Category Archives: Gardening

Every Day is a Gift From God

I don’t often talk about my faith, but I guess I should do it more often.  I have a deep faith in a living God whose Son is my Master and Savior.  I wasn’t always a Christian, even though I went to church every Sunday with my family. I suppose a lot of people think they are Christians just because they go to church, but that is not how it works.   I didn’t know what being a Christian really meant.     But then one Friday night an evangelist explained what being a Christian is.   It’s having a faith in Jesus Christ, who died for all of us, taking our sins upon Himself so that we might enter Heaven one day.  We all are sinners. No one is completely  good even if you just stole a cookie when a child. That is stealing and God cannot allow any sin to enter Heaven so He sent His Son. All we have to do is accept Jesus’ gift of eternal life for us and it is a gift from One who loves you so much he would allow His Son to die a painful, horrible death on a cross.

Being crucified back in the past was a cruel way to die. You were nailed or hung on a cross until you suffocated or died of other causes.  Jesus did that for us.  I don’t know why it was on a cross, but I’m sure there was a reason. Anyway, I believe Jesus died for me and one day I will enter Heaven, not because I am so good, but because He took my sins upon Himself so that my sins would not enter Heaven.  I can’t explain it all. I’ve been studying the Bible almost all my life and I still don’t understand the mystery of receiving eternal life, but I know our spirits never die and have to go somewhere and I prefer mine goes to Heaven.

I believe every day is a gift from God and it is how we choose to live our life shows whether it glorifies God or it doesn’t.   I am not perfect. I still do bad things all the time like lose my temper or think badly of someone, but I know if I ask forgiveness, Jesus will take those sins upon Himself.

The days of Summer are certainly a gift from God.  I love these beautiful Summer days

Here are several reasons why I love Summer.

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I love these sweet little flowers that I grew from seed.  Each is perfect in its own way.

Rudbeckia.  A wonderful Summer flower.

The flowers in my front yard.

Stella De Oro day lilies.

My backyard full of Hibiscus plants.

This one is by our back porch.

The flowers are huge.

My little kitchen garden is full of Hibiscus and Cone flowers and Irises.  Seen through the screen of our back porch.

The Hydrangea by our front porch is especially beautiful this year.

A few years ago when we had our front porch built, one of the men on the crew who knew I loved flowers brought me this plant.  He told me I couldn’t kill it. And he was right. It comes back every year and spreads all over.

The Passion Flower. Doesn’t it look like a doily?  I think it does.

Someone wrote that God loves us so much He sends us flowers.  He has given me some beautiful ones this Summer and I thank Him for them.  How loved I feel.

He gives us the moon and we had a very bright moon a few days ago that shown in the skylight in our bedroom and lit the whole room.  My picture isn’t that great and it doesn’t show how yellow the moon was.  But it was a glorious sight.

This Mourning Dove and all its family visit our bird feeder every day.  They say people can hunt these in my state, but I don’t know why anyone would. There is not much meat on them and they are such a beautiful bird.  I love to hear their mournful call. It reminds me of the Doves I heard at my grandpa’s many years ago.

Who could shoot one of these birds?

Mr. Bunny came visiting me at the bird feeder.  He or she likes to nibble the seeds the birds drop on the ground. It doesn’t act afraid of me when it comes.

Something caught its eye, however.

And it leapt away.

I’ve spent some time in here this Summer. It has to be really hot for me to get in and it was hot a few days last month.  Hope I can get in at least a few more times before we close it.  We are getting a new liner put in this Summer or Fall when they get to us.  This liner is over twenty years old and has a few holes where puppies fell in and clawed their way out.  Sugar and Lucy won’t go in the water now.

They are such happy dogs. I tell them every day that they are spoiled rotten.

Molly agrees!

Just a few pictures of a drive we took the other day. We had had some heavy rain and the fields showed it.

The rivers were up.

We took a drive through a state forest.

We saw this enormous burl on a tree.  People sell these things.

One last thing.  I planted some old potatoes this Spring and what do you know, I grew more potatoes.

Probably almost a five pound bag full.  We boiled them and ate them and I fried the ones left over and they were good.

Hope God is giving you flowers and all the love you need.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

Already June

If the days go much faster, I may as well stay in bed because night comes so fast and I wonder what I got done and where did the day go?    It’s crazy.  We have been busy the past few weeks and every time I think I will write a blog post, something else takes my attention and another day is gone.  With grandson’s ball games and our granddaughter’s wedding shower we don’t lack for places to go.

Got to see one of this young man’s ball games.  The ball park was out in the boondocks. We drove and drove back roads and finally found it, then discovered there was a shorter way to it, but the drive was nice.  His team lost, but he did strike out all the batters in the inning he pitched except one who hit a homerun.   I love watching baseball because I understand it and I use to play it when I was a girl.  I was on a girls’ softball team one Summer and we traveled around to different towns and played.  It was so much fun and it was a great bunch of girls on the team.   I think we were pretty good if I remember right.

And we got to see this young man play soccer.  I understand soccer pretty well, but because we were sitting so far away, it was hard to tell who was who.  His team won their game.  Just wish the boys lived nearer so we could go to more games because I really love seeing them play.

One of my projects this Spring was to clean off my shop porch and make a small raised bed garden in front of it.  My porch had become the catch all for everything from garden supplies to David’s tools, to just junk so I want it all gone.

We took some steps from our old back deck to make the raised beds. Turned the steps upside down and there we had a raised bed.

An old chicken laying stand is used for a backdrop and to display a few flowers. I found the white chicken at an antique store a couple of weeks ago and I bought the metal chicken at Rural King last year. The little girl statue is named Sara after our daughter.

Since this picture was taken the leaf lettuce is almost ready to pick.  I love wilted lettuce made by cooking chopped onion and bacon together, stirring in some vinegar and brown sugar and pouring it over leaf lettuce. Yum.  Don’t have the measurements I use, just trial and error.

We have had this old grill sitting back by the dog pen for the last few years and every year I told David I wanted to do something with it, so this year I did.   Cleaned it up, sprayed it with spray paint and it makes a wonderful place to plant flowers and display them.   I’m really pleased with it, if I do say so myself.

Used some barn quilts I painted a few years back to hide the mess under the porch table.

Put this lavender in a maple syrup bucket.

I have lots of room in front of my shop to plant a lot more if I want to. Since it’s hazardous to anything I plant in the back yard with the puppies still chewing on everything, I am using what I can to plant what I can. Just this week they tore out an azalea I had just transplanted while digging for a mole, so I put the azalea in my kitchen garden which is fenced in.  I will have to show you that garden another time. I have been pulling wheel barrows full of weeds out of it. I haven’t been able to weed in there for the past few years and the Creeping Charley took over. Now Creeping Charlie is kind of pretty in its own way, but it tends to take over a flower bed and a lawn.  It just about kills me to weed now, but I’m determined to get that garden back in shape. I have discovered several Hibiscus that were overtaken with the weed, but now they have sunshine and just in the past couple of days they have grown taller. I also pulled out poison ivy and dug up a little tree that had taken up residence.

A few years back I planted some wildflower seeds from Wildflower Seeds Farm out of Fredericksburg, Texas.  We visited there a few years ago and it was amazing.  Anyway, the only flowers that keep coming back from that planting are these Dame’s Rocket.  And they have spread.  I’ve got potatoes planted in that old wash tub that doesn’t have a bottom.

 

Dame’s Rocket is so pretty. It crossed the drive and planted itself right by our walk up to our  front porch. We had to mow some down because it was taking over, but I love it.

Here it is by the front porch steps. I really wouldn’t care if it spread all over the yard. It seems to bloom forever and it’s self-seeding which are wonderful traits for a flower.

Just a few of the Iris I have in my gardens.  One day a complete stranger stopped and asked me if he could have a start of that bright orange Iris. I told him sure if he had anything he could trade me for it.  So a few days later that man brought me a small lilac bush and this year those lilacs were so beautiful and smelled heavenly and we already have transplanted another lilac bush from it and there is another sprout we are going to transplant.  So it’s fun to trade plants with people. I hope my flowers are doing as well for that man. And those orange Irises have spread to different parts of the garden and I haven’t touched them!

The snowball bush I thought had died last year put on quite a show although the flowers were smaller than usual.

And the small bush that we transplanted from the older bush really did well this year.  We got the original plant from David’s grandmother’s yard years and years ago.

You can make a planter out of anything. This is an old fertilizer spreader that’s seen better days.  Just a paint job and David put a board inside to hold the dirt and voila!  Flowers in bloom.

The peonies were absolutely gorgeous this year. My favorite flower. And here is art imitating life. I painted the picture last Winter and tried to imitate it with my own bottle and flower.

Funny what I can get up to with time on my hands!

Who doesn’t like peonies? If you don’t, I’m not sure about you!   They are so beautiful and many smell so good. Their only problem is they don’t last long enough in the Spring.  I’ve ordered nine more of them for planting this Fall.

If I were getting married again I would want a huge bouquet of peonies to carry down the aisle.

I love Spring skies. Pastels just like in the garden. Finally warmed up enough that I wasn’t chilled for a few days and then it got cold again and now it’s back to normal.

I have much more to write about, but I will end with two of the best things that have happened in the past month. My oldest son and his girlfriend finally decided to get married.  They have been together for eleven years and her son is like a son to my son(got that?)  So one day they just decided to get married without a ring or anything.  They bought a house together.

It’s in a beautiful division with houses that look old from the outside.  It’s very pretty on the inside also.

This is the happy couple and their son and dog, Annie who is so cute.

I think they all like each other and I officially have six grandchildren now.  The more, the merrier.

And speaking of weddings. Our oldest granddaughter is getting married in July just three days after our 53rd wedding anniversary.  A shower was held for her last Saturday.

There was lots of yummy food although this is the only thing I got a picture of.

This girl is not my granddaughter, but I’ve known her since she was a wee baby. She and her mother and I made quilts for the babies at Riley’s Children’s hospital. When she was first born she spent her first few weeks there because she was premature, but here she is now. The quilts were her senior project by the way and now she’s already graduated from college and is teaching English.

My granddaughter in glasses. She graduated from Purdue University in three years with honors, already has a job this Summer at the Children’s museum and she and her future husband have already bought a house.  She got straight A’s, by the way, but I’m not at all proud of her!!!

We all wrote questions for her to answer and also we wrote down when we first met her and she had to guess who wrote each note.  It was easy for her to guess mine as I’ve known her since she was born.

There were lots of laughs and some tears, but a good time was had by all.

I will end right here which is a good way to end. Bye.

 

 

 

 

What’s Happening

Once again I lost a complete blog including the pictures.  Our son got the blog running again and my pictures are up there somewhere in a cloud, I guess, but to get each one in the right place on every blog I’ve written the last several years would take a miracle and I don’t have the brains to figure out how to do it, anyway, and it would take me months to untangle it all, so I’m starting over again.

I’ve been taking lots of pictures because this time of year is just beautiful and we have done some family things and I’m working on several projects.  Maybe my next post I will have pictures ready, but right now I’m just too tired to do it.  David and I have been planting trees and perennials. Well, I point and David plants them where I tell him to.   I’ve ordered nine more peonies that won’t be delivered until Fall so we will have time to get their beds ready.  Since we aren’t planting too much in the back yard right now because of the puppies, I made a little garden in front of my shop with flowers, potatoes, cucumbers and leaf lettuce growing.  We sit out on the swing and I tell David this is my little world, all of it.  When we do plant something in the back yard we have to put fencing around it or it would be totally destroyed.   Sugar seems to be the main culprit chewing on everything she can find.  She hauls up whole logs and chews on them. She must have a stomach of steel as it doesn’t seem to harm her.

Speaking of Lucy and Sugar and Molly, too, all three dogs have become wonderful fetchers.  Lucy goes so far as to try to throw the toy to us when she brings it.  And she’s very demanding about us throwing toys for her.  I’ve never seen a dog who loved to fetch as much as she does.  Sugar on the other hand will run with the toy and won’t bring it.  She needs  a little work, but we will teach her.

I finished another quilt top. A basic four patch and I find I love the simplicity of it and can’t wait to get it completed.  I had the perfect backing for it, just hope it’s big enough.  I have another quilt on the machine and as soon as I get it done, I’ll start quilting the four patch.

Our granddaughter, our oldest grandchild, graduated with honors from Purdue University this week.  She was only allowed two tickets so we didn’t get to go. She graduated in three years with a grade point average of 4.0.   All A’s.  She doesn’t take after me that’s for sure.   She is getting married in July and then will go straight back to college to get her Masters.  She is working in a museum this Summer which is what she wants to do.   Plus she and her fiance’ have already purchased a house.  And they say bad things about this generation.  I don’t think so.

I’ve read several good books. I discovered the author, D.E. Stevenson, who writes about English life in the forties, fifties and sixties. They are gentle stories which I find to my liking. No swear words in them.  What is it with authors and/or writers of all types who think they must include cursing and taking God’s name in vain? Every movie I’ve watched lately the actors use the “F” word.  To be honest, I don’t know anyone who uses that word or curses with abandon.  I’m not saying I’ve NEVER used a curse word, but it’s usually when I’m alone and am frustrated about something.  I’d be ashamed for anyone to hear me, though.  Anyway, I just would love to watch a good movie with no cursing.  David and I did just finish watching Five Stories Up with Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton. Two of my favorite actors.  I don’ think either one has ever made a bad movie.  At least I’ve never seen a bad one of theirs. Seems they know how to pick them.   Some actors just consistantly choose bad movies to be in. Is it poor judgement or do they really think they can make them better?

About my granddaughter’s wedding. Neither she nor her fiance’ like wedding cake so they are asking several people to bring a dessert. I am baking several different cakes and have been looking at a couple I want to test before the wedding to make sure they are good.  One is called Magic Pumpkin Cake, a cross between a cake and a pumpkin pie with whipped topping on top. I think it’s a really good idea of them and lets people be involved in the wedding.  I did ask my granddaughter to please not have me speak in front of everyone.  At our daughter’s wedding years ago me and the other mother had to light the  Unity candle and while we were lighting it, it fell over and I imagined the whole place going up in flames. Luckily the other mother had the sense to put it upright again and we continued with the lighting.   Our granddaughter is having her wedding held in a museum. Seems she has a theme going.

I think I will finish right now. Just wanted you to know I had not left my blog. My blog left me.

Here’s to many more posts to come. Bye.

 

Making it Through the Quarantine

Does it seem to you that this quarantine has gone on forever?   I’m sure our president has to be very careful about lifting it. Will the media attack him if even one person dies of the virus?  Or will people celebrate they are free to move around again and be out in society not fearing to be exposed?   It’s a difficult decision, but the quarantine has to be lifted sometime.  There will always be a virus around us and we cannot hide out from it forever.

Not to make light of it and  knowing many people were affected and some have died, this quarantine has not affected me very much. We went to the grocery yesterday and there were people walking around with masks and gloves on.  David and I were not wearing either and we were not concerned at all.  The grocery had some shelves that were empty, but most things I wanted were there so we are good for another month.  A friend of mine went to the same store today and actually had toilet paper taken from her cart when she wasn’t looking.  I don’t understand this toilet paper shortage at all.

It’s been nice having David home.  We are finding out we will not kill each other by being together for weeks on end.  He respects my need for privacy and time alone and I cook for him. It’s all worked out!

I told you we painted a bedroom and here are a few pictures after we put everything back into the room, minus a few things.

I absolutely love the color we painted the walls.

We folded some of the quilts on an old trunk.  We also refolded all the rest of my quilts and put them in another room. I must have at least one hundred.

This is David’s grandfather’s old rocker that my daddy stripped and refinished for me one Christmas long ago.  David’s grandpa would sit on his front porch and smoke a cigar every evening. When my mother and I would drive by his house at night, all we could see was the lit end of the cigar and mom would say, “There’s Mr. Henley, smoking his cigar.”  I didn’t know at the time I would be his granddaughter-in-law one day.  These are three quilts I’ve made.

I’ve still got to get some linen pillowcases and we just ordered a Victorian crystal chandelier and the room will be completed.

Can’t remember where we got this old chest of drawers. Probably an auction.

David learned his folding skills while working for Ralph Lauren. He’s folded so many clothes in the years he’s worked there so when I need things folded very neatly, I ask David.  I had a pile of tablecloths I’ve collected over the years and he folded them for me. I asked him to count them so I’d know how many I have.

Here they all are. He said I have one hundred tablecloths!   I had no idea.  I’m going to have to start getting rid of a few I think.  But doesn’t that pile look neat?  I would never be able to fold those so neatly.

When the days are warm ,we spend a lot of time on one of our porch swings and watch the world go by. Of course, not too much of the world is going by at this time because of the virus, but there are people still traveling the roads going some place.  We had an eighty degree day this week, but today it’s in the fifties and will freeze tonight.  While sitting on the swing on my shop front porch a few days ago we saw this…

Peeking through the trees across the road a big moon was glowing.

So David ran in and got the camera and we took some picture of the super moon. The Pink Moon or Planting Moon it is called.

I love the silhouettes of the branches across the moon’s face.

Then David took some close ups.

The moon is absolutely beautiful. They say we only have so many full moons in our lives. I’ve seen most of the ones I’m going to see, but I hope I have a few left.

Skipping along. David found an old fruit press we got a long time ago.  We had a few oranges so he made some juice. How many oranges does it take to make a glass of juice?

Quite a few. And with the juice and some zest I made the best orange chiffon cake with orange icing.  I didn’t get a picture of it, but suffice it to say it was delicious!  I’m going to make another one this week.

Can’t leave without showing the garden and how it’s springing to life.

The weeping cherry is about ready to blossom and the pink flowering almond is full of bloom.

More pink flowering almond beside the house.

The Azalea in full bloom.

We cut down dead foliage, but this space will soon be full of hydrangea and Indigo.

Redbud is everywhere in Indiana.  This one is in my front yard.

Last, but not least, is the crabapple. It doesn’t look like much now, but when it blooms it will be glorious.

Hope you are faring well during this season of  our lives.  Enjoy Spring Or Autumn, if that is what it is in your part of the world.  Wishing everyone a very blessed Easter.  He is risen!   Bye.

 

 

 

 

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.