Category Archives: Gardening

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.

Marriage, Maps and Miracles

I believe in miracles. Yes, I do.  I have seen them happen in my life.  I believe God is working one in me right now.   I know I left you hanging in my last blog, but I really didn’t have much I could tell.  But now I can tell a little and as things progress, I will tell you it all.

For quite some time I have been feeling tired.  Not so tired I couldn’t function, but every thing seemed like a chore to me.    I would do something, and then have to sit down.  Painting our new bathroom was an obstacle I almost didn’t get over.  But I did it.

Anyway, about a month ago it got really bad. Just walking around in the yard tired me out and I would have to rest.   I knew something was wrong. Nothing hurt, I just felt tired.   Finally, I called he doctor. He was either sick or on vacation so his office sent me to the hospital.   I thought I would be there for an hour or two. It turned into five hours of test after test.  Finally the ER doctor came in and said it looked like I had heart failure.  Well, that threw me for a loop.  I was to see my family doctor and I did.  He told me it was a treatable disease and prescribed water pills.  I guess heart failure is caused by water on your lungs and the pills get rid of the excess water in your body. “You will lose weight,” my doctor told me.  There is a rainbow in every storm, I guess!  So I was taking the pills and not feeling much better so he sent me for another test and to a cardiologist. Today I met with her and after talking to her, she says my heart is in good shape except for a slightly widening of the aorta.  So now I am going in for more tests the end of the month. Surprisingly, today I had a lot of energy and for the first time I went shopping without getting winded and I worked out in the yard and felt pretty good. Maybe those pills are finally working. I also lost eight pounds.   I feel like a miracle is happening in my body. Thank you for all your prayers. They do work and I did feel them covering me.   I’m not one to talk about my health, but this was something I felt like sharing because I wanted people to pray for me. Thank you so much.

But on to better things.  About two weeks ago we attended my niece’s wedding. She is my baby brother’s little girl.    Several family members I hadn’t seen for months, if not years, attended and I got to visit with them all.  It was so much fun.

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My baby brother.   He cleans up pretty good.

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My oldest son. He cleans up pretty good too and is getting quite distinguished looking.

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My nephew, my sister’s oldest boy. Oh, I could tell you funny stories about him when he was growing up.  One time we were coming back from Cincinnati with him and our two boys and daughter in the back seat and they were making up jokes all the way and laughing like hyenas.  I still think of that and laugh to myself.  That’s his wife next to him.  They are remodeling a big old house that I really want to see one day.  They live near Cincinnati now.

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Then there was David. I must say he looked rather sexy in his freshly ironed white shirt and new black slacks. And these sun glasses. Well, they just perfected the look.  Everyone got sun glasses with the bride and groom’s names and wedding date on them.

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The wedding was outdoors by a lake with a stringed quartet playing.   It was beautiful, but it was very hot that day.

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Here comes the bride.  She was beautiful.  She is getting her masters in geology.  Following in her daddy’s footsteps because he was a geologist and did surveying for oil in Central America years ago.  Wading in swamps with huge snakes in them. Better him than me!

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The vows. Oh, how I pray this marriage will last fifty years or more like David and mine has.

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The bride’s dress was so pretty, even in the back.

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Another brother and his wife and another niece.  The decorations had a woodsy, earthy look.  Each table was named for a national park.

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Yummy, sweet food on the table.

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The cake was made to look like a geode rock.  It was very delicious.   I got the very last piece.

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Cupcakes that I didn’t get to try.

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And cookies in the same theme that were also very good.

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The bride and father’s dance.  I don’t think I have seen my brother this happy for a long time.  It was truly  a sweet picture.

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Cutting the cake and I am so glad they didn’t smear the cake in each other’s faces like I have seen happen at some weddings.  They carefully fed each other bites from forks.

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Love was in the air. This is my nephew who lives in Germany and his girl friend. Another wedding could be in the offing sometime in the future.

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Ah, young love.  You have to enjoy it.

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Two gorgeous and sweet people.  I loved seeing my nephew.  It’s been years.

Now there was another story going on that weekend.  My other niece, my brother’s oldest child decided to get married the very next day while her brother was home from Germany. My brother and sister-in-law had about two weeks to plan and orchestrate a second wedding and reception.  Whew!

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This is the other young couple.  Sadly, David and I could not stay over for that wedding as we had to drive home because I was having tests the next day.  So sad.  I hope I see pictures.  I really, really hated missing this wedding.  The bride is a veterinarian of large animals.   I have very talented relatives.

So the day after the wedding we drove home along less than busy highways as we do not like driving the interstate all that well and besides, you find things you never would find on the freeway.

Like the town that honored its veterans with their pictures on posts all along the highway.

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I think they did this for Memorial day.

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The veteran’s name and what war he or she fought in on flags.

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So many young people lost to war.   There were many of these along the street.

We were driving on fumes to find a gas station and we found one and while David was filling the tank, I looked over and I saw a cute, little garden shop right next door.  Serendipity!

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Let’s go inside.

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Birdhouses and garden paraphernalia everywhere.

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I was so in awe of how much stuff was packed into such a little store.

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The owner’s husband handcrafts these wonderful birdhouses and I bought this one.

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Even the curtains were so cute.

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Fairy gardens everywhere inside and out.

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I could see me getting caught up in another hobby really quickly.  I think I will just look this time.

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So much fun to look at, though.

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The tallest, thickest stemmed zinnias I have ever seen.  I got their name and might try to raise these next year.

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This is the sweet lady who owns the shop.  I told her I was putting her on my blog and she was okay with that.    I will go back one day.   A wonderful find.  I bought a few other things there, some Christmas presents.

Driving on home we passed through the town of Greensburg which is famous for the tree growing out of its court house.

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I was wondering if this is the original tree, but David said he imagined it had been planted several times through the decades.  I suppose he is right, but I like to think the same little tree has grown there year after year.

And now to chickens.  My little chicks are almost full-grown chickens now.

Miss Mary Foster is so pretty.

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I think her feathers look like a stained glass window.   She has a crooked little leg and hops around with the other chickens.

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I have a tender spot in my heart for her.  She’s a little trooper.

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The chickens love their grass.  I let them eat it down and then take it out and regrow it and feed it to them over and over.  A good way for them to get their greens.

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Yes, they do love it.

I could go on and on.  I have several things to write about. Our bathroom still is not finished.  The lumber yard messed up getting the hole cut out for the sink so it will be another two weeks or more before they get the new one in.  I have been washing my hands in the tub for weeks now and will be so glad to have a sink upstairs again.   When it is all finished, I will show you some pictures.  I really love what I used for towel hangers. Oh, and here’s where maps come in.  I was looking for drawer liners for the bathroom cabinet and could not find any I liked and then I thought of all the National Geographic magazines I had with maps in them.  Hmmm, I think those would make good drawer liners.  So I looked in my old magazines which I have kept for years.  National Geographic always had the most amazing maps in them. I wonder if they still do.

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Okay, this map of Italy was just too beautiful to cut up.  But I cut six drawer liners from maps and I love the way they look.

So, here’s to health, because it really is fragile and to young love and wonderful garden shops and maps! Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Color Purple

My garden changes almost weekly, it seems.  In the Spring the first flowers to bloom are the daffodils in bright yellows and pinks.   Now we are in the purple faze of the garden.

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I think these are flowers that came back from wild seeds I planted last year.  Dame’s rocket or phlox, I’m not sure.

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Clematis on our back deck.  It was floundering on the back of my shop so we moved it last year and is thanking us with all these blooms this year.

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Salvia and Irises.  Two of my favorite flowers for needing very little care.

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Not all my irises are purple.  This picture does not do this beauty justice.

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Irises come back every year prettier than ever and they seem to double in size.  I have to divided these clumps this year.

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Dogs grow in my garden too.  Molly Marshmallow is free to roam all through my flowers.  I call the back garden the dogs’ garden.  Surprisingly, my flowers are none the worse for wear with the dogs rooting through them for moles.

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Yes, Molly, that’s why you always have a bone to chew so you won’t chew my flowers!

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Last week my upstairs bathroom looked like this.

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Now it’s beginning to take shape.  The quartz cabinet top and new faucet still need to be installed.  But, I get to take my tub baths again. Oh, how I missed them.

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Love these new lights. They are so bright I told the contractor I could get a tan while in my bathroom.

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Just wanted to share a wonderful book I just finished, The Practice House by Laura McNeal.  I hated for it to end.  It tells about the dust bowl in the 1930’s and one family’s troubles and triumphs during that time.  It’s also about an immigrant from Scotland who becomes an important part of this family in more ways than one.   I got it free on Kindle Unlimited.  I love Kindle Unlimited.  I have read books by authors I might not have ever read if I had to buy every book and I have found some pretty good authors.   I don’t know how they make money on their books by being on Kindle Unlimited, but I am glad they are.

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This weekend is Mother’s Day.  My children and I are not getting together this weekend, but are planning a trip to Cincinnati.  I have noticed on Mother’s Day, the restaurants are all so busy and you have to wait for seats and I thought we could celebrate another day.  After all, every day should be mother’s day.  We should show respect and love our mothers every day.  I miss my mother even though she has been gone many years.  We never stop needing our mothers.  Some days I wish I could talk to her and get her opinion on something.   I know I will see her one day and look forward to that.  I hope she knows I am sorry for all the problems I caused her when I was a teen-ager.  I was sort of a rebellious child and gave her a few grey hairs while I was growing up, but I always knew she loved me.   God bless you, Mom.  I miss you.  Happy Mother’s Day.

If you have a mother, have lost your mother, been a mother or had someone who mothered you, Happy Mother’s Day.  Bye.

 

 

Skipping Merrily into Spring

March is finally here. My birth month.  My mother’s birth month.  My daughter’s birth month.  I love March because it is the start of Spring.  March, April and May are my very favorite months of the year. But I have to tell you, January and February haven’t been too bad this year. So many days of almost Spring like weather. I kind of feel cheated by winter since we never had very much snow.  Of course March could still surprise us.  Here in Indiana we have March madness when all the high schools play their sectionals, semi-state and state basketball tournaments.  In the past, the weather usually turned bad at this time with snow and ice and cold.  I remember one year my school was playing in the sectional and I wanted to go so my mother made my brothers take me with them and their friends.  The weather was so bad the gymnasium was almost empty.  I found one person I knew to sit with for the game. I still wonder why my mother allowed us all to go that night as it was blizzard like weather.   Maybe she was just glad to get us out of the house!

We have daffodils already blooming and lots of other flowers popping up all over the garden.  One week it’s gray and nothing is growing and the next, new life appears.  It’s really a miracle.  I just don’t want Spring to come too quickly and then turn immediately into hot Summer.   I’ve ordered a pound of zinnia seeds and gotten two packets of pumpkin seeds to plant.  I didn’t start tomato plants this year.  I will just buy a few plants this year.   That’s pretty much all I am planting this year other than any perennials I might have to have.  My yard is full, but there is always room for one more plant.

March being my birth month, I celebrate all month.  David and I have plans for this weekend.  Doing more antiquing and buying some things for our new bathroom remodel and maybe some paint.  I love to paint.  I have probably painted every room in our house three or four times.  I have the paint color picked out for the bathroom. A very soft grey for the walls and a soft green called “Stillness,” for the ceiling.  I thought it was a nice color to stare at while soaking in the tub.  We are not replacing the bath tub.  I love that tub.  Almost long enough for me to lay down in and it’s been there since the 1950’s and I want to keep one thing old in there. We did find an old mirror to replace the medicine cabinet.  It has an old looking mirror and is surrounded by old wood.  I will show it after we have it placed in the bathroom.  I was thrilled to find it as we were looking for an old mirror last weekend and the very first antique store we visited had that mirror.  They had just gotten it in the store.  Serendipity.  I was meant to get it.  I love when things come together.

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This flower blooms in the winter and is loaded with flowers right now.  I forget what it’s called, but it’s about the only flower that blooms in the winter this far north.

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Daffodils coming up everywhere.  I forget how many I have planted until they come up every Spring.

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Colorful train cars right in front of our house loaded with gravel.  Men have been working on the tracks for weeks.

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Men held up plywood to keep the gravel from getting onto the road.    I heard on the radio today that next year one train an hour will go through our city and some will be three miles long.  Wow.  That is really going to mess up traffic in many places.  Our city fathers are scrambling to try to figure out what to do about all the extra traffic.  Move the tracks?  Put up signal arms at the crossings so the trains won’t be tooting all day every hour?    It’s going to be interesting and we are going to have a front row seat on it all.   Little boys who come to our house love to watch the trains. Maybe we could sell tickets to parents who want to bring their children to sit on our porch and watch the trains go by.  Trains seem to draw little boys like magnets.  Our grandsons can be anywhere in our house and when they hear the train whistle, they make a mad dash to come watch the train go by.  I find I am drawn to them also although their whistle can hurt the ears.

Last Saturday David and I took an antiquing jaunt to southeastern Indiana.  I was looking for an old mirror and things to put in our soon to be remodeled bathroom.   As I wrote, we found the mirror at the first store.   I wish I had had my camera at one of the stores. When we get in the car and start driving, when we are several miles from home I will say to David, “Did we bring the camera?” or Did we remember the cellphone as we hardly ever have our cellphone with us.  We forgot both this trip so I missed some really interesting shots.  Anyway, this one store called The Whistle Stop was so chock full of wonderful things.  A little old lady was running the store(I’m a little old lady, but I always use the term when I see an older lady who may or may not be older than me!)  Anyway, she sat in a chair reading a book while David and I, who were her only customers, walked around looking here and there.  There was an upstairs with lots more good stuff.  I ended up getting a book and a bowl.

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I have read so many of Catherine Cookson’s books.  Most are about women living in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s who have to make their way alone in a very harsh world.   Most take place in England or Ireland.   I don’t think I have read this one and it was cheap, so I bought it.

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I love these little bowls.  I have a small collection of them.  I use some of them to hold my yarn balls while I am knitting so the balls won’t roll around.

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This bowl was made in Roseville, CA.

In my constant quest for vintage tablecloths, I have become more selective in the ones I buy, but this one caught my eye and it was large enough to fit our dining room table.

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I really love it.

Then this week I was looking through an old magazine I had and what  did I see?

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The exact tablecloth that I had bought in a little store in Indiana.   Maybe it’s the same one. Who knows.

This week a friend asked me if I was still working on quilts and I almost felt a little guilty when I had to tell her, “No,” because I have been knitting socks.  Well, that made me decide I needed to get back out into my shop and sew for a while.

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While it’s not a quilt, it is a quilt block I am making into a pot holder. In fact, after this one, I made a couple more in different patterns.  I think I could make these and sell them if I got my act together.   But…..

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Then I dug out this quilt I had appliqued years ago and never got quilted.  I think this one will get completed this year. It’s called Ohio Rose.

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I think I must have planned to hand quilt this one as I have drawn on designs on this one.

Then…….

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I came across this quilt pattern on a blog and decided I just have to make it.  I forget what blog it is, but when I find it, I will tell you so you can make it also if you would like. Quilt is found on Tilda blog.  A lot of beautiful things to see on it and free patterns.  

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Made like banners and I love banners.  Looks like something that will go together very quickly. The hard part will be picking out the material.  The person who made this quilt had her own fabric line and showed where to use each material.  But I like to pick out my own material and make a quilt my very own, so I will search in my stash and maybe buy some new material to make this one.

So now I can tell my friend I am working on a quilt.   I also have another chicken quilt half done.

But, still……..

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There will always be socks to knit.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Going On

Well, I’m just sitting here wondering where in the world Summer went. It came in a blast of rain and heat and is leaving the same way.   I had so many plans.  Some came to fruition, others went by the wayside.  Like I totally missed our state fair again this year.  Every year David and I say we want to go, but this year we had a nasty bug and were waylaid for a couple of weeks, so we missed it.

I wanted to go to the zoo.  Haven’t made it there.

I’ve wanted to go on a picnic somewhere besides our backyard. Haven’t done it.

I have been swimming a whole lot more since it’s been so hot and humid this Summer.  But because of the heat and humidity, our lawn grows tall enough that we could bale it before we get the energy to go out and mow.

We tried to buy some more land which would have meant more mowing and I was wondering, “What are we thinking?”  Luckily, we didn’t get it.    They wanted way more than we were willing to pay.   It was all David’s idea.   But I always go along with him.  We are partners in crime, after all.

I took care of dogs and chickens all Summer.  Plus fed the Hummingbirds to the point we use about a five pound bag of sugar every week just for them.   They say animals are dumb?  Then why am I doing all the work, feeding, cleaning after them, taking them to the vet?  Molly hurt her eye somehow so we took her to the vet yesterday. I made an appointment for the morning and went to put her in the car, but she refused.  She weighs eighty-eight pounds so I couldn’t lift her.  I begged, pleaded, and gave her treats, but nothing was getting that dog into the car so I had to cancel the appointment and make one when David was here to get her in the car.  So, guess what?  Time for the appointment, she hopped right up into the car and David looked at me like I was crazy.  Go to the vet, she acts like everyone there is her best friend wagging her tail all over the place.  Even sat still while the vet put drops in her eye.   Get her home, she doesn’t want to get out of the car.  Crazy dog.  But I love her.

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I guess she knows who is boss.

Our garden has overflowed with cucumbers and tomatoes.

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I would go out and pick them one day and the next…….

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Bam!  More. I can only eat so many so David has taken at least a half bushel to work with him and given them away.

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This is my puny try at freezing some tomato juice.  So much work. So little produced.  Considering I don’t even use tomato juice very often, this is plenty for us. I have a friend who cans enough food for her and her husband to last all winter.  I admire her and she puts me to shame, but I’m not ashamed enough to do what she does.

I have three little hills of cucumbers and they have produced enough for David to have all he wants and to take to work and give away.  I am so glad those people like our produce.  I hate to throw it away.

We have had two of the grandboys a couple of nights this Summer which isn’t much, but they and their parents have busy schedules.

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So they had these toothbrushes that lit up when they used them, so we turned off the lights and they demonstrated them for me.  It’s so easy to entertain Grandma.

We did manage to go to one auction.  It rained the entire day so I spent most of it in the car knitting while David stood out in the rain and bought a few things.  He got this for me. Five hours later.

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A cute little Adirondack chair.   As I sat in the car, they sold a boat right in front of me for $500. It was a really nice boat too.

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I’ve knitted socks.   Oh, yes I have.

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David tried a new hairdo.

When we were getting our porch built a couple of years ago, one of the men working for our contractor brought me a flower since he saw I liked flowers.  He told me I couldn’t kill it.   Well, I watered in and kept it protected and watched it die down for the winter and it didn’t come up the next year.  This year it didn’t come up either, at least for a long time. Then one day I saw some leaves where a bare spot use to be, and soon the plant was growing taller and taller, so David made a cage around it so the rabbits wouldn’t eat it.  Now it is a beautiful big plant and I looked up what kind it is.

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It’s called a Passion Flower and is so beautiful.  They only bloom for one day, but there are several flowers on the plant.

We are going to see the Ark in Cincinnati this week.  It’s an exact replica of the one described in the Bible.  There is a zoo there also so I get to make my trip to the zoo.   Thousands of people have already visited it and it just opened this Summer, on Dave’s and my anniversary.

Tomorrow I will start decorating the house for Fall.  Before we know it, it will be election day, then Thanksgiving(hope I will be thankful who got elected) and then Christmas.   Time is coming quickly.   Did you know time comes. it doesn’t go?  I learned that this year.   You can’t stop it.  It’s going to come so make the most of every day and give God the glory.

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He’s provided some glorious sunsets this year.

Here’s to another Summer.  Good-bye, Summer, you were really special.  Bye

 

 

 

 

Halcyon Days and Sock Love

David and I celebrated our forty-eight wedding anniversary this past week.  We decided to take a whole week from weekend to weekend to celebrate.   It’s been a long week.  We wanted to go antiquing, but most of the antique stores we went to were either closed or more like junk sales than antiques.   We wanted to go to a Daylily farm and it rained cats and dogs on us.  In fact, it rained almost the entire week.  We did manage to get to Olive Garden for dinner which was very good.   But it was still all good.  When you have been married to the same man for almost your entire life, you don’t expect fireworks all the time, but we did do fireworks one night in our driveway with some old firecrackers and bottle rockets.  There were people shooting off fireworks all around us.  Some people don’t like this time of year because of all the fireworks, but I love it.  We have had a lot of fireworks in our marriage.  Some good.  Some bad.  As we looked back on our life together, we both feel it’s been a pretty good life.  When I said, “I do,”  I meant it and still do.

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We did get to Streamcliff Farm again and had lunch with our older son and his friend.  I managed not to buy any flowers this time, but I was tempted.  I don’t know what they feed their plants, but all the flowers are huge.

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We couldn’t get over how big these begonias were.

After lunch, we went back to the daylily farm, it wasn’t raining, and yes, I bought some daylilies.

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It’s called New Creation Day Lilies and do they ever have a lot of daylilies.  You picked the ones you wanted and they dug them for you right then.

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The first day we went there, it was raining, as I said. This lady was out in a garden picking off the dead blooms.  She had a bucket full.

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This handsome fellow strutted around crowing and keeping his hens in a row.

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There were several roosters and they were all crowing up a storm.  I love hearing roosters crow.  When we went to the Virgin Islands, chickens roamed all over and you could hear the roosters crowing.  It was such a pleasant sound to me.  It sounds like country.

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The day lilies were gorgeous.

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I brought one of these home with me.  Along with four others.

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We drove through storms during our drives.

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We laugh because we have driven through so many storms in our lives and made it out alive to tell about it.

What’s life without a few storms along the way?

It wasn’t all play however.  Our rhubarb just keeps on growing and we keep on picking it.  I have made two batches of strawberry rhubarb jam.

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The first batch was eaten up almost instantly.  We had company and there was a teen-age boy who really, really liked this.  We went through a couple of jars at that meal.

We have been trying to trap a groundhog that has made its home under our front porch.  This is what we have caught thus far.

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Several bunnies that we let loose back into the yard.

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And this.

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He/she was not a happy camper.  Don’t know whether it’s a male or female and I’m not going to check.

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His/her day was not going as planned. David took it over to the woods across the street from us. Hope it doesn’t find its way back.

Still haven’t caught a groundhog though.

But we do have a lot of these and this one is becoming a sort of pet.  Coming to eat under our bird feeders every evening.

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Peter Rabbit and Farmer MacGregor is no where to be seen.   You’re safe with us, Peter.

Remember when I went to see Susan Branch at a book signing in Cincinnati?  Her husband was handing out seeds from their wisteria vine that grows at their house.  I planted the seeds and now I have two of these.

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I am hoping they will grow and produce flowers one day.

Okay, I can’t get away without writing about socks.  My fingers have been flying and socks have been coming off the needles in record speeds!

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All different sizes. That little sock.  That’s my daughter’s size. She has very tiny feet.  In fact, her next pair I have to make a little bit smaller.  She wears children’s socks.  She certainly doesn’t take after me in that respect.

I peruse yarn webpages like I use to fabric pages. My quilting has been laid by the wayside for a time.   I cannot stop knitting socks.

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I keep buying yarn.

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I really, really like these yarns I got the other day.  All variegated and different shades of color.

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I have knit one sock from this and I absolutely love it.

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I’ve got me a lot of sock loving happening in my future.    Yippee!  I never thought I would ever get the hang of knitting socks, but now that I have, it’s really very simple.  Of course, anything is once you know how to do it!

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Speaking of gardens.  My garden is not doing too shabby.  These are some daylilies I have had for years and divided and planted all over the yard.   I got the first ones at a grocery store.

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I love my Summer garden.   Every year it surprises me.  When Winter gets here, I will think I will never see this again and then, it happens like a miracle every single year.

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I wish my mother could see my garden.  She loved her garden too.  Perhaps she can see it, but then, she’s in the most beautiful garden imaginable as I type.

I will leave you with a picture of what I call the “Screaming Tree.”  When the doctor’s house next door to us was torn down, they also took out deadwood out of an old tree and just left its carcass.

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Every time we pass it I think it looks like it’s screaming.  As if it cannot believe they tore down that beautiful, old house.

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What do you think?  Bye.