jim personally and said he had the largest collection of Jim Shore merchandise than anywhere. And he certainly did. The store was stuffed from top to bottom with Jim Shore creations. I like his things because each one has a quilt pattern on it. I have a nativity scene that was created by Jim Shore, also. I treasure it.

I bought this snowman online and he fits quite nicely on top of my clock. I painted the dog picture behind it. I love doing paint by number pictures. The company, Masterpiece Pictures, is not your usual paint by number company. The pictures are very intricate and there are a lot of different colored paints you get with each one and it makes things look real in the painting. These dogs just looked like blobs of paints until I stood back and saw they actually looked like dogs. The same thing happens when you paint people. A bunch of blobs until you step back. I have been looking at real artists’ paintings and it is the same with those. Up close you cannot see the picture then when you step back there it is. I could never paint something my self from scratch. It would look like a bunch of blobs! Even when you stood back.

The Christmas cactus decided to bloom on time this year. Last year it bloomed at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. At least it waits for the holidays. It has more blooms than ever this year. I put it outside this Summer and it thrived and next year I will have to put it in a bigger pot. It is about twice the size it was when it was given to me.

What tells it when to bloom? It still has several buds on it ready to pop so I am hoping it will still be blooming on Christmas morning.

I am so hoping it will snow for Christmas. Does it snow on Christmas where you live? We have not had a big snow for several years now, but the Old Farmer’s Almanac tells us we will be cold and snowy this Winter. It’s cold alright. Now bring on the snow.

We had dinner with our daughter and her family last week and then went to see the stage production of Christmas Story playing at the Nashville Playhouse in Nashville, Indiana. Nashville is such a pretty little town with lots of interesting shops. It’s a tourist town and people come from all over the world to visit here. Anyway, Christmas story followed Ralphie who wanted a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas and everyone kept telling him, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” The narrator was amazing. He talked all through the play with no script to look upon. All memorization. All the actors were good and Ralphie was played by the son of a friend of our daughter’s family. He did a very good job. I love going to theater. We are going to have a Beatles show at the music center in Nashville that is supposed to replicate an actual Beatles’ show from the sixties. I saw the prices for it and almost fainted. I saw the Beatles for real in the sixties and my and my best friend’s tickets only cost six dollars in total. Of course they were not the best seats, but we got to see and hear the Beatles and that is all that mattered. Best time I have had in my life. Well, almost the best. The center is also going to have a Barry Manilow concert without Barry, I think and those tickets are beyond our willing to pay. I saw Barry Manilow in concert for real years ago and could that man sing and perform! I remember after I had our daughter and had the baby blues, Barry got me through them. I would play his album over and over and cry. Thank you Barry.

So next week we will be busy shopping, cooking and cleaning and getting ready for Christmas day. Christmas is on a Monday this year which is nice. I pray everyone reading this has a blessed Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. Jesus.. He may not have really been born this time of year since the shepherds were in the fields, but it doesn’t matter What matters He was born. . We celebrate Him and I, for one, am very glad He was born. His birth changed everything for everyone. So, Merry Christmas, everyone. I will see you on the other side. Stay warm and wrap your loved ones in your arms and thank God for His precious Son. Bye.

Tis the Season to be Thankful

Well, every day if you are alive is a day to be thankful. No matter what you are going through, there is something to be thankful for. I know some days are just too hard at times, but when we start thinking thankful thoughts, they became less hard. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year. No gifts required except your hearts, no decorations, and very few songs about Thanksgiving although Psalms in the Bible is full of them. I love family gatherings more than anything. This year, David and I will be celebrating by ourselves on Thanksgiving Day, the first time in years, but I am kind of excited about it. I have an easy, delicious meal planned and we can do whatever we want. Maybe we will go to a movie. David is working black Friday, so it will be early to bed for him as he goes into Ralph Lauren at five in the morning. I will not allow him to work Thanksgiving Day. He did one year and I did not like it one bit as I really believe that is a day no one should have to work unless you are police, on a medical staff or firemen.

David took a week off a couple of weeks ago and we painted a room, or rather painted half the room. You can hardly tell it was painted. It is a very pale green and at certain times of the day you can see it. We plan to finish the room after the holidays. The reason I wanted it painted was because I ordered new furniture.

We got a new green loveseat that is perfect for my room. You cannot see it well here because I have already covered it up so the sun would not harm it. This is a south facing window and gets a lot of sunlight.

This is our new chair. I am beginning to think orange is my favorite color. David took my big, old chair, that had seen better days, outside and chopped it up and fit it in the garbage can. I hated to see that chair go, but it had become really broken down and uncomfortable and I needed one that had a harder seat. No, I am not using this chair. I just moved another one we had and sit in it to knit and quilt. It is much more comfortable. We were going to get rid of the couch that was in this room, but now that we have moved things around, we decided we had more room so we kept the couch. No one wanted it anyway and I love it. I sit on it while folding clothes and David lies on it when he joins me to watch tv.

While he was off work, David and I took a final trip through the backroads of Indiana to look at the foliage and anything else we might spy. The trees were so lovely this year. I took lots of pictures, but not one does the beauty of the trees any justice.

Where will this road take us? We never know what we will see around every corner.

I wouldn’t say someone is obsessed with yard art, but well, this speaks for itself. Every kind of yard art crammed together in a corner of these people’s yard I wish I could have stopped and looked closer.

Talk about yard art. Someone had carved a guitar from this old stump. Indiana people are so creative. Just give one an old stump and a saw and voila.

This is God art. Almost looks like a Monet painting. I love Monet paintings.

How gorgeous is this Burning bush? I have five of them next to our house and not one looks this pretty until we have a very cold night. Then, in a matter of days, their leaves are gone so I have to enjoy them quickly.

David and I love old houses. What is the story with this house? Who lived here? Why two front doors. A his and hers doors? It hasn’t been lived in for a long time, but I wish I could make it back to its former glory. I always say to David when we pass a house like this, if I were a multi-millionaire, I’d go around Indiana finding old houses like this and making them all new again so someone else can live in them. I love watching all the shows where they do this . I think old houses have such a story to tell and we should listen to them.

Who lived here and were they living here when there was a fire? It looks like an old brick house, probably beautiful in its day. Wonder if it was heated by fireplaces?

We passed a large stand of bamboo plants. It is very invasive and if left alone, it will spread everywhere. Kind of like the Passion flower I was given years ago. David and I have been trying to get rid of it for the past two years, but it keeps coming up. If I had know then what I know now about it, I would not have accepted it as a gift as I did years ago.

So next year we plan to paint our house. I was leaning toward a rusty orange with spruce green trim, but then I saw this house on our drive.

I am thinking orange as a trim would be much better, but I want a darker paint on the main house. This house was lovely, though.

Every once in a while you will see chickens on the back road, but very rarely do you see turkeys. Wonder if they will be served on Thanksgiving Day or are they just pets.

This was just a business we passed and I thought the building was interesting.

Where is this road leading? Adventures around every corner.

I love when you can see where you are heading. Over hill and dale we go! Country folk wave at you as you pass by. If you waved at people in the city, they would think you are nuts.

Some people live in their own Shangri-la out in the country. This was a beautiful setting.

Some people create their own water sports.

There is always an old, red barn along the road. We had a big, old red barn on the farm where I grew up. It once had been a tomato factory, but my Daddy milked his cows in it and stored the hay and straw there for the Winter. The old barn is almost all fallen down now as it was not cared for after my Daddy died. He would hate to see it that way as he took great care of it.

Look at this hilly road. David likes to speed up and go over the hills fast and my stomach stays on the roof of the car! But it is so much fun!!! You can’t do this in the city unless you want a ticket.

Fields of corn and as a farmer’s daughter I always wish each farmer a bumper crop. I hear the cotton farmers are having huge crops this year. Good, because the more cotton, the more fabric to make quilts from

And speaking of quilts, I am working on this Christmas one. This will be a wall hanging behind our Nativity scene this Christmas.

Baby Jesus in the manger. Tis the season.

We passed a house with this sign in the yard. I did not know we had the underground railway in southern Indiana. We have an underground railway near where I grew up in the small town of Fountain City. I have always wanted to go through it. You never know what kind of history you will find on the back road.

“Moo are exactly right!” Even the cows know how interesting the backroads are. They find the passersby very interesting.

As I quilt, I like to watch happy shows. Here are two of my favorites.

Elizabeth Bennet in my favorite version of Pride and Prejudice. The eternal story about girl meets boy. Girl hates boy. Boy loves girl. Girl learns to love boy. Mr. Darcy and Colin Firth is the very best one in my humble estimation.

Then there is this one…

Seeing her own Mr. Darcy. Same story. Girl meets boy. Girl hates boy. Boy falls in love with girl. Girl learns to love boy. Seems like a Pride and Prejudice story to me.

You’ve Got Mail. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are so cute together. And her character loved to read Pride and Prejudice. They made another movie together, Sleepless in Seattle, which is good, too. I could watch both movies over and over again. David’s and my story is no Pride and Prejudice. It could read girl meets boy, girl decides she is going to marry that boy one day, boy meets girl again a few years later and falls passionately in love with her as she does him and they lived happily ever after for as long as they both shall live. Amen.

I will close for now. Wishing all who are celebrating Thanksgiving next week that your dinner will be delicious, your company congenial and your day blessed beyond measure. Bye.

Werewolves and Spiders and Witches, Oh, My!

I love Halloween. Not the grossly scary or deep, dark Halloween, but the happy, bright, candy filled Halloween of my youth. When we cobbled an outfit out of old clothes and things we found around the house and took paper grocery sacks door to door where we were questioned who we were and given candy, usually large bars of candy, not the tiny ones that are given out now.

October is so much more than Halloween. It’s beautiful foliage on the trees, crisp, foggy mornings when you have to put on warm clothes. It’s fires in the firepit and toasted marshmallows. It’s a bright moon shining down in the chilly nights when you look to see if a witch is flying her broom past it. My mother told us stories that made us believe we actually saw the witch flying by and it was scary, but fun at the same time because we knew we were safe. I would look up at the moon floating there in the sky and I was sure I saw a witch on her broom.

I do love Autumn so much. I have grown to look forward to it when the Summer days get so hot and my body does not want to do much of anything. As soon as it begins to cool down outside, my energy goes up. To prove it to myself I have finished three quilts in the past couple of weeks where I was not sewing at all before. I have played more with the dogs outside throwing Lucy the ball over and over until I grow tired. Lucy never grows tired of it. I believe she would place all day if I would play with her. I have done major cleaning that wasn’t being done while it was hot. Yes, we do have air conditioning, but it’s not the same as a chilly Autumn day.

We took a drive to Nashville, where our daughter and her family live. The leaves are turning now and are so beautiful. It was raining a little bit which made it even cozier in the car as we drove. See the little ducks? It’s a thing with Jeep owners that they give each other ducks. David will go out to the Jeep after work and there will be one on the door handle with a note saying, “you’ve been ducked.” He has quite the collection now. Every once in a while he will put one on another person’s Jeep. You can go online and read about it.

Anyway, we hadn’t see our grandsons for a while so we took our cotton candy machine with us to make cotton candy at their house.

We do have handsome grandsons and they are very nice people besides and fun to be around. The one in blue gets his driver’s license in a couple of months and the tallest one is our youngest grandchild. Ack! How can that be? They were just babies a short while ago. But time marches on and none of us is getting any younger.

As I said, we made cotton candy. Our daughter is a sugar addict and loves cotton candy.

Our son-in-law taking his turn at twirling the cotton candy on a stick. It really is fun to do. Pour the sugar in and immediately the cotton candy comes out and you have to work fast to get it all.

And here is the finished product.

And here is our daughter enjoying hers. I am not ashamed to admit that most of us had two sticks of cotton candy that day. It is sooooo good. I have been really good about having the machine and not making the candy every, single day. In fact, this was just the fourth day we have used it since we got it and we have shared with others two times. Yes, we did.

We also visited our granddogs, too. They have two Golden Retrievers and one Husky.

I didn’t get a picture of the Husky, but he is a beautiful, sweet dog. He came to me right away and just laid his head on my. He is so cute. A nice addition to their family. They also have a cat, but it made itself scarce for the day.

We so enjoyed our visit and our drive that day.

These are called the Hills of Brown around here, but now they are bursting with color and next weekend the trees will probably be at their peak so David and I plan a drive through southern Indiana one day. We do have a beautiful state. Maybe not as forested as some, but more than others and it is beautiful to drive through anytime, but especially in the Autumn.

I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the trees. This is a winery on the way to Nashville if you are so inclined. it was busy that day.

Trees as far as you can see and a beautiful sky. Yes, I use the word beautiful a lot when I am looking at scenery.

This was a hilly road we took home. Back roads, of course.

Pumpkins stands dot the countryside. I remember one year there was a blight on pumpkins and it was hard to even find pumpkin in cans that year. Thank goodness, this year we have a huge amount of pumpkins on the market so there will be pumpkin pies this Thanksgiving. This little stand is just at the bottom of the hill where our daughter’s family live and where we have some acreage. We still talk about building a house over there. I have it all planned in my head. A dogtrot house, if you know what that is.

This is supposed to be the most beautiful view in Brown Country, but this photo does not do it justice. It’s a big valley that spreads below and is wonderful to see in any season, but in Autumn it is grand. I wish I had gotten a better picture. I try every year and every year I fail to get the full view. Mainly because there is really no where to stop and there is a lot of traffic on the road.

So that was one day. The next day we traveled up to my old stomping ground where my sister lives. We drove over to the city and got some pizza to take to them from one of our favorite pizza places.

My sister and brother-in-law. I’ve known them all my life!! She is eleven years older than me and she always told me when I was born she was so happy to finally get a sister because she was living in a family of boys. She was like a second mother to me growing up and we have always been close. I would stay at their house quite often and she would give me advice about things and he would tease me. I remember when they were dating and I would sit in the window of our bedroom that I shared with her and listen to them talk and giggle on the porch that ran right alongside the bedroom. I don’t think they knew they had an eavesdropper listening to them!

We had pizza and she had made raspberry pie, my very favorite kind and she sent the leftover pie home with us and David and I fought over the leftover pieces because we both love it! Clyde has a big garden and gave us a couple of pumpkins and some squash to take home. They both are hard workers and give a lot of their produce to other people. I love them both to pieces.

Then we drove home the back way, of course and saw some pretty interesting Halloween decorations, but there was one house that really took the prize.

There was a big, old two story house and you could hardly see the house for all the decorations. I will just let you look at it.

This was in their backyard. The decorations went all around their house.

Yes, this was all in one yard!

This was a huge spider.

Even bone dogs playing with the bone children with a bone man in the firepit!

They even included a Santa boneman holding a sign saying, “Christmas is coming.” I got most of it on the camera, but there was so much to see. There were two young boys walking by and one of them got into the scenery and was posing for me and I asked him if he wanted in the picture and he continued to pose so I took the picture, but won’t put it on here because maybe his parents would not want his picture going all over the world. But it was cute.

We continued home.

Still looking at scenery.

When we saw these two. They seemed to pose for us. Such beautiful animals. We have seen a lot of them lately which means the hunters are going to have to cull them or many will starve to death because there will not be enough food for them all. Sad fact, but true. I just hope these two make it through the year.

As I said, I have begun quilting again. I decided I needed to finish the twenty or more quilts I have pieced, but I did make three new ones for Christmas and I did order more fabric for a sampler quilt I want to make. It will be out of Kathleen Tracy’s Sampler Quilt book that I used to make two other samplers, one of them being in Christmas colors. But here is the fabric I just bought which I didn’t need, but I am a fabriholic so there is that.

It is from the line called Hibernation. It is such pretty browns and blues, two colors I love together.

I am going through my fabric stash to find blues and browns that will go with it and will use it in the sampler quilt. I probably really should not start this quilt until I get some Christmas gifts done.

I hope you are enjoying Autumn as much as I am. Old Farmer’s Almanac is telling us we are going to have a cold, snowy Winter in our area so I will enjoy every day I can get outside and I will try to stay warm until next Spring, but I won’t guarantee that because I am always cold so I will buy some long underwear soon. Happy Autumn. Bye.

Autumn Daze

I have to say I am not unhappy to see Summer going away even though I do love some warm sun and all the flowers and swimming occasionally in the pool, but Autumn is really my favorite time of year. It has always meant new beginnings to me as the children went off to school and we got back on a regular schedule. Now with no children at home I am hardly ever on a schedule anymore and that is fine, too. But Autumn days meant new clothes, warm sweaters, fires in the fire pit, and it use to mean going out in the woods an cutting wood for our wood stove we use to have. Oh, how I loved doing that.

When we first moved down to our present home almost fifty years ago, David aquired an old red truck from some guy he worked with. It was a beat up old truck, but it was nice to use to go gather wood in. We would pack up the kids and go up to Camp Atterbury where they would let you cut up the down trees for firewood and we would spend an afternoon watching David saw up the wood and then helping him to load it in the bed of the truck. We would have all five of us in the front seat of the truck which would be frowned upon today, but there were no child seats requirement then and we were more free back then than we are now. When we got the wood home we would have to stack it or rather, David would stack it. They say you get warm three times when you cut your own wood. Once when you cut it, once when you stack it and once when you burn it and that is certainly true because stacking that wood is a real chore and makes you sweat even on the coolest of days. But I loved being out in the fresh air with David and the children and I cherish those memories. And I love a good wood fire. It is so warm and cozy on a cold day. David and I still burn wood in our fire pit. I hope we do that this weekend.

I have told you about the Country Neighbors Tour we have gone on in southern Indiana where several ladies and a couple of men have things for sale in their little stores or in their homes three times a year. They had their Autumn tour this past weekend. This is the tour where I had won coupons at each store so I had to go to most of them and I did buy some neat things.

I found this wonderful clock that looks like an old scale. It looks really neat on my mantle with my Halloween decorations. I got those up early this year. Usually I don’t decorate for Halloween til closer to Halloween, but I wanted to enjoy them for longer so I put them up a couple of weeks ago and I am enjoying them immensely. I also bought that little wire lady by the old witch. It looks like an old mannequin and I just love her. She didn’t cost much either so I snatched her up as soon as I saw her. This sale is so popular that if you don’t buy what you like right away, you just might lose the chance so if I saw something I really liked, I bought it. No regrets later. I did have a budget and I kept well within it. Things are not too expensive in this sale so you can get some really lovely and fun things.

I got these three bird pictures for a song. Tra la la! When we got home David looked up the painter’s name, Arthur Singer, who painted a lot of birds and wildlife in his day. He painted all the birds in the Northern Wild birds book which we have had since the seventies. He was very prolific and very popular in his day. I just liked the pictures and again, they didn’t cost very much, so I got all three.

There is a man on the tour who specializes in light fixtures and other things. He puts Edison bulbs in some of his creations and they are so wonderful, but I zeroed in on this scary looking guy made from an old bucket. His shop is where I got the bird pictures, also.

I will hang this on the wall in my workshop where I make quilts and other things. I haven’t sewn much this year after sewing continuously last year for my Christmas sale I had, I was burnt out on sewing, but I am getting the itch again and Christmas is coming up so I have a few things in mind to make for others. David and I spent yesterday cleaning up my shop and rearranging things and it looks so much better although there is still a lot of organizing to do. And it needs a good cleaning. When you have three dogs keeping you company while you are sewing you get dog hair all over, but I love having them with me and they love being inside with me so I will deal with it. I want to go through all my tubs of fabric and I have a lot of them and see what I have and get it all organized, but that will have to wait as I am working on another project right now that is almost completed and I cannot show anybody until after Christmas.

On our tour last weekend we, of course, took back roads. There are hundreds of back roads in southern Indiana we have not been on, but we were on some new ones this time and discovered a covered bridge we did not know about.

Out in the middle of nowhere we found this beautiful, old bridge. It was a long one, too.

It was here.

You couldn’t drive a car over it, but you could walk over it. There are a lot of these old bridges scattered all around Indiana.

Right by the bridge nestled in some weeds was this grave marker. Mr. Cash lived to be 74, the same age as I am now! I hope he had a wonderful life. I just wonder why he is buried all alone in this hidden grave site and if anyone comes to visit him. I paid my respects. Speaking of dying, I had my pacemaker checked today and the nurse said if I didn’t have it in my heart rate would be 20 beats a minute which is just about the walking dead, so I am thankful for pacemakers. She said they are working on new pacemakers all the time trying to find one they can recharge without the patient having to have surgery. I hope they discover how before I will need a new battery in seven years. Or maybe I will have a new heart in Heaven. Who knows?

We went through the little town of Story, Indiana where there is an old inn where you can eat and stay if you so wish. We have never eaten there, but every time we go through Story there are a lot of tourists and that weekend there were two artists with their easels set up painting the old inn. I wish I had taken a picture of them and their paintings.

Something else you see a lot of on the back roads.

Horses. It seems like every other house there is a horse in the field. I love horses so much. I had an appaloosa horse then I was a girl. My older brother, Fred, helped me buy him. In fact, we bought two horses, my horse, Tornado, and an old Clydesdale we called Charlie who came as a package deal. We finally sold Charlie, but I rode Tornado for several years. He was pretty wild and unbroken when we got him. Daddy had him gelded so he would not be so wild and I learned to ride him and he and I went all over the country roads and up to the little town a mile from my house to see David at his Grandparents’ house. Tornado did not like David and one time he bit him in the stomach so David stayed clear of him most of the time. One time I was riding and some neighbor boys, the brats, came screaming out at Tornado and he swerved and I fell off him and hurt my wrist pretty badly. I walked him, crying all the way back home where Mom called a nurse friend of hers who came and checked me out and it wasn’t broken, but I had a scar on that wrist for years afterward. When I started dating David, I didn’t have as much time for Tornado and then I went to college and got married and Daddy had to sell him because he was biting the cows. I feel really badly that I neglected him those later years. He was a good horse and I loved him.

I’ve rambled on enough for today. David is going to get us some tenderloins tonight for supper. I am so thankful for David. He has been my rock all these years. I had to have another shot in my eye this week and he waited with me for three hours in the doctor’s office before I got it and didn’t complain. Too much! There was a nice group of people in the waiting room and I told David next time I am going to take treats to give out because everyone has a long wait in this particular doctor’s office. He is a very busy man and there seems to be a lot of people with eye problems. I am thankful he is trying to save my eyesight, so I will never complain too much about the wait.

Here’s to Autumn and cool days and glorious skies. Bye.

Quick, Like a Bunny

I’ve been catching up on reading some of my favorite blogs and it seems the theme has been how fast this Summer has gone. They have catchy blog titles having to do with the speed of Summer, but all I could come up with is this one you see above. Yes, Summer has passed so quickly. Here in the states we are heading into our Labor Day weekend which has nothing to do with labor, but picnics and family outings and last swims in the pools across the country. David will be at work. He’s worked every Labor Day that I can remember. He always tells me it’s time and a half, money wise. So we aren’t doing anything special again, but next week we have some fun things planned.

We worked all morning on the little flower garden right in front of our back porch. I love Hibiscus. Years and years ago a neighbor gave me a start of one and I was so glad to get it. Over the years it has sent out its seeds all over the yard and other gardens and now I have too many Hibiscuses and they were taking over this particular little garden bed so I decided we needed to remove them all. Now this is not a very large flower bed, but we filled a wheel barrow to overflowing with Hibiscuses of every size. I could have sold them. I just saw a bunch for sale at a local store recently They had taken over and you could not see the other flowers like primroses, salvia, Rudbeckia and hostas. Now you can see them again and I am sure they were glad to get some sunlight. I never knew Hibiscus was such an invasive plant. Another plant that was gifted to us by one of our contractor’s workers was a Passion flower. I was sooo happy to get it and planted it by our front porch and for a couple of years I didn’t think it would grow and then one year it grew and grew and had beautiful flowers on it and we loved it, but then,,,,all of a sudden we noticed Passion flowers all over our front yard and in all the flowers, up trees and strangling bushes so we have had to eradicate it, or so we thought. Just a day or so ago we noticed another huge one climbing up our porch post. Where did that come from?? So it will be pulled. If there was a place I could plant one that I would not care if it took over, I would, but I have too many other flowers fighting for space and sunlight so the Passion plant has to go.

I do enjoy working outdoors in the flower beds. Our meadow is growing and I look forward to planting a lot of new meadow flowers. I’ve been saving seeds from Milkweeds, zinnias, cosmos, poppies and other flowers. David finally had to cut some of the grass we were letting grow. I was playing ball with Lucy the other day and the grass was so tall she had trouble finding it. It’s seeded itself well and we have nice thick grass now where once it was just a muddy mess where the dogs played. Try letting your lawn grow sometime and let it reseed itself instead of buying seed and let your lawn rest from constant mowing. I do think it made our lawn much nicer although we will let it grow again. It’s been easier on David not having to mow the back yard all the time. Nobody sees it but us and even if anyone sees it, I don’t think it looks that bad not mowed with all the flowers blooming. I actually think the flowers stand out more with the taller grass. We now have grass where once there were bare patches, so I’m happy with it.

I’ve been knitting for Christmas, but I have another project that I am so excited about, but I can’t show it here because it will be a gift, but I have become obsessed with it and have already ordered another to do for Christmas. I really wish I could show you because it is really coming together nicely, but alas, Christmas will be here before we know it, and then I can show it here on my blog with the, I hope, happy recipients.

I will leave you with another silly story about David’s and my escapades. Remember the soap piece I thought was a loose tile from our bathroom and David carefully kept it until he got the adhesive to replace it only finding out it was soap when he tried to fit it on the floor? Well, I got a better one for you.

I was watering and feeding the chickens the other day. We only have four chickens left and when they are gone we are going out of the chicken business which I will miss so much. Anyway,I hadn’t checked inside the house for a while and noticed they needed some fresh bedding so I took a shovel to stir up the old bedding and I noticed this big, black thing in the corner. My first thought was that an animal had crawled into the henhouse and died or, I thought, it was a big bird the chickens had murdered. They have murdered other birds that got into their house. I tried picking it up with the shovel, but it was too heavy for me. It was big and wobbly and I didn’t want to get too close to it. So I went into the house and made a note for David for when he got home from work that there was a dead bird or animal in the henhouse. So he gets home and after Supper he goes out to the henhouse to remove the dead thing and he comes back later and his exact words were, “Do you remember the piece of soap you had me believing was a tile in the bathroom?” I said, “Yes, so?” “Well, that animal was a big pile of chicken poop,” he told me. I just knew that was an animal out there. After all, the dogs killed a skunk just a few weeks ago. That’s another story that left a bad smell with us for a time. So I was once again wrong about what I saw. I know I don’t need glasses. I practically live at the eye doctor right now as I am getting shots in my right eye for Histoplasmosis and they check every time how well I can see, so I am beginning to think I have an overactive imagination. Seeing things that aren’t there. It was good for a laugh, anyway.

Hope you all have had a great Summer. I am looking forward to cooler weather and all the glorious Fall foliage that is coming. Happy Labor Day to all who celebrate it. Bye.

I’m Back and so Glad

Well, I had the surgery at the hospital with anesthesia and all went well and I am pretty much back to normal. No pain and really glad of that. I feel like this whole month has past me by in a fog, but now I am making up for it.

During all this, David and I managed to freeze twenty-eight quarts of sweet corn. Between trips to the doctor and the hospital. It’s been so long since we have had sweet corn we have binged on it for the last couple of weeks and we finally have some frozen ready for dinners this Winter.

David has been such a good nurse, cleaning my wound and bandaging me. The nurse at the doctor’s said he did a better job than the nurses at the hospital and I told her I could hire him out to come in and bandage people for them!

Before this all happened David and I were working on some more projects or as I have to say, my ideas, his sweat equity.

Here is David, up on a ladder, working on one of them.

I saw this message written on painted boards on Facebook. I don’t know who thought of it so I cannot give them the credit they deserve, but I copied their idea for my meadow garden and David added the birdhouse on top.

I think this is a good message for everyone. What we think about is what we are. Are we growing flowers or weeds in our minds? I’d like to think my mind is a huge meadow of flowers. With a few little weeds!

I’ve wanted on of these for years and we finally got one. A cotton candy machine. I’m in heaven!

Here I am, just like the lady at the fair, twirling cotton candy on a stick. It’s really easy to do and fun.

Then you get to eat it. We have only made cotton candy one time. Trying to pace ourselves. But it tastes just like what you get at the county fair. The grandkids are going to have to come over and test it out.

We have several birdhouses that we have bought over the years that have not gotten put up. I have asked David several times and he finally got them all up, except for one, this month.

He hung this bird town earlier this Spring. I love all our birdhouses and the birds have been checking out the newer ones. I hope by next year every one of them will be full of little baby birds sticking their heads out and begging for food. Someone had a video of some birds feeding their babies in the nest. Mama bird was trying to cram a whole tomato worm in their mouths. If you have ever seen a tomato worm they are the giants of the garden worm variety and the little birds’ mouths are so small.

We were supposed to go to a family reunion this month, but my surgery was the day before so we missed it. Family members I hardly ever see were there and I was disappointed, but nothing we could do.

Glad the weather is breaking from the super hot days. I look forward to Autumn and the beautiful colors and the cooler weather. We are going on another Country Friends tour where ladies and a few men, sell antiques and homemade things in their homes or little shops all out in the country in southern Indiana. They always have a contest where when you buy something you get so many tickets and you put your name and phone number in their boxes and they draw out the winner’s name on the final day and guess whose name they drew this year??? Mine!! I was so surprised. I get a fifteen dollar gift certificate to every shop which means I will be spending more money! They know what they are doing, but it was a really nice surprise especially since when the lady called I thought I was only getting one gift certificate to one store, but no, it was for all of them. What will I buy? Christmas is coming.

Hope your Summer has been better than mine although I really can’t complain knowing there are people worse off than I will ever be. Glad to be back in blogland. Bye.