Category Archives: Family memories

A Star is Born

When our children were growing up, they all took lessons in music on one instrument or another.  One son played the bass, our oldest played the violin and cello and our daughter played violin and piano.  Because my one regret is that I refused to take piano lessons when they were offered to me, I wanted to make sure my children learned an instrument.

When one of my older brothers was taking piano, I taught myself his recital music and could play it as well as he.  In fact, I can still sit down at the piano and play it from memory.  I never did learn how to really play the piano and I have always been sorry about that.  But I’d hammer on the piano every day, probably driving my mother crazy hearing the same tune over and over.

Fast forward to today and now I have grandchildren who are musical.   This week we attended our grandson’s first recital.  I was really excited about it because I have always loved orchestra music.  I like it better than just about any other kind of music.  He just started to learn the cello this year.

Our daughter told us when to arrive. The recital was held at one of the high schools in the city.  When we drove there, we noticed there was a very long line of cars and I jokingly said they were probably all going to the recital.  To my and David’s surprise, they were!   We snaked along until we got to the school and could find no parking spaces. Our daughter neglected to tell us this recital was for every string class from every school in the county!    So, there were a lot of people there.  We finally found a spot to squeeze into and got inside where the bleachers were almost full. Our youngest grandson came and got us and showed us where we were to sit with our daughter and son-in-law.   We had pretty good seats.  Then the star of the show appeared.

At least to me he was the star of the show. I was so proud of him  And he’s growing up way too fast.

Don’t know if he was nervous or not, but I’m sure there were a few butterflies in his stomach.  It was so wonderful seeing that such a large number of young people are taking strings.

From fifth grade to seniors in high school were there to play their instruments.  There was excitement in the air. So many proud parents and grandparents to see their loved ones show their skills.

Our youngest grandson and he says he will be taking an instrument next year in school.  How did the baby of our family get this big?

When I took violin as an adult, I remember playing some of these songs.   I can read music and play a little on both violin and piano. Not good enough to do it in public.

So the elementary children played first.

So much concentration.  They sounded pretty good.

Then the continuing strings, still elementary children, played and they were just a little better.

The middle school children got up and gave a small gift to each elementary child in the orchestra and then they played and sounded just a bit better.

Then the high school children got up and gave a little gift to all the middle school children and then they played and they sounded wonderful. That is what practice, practice, practice and years of taking an instrument will do. Makes one a very good musician.  I just thought it was nice how the older ones were so encouraging to the younger ones.

The final number by the high school orchestra was the 1812 Overture.  Now I saw the big drums in the background and I knew the song was a battle song, but when the first beat on the drum was hit, I almost jumped out of my seat and let out a cry that made everyone sitting around me start to giggle. A man sitting in back of me leaned over and said, “That startled me, too.”   I was prepared when it happened again.  But it was all wonderful.  I enjoyed it so much.

I really hope our grandsons will love playing an instrument and continue with it.

We geared up for a big snowstorm this weekend, but so far all we have had is rain today.  I made beef vegetable soup. First time I have ever made it and it was soooo good.

It doesn’t look like there are any vegetables or beef in this, but it was full of carrots, green beans, potatoes and corn and crushed tomatoes. Yum.

It was delicious. Found the recipe on Allrecipes.com.

Hope the weather is good where you are. We are looking at ice and snow coming. Bye.

 

 

Nostalgia at the Craig House

Every year when Christmas comes around I grow nostalgic remembering Christmases past. I have been so blessed all my life in having Christmases that were filled with family, love and fun.

When I was growing up, besides Summer, Christmas was my very favorite time of year.  From the start of a new school year until the big day, I was always looking forward to it, planning for it, thinking about what I would get under the tree, practicing Christmas songs for the school program or church program.  When Ruth Lyons . who was the host of  the 50-50 Club, a tv show out of Cincinnati, began to sing how many days there were until Christmas, I knew the Christmas season had really begun.   My family would make the trip to the city to Veach’s, a toy and department store that sold everything you could think of. Down in its basement were all the toys and it was packed from floor to ceiling with all things that make children’s hearts sing.  I had my eye on a blue Schwinn bicycle one year.  I had learned to ride a bike the previous Summer on my brother’s bicycle so I was ready to get one of my own.

As I was scrolling through family photos for this post about Christmas I got tears in my eyes remembering all the people who are gone, families that have broken apart, children who have grown up and moved away.  Remember that scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation where Chevy Chase’s character gets locked in the attic and he finds an old projector and watches old movies and cries? That was me, looking at these old pictures. Everyone looks so young in them.   Sad music should have been playing in the background as I looked at picture after picture.  But all I could think was, “we sure have been blessed.”

So without further ado, here are some pictures of Christmases past at our house.

We always had a lot of gifts under the tree.   I loved shopping back then.

Our two boys, nineteen months apart.  They were always so excited about Christmas. too.

Our daughter. She must have been very happy with her present.

 

The boys watching with interest what I was unwrapping.  Not a very pretty pose. Notice the playpen my foot is on. Do people use those anymore?  It was like a cage for your kid when you wanted to keep them out of things.

I made both of our outfits that year.

I made both my boys’ outfits, too.

I went through a gingerbread house making kick for a while. I use to bake and bake before Christmas. This year, one batch of cookies.  Everyone is on a diet of some kind.

Yes, I made these outfits also. My poor boys had to wear a lot of clothes that I made.  I didn’t make quilts back then.

I really must have shopped a lot that year!

One year we went to the Virgin Islands. David’s mother ran a guest house down there and we spent Christmas with her.  It seemed very strange to be where it was so warm at Christmas.

Here was David and our daughter with her cousins looking on as she opened a present.

We spent days at the beach in the middle of the Winter.

This was the view from David’s mother’s house.  Not bad.

The years have flown by so quickly.

My mother and daddy loved Christmas.  When all us kids were grown, we met at their house on Christmas Eve every year and gave each other gifts.

Mom opening a gift while two of her grandsons looked on.

My daddy loved having us all together. Behind him is my oldest brother, Jack, who passed away many years ago.  I still miss him and can’t wait to see him again.  He was in college before I even started school.   If you could see his senior picture, he looked like a young Clark Gable without the moustache. Jack was a very handsome man. And a kind man. I’m so glad he was my brother.

Daddy’s sister, my Aunt Ruth is behind Daddy. She never married and lived with her parents until both of them died and then she came and lived with us. Family took care of each other back then.   If one didn’t have a home, they were taken in by family.  My parents took care of my daddy’s father in his last days, my mother’s mother until she had to go into a nursing home because mom could not lift her any longer and Aunt Ruth.  Aunt Ruth was a very sweet lady and she always dressed so nicely and smelled so good.  I don’t know what kind of perfume she wore, but I always loved it.  She lived with us almost all through my childhood and after I married and left home.  I’ll always think my brother became the reader and excellent student he became because Aunt Ruth spent hours reading him storybooks.  The same ones, over and over again.

These final pictures are how I remember Christmas the best.

The looks of sheer delight on our children’s faces as they came downstairs Christmas morning.

It was always the same year after year.

Even when one was suffering from an earache, he was still excited Christmas morning.

And remembering David’s grandmother who was always so kind to me and really loved our children.  The feeling was mutual.

A big green machine and a new bicycle one year.  We lived on a big hill right beside a park with a lake.  You can see the lake behind the boys through the trees.  I really loved living there and cried so much when we had to move.

Family. It’s what Christmas means to me. From that precious family in the stable on that first Christmas, down through the centuries to my little family and now on to theirs and on and on.  But Christmas will always be about one thing to me. Love. Merry Christmas. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cluck, Cluck, Quilt.

I haven’t talked about my chickens for a while so here’s some pictures of my girls. It was a sunny day and they greeted me as they always do by the garden gate.

Loved the way the shadows played on their feathers.

Miss Mary Foster, my little crippled hen, but she doesn’t know that.  She lays one egg almost every day.

“Where’s the chicken crack?”

I have two Buff Orpingtons. They are so pretty and good egg layers also.

Every time I go to Rural King, I look at the baby chickens if they have them.  My flock is down to nine birds from twelve so I really can’t add many more until some of them go to, ahem, chicken heaven.    We won’t talk about that, though, especially around the ladies.   Having chickens is just so much fun for me and I can’t see a future without them.  I have to hire a pet sitter for them when we go away just like for the dogs.

Just had to share these pictures of Molly Marshmallow sitting out in her chair nodding off to sleep.

She almost fell off the chair and I was laughing at her as I took her pictures.

My pets give me endless joy.

I told you in my last post I was doing a mystery block quilt and I finally got it done.  In fact, I got several done.   Kathleen Tracy shared this pattern on her Facebook page so if you want to make one of these quilts, go to her group under files and find the pattern. It’s really simple, something I needed right now and yet I ended up with a very cute quilt.  Here are mine….

This was the first one I made.  I bought the ticking at an antique store and the floral fabric I originally bought years ago to make an apron, but decided I’d rather put it in quilts as I have a lot of aprons already.

Then I decided to make a Christmas themed one…

And then another vintage looking one…

And material for yet another one, which I already have all cut out…

These little quilts are almost addictive. They are quick to make and now I have a good start on next year’s Christmas!

I bought this book of Kathleen Tracy’s a while back and have made a few small quilts from it.

I made the quilt that is on the cover. Don’t have it quilted yet, but think this one will be hand quilted.

Here it is hanging behind my cardio-glide which I use once in a while for exercise.

I have my quilting mojo back. It kind of got lost in my sock knitting craze. I still knit a little every single day and everyone got or is getting socks if they want them for Christmas. I just hung them up on the fireplace mantle and let people pick a pair they want.

You can just see the socks on the mantle at the right.

We had one Christmas gathering with family already last Saturday night.   We had a good time together, although one of my grandsons was not feeling well. They found out this week he has abcesses in his colon and is on antibiotics for it now.   He was really sick for a few days.   Anyway, I gave him and his older brother each a pair of these socks.(warning to all Trump haters, don’t look!)

There is a company called John’s Crazy Socks. This man has a son with Down’s Syndrome and they started a company together and sell all kinds of socks and I found these and knew I had to buy them.

Along with the socks, I got a thank you note from John and a small bag of Skittles.  Kind of a nice touch for a company.

Anyway, the socks were a hit.

Put on and modeled. The socks come with a little comb to  comb President Trump’s hair.

Went out yesterday and saw these flowers blooming.

Honeysuckle. Confused because we have had such warm temperatures the past few days.  It won’t last, but it’s been nice.

Before we know it, it will be Spring. Someone said only about ninety-five days away which will fly by like it all does now.

Another project that I have become obsessed with.  Making twine.  I got the directions from this magazine which I love.

They call it ribbon in the magazine, but I call it twine.  It’s great for decorating packages, but I also think I will use it to tie up plants on stakes and maybe use as shoelaces.   Here’s how much twine I’ve made so far.

It’s really fun to make and is so pretty.   And last, but not least, another quilt I plan to make after Christmas, if not before…..

I’m done making large quilts for a while although I do have a few UFO’s I do need to finish.  Looks like a busy year ahead for quilting.

This was David’s and my very first Christmas tree the first year we were married. We went out in the woods and cut it down. I didn’t have a lot of ornaments then, but I loved our first tree and our first tiny house.  You see those tiny houses on tv now. Well, we lived in a tiny house with three tiny rooms and  I had to shower in the basement under an open shower head, no bathroom down there.    We didn’t live there long, but I have such happy memories of it.

Feeling nostalgic?  My next post will be about Christmases past.   Bye.

 

 

Halloween

I’m not sure if Halloween is purely an American holiday, but we Americans sure go all out for it every year.  It’s been reported we spend as much on Halloween decorations as we do Christmas ones.  I’m not sure about that because I have never gone out driving to see the Halloween lights, but if “they” say so, it must be so.

I loved Halloween when I was a kid. We lived in a tiny town of about 400 people and everyone knew everyone else or was related to them or knew some of their relations.   I knew the grandparents, cousins and aunt and uncle of my husband long before I met him because he was an “out of towner.”    So, when you went trick or treating, you knew every one in every house you visited.

I don’t remember any of my Halloween costumes except one. My mother made me a white rabbit suit one year with long ears and a furry tail.  It was so hot to wear, but I loved that thing.   I was probably a first or second grader at the time and our class paraded around the school in our costumes, going into each classroom.  Now my school had grades one through twelve in one building.  I had older brothers and a sister in the school at the time so we visited their classrooms.   I remember going in one room and suddenly one of the older boys was laughing and  pointing at me.  I wondered what was so funny until someone told me my flap was down.  There was a flap on the backside of the costume so I could well, use the bathroom should I need to, and evidently I had not refastened it.   I was so embarrassed.   I walked out of the room backward.

In other years I am sure my mother bought those hot fabric masks they use to sell in the five and dime stores and I would find some old clothes of some kind to wear and my brothers would take me trick or treating.   I remember wearing those masks and sweating and the more I breathed in and out,  the sweatier I got. Those masks sell for high prices in antique stores now.

Since everyone knew each other, at each house the person handing out the treats would try to guess who we were before they would give us any candy.  It was a long drawn out affair with names being guessed and I could only shake my head so as not to give myself away.   Finally they would guess who I was and put a candy bar in my bag.  Back then we got the big size candy bars, not the tiny ones handed out now.  I was taught to say “thank you,” and then we would proceed to the next house.  Being a country girl, it was so much fun to be in the “big” city going door to door and seeing all the people I knew.

When we had visited about every house in town we would go back home and mother would put a sheet on the floor and we would dump our bags onto it one at a time. For some reason my brothers always seemed to have more candy than I did.  They would have these big piles while my little pile looked puny in comparison. But still, there was a lot of candy and we got to eat some before we went to bed and then mother would put it up and dole it out a little at a time.

When my children use to go trick or treating they would bring their bags home and dump it all out. I would always look for the Snickers bars and when the candy was put away, the Snickers bars would mysteriously disappear from the candy stash.  My children are old enough now I can tell them my deep, dark secret.  But they very rarely got to eat any of the Snickers bars they got in their trick or treat bags.    I don’t think they really cared because they didn’t like Snickers or at least that’s what I tell myself!

When I got older and thought I was too old to trick or treat I wanted to go out tricking like some of the older kids would do. You could always tell it was Halloween in our town because all the windows of every business had been soaped. I don’t think that’s done much anymore and would probably get kids in trouble now, but back then it was a rite of passage. Soaping was taking a bar of soap and writing or scribbling something on windows.     So one year my very best friend, Mary Jean, and I decided we would soap windows.   We were both terrified of getting caught so we didn’t soap many windows, but we did throw shelled corn on people’s porches and thought we were sooo bad!  But it was harmless fun and the adults in our town knew to expect it and put up with it for one night of the year.    There was some outhouse tipping that was not funny and my brothers told of some cow tipping although I think that was just a myth that came out every Halloween.

Back in the day my brothers use to tell me there were these two men who lived in our barn.  They would tell me they heard them talking and would scare me so much.  I didn’t now why my daddy would permit two men to live in our barn.  I think that was another myth my brothers told just to scare their little sister.  At least I hope so.

My daddy worked nights in those days and we kids and our mother would sit up waiting for him to come home.  One Halloween we were sitting outside looking at the moon and my mother said she saw a witch fly across the moon.  My mother could tell a story and make me believe it no matter what it was about.  I just knew she had seen a witch fly across the moon.  She saw a UFO once(or so she said) and I was forever looking up in the sky for a UFO.    Those were such fun times though and I remember them with such fondness.

So now I watch as my grandchildren celebrate Halloween by dressing up and collecting candy. My grandsons go trick or treating two or three times and don’t usually know most of the people who give them candy.   My one grandson dressed up like the headless horseman this year.

Speaking of the headless horseman. We always watched Disney’s cartoon version which was usually shown right around Halloween.  It would always scare me to death. Poor Ichabod Crane. No one ever knew what became of him. So when I learned that Conner Prairie, an 1836 reproduction village north of Indianapolis had headless horseman hayrides, I just had to go.  My older grandchildren and their mother go every year.  First you walk around Conner Prairie where they have puppet shows, crafts and food booths and a story teller and then when it’s your turn you get on a big wagon with several other happy people and ride back in the woods. Slowly your horses clop along.  You sit there in anticipation. Suddenly, there he is, the headless horseman coming behind the wagon on a big, black horse, his cape flying, his head gone and he is galloping faster and faster.   He is laughing this awful laugh as he comes closer and closer and suddenly he is right beside the wagon and you can feel the horse’s breath right on you if you are sitting in the back, which I was, and you scream your head off until he finally gallops away.  So much fun!!!

They say Halloween is a pagan holiday. It may be for some. For me it’s all about fun. As long a no one gets hurt or too scared it’s a holiday I hope we continue to celebrate.  I don’t go for the gory or bloody or murderous Halloween. I go for more the Casper the Friendly Ghost kind of Halloween.  The candy filled Halloween. The cute costumes Halloween.  The slightly scary Halloween.  Happy Halloween!  Bye.

 

Oh, Glorious Days

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

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

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

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This one is a Junior. Ack!

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

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

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

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Sitting on his mama’s lap between games.

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

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

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

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The sky was so blue that day.

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

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

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My hydrangea had more flowers on it than ever before.

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

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

 

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Fairy lights, pumpkins and Halloween figures on the mantel.

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Autumn Weekend

Autumn has officially began with all its glory.  No, the trees are not changing color yet, but lots of things shout that Autumn is here. Everywhere you go, you see pumpkins at roadside stands, in fields and at grocery stores.  Mums in all different colors are displayed and tempt us to buy one, two or three.

Candy corn and candy pumpkins are put out in the stores. We have already gone through three bags of candy pumpkins or I should say,  David has gone through three bags of pumpkins. I ate one pumpkin, but I think they taste like wax.   I did some baking in an Autumn theme.  Cookies for a bake sale iced in orange icing and sprinkled with orange sprinkles.  My daughter said they made $275 for the MS Society at the sale, the charity the children chose to donate to.  I also baked a caked, iced in orange icing with candy pumpkins on top.

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I am slowly decorating for Autumn.

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The little tray I bought at an antique store filled with, what else, pumpkins.

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I love getting out all my Autumn quilts.  I am working on a pumpkin quilt right now and have an apple one to finish.  Maybe this week or next  I will be done painting and will have time to devote to quilting.  Speaking of painting, I have been painting on something since the first of the year.  I painted the inside of my shop, the shed, the outside of my shop, boards for our new screened in porch, stained and polyurethaned  two screen doors, and today I finished staining the floor of our front porch once again. I also am preparing to paint four new barn quilts to hang on the front of our house.   To say I am growing tired of painting is an understatement.

I love changing out my wardrobe from Summer things to cool weather things. I am getting out my clothes and washing and ironing them getting ready for a new season.

 

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Our Grandboys spent the weekend with us.  It’s always fun to have them here. We went to see the movie, “Small Foot” about a man taken in by the Yeti who considered him an object of curiosity.   It was cute, but I thought the music was way too loud.  The movie, “Goosebumps 2” that is coming looks really good. I don’t see too many movies anymore because most just aren’t my cup of tea.  There are very few movies made for adults that appeal to me.  There is always a hidden message that I don’t care to see. Why does Hollywood do that?  Just make a good movie with good dialogue and we will come.

Took the boys to church and right in the middle of it, one of them left to go to the bathroom and was in there for a very long time so David got up to check on him. A while later, here they came and Foster had lost a tooth.   He put it in his pocket to take home, but later I saw it lying on the floor underneath a pew.  Wonder what the janitors would have thought about finding a tooth in the sanctuary?  I use to clean our church. I found some strange stuff at times.

Anyway, he put the tooth back in his pocket and I hope the tooth fairy was good to him.

We took the boys home and visited with our granddogs.  I love Golden Retrievers, but I will never have one because of the long hair that has to be brushed all the time.  My daughter’s Goldens are just beautiful and the sweetest things.  I took lots of pictures of them with the boys.

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Lily, on the floor is the mother.

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Two sweet faces.

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Now that’s a doggie smile. My son-in-law was telling me that one day when he was off work, he was putting his shoes on to take a walk and the dogs all knew what was happening and he said they all looked like they had big smiles on their faces because they knew they were going out for a walk with him. Oliver, the dog who lost his leg in a trap, still wanders sometimes.   You would think he had learned.

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This is Oliver, the one I wrote a story about. He is so beautiful and you hardly notice he has a leg gone.

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You can tell the boys and the dogs love each other.

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Really tried to get a picture outside, but the dogs didn’t cooperate.  They wanted to play.

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My grandson made a basketball goal out of paper just because he wanted to.

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I like to encourage creativity.  I think he did a good job.

This week will be more trips to Indianapolis for my daughter’s PT.  We had a little excitement coming home last time. We were driving along on the interstate and a car with some men inside, drove up beside us and a man pointed to our car and wanted us to stop. Me, being the paranoid person I am, and having heard of scams where men do this to women to get them to stop, I told my daughter to just keep driving. The men had pulled off to the side of the interstate thinking we would follow them. We were near our exit and the outlet mall where David works so we drove to the store and I went in and he came out to see. Lo and behold, we had a sort of flat tire.  David looked at it and had us go to a filling station to fill it with air.     A side story. Once when we were traveling through Arizona, we stopped at a filling station and suddenly a man came up and looked under our car and said if we didn’t have a certain thing repaired, our car might flip. David, being a mechanic in the military, knows about cars and blew him off.  We traveled thousands of miles in that car afterward with absolutely no trouble, so I believe we were being scammed in that instance.  But me, I worried all the time about that car flipping!   I am completely useless when it comes to cars and their repairs.

Remember when we had the kittens under our porch?  Our daughter took one and Sunday was the first time I had seen him since she adopted him.

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He is beautiful with a beauty mark on his face.

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But very hard to hang on to.  He’s made them a nice pet.

Here’s to Autumn, Goldens, Grandboys and Cats. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

September, I Hardly Knew Ye

I’m sitting here with a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee laced with Pumpkin Spice creamer watching WPC56, a British crime drama on tv. David and I have a penchant for British shows, especially ones that take place in the middle of the last century when he and I were just babies.  We pretty much watched all they had on Netflix, quit Netflix and started Amazon Prime which has a large selection on Britbox.    One of my favorites I’ve watched in the past few weeks was the Village about a late nineteenth and early twentieth century British village and all the happenings in it. It was before women’s suffrage and during the first world war.    Very interesting.

But enough about what I’m watching. This month has flown by in a haze.  Earlier David and I had both gone in for eye exams and because I have had problems with one of my eyes and am blind in it, I figured the doctor would find something wrong with me, but instead, David found out he had very bad cataracts and had to have surgery to remove them.  He had told me a while ago that when we were sitting and bird watching that the birds looked a little blurry. I thought he just needed a new glasses prescription.  Surprise to us.  So, this week he had the first eye done and while the doctor was in there he fixed David’s astigmatism. After he gets his second eye done he won’t have to wear glasses any longer. Just use reading glasses.   I have only known him wearing glasses and I’ve known him since I was twelve, so it will be strange to see him go without them.  He has already seen a difference. Amazing what they can do nowadays.

My daughter has MS and has entered a new physical therapy study in Indianapolis and I volunteered to go with her two times a week for moral support.  Plus I have to get her scooter out of the car and put it back in again.  Let’s just say, I have very little upper body strength so it’s been fun getting that scooter in and out of the car. We practically have to take it all apart so I can lift it, but we get it done.  She has a very nice therapist whose name is Depak who is very inspirational and makes us both feel like he can help her movement a lot more.  So I’m looking forward to the next ten weeks as she is put through the paces.

I have been knitting up a storm.  David and I took a road trip to a little town that had a really nice yarn shop and I bought this yarn

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I’ve already knit one sock from this.

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This is knitting up into a beautiful sock.

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This is the yarn I am using. It was a bit pricey, but the yarn is wonderful and knits up so well and I can probably get a couple of pair of small socks from the remaining yarn when I get the larger socks knit.  As of today I have knit fifteen pairs of socks since January and hope to get several more done before Christmas.  I was thinking I would like to knit socks and sell them and was checking out what other people charged for handknit socks and the prices ran from $40.00 a pair to $65.00 a pair depending on the price of the yarn.  I may have to start selling some socks to feed my sock knitting habit I have acquired.   Believe me, the time it takes to make them, getting a pair of handknit socks is a wonderful gift.  I did knit one sock in a couple of  days this week only because I was challenging myself to see if I could do one that quickly.  I know there are lots of faster knitters than me out there, but I never thought I would ever be able to knit one sock, let alone dozens of pairs.

I am hoping to branch out into larger knitted items. I found this pattern at the same store. It looks fairly easy. Just knit rectangles and sew them together. I’m thinking of knitting it in a soft lavender.

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I had Thanksgiving dinner Sunday for my family since we will be gone on Thanksgiving this year.    I hadn’t made a big meal like that for months and it plum wore me out.  I baked a pie, homemade rolls, made homemade noodles and several other dishes to go along.   After I have cooked a big meal like that, I am not hungry until everyone goes home and then my appetite suddenly comes back and then I eat.   As you have read, cooking isn’t my favorite pastime, but I can do it when the need arises.  This next week I will be baking cookies for a bake sale.  One of our grandsons is in a club at school where they do things for others and they are having a bake sale and the profits will go to a charity they have picked, but they have to ask people to bake something for them so my grandson called me on the phone and asked me if I would bake something. Of course. I would do anything for my grandchildren if I can.  Glad they are teaching the children to think of others.    We need more of that.

I didn’t get any pictures of our “Thanksgiving” dinner only the aftermath.

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The table really looked pretty. You’ll have to take my word for it.  But I find I am living more in the moment nowadays and don’t think of taking pictures until it’s too late.   I used my Fiestaware dishes and it was a very colorful table.

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Then we gathered around the tv to see some videos of Disney World rides we will be riding( well, some of us will be riding) when we all go there together.   I’m afraid riding anything that drops suddenly is off my list of rides, but I am sure I will have plenty of things to see and do while we are there.  See the guy in the red shirt on the floor? That’s our oldest son. He is almost fifty and he loves amusement parks. He has a season pass to King’s Island in Cincinnati and goes there almost every day before and/or after work.  He’s ridden all the roller coasters. This is the kid who was afraid of heights and once when we had to sit way up in the uppermost seats at a Cincinnati Reds game, he was afraid.   Things have changed.

October will bring another surgery and more trips to Indianapolis.  I’m hoping to get some quilting done. Ever since we remodeled my shop, I have had hardly any time to just go out there and sew. I did finish sewing together a wall hanging today which thrilled me beyond all reason.   Plus we are getting our house painted and a new screened in back porch built.  It’s going to be another very busy month.

Hope your days are filled with some work and some play and that you will enjoy the Autumn weather because the heat will soon go away.  Halleluhah.   Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August and Where did Summer Go?

When I was a girl, I lived for Summer.  School was a necessary evil.  I did well in school and made good friends, but I preferred to be outdoors and with my animals.    The last day of school was such a celebration for me. I feel sorry for children now who seem to be going to school all year around and don’t have the luxury of long, lazy Summer days to do just what they want to do. It seems children’s lives are so planned now. Even times to play with friends are called “Play Dates.”      Sports and other things fill children’s time.  When do they have the time to be bored?     Being bored is not a bad thing. It’s been made to be a bad thing in today’s fast paced, go, go, go society.  One must be entertained every moment of every day.

I was never bored as a child.   There was always so much to do on the farm.  I did have chores to do, but when they were done, my time was my own.   If I wanted to play a game of baseball, I joined my brothers in the barn lot where we would play all afternoon.  A game of croquet or badminton sometimes was the order of the day.  But mostly I played with the dogs and the cats and the calves and baby pigs and chickens and ducklings on our farm or swung on the swing and read a library book for hours.   Because we lived in the country, I didn’t have friends close by to play with so I had to entertain myself.  I learned to sew on Mother’s sewing machine, how to cut apart a chicken for Sunday dinner and how to saddle a horse.   I was in 4-H where I learned to embroider, bake cakes, tube paint, weave baskets and raise a sheep.

I still love Summers, but they seem so busy now.  Every year we plan a project and this year it is painting all the buildings on our property.  Most have not been painted for years so they are due.  I wanted to paint the outside of my shop, but first I had to remove everything that was on the front porch.

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This is not all of it. It looked like we were having a garage sale.

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And so I began to paint.

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Going from the color Chocolate which has been on our house and our buildings for years and years to Oxford Brown or as I like to call it Dark Chocolate. The paint looked just like chocolate syrup in the can.   Between David and myself we have the shop just about done. I love how it looks. We are hiring someone to paint the house because no more going up high ladders for David and my anymore.      We have wood fencing all around our property which we have been painting on for years and this year we hope to have most of it completed.  I love to paint, but I have been painting on something since January and am about done for a while.

Since it’s been our 50th anniversary month David and I have been doing some traveling and visiting places from our youth

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The church where we said our “I dos” 50 years ago.  It looks pretty much like it did fifty years ago.  Golly, but it seems like only yesterday.  I can still see the people at the door of the church throwing rice as David and I got in the car to drive around town.  David’s brother was driving. He came up from the Virgin Islands,   where he lived, to be David’s best man. They drive on the left side of the road there. When he left the church, he was driving on the left side of the street and we had to holler at him to get to the right!  It was one of the best days of my life.   It’s been a great 50 years.

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David’s Grandmother’s house.  She’s been gone many years, but we use to visit her often and she would cook us dinners.  She was a very good cook.

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We’d sit on this front porch and  watch the town go by. It was and still is a little town where everyone use to know everyone else. I don’t know if it’s like that now.   I miss it.  I miss Grandma Henley. She was so good to me.

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We’ve done a good bit of swimming with the grandboys.  We got this wild steer for them to ride in the pool.

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We are still getting rhubarb.  Made this freezer jam.

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Rhubarb sauce which David loves.  He even puts it on ice cream.

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And Rhubarb crunch. Yum.

And we have done some antiquing and other things.

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Found this clock for my shop which was perfect.

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This cute little tray.

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This tablecloth which matched the clock completely.

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A birdhouse I found.  A four holer.   Hope the birds can decide among themselves.

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We ate at a German restaurant which had very good food.

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Sitting out on the shop porch one evening, we watched a rainbow be born. I have never seen it happen before.  First it was very dim and got brighter and brighter and lasted for quite a while.  God’s promise.

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There have been quite a few rainbows lately.

And so Summer continues on for just a little while. I will hold it to me as long as I can.  I have so few Summers left on this great planet of ours.  As long as my garden is blooming, it’s Summer to me.

And my garden is blooming profusely right now.

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The view from my back door.  Everything is so lush.

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The best hydrangeas I have ever grown.  Right by our front step.

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I think these are called Tiger Lilies.  Their seeds look like ripe blackberries.

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I call this my kitchen garden.  Not much food grown here except a few tomatoes.

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Hibiscus grow all over the yard from one plant I got from my neighbor years ago.

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Lawn children play among the flowers.  A long time ago real children played in my garden.  Now they are all grown and live away.

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Just a couple of the day lilies I grow. They are one of my top five favorite flowers for beauty and ease of care.

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Belle roaming in her garden.  She loves to sniff the flowers.

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And, of course, Molly follows me everywhere I go.

So, Summer slowly leaves us now. I’ll be looking at these pictures in the midst of Winter snow, sleet and ice.   I know in some places fires are raging so we must send a prayer for all those in the areas, for the people and for the wildlife. Be safe. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Not Even Summer Yet

 

I can’t believe all the things we have already done in the past few weeks and it’s not even Summer yet. ( I wrote this a few days ago when it wasn’t Summer yet.)  We have several family things and trips planned for this season

For the first time in years I have been swimming in the pool before July.  Usually June has cool nights and the pool was never warm enough for me, but because of very hot temperatures, it’s been really nice for swimming.   We have already had a couple of pool parties.

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I love having a pool full of kids and toys.  I hope I see this scene many times this Summer.

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I love seeing boys enjoying a Summer day, sitting on the swing on my shop porch.  My grandchildren are growing up much too fast.

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I love eating cold watermelon and freezing the rinds and feeding the to my chickens. How they love it.

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After eating, a quick ruffle of the feathers and on to other things.

I finally finished my shop. Except for some curtains and a few paint touch ups it’s done and I have been able to work on a quilt.  Right now everything in so neat and clean. Hope I can keep it that way.

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In my shop I am surrounded with things I love.

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I bought this pretty poster in Laurel, Mississippi on our last trip.  The town where Hometown is filmed.  One of David’s and my favorite fixer upper shows.

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I Mod Podged two and a half inch fabric squares all over this dress form.  I like how it turned out so I’m thinking of Mod Podging maps all over another one.

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A friend and a very talented lady who was also Nana to my Grandchildren, painted this straw hat for me years ago.  She has since passed away, but I think of her every  time I look at this hat.

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This hanging lamp has been in our kitchen, our dining room, my shop, taken down and stored in our basement and brought back into my shop once more where I hope it will stay.  I’ve had it for about thirty years.

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I have a little reading corner where I can read a book or look through quilt magazines and books for ideas for more quilts.  And yes, I have read all those books on the shelves.  People ask me that when they see my book shelves.  Now most of my books are on my Kindle, but I still read every single day.  My mother taught me the love of reading when I was a girl and for that I will always be grateful to her.  She was a voracious reader. She’d read James Michener books like eating candy.  Michener was not known for his thin books.

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I did this ceiling a few years back, painting quilt blocks on boards and David nailing them to the ceiling   The fun part was deciding what quilt patterns to use.

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My exercise bicycle which I don’t use as often as I should.  I have had it for a long time and we cannot find one just like it.  Before the mileage meter broke I had ridden over 25,000 miles on it. I keep it to remind me to exercise.

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I use these Edison type bulbs around the shop to give it a soft glow.  It’s taken months to get my shop painted and cleaned, but I am so happy with the results and I have so much more room. And I love my big cutting table that David built for me. One of a kind.  It can be moved easily and I can lay a big quilt on the top.

This  past weekend we took a trip to Squire Boone caverns in southern Indiana with our grandboys.

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They had never been in a cave before so this was quite the adventure for them. People ask if they are twins.  No, they are brothers born one year apart.

They thought the cave was awesome.

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I think it’s pretty awesome too. To think that water helped form all these formations.  A constant drip, drip, drip and in several years you get a stalagtite or a stalagmite.

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Sometimes you even get fried eggs!

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Squire Boone, Daniel Boone’s younger brother, owned the land this cave was found on and he loved exploring it and they buried his bones here.

It was a fun day, but very hot. Almost 100 degrees.  The boys mined for gemstones and got some things at the gift shop and we decided to leave and get dinner.   We stopped at Frisches and they both ate a big meal.

So on the way home this is what happened.

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Completely wiped out with all they had done.  They slept almost all the way home.  The only thing was, they got a nap and were well rested and ready to go again while Grandma and Grandpa were tired and ready for a nap.  We swam all evening, watched a movie.

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Ready for church Sunday morning.   They were up with the chickens.

It was a fun weekend ending with another pool party and an impromptu birthday celebration for a new teen who turned thirteen who was visiting us.  His cake was made of Twinkies and we ate vanilla and chocolate mint chip ice cream.

I will end this post with a story of life and death.  What happened right before my eyes on our front porch.

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A battle between a big spider and a stink bug.  I was rooting for the spider.

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I don’t think the stink bug had a chance.  The spider wanted its meal too much to let go.  Nature can be cruel sometimes, but that’s the way it is.

Here’s to caves, little boys and Summer days.  Bye.

 

 

JUNE!!

June is busting out all over.  I remember when I was a girl on a beautiful June day walking down the gravel road to my older sister’s house, singing the song from the musical, State Fair, June Is Busting Out All Over.   I use to know all the words.   But I had a song in my heart, was free as a bird and happy to be going to my sister’s house.  She was like a second mother to me being eleven years older.   School was out until September. A long, lazy, fun filled Summer lay ahead on the farm.  After breakfast and my chores were done, I had the whole day to wander the farm, play with the animals and lay for hours on the front porch swing reading books from the library. I was in 4-H which kept me busy, too, sewing, embroidering and baking cakes or yeast rolls.

Now that I am retired from any outside job, there are days when I get the same feeling of freedom.  I can choose whatever I want to do and I’m telling you, it is a grand feeling. I hope all of you get to feel that way one day.  I could burst into song right now!

We had a graduation a week ago. Our oldest grandchild and only granddaughter graduated from high school.  It just seems like only yesterday I was all excited about her being born and driving up to Chicago to see her for the very first time.  I was in love.  She has been the most wonderful granddaughter a grandmother could have. We are so proud of her.

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She is cute, funny, smart and full of life.  She has a bright future ahead of her.

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Here she is going up to get her diploma.

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Here she is with her dad who is VERY happy she has college practically paid for already.  She has worked hard for this.

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The choir held hands as they sang. It was very touching. The kids in this school are extremely close.  There is no bullying there and everyone is treated with respect.   When you enter that school, you can feel the goodness there. I can’t explain it, but when a school is Christ centered, it just feels differently.  Most schools use to be Christ centered until God was taken out of schools.  Sad.

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I would recommend this school to anyone who wants their child to get a well rounded education.  Most of the graduates are either going to college or the military.

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My grandson.  He’s growing up, too.

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And his older brother. He graduates in two years.    I still am not use to the fact he is driving.

The next day they had a party and it was fun.  There was so much food and almost all of it was eaten. I think about one hundred people came through the house that day.  I made a big pot of macaroni and cheese and had to make another one.

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The tables were decorated with books as our granddaughter is a bookworm and has had a book published.

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Lots of pictures of her were on the walls.

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She displayed some of her artwork.

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Her dad, who is an Indiana University graduate wore this shirt……

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He said he never thought he would ever wear a shirt with Purdue on it. His brother went to Purdue and there was always a competition going on there.  Never say you will never do something because you will find yourself doing it!

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I made her this quilt. This was taken in my house. See that floral chair? That’s my new Lazyboy  I got for Mother’s Day.   The pattern on it is called Van Gogh so now I can say I have a Van Gogh in my house!

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I made this quilt this past Winter.  I was so afraid I wouldn’t get it done in time, but it had been completed for a long time only I had not made a label for it. So the week before graduation I finally got the label made.

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I try to label all my quilts.  I find it sad to find an old quilt with no name on it. I always wonder about the women who have made some of my quilts that I have purchased at sales.   I have so many and don’t have a clue who made them or when.

It was a fun weekend but we were both exhausted when we got home.

Yesterday we went to a textile fair not far from home.

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There were booths and several buildings at the fair ground with yarns and other textiles for sale.  I was in heaven. This particular booth had the best selection of feed sack material I have ever seen and why I didn’t buy any, I don’t know.  But I can see why women back in the thirties and forties made clothes out of feed sacks. They are very colorful.  Many florals that would have made pretty dresses.

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This lady had a camper full of yarn and yes, I did buy some.   Traveling the country with yarn in the back of your camper sounds like a great thing to me.

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There were sheep there. Some man was walking around a little, black sheep, but I didn’t get a picture of it. Do any of you remember the Disney movie back in the fifties called So Dear To My Heart?  It was about a little boy who raised a black lamb and all the trouble the lamb got into with the boy’s grandmother and how he showed it at the county fair. It was my favorite movie when I was a girl.  The little boy got to see the racehorse, Dan Patch, taken off a train for exercise.  As a girl who was mad about horses, I loved this scene in the movie.  Dan Patch is mentioned in the musical, The Music Man when  Professor Hill says, “want to see some stuck up jockey boy sitting on Dan Patch, make your blood boil?”

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There were llamas too.

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Any animal that provides wool for yarn was there. There were angora rabbits too.  They had the most beautiful fur.

There was one booth where young girls were learning to card wool and spin it into yarn. What a wonderful thing to learn while you are young.   One girl was explaining the process to me and she was so well informed and so mature acting.   Conner Prairie, a pioneer village which is based on the  people and times of the year 1806, sponsors this and it truly is a way to keep the old arts going.

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Even some of the bags had sheep on them.  And I bought several skeins of yarn.

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The lady selling this yarn had a sock knit up with it and it was so pretty I had to buy some.

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One of my grandsons said he wanted me to knit him blue and black socks so this should fit the bill.

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I cannot wait to knit this up.

On the way home we stopped at an antique store called Vic’s just north of where we live. We are looking for an old floor lamp.   We got one there a few years ago, but I knocked it over and ruined the lampshade.  We were also looking for old lampshades, but I found this instead.

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An old tablecloth, but I am either going to make curtains with it or a Summer skirt.  It is so soft and the colors are so pretty.

We have several things planned this Summer since it’s our fiftieth wedding anniversary year.  Next trip will be to some caves and a pioneer village with our grandsons.

Here’s to high school graduates and wonderful fairs.  Bye.