Category Archives: Books I’m reading

Windows, Chickens and Flowers, Oh, My

Been busy around the old house the past few days, or is it weeks?  I’m not sure, time is flying so fast.  I have to keep my shirttails tucked in to keep them from flying, time is going so fast. Did I say time is going fast?   In my Bible study this week I learned that time is not going, it’s coming.  There is something really big coming our way.  The Bible speaks of her time coming, his time coming, the time came.  I find that fascinating.   I don’t really worry about time.  We all have a certain amount of it on this earth and we should make the best of it and give God the glory and love one another.  That is really all we can do.  We cannot change the weather.  We cannot change time.  We really don’t have control of much of anything when you really think about it, but if you put it all in God’s hands, it will all work out for the good(to those who love Him.)

Whew, I didn’t mean to get all theological on you, but that’s how I am.  Things have been happening around here.  We called our ever faithful contractor to replace more windows.  This house has so many windows and they all have been in the house since about the fifties, I believe, so one by one we have been replacing them with brand new insulated, double paned windows  when we save up the money.  This time we replaced our big window in our dining room.  Our contractor said we saved the hardest window for almost last.  It had to be rebuilt, repainted and replaced.

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Here it is taken out.  Nice breeze today.

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We have a nice view.  Well, when the trucks and ladders aren’t there.

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Reframing it. These men are pros.  They have worked together for years and work like a well oiled machine.  They almost know what the other one is going to say before he says it.

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New windows at last!  I was a little afraid that by replacing these windows we would lose some of the old woodwork around it and change the look, but now that they are in, it looks just the same, except we don’t have those awful, old, ugly storm windows on them any longer.  They will be so much easier to clean.

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I couldn’t wait to get some curtains hung.  See my new ladder.  It’s mine.  I picked it out and I will be the one using it for painting walls.  It’s sturdy, not like our old wooden one that rocked when I climbed on it and swayed with each movement.   This one stands strong and firm and I love it.  Really.

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I am using lace curtains this Summer, but I have bought new insulated checked curtains for this Autumn and Winter.

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After the windows were in, I painted our dining room.  A soft grey.  Sometimes it looks cream colored and other times really grey depending on the light.  I like it.  I was getting tired of the yellow walls that I really loved when I painted them a few years ago.  I’m fickle like that.  David and I went to Hobby Lobby this morning because we(I) wanted to get some flowers to put in my chicken feeder that I received as a Christmas gift last year.

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Remember when I wrote about this surprise gift that appeared on our front porch?  I didn’t know what it was or who it was from.

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It was this really nice, antique chicken feeder.  I told my friend who gave it to me that I was going to design a room around it, and I have.  Here it is, Shannon.  Look what you made me do.

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I sent away for these chicken posters.  The flowers I found at Hobby Lobby had feathers in them!  How appropriate.  Now the feeder sits in all its glory.  I love how this turned out.  Hanging the pictures was fun(not.)  David measured and measured and measured again and one of the pictures kept looking lower than the other.  I measure things with my eye and kept telling him they were not level with each other.  He measured and measured and measured again and finally decided our lopsided old house was the problem so he let?! me eyeball the pictures and we finally got them almost level.  As a friend use to tell me, “You will never notice it on a galloping horse.”

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I love these pictures.

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He could be the husband of one of my barred rock hens.  Wish I could have a rooster.

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We rehung this picture our daughter gave us last Christmas.  Kind of goes with the theme of farm and chickens.

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I have been picking these the last couple of weeks.  My favorite flower.  The peony.

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I have tried to get a little of this in, but haven’t got much done on the doll quilts lately.  I am hand quilting them as I get them pieced.

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I saw this purse on a blog, I wish I could remember which one and got on Fat Quarter Shop and ordered the pattern.  The Abby Bag.  I hope I can find time to make it.  Of course, I will have to make my granddaughter, Abby, one some time.

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Just finished reading this for the second time.  I got this book either at an auction or an antique store.  It’s about a woman who was left behind at her family’s cabin in Alaska one winter when her husband couldn’t get back to get her.  She went through many trials and tribulations like being in a landslide and breaking her arm and hurting her leg right off the bat.  Besides that, she was expecting a baby and had to deal with that and give birth all by herself.  It is a true story and when I read it, I realized I don’t have it hard at all, although I would really love to live in Alaska.

Maybe hard times is what hones us and makes us stronger.  To live a life of ease and relaxation all the time would be a complete bore to me.  I like action and hard work and doing things myself even if they don’t always turn out so well.   Anyway, if you ever get to read this book, I think you would enjoy it.  It was also made into a movie.  I’d like to find it.  I saw it a long time ago.

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Just wanted to show you something my Sunday school children made last Sunday.  They did all the cutting out and gluing and putting on stickers and I brought home the squares and tied them all together and will take it back to show them next Sunday.  We should do as the words say, “Love one another.”  Bye.

 

Marjorie’s Almanac and Opie Taylor

Ah, May.  The time when flowers are fairly bursting into bloom.  When gentle breezes and sudden showers make the world green and glorious.  I came across this little book a good while back.   These books came in the mail back in the sixties and one would be sent to you every so often as long as you subscribed.  I didn’t get very many of them, but this one was a favorite and had some favorite poetry called Marjorie’s Almanac.

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There was a poem for every season.  This one was my favorite and I memorized it and can say it even now.

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I do think Maytime is pleasanter than March although I do like March too.   One of the poems for Autumn is very politically incorrect in this day and age of speech control, but at the time it was innocent and did not demean anyone, but it would certainly be looked at differently today.  I will not show it here, but I have it memorized also.

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Green things are growing everywhere you pass.  Even Molly Marshmallow likes it so much she does this……

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Picks one of my biggest and brightest irises and brings it up to the back deck for me.  Such a thoughtful puppy!

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Glad I got a picture of them before they became Molly munchies.

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See how proud she is of herself for picking my flowers?

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I’m thinking she belongs in jail.  She looks good behind bars.  Don’t you think?

She has brought up dead birds, moles, broken toys, pieces of board and other things to share with me.  She will soon be one year old and I am hoping that this chewing and destroying will come to an end sometime.

This past Sunday after church, we headed to Danville, Indiana where they were celebrating Mayberry Days.  If you don’t know what that is, I will explain.   Back in the sixties there was a television show called The Andy Griffith Show.  It starred Andy Griffith, of course, and was a bout a sheriff in a small southern town called Mayberry.  The town had a lot of quirky, funny people.  People like Gomer, Goober, Earnest T. Bass, Aunt Bee, who was Andy’s aunt in the show, Opie, Andy’s red headed son, Floyd the barber,  Howard Sprake,  Barney Fife, Andy’s deputy sheriff and Ellie May,(correction. Thelma Lou was Barney’s girl friend. Ellie May was a Clampett.) There were lots of others, but these were the main characters.  Anyway, Danville has a Mayberry café in town and every year they have a Mayberry day.  The only reason I knew about it was that this year our grandson was entered in the Opie Taylor look alike contest.

Several boys and I guess a man or two entered the contest and they had to go and be in a parade on Saturday and be judged.  Sunday they announced the winner.

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This man played Barney Fife, and if you ever watched the show, you would not believe how much he looked like and acted like Barney.  He was kind of the master of ceremonies at the event.  Here he is getting ready to announce the Opie look alike winner.  We all sat there on pins and needles. (We adults already knew who had won because the parents had been called the night before to be sure the winner would be here.)   Barney took forever to announce the name.  My grandson sat there in suspense.  Then, suddenly Barney said, “And the winner of the Opie Taylor look alike contest is…….. Adler Grey Craig!”  Well, we all screamed as Adler went up on stage to get his prizes.

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Here he is talking to Barney Fife.  It was almost surreal to see those two together.

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Adler received a really nice gold trophy, one hundred dollars and free meals at the Mayberry café for one whole year.  That was pretty nice, I’d say, for a boy.

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He became kind of a celebrity as he had his picture taken with several people.  Here he is with Aunt Bee.

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This little boy was also in the running and they got a picture together.

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Here are the actors who played Gomer Pyle and the mayor of Mayberry.

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Gomer and Goober did an act.

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Floyd the barber and Barney.

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There was a Mayberry band and they played a couple of original songs.  One was about a rooster which got me laughing so hard tears were running down my cheeks and my stomach hurt and one of the guys on stage said I was shaking like a bowl of Jello and another guy offered me his red handkerchief, but I was laughing so hard I just wanted them to ignore me.  You had to hear the song.

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Danville has a really nice museum and we got to look through it a bit although we really went there to see Aunt Bee.

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There she is in her kitchen.

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Her famous pickles were on the counter. If you were a fan of the Andy Griffith show, you will remember when Aunt Bee was making pickles for the county fair and how many Barney and Andy had to eat.  One of the more memorable shows.

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Barney was handing out tickets and David got this one for walking too fast on the sidewalk.

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We learned that all the characters who were there that day came from all over the United States.  Only two were local people.

 

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Nostalgia was everywhere.  I even saw an old Farmall  tractor like my daddy use to drive on the farm.  All in all it was a fun day and I am so glad we went.  If you are near Danville Indiana this time next year, you really ought to stop on by and visit the Mayberry festival.  There is a Mayberry café that serves really good food and all the televisions around the café show the Andy Griffith show continuously.  It is open year round.

Here’s to good times and good memories. Bye.

Winter Then and Now

        I get up in the morning from my toasty warm bed, warmed by the heated mattress pad.  I come down the stairs and turn up the thermostat to a warmer temperature.  I then proceed to make a pot of coffee, listen to the news on television and start my day.

I think sometimes of how others long ago woke up on frosty mornings like today and how their day began.  First they would struggle from under their multiple layers of covers ,if they were fortunate to have several blankets, and put their feet on icy floors.  As they scrambled to put on their clothes, they looked out windows with frost upon them.  Then they would have to put wood in the stove or the fireplace.  Wood that they had spent time cutting and stacking the days and weeks before.  The night before they had banked the fire so that it would still have embers in the morning to catch fire.  

As their fire was beginning to burn, they would go outside to the shed where meat might be hanging and cut off some to fry in a pan.  Then they would trudge through banks of snow to the chicken house to gather the eggs before they froze in their nests and bring them in for their breakfast and baking.  They would fill a pot with water and put it on the stove or over the fireplace to heat.  The milk would come later after they milked the cows.

Meanwhile, I have already drank a cup or two of coffee, put my toast in the toaster and taken jam out of the refrigerator.   The house is becoming nice and warm and I can go about my day in comfort.

Our ancestors, meanwhile were still working on making the fire and adding wood to it to make it hotter.  The warmest place in the house was directly in front of the fireplace or stove.  I remember gathering around the stove on frigid winter mornings in our kitchen which was the warmest room in the house.  I was blessed to have a father who had already gotten up early to make the fire so that the house would be warm for his family.

As I go through my day, I don’t worry about keeping warm as the furnace keeps pumping warm air up through the registers and my house is comfortable. 

Our ancestors, however, had to bring in wood from the woodpile several times a day to keep the fire going.  Part of the day was spent splitting wood and stacking it by the door.  Cold foods were kept outside because there was no refrigerator.   I just open a door and there is plenty of food for the day or week. 

Animals had to be fed and watered as they were the family’s livelihood.  Cows had to be milked, chickens fed and eggs gathered, pigs fed and bales of straw spread for beds for the animals.

I get my milk from the refrigerator and remember the times when my daddy had to go out in the cold winter mornings to milk the cows.  Cows needed to be milked every day.  We drank the good cow’s milk after Mother pasteurized it in the pasteurizer.   

Not a day goes by in winter that I don’t think about how easy I have it compared to those who lived long before me.  Roads are quickly cleared now so that people can get into their warm cars and go where they want to go.  Years ago people had to harness their horses or mules and get in their wagons or sleighs to go anywhere.  Roads were not cleared for them, nor did they expect them to be.   We complain if the roads aren’t cleared within hours of a snow storm.

  Every winter about this time, I read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book, The Long Winter.  It reminds me how hard it use to be in the winter for people.  Laura’s family had to heat their house with twisted straw as the long winter commenced because all the wood was gone.  They had no way to get food because the train could not get through to bring supplies to their little town on the prairie.  People were starving and they could not even find anything to hunt.  Finally, Almanzo Wilder, Laura’s one day to be husband, and another man took out across the prairie to find a man that was rumored to have a large supply of wheat.  They were to go there and bring some back for the townspeople.  It was a very exciting trip they had.  They made it before the next blizzard came through and saved the  townspeople from starving to death.

As night draws nigh, I take a bath in a warm tub and heat my pajamas in the dryer before I put them on.  Then at bed time I get back into my nicely heated bed and go to sleep.

My ancestors had to bank the fire, be sure that all the animals were in for the night.  They had to haul water for their baths, heat it beforehand, and afterward they got into their icy cold beds and probably slept as soundly as I do.   I am so thankful I don’t have to worry about where my heat is coming from in the morning or work so hard to get my food.  I thank my ancestors for being the hardy people they were. 

Think about your ancestors when you get up in these cold, winter mornings and thank God you don’t have to do all they had to do just to survive.  Here’s to hardy ancestors.  Bye.

What I am Reading

A couple of years back, someone asked me if I read books.  I immediately knew exactly how Sarah Palin felt when she was asked that inane question by a silly so-called journalist who evidently hadn’t done her homework.  Of course she reads. How else could she have ever become a governor of a state?  It was a question posed to make her look stupid, but she is still around and the so-called journalist isn’t. I am sure Sarah Palin felt that was an insulting question because men politicians are never asked a question like that.  Okay, that’s all the politics for the day.   Anyway, when I was asked that question I felt slightly insulted and amazed that there was someone who knew me and didn’t know I loved to read.  But I nicely told this person, “yes, I do read.”

I may look like a dumb blonde, and some may think so, but I read incessantly.  I have to have a book to read at all times.  I read magazines, books, and Bible studies.  I read several blogs that are very interesting.   There are many talented writers out there who have their little blogs and should be writing novels, I’m telling you.

Anyway, yes, I do read books and here is what is on my bedside table right now.

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A wonderful daily devotional that makes one feel that Jesus is actually writing to them.  It seems each day, the subject covered fits what I am going through at that particular moment.

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Ahh, Pride and Prejudice. I have had this little paperback book for ages.  I think I got it at a garage sale once.  I kept telling myself I should read it.  I have seen many adaptions of the book in movies.  The one with Greer Garson as Elizabeth Bennett was kind of silly, I thought. But Lawrence Olivier was wonderful as he always was and so handsome as Mr. Darcy.    Then there was the nightmare that was Keira Knightly as Elizabeth that was made in the last few years. I don’t even remember the Mr. Darcy in that version.  I am sorry, but I didn’t like that version at all. Maybe it was because I was spoiled by the best version ever.  My very favorite Elizabeth was Jennifer Ehle in A and E’s adaptation.  And who could forget Colin Firth?  Sigh.  He is the only Mr. Darcy as far as I am concerned.  I have that version on tape and think I will watch it soon again.  I finally read the book and just loved it.  I could see Elizabeth(Jennifer Ehle) and Mr. Darcy(Colin Firth) so vividly in my mind’s eye.

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The Reader’s Digest.  My mother use to take it for years and I took it for years also.  I think I got this particular book at an antique store where I buy a lot of my books now.  I am reading Fannie Flagg’s “Welcome to the World, Baby Girl.”  I  read Norah Robert’s “River’s End” years ago.  Both very good.

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Our church has a Christian book library and I get a book out of there once in a while and this is the one I am reading now.

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Gladys Tabor’s book, “Stillmeadow Calendar.”  Ms. Tabor use to write for Woman’s Day, I think, and I would read her articles in my mother’s magazine.  She wrote homey things about keeping house and a farm and doing all the things that come with that.  I found this book at an antique store and read a little bit from it once in a while.

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Jan Karon has a new book out about Mitford, hurrah, hurray.  If you have not read any of her books about the little southern town of Mitford and Father Tim, you have missed something wonderful.  I have read the whole series three times through and will probably one day read them again as they are so good.  It’s been a while since Ms. Karon has written about Mitford and I cannot wait to get into this one.  We visited the town of Blowing Rock, North Carolina last fall, which I wrote about in my blog.  The books were based on a town just like Blowing Rock where Ms. Karon lived for a time.

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There is always a book on my Kindle.  I love my Kindle because I can read in the middle of the night without turning any lights on and waking David.

We did some antiquing Saturday and among the things I bought were some more books.

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Since Christmas is just around the corner, I thought this book would be nice to read.  I saw the made for tv movie from it and it was so sad, but good.

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Some James Patterson’s books I like and some, not so much.  I hope this will be a good one.

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Since I am training yet another dog, I thought I could use a refresher course in dog training and bought this book cheap.

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I have read many of Anne Rivers Siddons’ books, but I had not seen this one before.  It’s one of her earlier books so I am glad I found it.   It’s about the south and how it changed over time.  I love books about the south.  I would have made a great southern belle.  Yet, I would love to live in Alaska.  Call me crazy.

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Yes, I love to read.  I hope you do too.  Bye.

 

Antiquing and Grandparents’ Days

My three grandchildren’s schools had grandparents’s days this week.  I really love to go to them.  This year we had a grandchild in elementary, middle school and high school.  Grandparent’s day was held on three separate days which meant we had to get up at the crack of dawn and drive an hour to get to their school.  We made it to the elementary school and the middle school, but we had substitutes go for our granddaughter’s day.  We are sincerely thankful they did because after the two days we were completely exhausted.  The first day was at our grandson’s school in the elementary building.  He is in the third grade and we so enjoyed spending some time in his classroom, meeting his teacher and seeing what they do every day.  As they go to a Christian school, they memorize Bible verses.  My grandchildren memorize complete books of the Bible which puts me to shame. Anyway, I forgot my camera the first day so didn’t get any pictures.  We took our third grader out to eat at Steak and Shake and had a nice visit with him.  Wish I had gotten some pictures of him.  He’s a sweetheart. The next day we went to the middle school.

 

 

 

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This is our middle school grandson.  He is the sweetest, kindest, funniest, person.  I love being with him.  He is taller than me now and getting taller every time I see him.

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The kids in this school are so talented.  This is the jazz band playing old songs we grandparents love.

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The school and its students were so welcoming every day.

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David was there for the donuts!  How did we get in with all these “old’ people?  Huh???

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This is our grandson’s locker.  Not too messy.  We saw one girl’s locker that was totally organized, color coordinated and had a mini chandelier in it.  Now that’s organization.  I don’t think my locker looked this good when I was in school.

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This boy is totally into sports.  Of any kind.  I especially like lacrosse. He’s playing basketball right now.

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All the grandparents wrote something to their grandchild on a wall.  We do that every year.  We took our middle schooler out to eat and spent some time visiting with him.  It was a nice two days.  Two of our granddaughter’s relatives went to her grandparents’ day, but I told David I don’t care if it kills us, we are going to all of  the three days next year.   I really missed seeing my granddaughter. She’s the one who has had a book published and is writing another one.  I am so proud of her.  I’m proud of all my grandchildren.   We have been blessed with the best.

Coming home yesterday we took the back roads.  It certainly looks like Autumn now and the trees are changing rapidly. It was such a beautiful day even though it was raining.  We ended up in Franklin, where we found five antique stores right together on one block.  Of course we had to go through them all, although I must say my feet were killing me because I wore these cute boots that hadn’t been broken in and every step was painful, but I wasn’t going to miss an antique shop. We walked out on a porch of one of them and saw a raccoon in a cage.  We asked the owners if they knew it was there and they didn’t, but they were trying to trap it because it had been causing some trouble.  So they called animal control.

Of course, I found a few things I couldn’t do without.  It’s becoming harder to do as my house is an antique store itself.

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I found this wool rooster rug which I am using in front of my sink in the kitchen.

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I am always looking for books.   I love Mary Higgins Clark books and this is one by her daughter.  Hope it’s as good as her mother’s books are.

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My find of the day was this laundry tub and rack and a cute sign.

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The sign isn’t old, but I liked it. Not sure how I will display the tub and rack, but I am sure I will find a place to put it.  Hang a couple of towels on both ends.  Instant nostalgia.

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Our porch is all decorated for the season.  I can’t wait to decorate it for Christmas..  We are going to have a Christmas tree on the porch this year.

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Since I didn’t have enough pillows on our sofa, I made a new one.

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I started it last year and I have been moving it around in my shop getting it out of the way and one day I decided to get it done and get it out of there.  It goes well with my other Autumn pillows.

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That pillow in the corner that you can hardly see was made by my mother years ago.

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My new favorite candle scent right now.  I could eat this candle it smells so good.

Some new little people have joined us.

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This is Minnie.

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This is Grandma Moses.

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This is Scar the Pirate.  I will be using them in my Sunday school class in the weeks ahead.  How does a pirate fit into a Sunday school lesson?  I will have to think about that, but I am sure I can come up with a good story. Bye.

 

 

 

Insomnia

Do you ever suffer with insomnia?  I have in the past.  When I use to clean our church, I would go in at 2:00 in the morning and work until 8:00 or 9:00.  Then I would come home and take a one or two hour nap and get up and go about my day.  I did that for about ten years.  I really messed up , my sleep schedule.

I have always liked the middle of  the night when it is quiet and I can read or watch tv or knit or quilt without interruption.  But right now, I want to sleep a full night and usually I have, but for the past couple of nights I have awakened a couple of hours after I have gone to sleep and I toss and turn.  So I come downstairs and check Facebook, mail and the news on my computer and have the tv on in the background.  I like the ID channel where they solve murders.

The reason I have been waking up is because the muscles in my feet and legs are screaming with pain.  I could hardly get my knees to unbend without terrible pain.  The reason for this is that I have taken up walking with a vengeance now.  I am trying to walk at least three miles a day and am working for five or six.   When I am up and walking around, my legs don’t hurt at all.  If I could sleep standing up, maybe things would be better.

So, here I am at 12:49 a.m. typing on my computer whining about my aches and pains.  I am sure that’s why you come here to read about my complaints.  But I am determined to walk as much every day as I have time for.  It takes me about an hour to walk four miles.   Belle or Molly walk with me.  On Thanksgiving day I am walking a 5K with family members before our big meal of the day.  It sounds like fun.  It’s for a food bank in our city and price of entering is five cans of food and ten dollars for a shirt.  I love walking in 5Ks.  There is a feeling of  being in something together with others and having people walking with you that gives you the incentive to continue.

I could never run a 5K.  Sometimes Molly wants to run when I am walking her and she drags me running behind her, but it jars my bones.  I ran a little in my youth, but never liked it much. I also use to jump hurdles, but I’m not getting this behind over any hurdles ever again!  Both my sons have run in marathons and I admire them for doing so, but I could never do that.  We just had a big marathon in our city that involved a train across the tracks when runners were going over the railroad crossing  There was a big brouhaha and people are angry with the train officials who had said the train would not run during the marathon.  Marathon runners are serious about it and anything that ruins their time makes them a little upset and I don’t blame them after putting in all that training.

I am hoping I am not starting a marathon of sleepless nights.  I am reading the book Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskill.  It was shown on PBS with Judi Dench as a main character a couple of years ago.   Maybe I’ll go back to bed and read myself to sleep.  Hope you are not reading this at 1:00 in the morning unless you are on the other side of the world and it is daytime there right now.

Good night, sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite.  Bye.

End of Summer Daze

Before God takes His big paintbrush and paints the scenery with golds, reds, oranges and yellows, I am basking in the last few days of Summer, enjoying the cooler mornings and the sunny days.  Enjoying the burst of color in my garden as the flowers seem to know that soon the frost will come and they will be gone.  The bees and butterflies seem extra busy gathering nectar.  The hummingbirds feast at the feeders preparing for their long flight south.  I always feel a little sad when they leave.

We have tried to pack in as much as we could this Summer, from a trip to Chicago, a trip to Cincinnati and short trips antiquing.  We got our new puppy and two new chickens.  We connected with family and friends we don’t see very often.  It’s been a good Summer, but I do look forward to cooler days.

My little Sunday school class had a party to celebrate the year and the children who will go up to a new class. We had cupcakes and cheese puffs and balloons.

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This little girl will go into the kindergarten class.  I’m going to miss her.

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I’ve had this little boy in our class since he was tiny.  He is now a big kindergartner.  I’ll miss him too.

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This little boy is so funny and will be staying with us for another year.

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This little girl always has the cutest clothes on.  I have taught her since she was two.   She’ll be with us another year and I am glad.

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As I took pictures of the class the children kept showing me things to photograph.

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This is suppose to be a cheese puff butterfly!

 

I bought some more fabric.  Surprise, surprise!

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It’s all going in a new quilt I am piecing.  I am tending toward pastels and pinks lately.  Years ago I would never have chosen these colors.  David says I have had different phases in my fabric buying from dark Confederate colors, to polka dots, to pastels.  I guess quilting is kind of like painting when you choose colors.  It is very hard for me to work on a dark quilt right now.  I need bright, happy colors.

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I couldn’t resist this fabric and I am going to make an apron from it.

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We got out the kiddie pool for Molly.   She loved it.  I think she is going to like water more than our other dogs.  She tries to drink out of the hose while I am filling her bowl.  Now I have three dogs at the back door begging for treats.  Molly sits as soon as I come out because she knows she gets a treat when she sits.  She doesn’t always get one, though.

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Molly is growing so fast.  She is almost twice the size she was when we got her.  I think she will be bigger than Belle.  They play really well together now and Belle hardly ever growls at her anymore.  I think there is going to be a challenge on who is the alpha dog with those two.

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I finished all my sister-in-law’s books and got this book from the church library.  I like Max Lucado as he writes in such an easy manner and explains the Bible in terms anyone can understand.  Do I want to be like Jesus?  I try every day.  I fail sometimes and other days I do better, but my goal is to try to be more like Him every day.

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We went up to our grandchildren’s house Saturday.  I had promised my younger grandson that when I got a new camera, he could have mine.  Well, I got my new camera so we got a new memory card and batteries and a charger for my old one and took the camera to him and the look on his face when we handed it to him was priceless(wish I had taken a picture.)   He and I took a short walk and he snapped pictures around the neighborhood.  I think he likes his new camera.  David thinks he will be a photographer.

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Here he is showing his sister his new camera as he snaps her picture.

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Love this boy.  He’s growing too fast.

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This is one of their family cats.  He looks like he has a mustache.  Very distinguished.

We decided to go up to Pendleton for lunch.

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They were having some kind of festival going on and the streets were crowded and parking was at a minimum. By the way, I love that shirt that lady is wearing.

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The fragrance of funnel cakes was in the air.

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These were the menus at the restaurant we went to.

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Loved the ceiling and old looking lights.

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Waiting to be seated.  I love this grandson’s red hair.  I think I need to be a redhead again.

We ate our lunch and then after we were finished we began to walk around when suddenly my stomach felt queasy and we had to leave.  I felt so bad that I ruined the day, but David took me home, I took a bath and went straight to bed and I felt queasy for a couple of days.  We really have to go back there soon as their antique stores looked really good.

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The gardenia one of my sons gave me for Mother’s Day finally bloomed.  The plant has grown a lot and I will have to over winter it in my shop.  The flower smells wonderful.  I don’t know how big these get, but this one has tripled in size since I got it.

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I am hooked on silent movies.  Crazy, huh?  There is something about them that draws me in.  I think these are movies my mother or father may have gone to the theater to see when they were young.

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This was about World War l.  My mother was born just before the first World War.   This man was getting a tooth pulled here. The script on screen read:

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This was kind of a comedy, love, drama movie.  It took place in France where a soldier fell in love with a peasant girl.  Anyway, I enjoyed it.  I love old Charlie Chaplin movies and they make me laugh much more than most of the so-called comedies now.  Nowadays the comedies go for the gross and crass and are not my cup of tea.

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Mornings are misty and cool. Happy Autumn.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

HOT!!!!

Okay, it’s almost the end of August here in Indiana and it is hot!  We had the coolest July on record and now Summer is coming back with a vengeance.

I use to love hot weather.  I would lay out by our pool for hours baking in the sun.  The hotter, the better.  I am sure I did some real damage to my skin, but I did use Oil of Olay on my face all those years and still do and it has helped keep some of the wrinkles at bay. But I loved the hot weather and dreaded the winters.  Now I am exactly the opposite.  I dread the hot weather.  I feel like all the strength is sucked right out of me.  I don’t feel like doing anything outside except water and feed the animals and then it’s straight back into the air conditioning.  Just a few years ago, we didn’t even have air conditioning and I remember the last Summer we didn’t have it was miserable. We spent most of the time in the pool. Now it’s too hot to even go out in the middle of the day to the pool.

Now I know I could live in Alaska gladly.  Even the winters don’t daunt me anymore.  At least when I don’t have to drive on the icy, snowy roads.  I told David we could move up there and get our food stored up for the Winter and never have to go out and in the Summers we wouldn’t be so hot all the time.  If I could get my family to move up there, I would sincerely think about moving.  There are no swimming pools up there except at motels though, so we would have to give up that.  I could, gladly, for glimpses of the mountains and the water and all the wildlife.

Today it was so hot at church.  The air conditioning was going, but I felt hot and tired and wanted to get home and get in front of a fan with a cold glass of water.  But I didn’t do that.  After David and I ate a quick lunch, I took Belle for a one mile walk and it just about killed me. Even Belle kept looking at me like, “Are you crazy trying to walk in this weather?”    I haven’t walked five miles in so long because it’s been too hot for me and I really miss it.  I am so looking forward to cooler temperatures.

Okay, I have whined enough and got it out of my system.  Sorry I subjected you, my dear readers, to that.  But you just have to whine and let off steam once in a while.  I am not the stoic kind. But I will change the subject.

Have you read any good books lately?  I am finishing up “The Swordsman,” by my sister-in-law, Terry Craig.  It’s really good.  It’s one of a trilogy about what could happen if there was a plague and wars and other catastrophes all around the world and what happens to Christians during this time.   Terry is very imaginative and writes a really good story.  I am so attached to the main characters right now and hope she will write another book about them some day.  I read it a little each night before I go to bed which might not be a good thing because there are some troubling things she writes about that could happen and I see happening now.  But I don’t want it to end.  Have you ever read a book like that?  One you hate to finish?   I get so engrossed in the characters in some books I almost feel like I have lost a friend after I finish the book.  Terry’s previous book that I read, The Sojourner,” was one of those that I didn’t want to put down, but I didn’t want it to end either.  You can get her books on Amazon if you are interested.  Terry did not pay me to write this!!

Fall is fast approaching and we have plans to do some fun things when the weather cools down and we feel like we can leave the puppy for a day with the other dogs.  Molly has been staying out most of the day with the big dogs and they have pretty much accepted that she is not going anywhere so they might as well like her.  She has almost doubled in size just since we got her.  She eats all the time.  Today she tasted mashed potatoes for the first time and almost ate the bowl.  She is so sweet and I have been slowly teaching her about the leash though she doesn’t like it very well. I want her to be a good walking companion like Belle is.  When the weather cools down I am going to take up walking and get back to at least five miles a day again.

Hope you are having a great weekend.  We are just being lazy today and that is fine with me.  Bye.

It All Started With a Picture

Several months or years ago, I’m not sure, time goes by so quickly, I saw this picture in a magazine.  I think it was Country Living or Southern Living.

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I fell in love with the porch on this house.  The stone pillars, the railings, the metal roof.  We already have a metal roof on our house which we love so this just looked like something that would go with our house.

I filed the picture away for future reference.  At that time, a new porch wasn’t even on our agenda.  Then one day David said our old porch was pulling the walls outward in our living room, causing cracks in the wall and it was going to have to go.  “How soon?” I asked.  “Sooner rather than later,” he replied.  So began our adventure into porch building.

We called our favorite contractor, Claude Wright Jr. and asked him to give us an estimate on adding a porch and on replacing more of our old windows.  We got the estimate, I almost passed out and then we invited him over to talk.

He, David and I sat around our dining room table discussing what needed to be done.  ” Maybe we could save some money by not having the pillars across the front,” David suggested.  My heart sunk clear to my feet.  The pillars are what I loved about the picture in the first place.  “No,” I said.  “Those pillars have been a dream of mine for a long time.”   After some more discussion, we decided to bite the bullet and go for it.  After all, we will probably live in this house for the rest of our lives if we are blessed.  I’m not planning any moves, anyway.

Thinking I had lots of time to move the flowers in front of our old porch, David then asked, “How soon can you start?”   “Next week,” Claude said.  Yikes.  I had just a few days to move a lot of flowers.  So we said go for it and the fun began.

David and I spent a couple of days digging up and replanting dozens of flowers.  He measured how far out the new porch would come so that we would be sure to get the flowers all out of the way.  I have a little magnolia tree I have been babying for a couple of years and this is the first year it had blooms on it.  I put a fence around it.  I cringed for that little tree the entire building process, but the builders were very careful about working around it even though they had to squeeze around it at times.

Soon it was going like gang busters.  The old porch was torn down.  My house was dusty.  The new porch went up. My house got dustier. Then we had a roof, railings, a new tongue and groove floor, wide steps and finally the stone pillars. Hey, so I didn’t dust for a few weeks.  The men worked together like clock work.  They each knew their job and did it quickly and efficiently.  Wiring was done.  We even got a couple of extra outlets put in while the walls were open.  Men came to install new gutters.  It was a busy time around the old Craig house.  I had to watch what I was wearing because I never knew when a man would be working right outside a window.  Reminds me of a show I use to watch, The Gilmore Girls, where Lorelie Gilmore was having some construction work done on her house and one day she came out of the shower stark naked and found a construction guy standing in the hallway.  I did not want that happening to me.

It took about a month, but the work was finally all completed.  The dust settled. It’s still settling.  I could not wait to start landscaping. I had been purchasing perennials here and there wherever I went and had them waiting to go in the ground.  I spent the next few days staining the floor and steps, planting the perennials, replanting some of the flowers I had had to move, decorating the porch, and hanging new hanging baskets.

Want to see the finished project?  You don’t?  I’m sorry, I am going to show it to you anyway.

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First you are welcomed by my little chicken welcome sign.

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Come up the wide steps.  See the walk David put in all by himself?  He planned it and he did all the work.  I love it.  He’s quite a man.  Flower beds on either side.  On the left use to be grass.  I got rid of more grass.  Yay.  I hate to mow.

 

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David’s and my rockers.  His is the one with padding.  I don’t need padding.

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David used left over lumber and built this little table to put our drinks upon.  It’s really heavy.  Took us both to carry it up here. I stained it the same color as the railings.

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I put a table and chairs on the porch so we could eat outside.  Have we ate outside yet?  Nope.

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I brought this little chair and pillow that were in the grandchildren’s Adirondack room down and put it in the corner.  So, we don’t really have a cabin.  I can pretend.

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What’s a porch without some flowers?

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I placed humming bird feeders all around.  The little rascals sometimes zoom right over our heads as they fly through the porch.

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David placed our fountain in front of the porch so we could sit and listen to it gurgle and splash.  The birds like to drink from it also.  We saw one like this in Nashville years ago, but when we went to buy one, no one had any so I went on the internet and found this one.  We have been using it for years.  It looks like stone, but it isn’t.  We have had people go up and touch it thinking it was stone.  Our grandchildren, when they were little, ,liked to slap their hand on the fountain and make a splash.  Where did those little ones go?

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We bought this wind spinner online.  When it spins it looks like a rainbow.

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David built this bench from a leftover piece of the old porch and some cement blocks and I painted it.

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We hung our not glass, stained glass window in our new front window.

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I planted annuals in a piece of the old porch.

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This use to be one of our dining room chairs that had seen better days.  I painted it lavender and set it in the garden.

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So this is the ta-da moment.  The porch I had dreamed of and kept that picture for.  It’s everything and more that I could ever want.  David and I spend a lot of time sitting out here and talking and watching the world go by.  Why don’t you join us?

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It’s almost impossible for me to write a blog and not include flowers.  I can’t remember what the yellow one is called, but the lavender one is called speedwell.  Kind of looks like salvia to me.

Summer is reading time(although I read all the time).  But, anyway, I have a couple of books that I would recommend for reading  For my Christian friends out there and those who would like to know more about the Christ I serve there is this book by Max Lucado.

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It’s a wonderful book about Jesus.  There is a description of Jesus that I have never heard about before.  I don’t know where Mr. Lucado got the information, but read the book and see how he describes Jesus’ appearance.

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There’s a wonderful series on Netflix called All Creatures Great and Small.  It is based on books by this author, James Herriot.  This book is about some of the dogs he treated in his veterinary practice and their wild, wacky and sometimes odd owners. I have laughed out loud at some of his stories.  All true, with names changed to protect the innocent.

Hope you are having a wonderful summer.  Take some time to smell the flowers and read a book. Enjoy it.  It will be gone before you know it.  Bye.

Awake and Ready

Now that the weather is getting better and the sun is shining, I am not feeling as sleepy as I have been.  Being out in the sunshine is good medicine and I certainly got a lot of good medicine today.

As I have told you, we are building a new front porch on our house and we are having to move several flowers.  Like about one hundred or more flowers.  Flowers it took me years to plant in the front garden and now they have to be moved in a few days before the builders get here.  My body has had a workout today digging up flowers, digging holes and replanting the flowers. We cut down the rose on the rose arbor because it never did very well.  David planted it by the fence in hopes it will grow on it.   I am going to sow some morning glory seeds at the base of the arbor and soon it will be covered with morning glory  vines.

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  I have loved our old porch.  Many people have entered our house via this porch.  My mother sat on this porch and watched our children ride their bikes.   David and I have sat out here and talked and watched the world go by. We’ve thrown firecrackers from here and watched our grandchildren hunt Easter eggs from here.  One summer our sons and a neighbor boy sat on this porch all summer playing with Legos.  I have sat on this porch and timed my children to see how fast they could run around the house.  That was before we had fenced in our back yard.  I have looked on the porch for packages I have ordered.  Sat with my dogs and passed the time.  Don’t mind me if I get a little teary eyed when they start tearing it down.

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  The front of our house is going to look so different. I love those old white pillars.

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I don’t know how many times I have painted these pillars.  They need a new paint job now, but, they won’t be here in a few days or weeks.   I thought about saving one, but thought it would be dangerous if one of the grandchildren leaned against it and it fell over, so the pillars are going.

I got a package from the UPS man while I was working outside.  I decided I would wait until I had all my work done before I opened it.  Anticipation.  I kept thinking about that box all morning and part of the afternoon.  I knew what was in it, you see, and that is what made it even more exciting.

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I love getting packages like this.  Especially when it says this on the side…….

 

 

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Can you believe I just discovered this company?  A friend of

mine showed me some fabric she had purchased while in Tennessee and I fell in love with it and knew exactly what I would do with it should I get some.  I searched for it online and every fabric site I went to said “sold out” of this particular fabric until I got to this site.  Yay, they had it.

 

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Isn’t it absolutely the cutest?  It’s called Quaint Cupcakes.  It has a little bling in the fabric.

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I am loving this.

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With the doilies and all, it’s just so pretty.  I know what I am doing with this.

But that wasn’t all I purchased.  I have a new designer I am liking right now.  Michael Miller.  He designed this fabric.

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I love the vintage look of this.  Yes, I know what I am doing with this, too.

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He designed this and I really wish I had bought more than one yard of it.  It is the most beautiful fabric I think I have ever seen.  There are so many possibilities for this, but, I wish I had bought more.  Hmmmmm.

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Oh, this is going to go in several quilts.  I know it.  Looks like old love letters.  French.  Roses. What could be better?

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This is one of those fabrics that can work its way into any number of different quilts and make them special.   Do I wax too lovingly about fabric?   I have always loved fabric, from the green cotton polyester suit with the matching printed blouse I made in home ec in junior high, to the red dotted swiss dress I wore to the Ruth Lyons’ television show, to the pink dotted swiss I kind of stole from my mother’s stash and made a bathing suit once while she was gone for the day.  Oops, got in a little trouble for that!

Yes, I love fabric.  Friends make fun of me for saving little bits and pieces of my fabric.

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Right now I am cutting over two thousand two inch squares to make a quilt.  The smallest square I will cut and save is a one and a half inch square.  I plan to one day sew all those tiny squares together into a quilt and it will be a catalog of all my fabrics I have used through the years.  But right now the two inch squares need my attention.

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They are being sown into these blocks.  I will need many of these for the quilt I am making.  I love doing this.  Fabric just makes me happy.

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If you are a Downton Abbey fan, you probably know there is now Downton Abbey fabric.  I made a skirt out of this fabric and then I put together a Downton Abbey outfit.

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Complete with hat.  I loved wearing this.  I wish women still wore hats like this all the time and dressed up more when they went out in public.  When you look at old pictures, both men and women are wearing hats and they always looked dressed up.  Now people wear pajamas in public.  Pajamas!!! If you are one of them, well, I will just keep quiet, but I am frowning while typing this.  David says people come into the Ralph Lauren store all the time in pajamas.  Really?????

Anyway, I do love textiles and have practically all my life.  I remember most of my clothes I had growing up from the plaid dresses with big sashes I wore to school, to the sleeveless blouses I wore in the summer, to the blue jeans and sweatshirts I wore when I rode my horse.  I notice what people are wearing all the time.  I tell people when I like something they are wearing.

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Changing direction a little(a lot.)  Walking the other day I heard the sandhill cranes.  I always hear them before I see them.  Put your tongue to the roof of your mouth and hum while fluttering your tongue and that is kind of how they sound.  They have a very distinct call.  There was one flock and then there were two and then a third flock came from the south.  They go up to Camp Atterbury where there is a lake where they land and you can go up there and climb a platform and watch them.  I have never done it, but I have always wanted to.  They swooped and circled above our house for quite some time.  A true sign of Spring.

Can’t believe March is almost over.  It’s my birthday month and it is one of my favorite months.  I always hate to see it go knowing I will have to wait a whole year before March comes around again.  I found this poem in a little, old poetry book I have had since I was a girl and it was old when I was a girl.

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Happy April.  Easter is less than three weeks away.  Bye.