Category Archives: Gardening

Good-Bye March, Hello April

Saying good-bye to March was bitter sweet. I always look forward to the month because it’s my birthday month and I celebrate all month, but this March, well, it sure wasn’t the usual March.  It started okay. We did the usual birthday stuff, eating out, cake, shopping, antiquing. But then everything seemed to go downhill fast.  The corona virus attacked and people went into hibernation, stores closed, people were out of work, people were getting sick and some were dying.  Not what I envisioned for the month of March.

David and I have adjusted to him being off work. Other than a short retirement right after  he left the military, he has never been home this much.  He’s always worked at a job somewhere, Sometimes two or three jobs. Now he has all kinds of time, is sleeping in past 5:30 in the morning and even has breakfast sometimes.   When he’s home I tell him I have to work harder because he’s always doing something and I can’t allow him to outdo me.

Here are some of the things I’ve been doing.

Surprise, I’ve been quilting. This is a small quilt I started January 2019 and I’m just finishing it up today.

 

 

Planting seeds. I’m wondering when the nurseries will be open or if they will be and if I can get some more plants this year. I’ve order two lilac bushes so I can plant something.  These seeds are cucumbers and phlox.  I’ve never tried raising phlox from seed before so we shall see how this turns out.

Decorating for Easter. Our younger grandsons asked us the other day if we are still having our annual Easter egg hunt. I told them we didn’t know yet.  It’s hard to plan things when you don’t know what’s going to happen. They’ve cancelled all the egg hunts around here.

The sky was so blue this day and the bush cherry I planted years ago was the tallest it’s ever been.  When the man next door cut down all his trees, our bushes and tree got a whole lot more sunlight and are growing taller now. I don’t remember this bush flowering like this before, but it was so pretty.

Our neighbor’s Bradford pear is just gorgeous. It fills my kitchen window with its beauty. We are going to get new neighbors over there as our neighbor has moved. It’s always a little worrisome getting new neighbors. You hope they are nice and you get along with them.  We’ve been pretty fortunate with most of our neighbors over the years.

Our little mulberry is full of bloom this year. ( This is not a mulberry tree. It’s a magnolia. I know that just didn’t have my brain in gear while typing.)  I’ve always dreamed of having a mulberry, (magnolia again)now I do.

Checking out all the perennials that are coming up. This is Dame’s Rocket. It came in a packet of wildflower seeds and reseeded itself and there are several more all around it, but this is the biggest one.  I love flowers that reseed themselves and don’t need much care.  It will be tall with pretty blue flowers.  Last year I had to protect it from the contractor’s builders as they were working around it, but it made it through.

Everywhere I look there are flowers coming up.

These big planes fly over us once in a while. They are from Camp Atterbury and the pilots practice their touch and takeoffs at the local airport.  I love seeing them. Our son flew in something similar when he was in the Air Force.

I’ve gotten a pair of socks finished.  And started another pair.  I love knitting socks. So relaxing.

I baked cupcakes, some of which I took to our daughter for her birthday.   Today I baked an orange chiffon cake.  David and I are going to have to loosen the elastic on our pants,

A friend asked me the other day if I had any eggs she could have. Do I have eggs?? At one time I had nine dozen in the refrigerator and couldn’t give them away. Then we took some to our daughter and then this friend got some.  She brought something to trade even though I didn’t expect her to.

Toilet paper!  She wrote on it, “Don’t hurry, don’t worry. Do your best and flush the rest!”  We got a good laugh out of that.  Now we are set on toilet paper for a while. I’ve got good friends.

So how are you coping with this enforced isolation?  We do get out and get takeout and ride around. We took a long ride Sunday through Brown Country down roads we’ve never been on before.  Took a ride through Brown County State Park which waived its entrance fee for the duration. There were a lot of people enjoying being out and exercising.   I try to get outside as much as possible and breath fresh air and play with the dogs.  My daily routine hasn’t really been different other than having David home all day.

When this whole enforced quarantine is over are we all going to come out of our houses like groundhogs on a bright Spring day?  Hopefully we’ll not see our shadows and won’t have to go back in.

Some of you are finding our what retirement is like except without all the fun because you can’t go anywhere. Believe me, retirement is a lot more fun than this.

This quarantine has made a lot of us think about our freedom and how wonderful it is to be able to go anywhere you want and not be impeded.  Right now it’s the grocery store or feed store to feed the animals and people and to the pharmacy to get meds.

This is giving our young people something to tell their grandchildren one day, about the great quarantine when the world almost came to a stop.  How they couldn’t go to school and had to learn at home.

Are you catching up on all that sleep you said you’d get once you didn’t have to work any longer? I know I am and I’m retired!  Between the quarantine and the cloudy, rainy days we have had and it still feeling cold to me, I want to sleep all the time.

Molly and Belle don’t know there’s a quarantine.

They just know David is around a whole lot more.  They like that he’s outside with them working around the yard.

Well, it looks like at least another month of this, so I will continue to look for projects. David is building a new fence along the back of our property so that will keep him busy for a while.  Hope you have something to do that you enjoy.  This time is really a blessing.  Really, it is.  And one day it will be over. Bye.

 

Back So Soon?

I don’t usually write two blogs so close to each other, but I hated keeping the coronavirus blog up too long. As far as I’m concerned it’s a downer and I don’t deal in downers very often.  I just hope I didn’t disturb or cause angst to anyone who is truly concerned about it all. I just can’t make myself get too upset about it.  I guess if the grocery stores continue to have empty shelves, I may get a little worried, but we are being assured the trucks are delivering and the stockers are stocking the shelves.

Enough of that. I’m sitting here this Saint Patrick’s Day watching John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara in the wonderful movie, The Quiet Man and thinking how different this Saint Patrick’s Day is from last years’ for many people. No celebrating in bars or wearing of the green so you don’t get pinched.  I guess I could have made green cupcakes or something, but I didn’t.  Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. We will all remember this one as the one where we were not allowed to gather and celebrate because of a nasty old virus.

I’ve been sewing up a storm in my shop.  I’ve got most of the 123 blocks finished for the six quilts I plan to make.  I’ve been sifting through my containers of fabric finding treasures I had forgotten about and today I found a quilt top I had forgotten I made years ago with my quilt class when I was teaching beginning quilting.  My class made a different block every week learning how to sew straight seams, do curves, match points and other things until they had twenty blocks and then they sewed it all together into a quilt top.  Then they’d come to my house and we would lay their quilt top, batting and backing together and baste them together. Then it was up to them to finish the quilt. I don’t know how many completed their quilt, but it was fun teaching all the ladies I taught.  I always made a quilt right along with my class and I have finished all of mine except this one, but it will get finished now.

This is what my shop looks like now.  Believe it or not my cutting table was clear of anything a few weeks ago, but since I’ve started making all the block, it’s a jumble of fabric right now.

A stack of the quilt blocks I am making.

There is work going on in this mess. Really.

Each of these piles of fabric will be a quilt block.

When I have them all completed then I will have to decide which blocks go into each quilt.

About two weeks ago my sister and brother-in-law celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary. When my sister got married, I was in the fourth grade and she had been like a second mother to me.   When she got a job at a bank in the city right after graduation, she used some of her hard earned money and bought me a bride doll. I still have her. I’ll have to show her to you sometime.  Anyway, I wonder if this was a portent of things to come because she soon met my future brother-in-law and got engaged. When I learned she was going to get married and leave home I cried.  Then at the wedding I cried and cried.  I did not want my sister to leave me.  But she did and 62 years later we were sitting talking and my brother-in-law said, “You didn’t want me to marry Joanne,” and I told him he was taking away my sister.  But he’s been a good brother-in-law and I’ve forgiven him for taking Joanne away.   Seems like only yesterday.  I forgot to take any pictures of them because we were visiting and talking about everything.  My parents’ farm is right next door to my sister’s house and it was sold to a relative who did not take good care of it.  The barn fell down and the house is falling down and there are trees growing in all my daddy’s fields where he use to grow corn and hay and oats.  It’s sad to see it like that.  My parents took such good care of their home and farm when they were alive.

We drove some back roads as usual when we went to my sister’s house.

Saw this along the way.

Never heard of this place, but we came upon it on our drive.

We went through the town of Liberty where my mother grew up and I have a cousin who still lives there.

His father began this supermarket many years ago and now my cousin, Tim, is the owner and manager.   We stopped in to see him. Usually I don’t see him anymore except at funerals, the last one being his mother’s, my Aunt Suzanne, so it was nice to see him on a normal day.  He and I and another cousin were all born within months of each other and we grew up together and saw each other whenever we’d visit my grandpa and my other cousin was down from Detroit where she lived. He was so surprised to see us. We had a nice visit and then we had to go on.

I didn’t show you my birthday cakes so here they are.

David got the candles on there wrong.  It should be 17!  Ha!  Seems like I was just 17 yesterday.

This was a sweet little cake that I let David eat as I ate the entire chocolate by myself. And was sorry for it!

We’ve been doing some chores around the house getting ready for gardening time.

David cleared out what I call the kitchen garden. Right now it looks barren, but it won’t be long until the rhubarb is up and all the perennials I’ve planted  through the years will be coming up.

You can barely see at the bottom of the birdhouses day lilies beginning to pop out.

Daffodils are popping out all around the garden. Spring is only days away.

Hope you are surviving the coronavirus scare and looking forward to warm and bright days ahead.  Bye.

 

 

 

Check

We’ve had a busy and happy month while David has been off. We had several things we wanted to do during this time.

We wanted to have a cookout. Check, we had two.

We wanted to do some things with the grandboys. Check. We took them candy shopping and had them overnight and we had a fun time.

We wanted to see a movie. Check. We saw Aladdin and it was delightful. We all liked it so much when we came home I found our Video of Disney’s cartoon Aladdin and watched that and we all broke out into song  during the magic carpet song. I love that song.  And Robin Williams was such a good genie in it. I thought Will Smith was a great genie in the new Aladdin.

We wanted to swim. Check. I’ve been in the pool more this month than I have most Summers. Mainly because it’s been HOT.

We wanted to take a trip. Check. We went to Nashville for two days and had so much fun.

It’s been a good month. David returns to work Monday and I’m going to miss him being home all day.  He’s got a lot of work done around the house, too and that’s been nice.

We are going to go to our property in Brown Country tomorrow so David can try out his new bush hog.  We have three acres and haven’t done much with it, so David wants to clear it up a bit.

We’ve spent a lot of time sitting on our porch looking at our garden and the birds.  We have so many cardinals flying around I’m hoping they stick around through the Winter.

We call these Tiger lilies but our son-in-law told us this is Blackberry lily because the seed pods look exactly like blackberries, and they do!   I’ll try to remember to show them to you when they appear.

From one Hibiscus plant a neighbor gave me years ago it has grown to many Hibiscus plants all over the yard.  I love plants that plant themselves.

And they come in white, pink and dark pink.

This is phlox, but earlier I could not remember what it was called. David and I tried and tried to think of its name, but it just would not come to mind. Then, one night, after the lights were out and David was almost asleep and I was laying there thinking, the flower’s name just popped into my mind and I turned to David and just said, “Phlox.”   And he knew exactly what I meant. Then I thought to myself, phlox in sox in a box. And now, I never forget it’s name again!

The zinnias are in full bloom.

One of my top five favorite flowers. Easy to grow. Cheap. And you get a big bang for your buck.

And the lilies have just been amazing. I think all the rain we had earlier in the Summer has helped all the flowers.

This makes me think of fireworks.

And these are just gorgeous.  I’m taking in all the glorious flowers and will try to remember them when there is a foot of snow on the ground.

I can’t tell you what this is even though I planted it, but only one plant came up and it has all these flowers on it.

When the old porch steps were torn off, I saved them because they turned into the best flower boxes.  Here alyssum is growing in one.

David repurposed our old mailbox post into a birdhouse holder.  Not much gets thrown away.

I’ve been waiting for the perfect place to put this birdhouse.

And this one we got just last week at an antique store.

Probably won’t have nesting birds in them this year as it’s a little late in the season, but all our other birdhouses have had no vacancies all Spring and Summer.

I have done a little sewing. On the blog Country Threads Chicken Scratch, Mary Etherington had this pattern available.

Uncle Sam. I got him done just in time to put him up for the 4th.

I actually made two, but one of them is not Uncle Sam.

She’s Aunt Samantha. See her pretty earrings?  We girls are patriotic too!  She looks a little bit like Boy George with her braids  alongside her head.

She wears a floral blouse with the American flag emblazoned on the front. She is so proud of our country.

Meanwhile, Uncle Sam wears a shirt with patriotic words on it and a flag also emblazoned on the front.  Both will be brought out for all patriotic days. Flag Day, the  4th, Memorial Day.

I love the United States and could not pass up this towel I found in Nashville. David and I have been to almost all the states except Hawaii and Rhode Island. We have a wonderful country full of wonderful people when you take all the politics out of the equation.   I can honestly say I have never met any angry or mean people in any of the states. (Except for that one store owner in Ohio who yelled at us for parking where the Amish parked. ) We didn’t know!!   So don’t believe all the news you see and hear.

Hope you have been able to check off some things you wanted to do this Summer. Only one month left.   Enjoy it.  Bye.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

I know I sound like a recording, but isn’t the time flying?  It’s almost Valentine’s Day already and we were just celebrating the New Year.  When I hear young people say the time is passing quickly, then I don’t know what to say because if it’s passing quickly for them there is something happening to the space time continuum of planet earth.  I often wonder if God is speeding time up for Jesus’ coming as He looks upon us and sees the evil that is in people’s minds and actions. I can hardly bear to read the news or listen to it anymore.

I also believe at times that I live in an alternate universe from many people.  I don’t understand a lot of people a lot of the time.  Maybe they feel that way about me.  I don’t know. Of course, my husband tells me I am weird all the time.  The last time I visited my doctor, he called me weird because of how my body reacted to the medicine he says helps everyone else.  So, maybe I am weird! But I’m a happy weird.

Well, that is about as deep as I’m going to get today. Just something to think upon and wonder about.  I try to live each day with joy and hope and I know how it all ends, so I’m not afraid.

I’ve had so many projects going on and many more I want to do before the warm weather gets here and I will want to be outside in the fresh air playing with my dogs. They have been rather neglected in these cold and rainy days.   They have been spending a lot of time in my shop with me, listening to my radio talk shows, ha, and watching me cut out Bullseye quilts.  I am addicted to Bullseye quilts. I think I am because I love going through all my fabric and finding material that will go together to make a block, knowing I will cut that block into four pieces along with many other blocks and then sew all those parts together to make a pretty amazing looking quilt.  And I am discovering fabric I had forgotten about, so that’s a plus, too. It’s almost like Christmas when I find a forgotten fabric.  I made a pillow with a four of the blocks.

I love this pillow way too much. I had had it on the couch for a couple of weeks  David just noticed it!   My very observant husband.

How can one miss this bright and colorful pillow!   I’m going to make some more. Maybe give some away.  I have a Christmas Bullseye quilt almost all cut out.  Like I said, I’m addicted.

And wonderful things have been coming in the mail. I read Mary Etherington’s blog over on Country Threads Chicken Scratch. Mary and her friend, Connie use to have a quilt shop in northwestern Iowa called Country Threads. They wrote many patterns, some of which I sold in our store, Craig’s Vac and Sew, years ago. They closed the store several years ago, but still write patterns and they have a book out right now that I ordered.

I was so excited when this package arrived.

With the cutest little return label.

And a wonderful book inside.

Here’s Mary and Connie.

They are very good friends and were superstars in the quilting world years ago.  I met Mary, the one in glasses, years ago when we traveled through Garner, Iowa going out west. I wanted to visit their quilt shop. It was wonderful, but the best part was I got to meet Mary as the quilt shop was located on her farm.  You know you see someone who is famous in their field and you wonder if they are as nice as they appear in their pictures. Well, Mary is the nicest person you could ever wish to meet. She welcomed me and showed me around the farm. I’m sure she doesn’t remember me, but she had a hurt arm or shoulder and I grabbed her and hugged her before I realized it and she was so nice about it even though I probably caused her great pain.

I felt like I did when I saw the Beatles.  Mary was that famous in my eyes.  Their patterns sold very well in our store and I have made so many quilts from them. If you want the book, go over to her blog and I think you can still order it.  And they sign the ones you buy from them.

I’m just saying. Superstars!  I plan to make several quilts from this book.

I got more flower seeds.  I honestly don’t know where I am going to plant them all as my garden is pretty full already, but I will stick them in somewhere.

Zinnias are one of my top five favorite flowers to raise. Just toss the seeds in the ground and in a few weeks you have a wonderful display of blooms.

And I got some more fabric.

Just some basics to use in my Bullseye quilts.

And last, but certainly not least I got more yarn.

It came in a bag that had this on the front.

And each skein of yarn had a yarn marker attached.

An extra little bonus.  I will be ordering from this business again.

Her yarns are amazing.  And fun to knit up.

Years ago our city had a major flood. They called it the hundred year flood because in theory it only happens every one hundred years.  But this week, people were getting worried as the rains kept falling for hours and hours.  We drove past a park in town and this is what we saw.

I’ve climbed that tower from which you can see the downtown.

The amphitheater where shows and bands perform. Not going to right now.

The playground.  Many years ago before this park came into existence, there were people who lived down by the river in shanties.  I have seen pictures from years ago of those shanties flooded. Finally, the city moved all the people and put in this park that gets flooded every so often because the river runs right by it.

Friends of mine, who lost everything in the last flood, were getting concerned and I didn’t blame them. It was looking scary for a while, but finally the rains stopped and the sun came out and the water is receding.   Today it is snowing and sleeting.

My church helps support a Crisis Pregnancy Center. Every year we are given baby bottles to fill with money to give to the center.  I am always happy to contribute because they are saving babies’ lives there and with what we see in the news today, we must continue to fight for and protect the unborn.

I am glad my church participates in this. I pray for all the babies.

My chickee-poos are still laying during this crazy weather.  We get just enough eggs for us right now.  I must show you the one a hen laid.  She certainly gave her all.

Almost as big as a duck egg and I should know. I use to raise ducks.

 

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?  If I don’t plan anything, we won’t do anything. I do have a delicious looking Valentine Jelly Donut cake recipe I am thinking of making for David.

I bought these candy hearts. You know, the ones that have cute words on them for Valentine’s Day, but you can hardly read the words they’re so dim.  And it’s a brand name, too.   What is wrong with them!   You really have to look to see what each heart reads.   Oh, well. That’s the way of things today.  I may be getting old, but things really are more poorly made than they were years ago except for maybe cars because one rarely sees a broken down car on the side of the road any longer.  When I was a girl you’d see them all the time and cars use to rust out faster than they do today. Our car is ten years old and still going strong and we’d like it to last another ten years.   That car has been all over the United States, to Alaska and down the Alaska Highway through Canada. North, South, East and West.  I’d like to keep her a while longer.

I sincerely hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day.  Whether alone or with a loved one, you still are loved by the One who loves us all.  He never disappoints. He will never forsake you.  He is the best Valentine a person could have. Jesus. Love you all and God bless. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, Glorious Days

I love Autumn.  I use to love Summer, but I have become heat intolerant the older I get and I don’t like to sweat so there’s that, too.    We have been having some glorious days and today was one.  Driving back from Indianapolis from my daughter’s physical therapy we saw some of the most beautiful red leaved trees in a field.  The leaves are indeed starting to change.   They are later than usual, but that’s okay.   It will be beautiful in Brown County in another week and the leaf gazers will be out in force.

We have been busy doing things with the Grandboys.   Once again we attended Grandparents’ Day at the Christian school two of our Grandboys attend.  We always enjoy it.   And we take them out to eat and get to have some one on one time with them.  It’s fun having a real conversation with our older Grandboys about all kinds of subjects.

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This one went from a  little boy to a young man almost overnight.   I hate it, but what can I do?  Kids grow up right before our eyes almost.

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This one is a Junior. Ack!

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Taller than us both and such a nice boy.  We love them both so much.

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Then soccer with this Grandboy.  His team won both games. Yay!

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This boy can kick a soccer ball. He made several goals.

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Sitting on his mama’s lap between games.

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This is our “baby” Grandboy. Getting so tall also.  He played goalie for a while.

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Sometimes he didn’t look very interested!   His team won their games, too. Yay!

Since this was the last of the soccer games for the season there were concessions, booths giving away things from water bottles to Tide sticks and some were selling soccer paraphernalia. And this guy showed up since Target was sponsoring the whole thing.

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The sky was so blue that day.

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Trees starting to turn.   It was just glorious and nice to be outside although right after the games the wind picked up and began blowing pretty hard.  Leaves flying everywhere.

In Autumn it seems the flowers give their last hurrah as if they know that soon they will be resting for a few months.

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My hydrangea had more flowers on it than ever before.

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I’ve always wanted blue hydrangeas and this year I finally have one.   I do have to add something to the soil so they will turn blue.

I’ve done very minimal Autumn decorating this year as I won’t be around for most of it.

 

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Fairy lights, pumpkins and Halloween figures on the mantel.

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A tray of tiny pumpkins and a Buttered Maple Syrup scented candle.  I haven’t lit it yet, but maybe tonight.

And of course, new yarn has been ordered and received.  I used up a bunch of yarn on patchwork socks and so I needed a new stash.

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These colors are so beautiful. My horrible photography does not do these colors any justice at all, but believe me, they are deep colored and delicious looking. I can’t wait to get them wound and let the knitting begin.  I’m really going to have to relearn how to knit sweaters because I have knit so many socks this year.  I use to knit sweaters and things for my kids years ago, but it seems I have forgotten all I ever knew.

Enjoy these glorious Autumn days because Winter is right around the corner.  Bye.

 

 

 

Summer Daze

Okay, I know it’s not quite Summer yet, but it sure feels like it with the heat and humidity.  Today was a picture perfect day with hardly a cloud in the blue, blue sky.  The seasons are running together now for me. I no sooner get ready for one season then it is another one and so on and so on. This is my favorite time of year when the birds are building their nests and raising their families. David and I watched a daddy bird feed one of his babies in our bird feeder today.  There are so many birds. Cardinals, nuthatches, chickadees, Titmice, sparrows, cowbirds, blue jays,( who are nasty critters, I must say) starlings,who lay blue eggs I learned this Spring, purple finches and some I don’t know what they are called.  But the feeder is constantly busy. I saw a humming bird also. They have been very secretive about coming to the feeder and I can never catch them.

The garden just burst into bloom. When they say something bursts into bloom it’s true.  One day nothing and the next day flowers everywhere. If you don’t believe in miracles, go out into a garden and you will see so many all around you. I always wonder how a tree knows when it is time to unfurl it’s leaves. When a daffodil knows to pop its head out of the ground.  Who tells the birds when to fly north. I know, but do you?    It’s all perfectly miraculous.  It’s going on all around us every single day and most of us are blind to it.   That is why it says in the Bible, be still and know that I am God.  Just sit quietly in a garden for a while and if you don’t believe there is a greater Being making all this happen, I don’t know what to tell you.  I believe and I see it every day.

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Bursts. See.

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The peony is one of my top five favorite flowers. I have a lot of them in my garden and I just ordered seven more to be planted this Autumn.

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I want to just stop and look and look at these, but there is work to do.

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But then, there are these beauties. The Iris. On my top five list.  They multiply and you don’t have to do a single thing to make it happen.

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I never have enough flowers, but I am running out of room.

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My daughter and son-in-law gave me this for Mother’s Day.  I love it. But I am not very good with hanging baskets so I hope I can keep this as beautiful as it is now.  By the way.  I had a very nice Mother’s day.  My grandsons learned to play Chinese checkers the last time they were here so they wanted us all to play.  Six people playing Chinese checkers takes a long time. Especially when some people refuse to move!  But it was fun. We played on the Chinese checkerboard I received for Christmas one year when I was a little girl.

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This is not David’s grandmother’s clematis.  This is one we transplanted here years ago and it has really taken off.  It’s what I see from my backdoor.

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Just gorgeous.

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And Molly Marshmallow has to get into the picture. I love this dog. So much.

I always say the back yard is the dogs’ garden because I don’t get all upset if they dig something up or lay smack dab in the middle of a flower bed.

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Here is Belle demonstrating her gardening capabilities.  Which pretty much amounts to snooping, sniffing, pooping and digging. But that’s okay.

I have managed to complete one small quilt in the midst of all the gardening and painting my shop.   It’s another one from Kathleen Tracy’s book.

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It’s nice to do a small project once in a while where you can see the results so much faster.

And I am nearly finished with this quilt.

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I hand quilted it instead of on the machine and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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I still have the border to quilt and the binding to put on.  I already have another quilt I am planning to hand quilt on my mind.  It is slightly bigger. It fits the top of the table David is making me.

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Here’s the table on its side so that he can screw the bottom shelf on.

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And here it is on its feet.  The top still needs staining and polyurethaned but it’s almost there. You can see I still do not have the floor completely painted. Trying to think what I am going to do with the grandchildren’s handprints and pictures they painted on the floor years ago. I am keeping them for sure.   I love this table. We got the idea for it at the Indiana Home Show a couple of years back where I saw a kitchen island that looked like this and I loved it.  The price for the kitchen island?  Ten thousand dollars!  The price of this table with lumber, stain, screws and casters?  Under $500 which is still not cheap, but a whole lot cheaper than the one we saw at the home show.   It will last my lifetime and one of the kids will inherit it if they want it, but they will have to have a big place to put it as it’s huge.   I can see myself this Winter cutting out quilts and laying quilts on this table to pin before I quilt them. And there is so much storage underneath. I am going to buy some baskets to hold projects I am working on.  Thank you, David.  I love you.

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I have my mother’s Singer sewing machine. The machine I learned to sew upon. When my mother got this machine, it was the newest one out and she was so proud of it. David, who has worked on many sewing machines in his life says this is the best sewing machine Singer ever put out with metal gears.  So many of the sewing machines today have plastic gears. And talking about sewing machines.  I came in my shop with wet Crocs and feet the other day and sat down to piece a quilt square and got shocked.   I blamed the machine and immediately began to look for a new sewing machine online. David says it’s because I had wet bare feet that I was shocked, but I have talked myself into a new machine.  A heavy duty quilting machine.    I have worn out a few machines and mine are all over twenty years old with a lot of miles on them so I am getting a new machine.  But no more sewing with wet bare feet!

 

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This little girl is graduating from high school this weekend. I can hardly believe it. I remember when this picture was taken.  My son and daughter-in-law lived in Chicago and both her grandmas got to go with her mother and her to get her pictures taken. It was so much fun and we grandmas watched all gaga over this precious little baby that had come into our lives. Now she is all grown up and ready to meet the world.   I’m still gaga over her and so very proud.

Here’s to wonderful granddaughters, new sewing tables and learning NOT to sew in wet, bare feet. Bye.

 

 

 

 

Playing Catch Up

I told David we were never going away for a vacation in the Spring ever again. Too much is going on around here and I don’t want to miss it. Plus, it’s planting time and so many things to do around the yard to get it ready for Summer. Right now our yard looks like a jungle because the lawn mower man hasn’t come yet. Well, I didn’t get him called soon enough.  I am amazed how quickly our lawn has grown in one week.  And I don’t mow anymore.  That’s one job I am more than happy to pay for.

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I didn’t miss any of the Spring blossoms. Here is the crabapple tree in all its glory.

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The pink flowering almond outdid itself.  One winter the rabbits ate this clear to the ground so we had to put a fence around it. Now it’s too big for the rabbits to care to munch on it.

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To look at my garden you would never know I love the color pink.

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Even my painted garden has pink in it. I made a trip to one of my favorite garden shops and bought some geraniums in different hues of pink and planted them in eight planters this morning.  I have a few flower seeds to plant and some tomatoes and pumpkins and then I will be finished with the planting this year.

We had a little surprise when we returned home from Alabama.  A little furry surprise. We were going out the door to church the Sunday after we got back and I thought I saw a kitten run under our porch.  When we got home, David staked out a place to watch and before long he saw four little kittens.   Then as he watched longer, he saw there were five!  Five kittens born under our front porch and we didn’t even know it. Their mother is a feral cat that runs around in our neighborhood. David got out the animal trap we had bought  to catch a ground hog that had taken up residency under our porch. We caught a possum that time. Soon he had caught mama cat and four of her babies.  The fifth one, that looked like a Siamese cat, took longer.  It took a couple of days.

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This is mama, but she is vicious.  David had a tangle with her and she bit him five times through leather gloves and scratched him all up his legs.   I didn’t see it happen and he said I wouldn’t have wanted to.

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One long haired and two black and white, one tabby and the Siamese looking one.  Strange how so many different kittens can come from one mama.  So cute, but so wild.

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Such cute faces with a look of danger in their eyes.

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This black and white one was my favorite.  In a week they were litter trained, eating kitten kibble and drinking from a bowl and I found homes for every one of them. The mother is still running loose.   I am hoping she finds a new place for her next litter or I will be calling animal control which I really don’t want to do.

Work is progressing on my shop. I have almost all the painting done now. Woohoo!  That was a chore. I did it all with a paint brush, wall and floor.  I still have a bit of the floor to complete. Meanwhile, David is working on my new cutting table.

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It will be six by six feet, made of heavy wood and on heavy casters so that I can roll it anywhere in my shop I want.  If that isn’t love for him to do this for me, I don’t know what is.  I don’t need any boxes of candy or flowers.  This does it for me.

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And this is what I do in my shop. Sew and make quilts.  These are two I have pieced in the last few weeks.  And like all quilters, I am already thinking of my next one.

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From Kathleen Tracy’s book.  I love this quilt.

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And part of the fun in making a quilt is picking out the fabrics.  Here are a few I plan to use in my next one.

David’s grandmother had a clematis in her garden that was so pretty. She had it for as long as I could remember.  She babied that clematis and it was her pride and joy.  When her house was going to be sold, David and I rescued Grandma’s clematis and brought it home with us and planted it behind our garage, which is now my shop.  It bloomed there, but the last few years it hasn’t seemed happy there so this year we decided to transplant it to a more favorable place. At least I hope it will be.

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David worked very carefully to get it dug and to trim the fencing away from it that it had grown on.   We think we found some new little clematises beside it so I planted them in pots to see how they would do.   They might just be weeds, too!

It now sits in my kitchen garden where it can spread its roots and hopefully grow bigger and have more flowers on it in the future.  If any of our kids are reading this, we will Grandma Henley’s clematis to you.   It’s at least fifty years old.

Meanwhile other bushes are bursting at the seams.

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The Spirea always looks pretty.

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And another transplant from Grandma’s garden. A snowball bush. This one has become quite big and is full of blooms.  I’ve gotten two more transplants from this one bush.  It brings back fond memories of being in Grandma’s garden.  She was the only Grandma I really knew as my grandmothers had passed before I knew them  or they were not well while I was growing up.  My one grandma lived with us for a while and did teach me how to make good pie crust.   But we never talked.  Isn’t that strange?   She didn’t talk to anyone.

I try not to get hooked on movies during the day, but last Saturday one of my favorite movies was on.  Giant.  Starring Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor.

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Both were in their prime.  I really believe Elizabeth Taylor was the most beautiful women in her time.  She had those violet eyes and shiny black hair.  Giant is about a Texas cattle baron and his family. It’s about women’s rights and the prejudices of the time, cowboys and finding oil and becoming rich off it and the disparity between people,  with horses and cattle and bucking broncos all thrown into the mix.   It’s a long movie so I had to tape it to finish it later, but I love it and will watch it again.  James Dean, who comes from my state, was also in the movie as a nemesis for Rock Hudson’s character.  He died in a car accident not long after this movie was made.  He was the stuff of legends.

The cinematography was wonderful.

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It made the old west come alive.    So much of the west is gone now.  Overrun with housing developments and ranchettes and shopping malls, but there are still a few places off the beaten path where you can still see what it use to be like.

And because this has been a hodgepodge  of things I will show you some lipsticks I purchased recently. Found the company on Facebook. Lipstick for women over forty.   Which I have been for some time.

 

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I don’t own any stock in the company or anything. Just like to share when I find a product I like.   I got a set of lipsticks and have tried them all and love them all.   They come in the cutest containers.  The lipsticks are not suppose to feather into the wrinkles around your mouth like some lipsticks do.    I’m still testing them, but so far I have been very happy with the product.   I usually wear Covergirl, but their ads have become kind of freaky and that turns me off a product. Just telling you the truth. I also like Maybelline lipsticks.  These new ones may become my favorites.

So that has been the first week back from vacation.  There’s a graduation coming up. Our first grandchild finishing high school and has her college all picked.  Wow, does time fly.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year in Review

How was your year?  Was it pretty good or did some bad things happen to you?  Did you lose a loved one?  I am very sorry.  My niece lost her husband just before Christmas and I had two friends at church who died then, also.

Did you take a vacation?  Did you do something new you have been wanting to do for a long time?  Did you lose weight?  Did you gain weight.(I can relate.)   Did you get married?  Did you get a divorce?   I know the pain that can cause.  Did you have health problems or were you at the peak of health?

Whatever happened to you in 2017, it’s over now and we can start afresh in 2018. I’m brushing off myself and looking back on 2017, so here goes.

January

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Lily, our daughter’s Golden Retriever had her first litter of pups.  They were so cute. I hope they are in good homes and are well loved.

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We practiced shooting guns in our son-in-law’s woods.  I rather enjoyed it.

February

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Wintery blue skies.  Looks like the new Crayola crayon color “Bluetiful.”

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Made some Valentine type projects.

We attended the Indiana Home Show in Indianapolis where I saw this kitchen island which is like a cutting table I want David to build for me for my shop.  He hasn’t gotten it done yet.  Maybe this Summer.

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We actually did some porch sitting even if we did have to bundle up.

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I cannot wait to sit out here again. Maybe next week when the frigid temperatures will be gone for a few days. I see thirty and forty degree days on the horizon.

March

My birthday month.

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I knit David a pair of socks and he loves wearing them.

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Molly Marshmallow enjoyed some sun while sitting in her favorite chair.

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More porch sitting.

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More sock knitting. These were gifts for Christmas this year.

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This flower bloomed in the snow.  Helebores.  They are so beautiful in the winter landscape.

Wow, do I miss the flowers outdoors.

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Did some antiquing for my birthday and bought this tablecloth that I then saw featured in a magazine about antiques.

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I really need to get that tablecloth out and starch it and put it on my table now to brighten our days.

April

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Bought new chicks.  These little girls have become excellent layers.  We get a dozen eggs every two days. Miss Mary Foster, my little lame chick, is the one in front. I love her.

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More sock knitting.  Do I see a pattern here?

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Made a quilt for a sweet baby girl in our church.

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The redbuds burst into bloom. Spring was here!

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Was time to put the Easter decorations out.

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The grandkids here for the annual Easter egg hunt.

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Flashing the dollar bills they got for collecting the dollar eggs.

May

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Finally flowers all over the garden.  I am so looking forward to this time again.

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We got our upstairs bathroom remodeled. This is the before picture.  I can hardly remember it looking like this.

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Our baby chicks were turning into pullets.

May or June( I can’t remember the date.)

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My fairy godmother….

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took me to a Trump rally in Pennsylvania. One of the best times I have ever had and I’ve had some good times.  Made me love my country even more than I did.

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Our almost finished bathroom. I don’t think I ever took a real after picture.  I love my new bathroom and I love soaking in that big tub.

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Dame’s Rocket.  A surprise flower that came up from my wildseeds I had planted last year.

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My other “wild seed.”  Miss Molly is such a playful pup.

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Clematis growing up on our deck.

Really June

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My  baby brother’s baby girl got married

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She was a beautiful bride.

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Her dress was exquisite.

That same weekend, because her brother was home from Germany, my other niece, my brother’s oldest child got married.

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Unfortunately, we were not able to stay over another day for her wedding as we had to get home as I was having tests the next day.  My health issues were resolved, thankfully.

July.

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Found a darling garden shop on one of our little trips.

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Bought more sock yarn. This yarn is already socks and most were given away.

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The garden just kept getting more and more beautiful.

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Played with fire with friends from church.

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And watched fireworks, but the music accompanying the fireworks was so dreadful, I contacted the radio station who sponsored the show and complained.  The music was the least patriotic music I have ever heard.  And rap.  Ugh.

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David and I made a trip to Evansville so I could see….

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Beth Moore.  On the drive home we saw President Grant’s childhood home and passed through some wonderful little, historic towns.

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August

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Went to King’s Island with this crew.

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The garden began to look like Autumn.

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Pumpkins were growing on the fence.

We took our three youngest grandsons to the state fair.

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I think they had a good time and we ate our way through the fair.

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Went to my fiftieth class reunion and saw some school friends I hadn’t seen since we graduated. They didn’t look quite the same as in our yearbook!

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Although these three really look the same to me.  I have many memories with these friends.  The lady on the left is David’s cousin and drove us on our first date. We saw the movie, “Joy in the Morning.”  I still love that movie.  David held my hand through the whole movie.

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Visited with James Whitcomb Riley.

September

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Went to Grandparents’ Day at three of our grandchildren’s school.

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October

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Worked on a pumpkin table runner which was given away this Christmas.

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Watched our grandsons play soccer.

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October

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Decorated for Halloween.

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Did some driving on country roads to see the foliage.

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Made an apple quilt. I’m keeping this one.

November

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Attended our younger grandsons’ school’s Veteran’s Day program.  Love attending this every year.

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Saw our granddaughter in the Music Man.  It was wonderful.

Time to get out the Thanksgiving decorations.

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Lily had her second and my daughter says, her last litter.   She is such a good mother.

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I can’t stand how precious this picture is.   Everyone should get to hold a puppy every single day. The world would be so much happier.

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Drove some really beautiful back roads of Indiana.

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And toured some primitive shops on those back roads that hardly anyone ever travels.

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Had Thanksgiving dinner where I didn’t get that one picture for some reason.

December

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The puppies were older and even more cute, if possible.

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Christmas came all too quickly.

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I was feeling so nostalgic this year remembering Christmases past.

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If we could only spend one day in those times gone by.  But it would probably make me cry that I would have to leave it again, so maybe it’s best to leave the past in the past and keep the sweet memories.

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Socks were a part of the gifts to everyone.

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But when You get right down to it. Spending time with those you love is worth all the money in the world.

I know that it will be a split second and I will be writing about 2018 and looking toward 2019 if I am blessed enough to live that long.   So here’s to another year. May it be the best ever, free from care and heartache.  Full of love and joy.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Last, Fall

Busy days around our house.  Once Autumn gets here, it’s like a locomotive goes out of control and we speed through the days until Christmas.   I have already been Christmas shopping.  I know.  I’m crazy, but I think about Christmas all year and what things I would like to give to people.  It becomes a little bit obsessive sometimes.

I love the Fall, with its cooler temperatures, although for the past several days we have been in the nineties here in southern Indiana.  So, of course, I choose those days to do a little outside painting.   We are replacing boards on our back porch one board at a time.  I stain the wood and David puts it down.  I find painting relaxing as long as I’m not on a ladder and on beautiful days like today, I crank up talk radio and stain to my heart’s content.   When these get done, I am going to paint some old fencing that David is going to use as woodwork around my shop windows and then…. I am planning on painting all the walls in the shop white.  I’ve been looking at pictures on Facebook of rooms that are all white and for some reason, they appeal to me.  Since my shop is pretty well, my shop,  I can do anything I want to it and I want it all white and lace and quilts.  When I get it all done, David is building me a new, larger work table so I can lay out my quilts on it instead of on the floor when I get ready to pin the layers together.  I love having projects.  When we don’t have any, I think up  some.

Here are a few of the things that have been going on around our house these past few weeks.

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Winds were blowing from the hurricanes down south.  I hope those poor people are getting things done and getting their lives back together.  The Caribbean Islands and Puerto Rico are having a really rough time. My mother-in-law lived in St. Thomas, the Virgin Islands the year the last really bad hurricane came through and they were without electricity for quite some time.  It shirred the palm trees and made a complete mess of the island. Not so sure I would want to live on an island now.  Sounds like this hurricane was as bad, if not worse.

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Loving the glow of the sun through the trees. I love the light of Autumn. It’s different than at any other time of year.

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Closing the pool time.  Doesn’t seem like we had a Summer. I know we did, but where did it go? I sold our hot tub last week since David and I rarely use it and it takes a lot of electricity and is just one more thing to take care of.  It was fun, but it’s time to move on.

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Reading some really good books.  I love it when I find a new author who has written many books.   I just read one about WW2 and the Italian Resistance. Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan. It was hard to read in places because war is well, hell, and cannot be glossed over.  This book is being made into a motion picture. I’m not sure I will be able to watch it.  Saving Private Ryan had me so choked up most of the time I could hardly stand it.

Jan Karon has her new Mitford book out and I have it on my Kindle.  Her books need to be read slowly so they will last longer, but I always hurry through them.  I have read her entire series through at least three or four times.  It’s like visiting with old friends when you read her books.

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Enjoying the last of the Summer flowers.  It won’t be long until the first frost and they will all be gone until next year.  I have planted some more lilies and fox gloves so will look forward to seeing them when they bloom.

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Picking pumpkins. I think we ended up with about fourteen.  We gave some to our grandkids and I am decorating with the rest.  Pumpkins are so much fun to grow. Very easy, really, although they take up a lot of room and grow over the fences and through gaps wherever they can reach.

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My little vignette on our front porch.

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The young chickens are starting to lay now. We get about two to three dozen eggs a week.  I give some away and with some I made these….

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Homemade noodles.  I must say these were delicious.  I think we will be having chicken and noodles for Thanksgiving this year instead of turkey since my family doesn’t like turkey all that well, and I don’t like all the leftovers.

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Still knitting socks. I call these Café Au Lait.  I love the colors and someone will be getting them sometime.  Shhhhhhhh.

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I have a quilt in the hoop and this is all I can show because of nosy people in my family.

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And I bought this for the binding.  I ordered more fabric today. I think I’m getting my quilting mojo back after a long period of sock knitting.  I found the cutest pumpkin quilt pattern on a blog and ordered it and had to order some fabric so I could start it immediately despite the fact I have at least ten quilts that need finishing!  If you are a quilter and fabriholic, you will understand this tendency to have to buy more fabric and start more quilts even though you have more than you can handle right at this moment.

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My BFF sent David and me hats she had knitted for us.  They are thick and soft and will be really warm this winter. Thank you, thank you, Carol.  You are such a good friend.   I didn’t get a picture of David’s but its blue with a white stripe.

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As the days grow shorter….

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and the nights grow cooler, and they will,

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I light candles to make the house seem warmer.

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Bake a cake for us to eat.

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And think how blessed we are right now.   It was a wonderful Summer but Autumn brings school activities at our grandchildren’s schools that we will attend, like Grandparents’ Day and Veteran’s Day celebrations, trips to King’s island with our older son and our daughter’s family and a Harvest Festival at our church where we provide games and candy for any children who want to come.  It’s a fun night and lots of children show up.

So I intend to embrace Autumn with all it has to offer. Walks through the leaves, eating a new, crisp apple and baking pumpkin bars.  It’s all good.  Have a great day. Oh, and Molly sends you a big, wet kiss. Bye.

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Through the Shadow and Back Again

Here I am at last with something to tell you about some of my health issues.  I feel like I took a slight detour with my life the last few weeks.

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It wasn’t a detour I chose to take and it was rather worrisome despite all the prayers going up for me, but think I am on the other side.  Knowing that millions of people suffer diseases all over the world much worse than anything I have ever experienced,  I feel rather silly even discussing what was going on with me.  As you read in my past post, I had a heart scare.  A scare caused by something an ER doctor told me.   I have had more pictures taken of my heart than I had taken of me during my wedding!  My heart has been very photogenic the last few weeks!

I have spent weeks thinking I might have to have surgery or a stent or something done to my heart.  Well, today was my visit to the cardiologist who pretty much told me my heart was in excellent condition, my arteries were clear, my heartbeat was strong and my lungs sounded great.  Sooooo.  All that worrying for nothing.  I still have the winded feeling so don’t know why that is continuing.  The Dr. told me to start a walking regimen.  So that is what I will do.  Plus she took me off one of my meds and halved another one.  The fewer meds I have to take, the better, I always say.  No more water pills that made me, well, make more trips to the bathroom than I would like.

Speaking of bathrooms, this arrived on our front porch this week.

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The top for our bathroom cabinet.  Finally.  Today our contractor came with his helpers and a plumber and they finished my bathroom.  So happy I can brush my teeth and wash my hands in our brand new sink.  Now I have some decorating to do.  When I get it all done, I will show you. I ordered a picture today to hang on a wall above the bathtub.  I think you will think it’s appropriate when you see it.

To keep my mind busy, I kept knitting socks.  I’m getting quite a pile of them.

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And finishing this pair.

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My grandson told me he wants to learn to knit so sometime this Summer I am going to teach him.   He wants to knit socks too!

I have been adding to my stash of yarn just like I use to do with fabric.  Honestly, I have not been near a sewing machine for months except to repair some things.

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Self striping yarn. It’s like a box of chocolates.  I don’t know which one to take out first.

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This brown and tan looks so yummy.

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Then there is this yarn.  Varigated and oh, so pretty.   I have a lot of socks planned.

Our garden is blooming  and we added more lilies to it this year. There is a place called New Creation Lilies that is in southern Indiana and they have fields of beautiful lilies.  We went down there the other day.  It was pouring rain and I almost told David to turn around and go back home because I didn’t want to make the people have to go out in the rain to dig our lilies.  You go out in the field and write down the lilies’ names you want and they dig them on the spot.  It let up raining a little so we continued on.  We walked around the fields under umbrellas. It was buy four get one free day and I very quickly picked five lilies as the rain was getting stronger again.  We sat in a barn and were kept company by an old black lab while our lilies were being dug.  Chickens walked around free range around us.  It was such a neat atmosphere.  I could have stayed there all day.  I hope to go back next year on a sunny day.

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I actually got these lilies at a little grocery store.  I have divided these a few times and have them all over our garden.

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Phlox.

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Hollyhocks and larkspur.  I don’t know what that bush is called behind the larkspur.

We sat out on our back porch the other day enjoying the garden and decided to start planning a little trip we want to take for our 49th wedding anniversary.

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We got the atlas out and started dreaming.  We have been in almost all the states except Hawaii and it’s becoming harder to decide where we want to go. Next year for our 50th anniversary we are planning a long trip, but don’t know where yet and we are going to Walt Disney World with our oldest son, his girl friend and our daughter and her husband and family for nine days.  It’s going to be a busy year and we are planning now.   I’ve always thought part of the fun of taking a trip is in the planning.

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We may just go where the wind blows us.  Who knows.

I want to thank all of you who said a prayer for me during my health scare.  I believe your prayers were answered and for that I am very grateful to you and to God.

Here’s to good health, trip planning and lily fields.  Bye.