Category Archives: Family memories

Of Mice and Music Men

I’m not a fan of mice. At least those not of the Mickey Mouse kind.  I’ve had my run-ins with mice through the years.   When I was a young girl, my family was seated in our living room watching television,  when out of the corner of my eye I saw movement across the floor. It was a little mouse scurrying to wherever it was going. I screamed and that’s when my brother, Andy,  jumped into action. He ran and stepped right on that mouse’s tail and held it there.  We all sat in surprise as we looked at first my brother and then the mouse whose tail was caught under his shoe.  My mother ran and got a box to put the mouse in and it was scooped up and put outside.   We all had a good laugh about it and it’s been tucked in my memories ever since.

When we moved to our old house forty years ago we were plagued with mice for a time because the house had sat empty for several months and the mice decided to take over.  I had had enough when one day I opened a kitchen drawer and out popped a mouse, just as scared as I was.  We set traps and caught mice and  finally were rid of them. At least we didn’t see any more for a long time.

Several years ago some piles of rocks were removed from behind a business across the road from us.  After that, I began to see rats in our yard. In fact, the first I noticed them, I stepped on one in a flower bed.   Then I started to see rats everywhere in our yard. We believe the rats had had their homes in the rock pile and by removing it, the rats were looking for a new home. I was so scared the rats would get in the house.  I found dead rats in our dogs’ pen that they had killed. Our neighbor said he was seeing rats too. So we all put out lots of rat poison. I had to put it in boxes with holes so my dogs would not get into it. Little by little we noticed the rat population was dwindling.    After a while we saw no more rats and I breathed a sigh of relief.

In the Autumn, when the weather starts to get cool, the mice come in seeking warm places to make a home. We haven’t had a mouse problem for years, but this year I began to notice mice tracks in my shop. I would put out poison and the mice were eating it, I could tell, but still I was seeing mice tracks everywhere. When I sat at my sewing machine and saw mouse tracks on it, I knew the poison was not doing the trick so David bought some mouse traps and set them in my shop and in the house and the first day we caught four.  The next day we caught one and we have caught no more since so I am hoping our mouse problem is solved. (We have since caught nine since this post and not done yet, I’m afraid.) No, I am not a fan of mice.  Cute as they can be.   Ever see a baby mouse?  They are so cute.  But I don’t want them in my house.

This past weekend our granddaughter was in her last musical at her school as she is a senior. They performed The Music Man and it was great.

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She played Ethel Toffelmeir  and we were so proud of her.  She was in the scene where the ladies sang Pick a Little, Talk a Little and she danced during the song Shipoopie.   When the townspeople sang the Wells Fargo Wagon is A-comin’, in came a wagon pulled by a real horse and the crowd went wild.   Since the Music Man has been my very favorite musical ever since I saw it with my mother, with Robert Preston as the music man and Shirley Jones as Miriam the librarian, I so enjoyed it.  I have memorized all the songs and could have sung right along with them.

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Here she is with her “baby” brother who is taller than she.

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I am so blessed to have these two as grandchildren.

Remember the pumpkin quilt I was making?  I had it all cut out.  Well, it turned into an apple quilt.

I have had this fabric for a very long time.

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I always thought I would make an apple quilt with it one day and the day finally came.

I searched out all my red fabric and some green fabric.

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Using this pattern I made apples instead of pumpkins.  I also used the pumpkin pattern from Lori Holts Farmgirl patterns.

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Soon I was piecing each block together feverishly.

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Block after block went together.

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I couldn’t stop.  I was on a mission.

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And I finished the top.  I love, love, love it.

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I had to pose it in various poses.  Such a wonderful Autumn quilt.

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I don’t usually piece a complete quilt top in a matter of days, but this one went together very quickly.   Now I have to quilt it.   Then, maybe, I will get back to my pumpkin quilt.

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But at the moment I am hand quilting this quilt and loving every minute I am working on it.   This particular quilt has been on my to do list for years.  I am finally getting it done.  I have a Christmas quilt I want to do after this one.  So many quilts. So little time. I quilt into the wee hours of the mornings most often. The best time for me to quilt because I have no distractions then.

Last night our daughter called and said we have new granddogs. Her golden retriever, Lily, had her second litter of puppies.  Our daughter said this will be her last.  She lost five of them, but five survived so we are going to have to go visit them soon.  They are going to sell them and probably already have them sold.  They have the most beautiful golden retrievers.  Three and they all are house dogs. They are not allowed upstairs and I didn’t know it and one time when I was there, I threw their ball up the stairs and they just sat there looking, but didn’t even try to go up the steps.   Good dogs.

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The leaves have finally changed and Fall is in the air most definitely.

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A busy season lies ahead.  Veteran’s Day program at our grandsons’ school this week.  Two Christmas programs coming up and in between it all I must get all this quilting and sock knitting done.

Despite all the tragedies we are seeing around the world, God is still in control.  Evil will not win.  Love will triumph.   Remember there is hope and peace with Jesus.  My prayers and sincere sympathy to those whose lives were taken this week.   May God be with them.  Pray for peace and love to abound. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

Hoosiers

I am a Hoosier girl through and through. Born and bred on an Indiana farm with straw in my hair, mud between my toes, dirt under my fingernails and chicken feathers sticking to my clothes.     Days spent playing on the farm are some of my most treasured memories.   There were all sorts of animals to play with and all kinds of places to play.   I would get up in the morning, eat my breakfast of hot tea and cinnamon and sugar toast and run outside to the great out there where fun and surprises awaited.  My mother didn’t know where I was most of the time. She just knew I was on the farm somewhere, whether it was in the sandbox, up a tree, in the haymow playing with a new family of kittens, or swinging on the porch swing reading a library book.  At times I was asked to weed in the garden or help around the house or gather eggs, but for the most part I was allowed to just be a kid and have fun.

I was thinking of those days this weekend as David and I traveled the country roads of Brown and Morgan County.  We got up early on Saturday morning and headed to Bloomington to a soccer tournament our two younger grandsons were playing in.

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It was a foggy morning making everything look mysterious.

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Past corn fields ready for harvesting.

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Seeing the sun rise. Something I rarely see these days as I have become a late sleeper.  I would usually be tucked away in my comfy bed fast asleep on a morning such as this, but not that day.  And I am glad I saw it all.

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It was fun watching our grandsons play.  Both their teams won their games I am proud to report.  This grandson was an excellent goalie for his team.  Not one ball got past him.

It was a beautiful morning to watch the games.

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Always nice spending time with these loved ones.

After watching the games, David and I set off for home, but we didn’t take the fast way. Oh, no. We took the back way.  Off the beaten path.  Where we love to wander.

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Down lonely roads where we might see a car or two.  I think of all the people who come to Brown County this time of year to see the foliage and all they see is downtown Nashville with all its stores.  Shopping is fun in Nashville if that’s what you like to do and I have done my share of shopping there, but we prefer being out in the country. I am sure Brown County State Park was very busy that weekend.  Vice President Mike Pence’s son was getting married in Brown County last weekend, something neither of us knew at the time. His plane flew into our city and several friends went out to see it. It’s not every day the vice president comes to your town. But David and I were wandering.

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Past woods…

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and old barns.   So sad to say the old barns are going away pretty quickly.  I wish people would take better care of them and preserve them for the next generation.  My family barn is gone because of lack of care.  It makes me sad.

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We drove by fields where farmers were getting in the harvest.

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Past old building like this and this…..

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Past an old one room school.  I think about the children who walked to this school which was probably heated by a stove and they used slates to write upon.

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I dearly love old barns.  In their day they were stacked with straw bales and hay bales and the farm animals sheltered in them.  Now they either stand empty or have old farm equipment in them that is never used.

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The trees were just starting to turn.

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Another week and they will be at their peak unless the rains take off the leaves.

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We saw some interesting Halloween decorations along the way.  Even out where hardly anyone would see them, people like to decorate.

We found a restaurant that looked interesting so we stopped to eat.  This is what happened.  When we went inside the hostess asked us if we would like a table or a booth. We like to sit at a booth so she proceeded to sit us and give us a menu. I had thought I wanted a hamburger but they served liver and onions.   I love liver and onions and most restaurants don’t usually offer it.  This is the second time in a month I have been to a restaurant that served liver and onions.  We perused the menu and decided what we wanted and then we waited. And we waited. And we waited. We noticed the tables all around us were getting their drinks and food and we still had not seen a waitress. Then a group of four came in and were immediately given their menus and asked what they wanted to drink and were served promptly.  David and I just looked at each other. Then we got the giggles because every time a waitress was heard asking her table if everything was okay, David would say, “Yes, it is.”  Even though we had as yet seen a waitress.  “We must have been zapped with the invisible ray gun,” David said and we started giggling again. Then I said let’s wait and see how long this would go on. The waitresses were buzzing like flies all over all the other tables and there we sat with not a drink or a wink.   Finally I said I was going to go talk to the hostess and David said, “Do you want me to? ” and I said, “No because I will be nice.”  So up I went to the hostess and this is what I said,  “Excuse me, did you mean to set us at a booth that would not be waited upon? Everyone around us, including a table that arrived after us, have been served their food and no one has even brought our drinks.” ”   “What booth!” she almost yelled. Well, I thought to myself, “The booth where you sat us.”   So anyway, suddenly a waitress that I had not seen before was suddenly rushing to our table and was getting our drinks and our order.  I noticed there was a man standing where the hostess had been standing. I wondered if he was the manager.   We got our food pronto and it was very good.  The waitress was almost overly solicitous at that point, bringing David not one, but two glasses of sweet tea.  Anyway, I won’t give the restaurant’s name as we did get a really good meal there and the liver and onions was excellent.   By the way, in a previous post I mentioned a restaurant where we got horrible service as the Outback. I was mistaken. It was O’Charleys but I have to say we ate at another O’Charley’s in Indianapolis last week and the food and service was excellent and we happened to be there on free pie night and I got the best piece of pecan pie I have ever eaten,

But enough about restaurants and food.

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Using this pattern…

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I am working on a pumpkin quilt.   This is such a fun quilt to make.

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I’m enjoying getting out all my Autumn fabrics and playing with them.

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I am loving each block I make.  Another project I am working on is molding for around the windows in my shop.  Since we took down some old fencing, I decided to repurpose it as molding.  I cleaned it up and gave it a light brushing with white paint.

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I’m loving how you can see the swirls and grain in the wood.  When David gets it installed, I will show you how it looks.    Now I am thinking of preserving the rest of that wood for a bathroom I am dreaming about that I would like to see put in a little house we may build one day in our woods.   It would look wonderful on the walls.

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We were given this little chipper shredder the other day and David and I spent an afternoon trying to find twigs to put in it to mulch. If we weren’t looking for twigs, they’d be everywhere, but we had trouble finding any even with all the trees around us.   It doesn’t take very big limbs so it takes forever to get a cup full of mulch, but we had fun playing with it anyway.  It really does not take much to entertain us.

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Hope you are enjoying the season.

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Hope your skies are blue.

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And hope your friends are close. Bye.

 

 

October, How I Love You

I love the month of October. After March, April and May, it’s my favorite month.  It usually starts getting cooler although we have had unseasonable temperatures for the last several days.  Today it was in the sixties and I was loving it.  I feel so much more energetic in cooler weather.  The leaves on the trees are slow to change this year, but that’s okay.  The longer the season lasts, the better.

It’s been a busy month.  Aren’t they all?    I was telling a younger friend with young children not to expect to take time off when her children were grown because then the grandchildren come and there are things you want to do with them.  We had fun at King’s Island with one set of grandchildren a  couple of weeks ago and last week we spent time with the other set at Grandparents’ Days at their school.  Our older grandchildren go to a wonderful Christian school where their mother also teaches.  The school ranks #1 in college prep schools in Central Indiana and 98% of their graduates go on to college. Pretty impressive, I’d say.  Our granddaughter will be graduating next Spring.  I believe she and our grandsons have had an A-plus education.

So Grandparents’ Day begins with a sign in and then like a bunch of ants at a picnic, the grandparents swarm the tables with the coffee and donuts on them.  They serve very good coffee and donuts.

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Then they have chapel and our grandchildren join us.  The first day our sixth grader was with us.

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Let me just say that a few months ago, he was a short, little boy and now he’s taller than me(which isn’t hard as I am 5’1″) but almost as tall as his grandfather too.  His voice is changing and he looks like a teen-ager all of a sudden.   Waaaaaaa!  I told him it was just a short time ago I was babysitting him and he would sit on the piano bench and we would play the piano, neither one of us knowing how to play.  He was a baby then. Such a short time ago.  Such a nice grandson.

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He plays football.

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Sings in the middle school choir.  See, he is about a head taller than all the others.

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His class is learning the entire book of James in the Bible and they got up and recited some of it.   He looks like he is really concentrating here.

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This is his good friend who we adopted for the day as his grandparents couldn’t make it.  A really nice boy.

We took him out to eat and told him he could order anything he wanted and his eyes lit up.  Then back to school and we drove home to take care of the animals and then drove back up to Indianapolis to spend the night in order to go to the second Grandparents’ Day.

With these two.

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Our tenth grader and

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our senior.  She painted this mural and she is in the musical in a few weeks. Another trip to make.

Once again the grandparents crowded the coffee table and donut table and then we sat down for chapel. Our granddaughter is part of the praise team. She said she was nervous about singing in front of us, but she seemed very composed and professional.

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It so nice to see our grandchildren growing up to be the kind of people they are.  So kind. So talented. So grounded.

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This young man has my heart.  He can make me laugh so easily, many times when we should not be laughing!   See that lady in black?  She is from Scotland and her granddaughter is a good friend of our granddaughter.

We took them both out to Five Guys, a hamburger joint and they got to order what they wanted and then back to school where our granddaughter had an interview for a scholarship.  I hope she gets it.

It was a fun two days.

Driving home we drove through downtown Indianapolis. When I was young, I really thought this was the BIG city.  Our senior class made a trip there and it was so much fun.  Now I just can’t wait to get out of it.  Too much traffic for me.

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This is our state capitol.

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The top of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monument smack dab in the center of the city.  I wish I had gotten a picture of the whole thing. I have walked up to the top of this monument several times through the years.

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Tall buildings. It’s not New York, but it’s big enough for me. This country girl likes dirt roads and trees and no traffic.

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A very busy downtown.  People out eating at restaurants, walking their dogs, skate boarding.   Fun to drive through. Wouldn’t want to live there.

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The sky was so blue and it really was a pleasant day.

On the way home we stopped at a quilt shop called The Back Door where I had a gift certificate to use. I was looking for background fabric for the pumpkin quilt I am making.   Of course, I found more than I was looking for.

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I just like this fabric and know I will use it in something so I bought a yard.

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It’s hard to tell from this picture, but this fabric looks grey, but has a tinge of green in it. I like the little swirls all through it which remind me of pumpkin vines.  I cut out most of the background pieces for the quilt today.  Hope I have enough of it.

But what really caught my eye and made me swoon was this fabric.  I almost didn’t get it as I really don’t need anymore fabric, but this is the most beautiful fabric I have ever seen in my life.  A masterpiece on fabric.  A Monet.   I just could not leave the store without it.

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Just so incredibly beautiful. I bought three yards and wish I had bought five!   I don’t have a clue what I will make with this, but it has to be an especially wonderful quilt.  I just love it.  Did I say I liked this fabric?   I love it so much I made it my header for this blog.

There are a few other things going on in my world, but that will wait for another day.  Bye.

 

 

Back to Cincinnati

 

I love driving to Cincinnati.  Especially when we take the river road along the Ohio River.  We did that over a week ago, but because of things happening in the world, I didn’t feel like writing about it.     We took off on a Saturday and headed down the road.

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Following the river most of the way. There is something about a river that makes me feel wanderlust.  I think of all those who have traveled this river throughout the years or lived by this river, building little towns and living their lives as the river swept by.   There is so much history along this river. David and I have driven most of it and several times, at that.   It never fails to lift my spirits.

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The sky was so blue that day and the river so calm, but this river has flooded many times through the centuries, flooding those little towns and creating havoc to their citizens.  Still, people continue to settle along it, camp beside it and watch as it lazily flows along.  It’s mesmerizing.

We passed through one little town where I saw some ladies decorating the city park.  And along the road hung on electric poles were these………

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Scarecrows. I don’t know if they were having a contest, but there were several of these all along the roadway.  Made me want to go home and make my own scarecrow.

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I think it might have had something to do with breast cancer awareness because of this sign I saw.

We spent the night in Cincinnati and went to supper with our older son and his girlfriend.  We went to The Outback to eat and they had the slowest service.  We finally got our names on a list and waited and waited. They didn’t look all that busy. Then three more people came in the door and the waitress started to sit them immediately and David spoke up and asked why they were being seated. The waitress mumbled something about the waitress wasn’t ready for our table. Humbug!  Our son said, “Let’s go,” and we went across the street to a restaurant called Mimi’s Café and were seated immediately and I had the best liver and onions I have ever eaten. So, good things happen to those who wait!    It was a pleasant evening, but we were going to King’s Island the next day so we headed to our motel for the night.

The next morning we met up with our daughter and her family.

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The boys were excited because we were going to King’s Island.

Now King’s Island is for the person who likes to ride scary rides. I am not that person. The last two times I was talked into riding certain rides, I cried.  So I knew no one would be talking me into riding any roller coasters or rides that went up high that day.  I loved watching my family ride the rides.  I rode a couple, but I really enjoy people watching and just being with family.   It was such a fun day.  We went to the arcade and there is where I had the most fun playing Ski-ball. I could play that all day.  I helped our son win a card he had been trying to win for some time.  You see, our son goes to King’s Island almost every single day whether it’s before work or after work, just to ride maybe one ride. He’s a big kid at heart.  He plays those arcade games and saves the points. He has enough to get a computer now.   He could have probably bought one a whole lot cheaper, but he loves playing those games.  I do too. It must be in the blood.  David and I, when we were dating, use to love playing the arcade games at the fair.  Tossing rings to win cheap dishes.   I once spent fifty dollars playing ski-ball at King’s Island to win a set of juice glasses!  They were the cheapest glasses I have ever had and they all got broken very quickly.   Needless to say, we don’t go to King’s Island all that often.  Can’t afford their dishes!

It was a fun day and I am sure I got my 10,000 and more steps in as my feet were hurting so badly by the time we got to the car.  We drove home at dusk as the sky was showing off  it’s beautiful colors.

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Where we live there are tall trees so I cannot see the sunset like this at night. It was so beautiful.   Then I saw it.

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A UFO.  Or at least it looked like one to me. And then I saw this.

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Remember in the first Ghost Busters where that dog chased that little guy from his apartment and down the street?  This made me think of that dog.

It was good to get home and back in our own bed.

The past couple of weeks I have been working on quilts.

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I pinned this quilt ready for quilting. I can’t decide if I want to machine quilt it or quilt it by hand.  It’s got hundreds of safety pins in it and my fingers can attest to it.  I am quilting one by hand right now that I want to get done.  Can’t show it as it is for someone special.

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Not sure what this pattern is called. I pieced it years ago. I am going through all my unfinished quilts and trying to get them done.

And yet, I keep buying fabric to make more.

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I bought this fat quarter assemble to make a pumpkin quilt.

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I pre-wash all my fabric and here I hung these on a little line I have strung across my shop porch. I love hanging things out on a line.  Didn’t take them long to dry.  I will show you some of the blocks I have made soon.   I was working on my pumpkin quilt today.

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This glorious fabric will be the backing.   I had to order five yards of it just because I loved it so much.  I will use this in several things, I am sure.

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This fabric I bought on Haight Ashbury in San Francisco years ago when we visited our son who was stationed in California with the Air Force learning to speak Russian to be a Russian linguist.  That was many years ago.  I don’t know why the fabric looks stained in this picture because it isn’t.  There was a wonderful quilt shop there with some very exotic fabrics.

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This yellow fabric was bought for me by my son and his ex-wife when they visited England years ago. They asked me what I wanted them to bring me back from England and I said, “Fabric.”  I have used this in several quilts.

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We got this postcard in the mail a few weeks ago telling us about Grandparents’ Day at our grandchildren’s school.  I was looking at it and saw someone familiar on it.

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David and me and two of our grandkids!.  I must say it was kind of disconcerting to see our faces on there.  I always wondered through the years how they picked the pictures for these things.   We are visiting their school this week.  They  treat us grandparents great.  I am really looking forward to it.

Here’s to river rides, fun times with family and quilting. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State Fair!

Our state fair is the best state fair

Don’t miss it, don’t even be late.

Dollars to donuts our state fair

Is the best state fair in the state!

Rodgers and Hammerstein

David and I hadn’t been to our state fair for years so we decided we would go this year.  We also decided to take our grandboys.

We kept two of the boys Friday night and spent the day on Saturday with them.  The boys decided they wanted to make a quilt so I said, “Sure,” and so they did. I had a lot of two and a half inch squares cut, so I told them they could make a quilt with them, eight across and eight down and asked them many squares they would need.  Teaching them a little multiplication also. We needed sixty-four squares so they started sewing the squares together. I wish I had taken pictures.  One boy sewed and the other one ironed the pieces.  I had to teach iron safety also as he kept leaving the iron laid down on the ironing board.   By the end, they both were losing interest, but I kept them working and teaching them you don’t give up and quit. Finally we had it ready for quilting and they really liked doing that on the machine.  Had to teach them safety with a sewing machine also. I may have scared them a little about getting their fingers caught on the needle, but since I have sewed my fingers, I wanted them to be safe.

They ended up with a cute little quilt and we made a label with their names and ages and the year on it and I sewed it on the back of the quilt for them.  We wrapped the quilt up to give to their mother.

We took the boys to see the movie, “Nut Job 2″ and it was very cute.  Then to the Dairy Queen for dinner and ice cream.  It was a full day.  To bed early that night as we were going to the state fair in the morning.

Bright and early the next morning we got up and got ready and drove to Indianapolis to pick up another grandboy.  Then on to the fair.

We parked the car and walked up a big ramp onto the fairgrounds.   The smells and noise of the fair hit us immediately.  I told the boys we were going to eat our way through the fair.  Their eyes lit up.   So this is what we ate that day. Caramel corn, corn dogs, cotton candy, hamburgers, Italian and polish sausages, elephant ears, donuts, ice cream, and candy from the general store.  Plus gallons of water, lemonade and root beer to wash it all down. I just want to say one thing. Cotton candy is much better fresh and on a stick than stuffed in a bag where it hardens.   Sad you can’t get it that way very often.

There are many buildings to go through at the fair. The first one was my very favorite.  Draft horses.

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They are just gorgeous animals.

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This guy liked to get near to us.  Had very different markings.

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I really believe this horse was posing with the boys. Look at those ears.

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I think they liked being this close to horses.   I could have stayed in this building all day, but we had to move on.

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I think maybe this horse was glad to see us go!

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We watched the sheep judging. A long time ago, I once showed a sheep at the county fair and won a blue ribbon.  I loved that little ram, but Daddy had to sell him because he was getting too aggressive with the other farm animals butting them and he tried to butt people, too.  There was a Disney movie in the fifties called, “So Dear to My Heart,” that involved a little boy and his pet sheep.  His grandmother didn’t want him to have the sheep because it was black and its wool was not worth anything, but the little boy loved him. He ended up showing the little sheep at the fair.  Burl Ives was in the movie as the boy’s uncle.   I saw that movie again a while back and it still made me happy.

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There was model car racing at the stadium.  The boys really liked that.

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Those little cars flew off the ramps and into the air and came down and kept going around and around the track.   The boys could have stayed there all day, but there was more to see.

To the pig barn. When I walked in it, it reminded me of the farm.  We raised pigs among other animals.

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This mama pig had the biggest litter for the year with thirteen piglets. Some were chowing down while the rest were snuggled up in a corner sleeping.

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In another pen the mama pig was snoozing and taking a rest from her brood who were all asleep.

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Ah, peace and quiet.  I could kind of relate to her.  When you are a mother, you catch your rest wherever you can because soon the kids wake up!

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Here’s her babies piled on top of one another.   So cute.

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Standing in front of the heaviest pig weighing in at over one thousand pounds.

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Just noticed his name is Boris.  Boris the boar.

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In the cattle barn. Once again I smelled the smells I remember from my daddy’s farm.  Fresh straw beds for the cattle.   The people who own these cows keep their pens very clean and they are constantly brushing, combing and bathing the cows they are going to show.

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Some cows would even pose with you!

Time to eat!

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Just starting on a day of gorging ourselves.

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Corn dogs are so good!    With lots of ketchup.

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Dave and his grandsons standing under a fan and mister to cool off. It got really hot that day.

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We watched baby ducks being hatched.  My mother and I hatched some ducks one time and they got attached to me and thought I was their mother and followed me all over.  I fed  a whole box of oatmeal once to them which made my mother very angry!   I was a problem child at times. Ha.

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The duck which is damp, just came out of the egg. As soon as they were hatched a woman picked them up and put them with the other ducklings.

There is so much to see and do at the fair and not enough time.  We watched a cooking show by a man trying to sell cookware. I have that cookware. I got snookered into buying it one time at a home show.  At that time, the salesman would actually come to your house and cook dinner for you and others you were to invite and then after you had eaten, he would try to sell the cookware. It really is wonderful cookware and I also got a food slicer which is industrial grade.  Funny thing is, I hardly ever use it and still use my mother’s old pots and cast iron skillet.  I think I need to get out that cookware and use it.  Walking down the aisles looking at all the things for sale, a man coaxed me into a chair and started putting stuff on my face before I knew what I was doing. He had beautiful brown eyes. I looked for David and he and the boys were walking on.  Help!  I cannot say no to a saleman, especially one who has beautiful brown eyes and was as determined as this one. He put some stuff under one eye to take out the puffiness. By that time the grandboys had come back and I asked them if my eyes looked different and they said, “Yeah!”   Oh, no.  The stuff sold for $299 which is not anywhere near what I spend for stuff to put on my face. I don’t really put much of anything on my face but some Oil of Olay and lipstick.   Help!  Just them David walked up and said “No,” and I breathed a sigh of relief and got up. The man shook my hand, but I kind of felt bad about the disappointment in his face that he didn’t make a sale.  See, I don’t like to hurt anyone.

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At the Pioneer village they had this vignette set up.  I have eaten in kitchens similar to this one.

There were different artisans making things to sell, women quilting and hooking rugs.  Some were grinding flour with an old gas powered grist mill  So much to see, we hardly scratched the surface.

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An exotic animals tent where the boys could hand feed and pet the animals. Except for the zebra. A big sign read, “DON’T FEED THE ZEBRA.”  So, we didn’t.

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Feed the grandboy!

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Three boys in a tractor tire.

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Mowing the lawn.  They kept saying we ought to get one of these to mow our tiny lawn.  One or two swipes and it would be done.  I don’t have much lawn.  Only garden.

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Virtual reality.  It was funny watching them turning their heads and looking down as if something were really there.

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We were all getting tired, so I sent David to get them all some fair taffy to take home to share and then we walked to the car. I really felt like I was walking on stumps by that time and my back was hurting so badly, I could not wait to sit down.  We took the boys to their homes and got home in the evening tired, buy happy for a fun weekend with our grandboys.  I hope they enjoyed it as much as we did.

Here’s to fun times with grandboys and wonderful state fairs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marriage, Maps and Miracles

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

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

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

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

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My baby brother.   He cleans up pretty good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Yummy, sweet food on the table.

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

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Cupcakes that I didn’t get to try.

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

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

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

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

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Ah, young love.  You have to enjoy it.

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

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

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

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

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

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I think they did this for Memorial day.

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

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

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

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Let’s go inside.

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Birdhouses and garden paraphernalia everywhere.

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

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

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Even the curtains were so cute.

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Fairy gardens everywhere inside and out.

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

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So much fun to look at, though.

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

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

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

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

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

Miss Mary Foster is so pretty.

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

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

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

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Yes, they do love it.

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Celebration

We had a lovely Easter this year.  The weather wasn’t, but the rest of the day was.  It poured rain Sunday morning right before we went to church. Then while in church, the sun came out. Our choir sang an amazing cantata which touched me deeply.  There were a lot of people in church. There were two baptisms and one little girl went forward to make a profession of faith. She is the pastor’s granddaughter, so I know it was a special time for him.

After church we rushed home where some family were already there waiting for us as church ran a little long. We had a delicious meal of ham, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, homemade rolls, corn, salad, potato salad, strawberries and for dessert, chocolate pie, banana cream pie and lemon meringue pie.   I hadn’t made pies in a long time, but these were a success and today there is only one piece left.

We visited for a while, but the children were excited about hunting Easter eggs so finally we told them it was time. There were about 200 eggs hidden, some with pieces of paper with dollar signs on them to turn in for dollar bills and some with smiley faces on them to turn in for candy.

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We made them pose for pictures which was like herding a bunch of cats.

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Could not keep their hands off each other.

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Finally, a picture we liked.  Although they still all were not looking at the camera.DSCN5090

A picture of our beautiful daughter. I have never written this on my blog, but she has MS.  She is the bravest woman I know how she handles this horrible disease. She works almost every day and raises her two boys.  I don’t know how she does it, but she took them to the zoo the other day without help.   She does have a little scooter that she runs around on and that helps.  If you have MS or know someone who suffers from it, you know it’s a very unpredictable disease and people who have it are in pain a lot of the time.  Anyway, I am proud of her and I pray every day for a cure for this horrible disease that affects so many people.  I thank God she has a husband who is very supportive of her and loves her and tries to make her life easier if she will let him!

Anyway, we finally let the kids go and they were all over the yard like a mouse on cheese and soon they were bringing their eggs up to be counted.  Everyone got some money and lots of candy.

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David was the banker. This is our granddaughter.  She asked me  how long she got to hunt Easter eggs before she was too old. I told her eighteen when she is an adult.  She will be eighteen next year. It broke her heart that she was getting too old to hunt Easter eggs.  It broke my heart, too, because she was just a baby yesterday.

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She got her money this year, though and was happy about it.

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Her brother, who I always tell him he looks like my dad, and his winnings.

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David and I saved dollars all year for this day and it’s worth the smiles.

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Smiles?

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Our oldest grandson. He’s about six feet tall and weighs one hundred and eighty-five pounds and is a tremendous athlete, lacrosse being his favorite sport.   He’s fifteen.

After all the eggs were counted, there were still five left with dollar signs in them that hadn’t been found so out they all went again and scoured the yard until they found them all. I know there is still an egg or two out there in the yard somewhere. Just recently I found one from last year.

It was a fun day and the weather became just gorgeous in the afternoon. The garden was at its perfection.  After everyone left to go home, it poured down rain again.

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Oh, I wish you could smell these lilacs.  They perfume the entire front garden. We cut several bouquets for us and  some for the kids to take home with them.

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This has certainly been a beautiful Spring.  It lasts such a short time so I take lots of pictures I can look at in the dead of Winter to remind me the garden will come back again next year.

I hope you had a wonderful Easter.  Bye.

 

 

 

My Mom

Today is my mother’s birthday. If she were alive, she would be celebrating 102 years on this earth, but, instead, she is celebrating in heaven with my daddy and that makes me happy. I miss her. I always will until I see her again.  The day she died, I became an orphan. I became the matriarch of my family and I didn’t know if I was up to the job.

My mother grew up in the days of silent pictures, horses were still on the streets, indoor plumbing was not the norm, and clothes were hung out to dry, not put in a dryer.  There were no takeout restaurants.  No giant stores.  No cellphones.  No big screen tvs. In fact, my grandfather didn’t have a tv for a long time and when he did get one, it was about the size of a large radio and in black and white. She lived during the days of radio shows where everyone would sit around the radio and listen to show like “The Shadow.”   She was born just a few years after the Victorian era and she still had a little of that Victorian aura about herself.  She was the oldest of four sisters with whom she stayed close all her life. There is only one of the sisters left now and she lives in Michigan.   Life for my mother was school, church and home.  I never heard her speak of any vacations her family took.  They probably never did. People didn’t have time for those kind of things back then.  Making a living was all people had time for.  She did go to dances and in fact, I found a copy of a letter she wrote to some band asking them to play at a school dance.  I think she was the president of her class by what I read.  She was a woman before her time.   I really wish I knew more about my mother’s early years.  I bet I could write a book.

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This is my mother’s senior picture taken in 1932.

Mom was born just before WWl.   She grew up in a small Indiana town where she knew everyone and everyone knew her.   She lived in the same house until she married my daddy.   That is a story unto itself.  My parents were some of the most ordinary, quiet, sensible people you would ever meet, but there was a streak of rebellion and excitement in them.   I am not exactly sure when they started dating each other. I found an autograph book of my mother’s where my daddy wrote some things that made me think he was in love with her, but she wasn’t quite sure about him at the time.  I have that book  around my house somewhere, but I have lost it and have not been able to find it.  Anyway, at some point, daddy won my mother’s heart and they became a couple.  After they graduated they continued dating and then one night, when they were suppose to be going to a basketball game, they headed on down to Kentucky, found a justice of the peace and got married. They came back home, each to their own home and continued living their lives like nothing had ever happened, But….. one day the newspaper came with wedding licenses in it and my grandpa saw that Miss Jeannette Driggs  Ridenour  was wed to Mr. Paul K. Pentecost and let’s just say the roof came off.  So, parents and my parents had a meeting and it was decided that since they were married, they needed to make a home together. No more living at home with Mom and Dad.  So they started their life together.

I am not sure where all they lived, but there was one place my mother called “Tucker’s” that my mother evidently loved.  She talked about it often.  Then my daddy’s mom and dad wanted him to come home and farm the farm as they were getting old and couldn’t manage any longer, so Mom and daddy packed  up and brought their little family to the farm where I grew up.   I am not sure how many of us kids were born at that time.  But my mother and daddy lived there until they had to go into nursing homes.

Life was not always easy on the farm. It was hard work, but my daddy was never one to shy away from work nor was my mother. I believe that is where I got my strong work ethic.  Mom raised six children on that farm, making our clothes, canning, washing clothes in a wringer washing(worshing) machine and hanging the clothes on the line to dry. Ironing, cooking and cleaning.  That is about all I remember my mother doing at home. Besides reading.

My mother loved to read and every two weeks she would pack me and my younger brother into the car and drive five miles to Hagerstown where the nearest library was and we would all get armloads of books to bring home to read.  I loved going to the library.  I loved how it smelled. I loved the two older ladies that checked out the books.  I got my love of reading from my mother and I am so glad I did.  My aunt told me one time that when my mother was a girl she always was reading, even when she was ironing clothes.  I believe it. She would get up early every morning and read the Bible and read her library books.   With six children to raise, she had very little time during the day to sit down and read.  Early morning was her time and if one of us kids would get up at five a.m., Mom would tell us to go back to bed for a while longer.  It was her reading time!

My mother was the best cook for miles around.  She fried the best chicken I  have ever tasted. Just last week I fried some chicken and for some reason, it tasted just like Mom’s and I was so excited.  I hadn’t done anything differently.  Maybe it was the chicken itself. I do know the chicken my mother fried was killed one day, dressed and prepared the next, so it was nice and fresh.   Saturday was baking day and all kinds of cakes, cookies and pies came out of Mom’s kitchen.   I was often in the kitchen with her baking something for a 4-H project.  One summer my family grew sick of yellow cake because that is the kind I had to show at the fair.  And one year it was orange breakfast rolls that we had every single week until I showed some at the fair.   I love to bake and it all began in my mother’s kitchen.  I don’t like cooking so much. I think because it is something one has to do every single day if one wants to eat unless you go out to eat every day, which we don’t.  My mother was cooking all the time when she wasn’t cleaning or gardening.  She loved to garden.  I have some of her perennials in my own garden today.    I remember an old fashion rose bush that smelled heavenly growing on a fence by our vegetable garden gate. Every year it was loaded with pink roses.  She grew African violets and my daddy built her a window hothouse in which to grow them. She became quite an expert at raising them and had many beautiful violets growing all year round in the window.

My mother was terrified of storms. When one would come up, she would tell us to stay away from windows and she would huddle somewhere in the house far from any window.  One year lightning struck our house and blew the telephone clear off the wall.  That kind of reinforced Mom’s fear of storms.  And yet, she liked to watch rain come over the hill and down to our little farm. I loved storms until this year lightning struck an electric poll near our house and took out several of our electrical appliances and the internet. Now, when I hear thunder, I start unplugging things.  I understand now to be fearful of lightning.

Mom wasn’t a hugger or kisser except when Daddy would grab her and spin her around and hug and kiss her. She would act all embarrassed and we kids would go, “Ewwww!” but we really loved it.  With her strong German heritage, she didn’t demonstrate her love that way and even though I got few hugs from her, I knew she loved me.  There was no doubt in my mind.   She would do anything for her children, but she did expect us to mind her.

My mother told us interesting stories like when Pearl Harbor was attacked and about all the airplanes that flew overhead for hours heading west.   She lived through the Great Depression and told about men who would come to their door asking for food and Grandma would give them some. My Grandpa worked in a grocery so they were never without food and shared what they had.  Back then they called those men hobos although they were men out of work traveling across the country looking for a job.  She told about a little boy who went missing in her town when she was a girl and that the last time he was seen he was walking with a woman with long, dark hair.  I don’t know if she told me that story in order that I would be wary of strangers, but it sure did make me so.  She told about the days when she would go home for lunch from school, crossing the rail road track and then when she was going back to school a train would be on the track and how some kids crawled underneath it to get back to school on time. I asked her if she ever did and she told me, no.  I wish I could talk to her again and hear her stories. I know I would listen more closely and ask a whole lot more questions.  She told me about walking to church and the library just a few blocks from her home. I thought it was wonderful to live so close to a library.   One of her best friends was Dr. Dubois’s daughter. He was the town doctor.  He lived just a couple of blocks from my mother’s house.  Her friend moved to California and she never heard from her again. I am glad I still hear from my best friends from school.  Not often, but we do keep in touch.  I think my mother always missed her best friend.  She told me about her Aunt Emmie and Aunt Idy whom she loved and visited quite often. They, of course, lived in the same town not far from my mother and she could visit them any time she wanted. All my aunts and uncles lived far away from me most of my life so I didn’t get to experience that closeness with them.  I wish I could have.

If you still have your mother with you, ask about her history.   Have her write it down.   One day you will wish you had.

Happy Birthday, Mom.  I miss you.   Say hello to daddy for me. Bye.

 

A Most Excellent Weekend

  Last weekend was David’s birthday.   He had the whole weekend off so we made plans. 

First of all, Friday, his birthday, we spent most of the day in front of the television watching the presidential inauguration.  This election in the states has been like none other I can ever remember.    But now, we have a new president and we celebrated it because we live in a free country where we can elect a new president every four or eight years and the country doesn’t fall apart.  Or at least, I hope it doesn’t.  Some people are taking it pretty hard, which I don’t understand because I have lived under several presidents I was not fond of, but they were my president and I lived with it.   Anyway, I enjoyed all the pomp and circumstance of the ceremony. Loved seeing what all the women were wearing.  Loved the music. Well, most of it.  Loved the parade.  The high school band in my town played in the parade.  They were asked to play for Vice President Mike Pence, who is from Indiana, at another venue before inauguration day.   It was an exciting time for them, I am sure.  Something they will remember all their lives

David and I enjoyed the day and later, I took him out for dinner where he got a free dessert for his birthday and then we came home to have cake and ice cream. David is a sugarholic so he was in heaven.

Saturday we got up and drove to Indianapolis to the Indianapolis Home Show.  There were many exhibitors in three buildings, but David and I missed one of the buildings because we didn’t read the program they gave us.  We did that the last time we went to the home show.  You’d think we would learn.  There was so much to see, but it was very crowded.  In one booth I found the table I want for my shop or at least what I want my shop table to look like.

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This one cost ten thousand dollars!!!  It had a granite top and a special finish, but I didn’t think it was that special.  David can make one that looks like this for a whole lot less than this one costs, but he knows what I want now and has a picture of it.  His may not have drawers either, but that’s okay.   I don’t think our whole kitchen remodel cost as much as this table.  There were a lot of exhibitors, a lot of window displays and outdoor furniture and patios and flowers.

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Planted just for this show.

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Forsythia.

There were birdhouses for sale, pots and pans for sale, mops for sale with people demonstrating them.   I bought a new toy.

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A steamer.  Actually, I bought me more work.  A note to whoever has a steamer.  Don’t use it on wood floors or laminate floors. They say you can, but my son-in-law sells flooring and he said that steamers will ruin them very quickly. Glad he told me because the salesman did say I could use it on wood and laminate, both of which I have.

We spent much of the day at the show and afterward went to our motel where we were staying the night.   Then we went to Olive Garden where David got another free dessert for his birthday.   And our weekend was not over yet.

Sunday we lazed around and then drove to Nashville.

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Driving down the hill into Nashville.  We were meeting some family for dinner.   When we got into the restaurant the waitress immediately told us they were out of rice and cornbread!  Well, we hadn’t even looked at the menu yet.  My son said he wanted the fish with rice and a huge order of cornbread!    The food was good and the company was even better.

Then we went to our daughter’s house to visit.

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The men went outdoors and shot guns.

The women stayed inside and played with these.

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Golden retriever puppies. Two boys and two girls.  That’s their mother, Lily.

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And this is their daddy, Oliver.

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“I did nothing.”

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How cute is this?  They are going to keep this one since he was born on our grandson’s birthday.   They named him Farley.

David and I walked outside and found this.

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What is this, you say?  Looks like a pile of trash, doesn’t it?  Oh, no.

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Come closer and see.

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Just a hole in the ground, you say?  It’s a hideout, built by our grandsons and some of their friends.

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Complete with a mailbox!

David and I walked down the hill by our property and on to another property that is for sale on the mountain.

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The man who owned all the property had originally wanted several houses built around a cul-de-sac.  We walked back and around the cul-de-sac with our grandsons.  I love being on the hill.  It’s so peaceful up here and even in the dead of winter I think it is beautiful.  There is a log cabin for sale by here that we looked at.  We have pondered selling our house and building a house on the hill, but it would be a twenty mile drive to doctors, dentists and our church and we are not sure we want to make that move, yet.   Who knows?   We are open to change.  I told our grandson that we might sell our house and he said, “But, I like your house.”  Okay, we won’t sell it until he’s grown.  So many happy memories in our home.

We finally came home tired, but happy that we had such a nice weekend and decided we need to get away more often.  My birthday is coming up in March.  Another trip?  Hmmmm.

Here’s to birthdays and puppies.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Week Between

Santa has hung up his hat for another year.

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There really ought to be a name for the week between Christmas and New Year’s.  I mean, you just spent weeks in a wild scramble to decorate, buy gifts, wrap the gifts, plan a special meal, attend a Christmas cantanta, do some partying if you are so inclined and then Christmas comes and all the gifts are opened, the family comes, the family goes and in a few hours, it’s over.  I spent the day after coming down from a complete high.  Nothing to hurry to get done.  No cleaning to do. No where to go.  Ahh, sweet, sweet nothingness.   Sleep in, read, knit just for the enjoyment.  Work on a new little project I was chomping at the bits to start before Christmas.  But I still felt a little lost. Like something was missing.  The week of nothingness.   I just wish Christmas had  lasted longer.  And all the tv has is reruns.  Glad we have Netflix, but we finished the final show in the series of Longmire, which had quickly become my favorite show on television.  I understand there will be a sixth season of it so will have to wait until it comes on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it and like good stories, good acting, handsome men and the west, you will love it.  Lou Diamond Phillips is in it and he’s a hunk and the star, Robert Taylor isn’t bad either. (Hope David doesn’t read this!)  If we didn’t have Netflix, we probably would not watch much tv.  I am trying to cut back and do more reading.  I’ve put several books on my Kindle.  Does anyone else who has Kindle feel like they read faster than when reading from a book?   I feel like I fly through books now.  I got Kindle Unlimited because I was buying so many books.  Now I can read as many as I want for the price of one book.   There is an author I discovered, George Mahood, who has written books about things he has done like bicycle from the bottom tip of England to the top tip of Scotland with no money, no bicycle and no clothes, except the shorts he had on.  No bicycle, you ask?  You will have to read the book.  He and a friend did it in three weeks with absolutely no money in their pockets.  He wrote a book about a trip he took through the United States which was really good and made me love my country even more. That book was called, “Not Tonight, Josephine.”  You will have to read it to find out who Josephine is.  It’s nice when someone from another country says so many nice things about my country.  Another book he wrote was about different holidays no one has ever heard of before and he tried to celebrate one each day of the year.  Did you know that January 2 is cats’ new year?  It’s called Happy Mew Year. If you want to laugh out loud, read one of his books.

We are the grandparents of four brand new golden retriever puppies.  Our daughter’s dog had them on my grandson’s, her son’s birthday.  What a gift.  We haven’t seen them yet, but hope to see them this week.  I will get some pictures to show you.

Now that the new year is here, I am planning.  One of the things that makes life worth living, is to have something to look forward to. I read that somewhere.  Someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to.  I have been blest all my life with all three.     I am always planning. I have known friends who were still making plans on their deathbed.  I think that is the human condition.  We make plans.  Of course, life almost never goes as we plan it which is what makes it so interesting.

This Christmas almost everyone got socks that I had hand knitted.  It became a running joke as each person opened a package and there were socks.  My youngest grandson looked at me with a worried look and said, “Grandma, I hope I’m not getting socks!”   He didn’t.  All the younger boys got train sets this year. And Nerf guns with plenty of Nerf bullets.

Here is a picture of those who got socks this Christmas, or at least their feet.

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From the leftover yarn I am knitting patchwork socks.  I already have a pair ready for next Christmas!

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Yes, it was a sock year.

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Once you have worn hand knitted sock, you never want to go back to store bought.  They are warm and comfy and stretchy.  One year I bought a couple of pair of socks from the Ralph Lauren store that were really cute, but when I got them home, they had absolutely no stretch in them.  I could barely get them over my heels.  Sad, too, because they were really, really cute.  I have no trouble getting hand knit socks on and off.  I hope they last longer than store bought socks also.

Not to say we have been doing nothing this week.  I made a big pot of potato soup with jalapeno and cheese sausages.

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David and I spent a quiet New Year’s Eve. We went to an Italian restaurant and ate dinner. That night while watching one of the New Year’s shows I suddenly got hungry for pancakes.  “I’ll make some, ” David said.  And he did.

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With strawberry preserves and whipped topping.  Yum.  What better way to end one year and start the next.  I just said we were having breakfast extra early.

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The project I have worked on this week were these little trees  Patchwork pines.  Tattered Trees.  They are  the creation of Ann Wood, a blogger I just discovered who makes the cutest things out of used things, paper machine and  anything she can find.  She provided the pattern for these for free.  I, of course, could not make just one and ended up with a little forest of them.

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Then I put them with little houses my daddy had made years ago and made a little village on our mantle.

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With kissing Grandpa and Grandma, of course.  Ha.

Besides all the other things going on, we had three birthdays in December and on Christmas day we celebrated our youngest grandson’s eighth birthday.  It’s hard for me to think he is already this old. Just seems he was born and he’s half grown almost.

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I made him a cake with a banner with his name on it.

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He seemed happy with it.

And just because we have nothing else to do, David and I started a puzzle this week.

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I ordered this from the Current catalog months ago and we said we’d wait until after Christmas to start it.  It is really a fun and interesting puzzle to do.  Not sure about the marijuana leaves on it, but some states have legalized it.  Even though I was a teen and a college student in the sixties, I can honestly say I have never tried marijuana  and don’t plan to start.  I have always been careful about the drugs that go into my body.  I don’t like taking aspirins too well, but will if necessary.

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This is a pretty big puzzle.  I like how the light is shining on it right now.

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Spread out on two tables. David is really the puzzle maker in our house.  I get impatient and frustrated after a while and have to leave. David will sit for hours working on it and he is not intimidated by all the white pieces in this puzzle.

Well, we don’t know what this year will bring.  Just living it one day at a time and trying to enjoy every moment.  I hope January goes really slow.  We will have a presidential inauguration and David’s birthday on the same day.  That will be fun.

This is the year I am going to start walking again  I was up to five miles a day a couple of years ago and then I hurt both my legs at different times and it was hard to walk a mile without pain, so, this is the year I am going to try to get back to walking again.   I will start slow with a mile or so and work up from there.  I will keep you posted and maybe you would like to start this journey with me.  After all, a journey begins with just one step.  Bye.