Category Archives: Family memories

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hither and Yon

Another eventful week.  Veteran’s Day morning was spent at our youngest grandboys’ school where there was a Veteran’s Day celebration.  I had to get up way before my wakeup time, but I managed to do it. How did I get up so early for years and years?  Getting kids ready for school.  Sending David off to work and sometimes me just getting home from work.  When I cleaned our church years ago, I would go in at two o’clock in the morning and clean until I had every bit of that church clean and come home in the late morning and go to bed.  It really messed up my sleeping schedule.  I am finally on an eight or nine hour a night sleep schedule that seems to work well for me.

Anyway, this isn’t about me sleeping.  It’s about the Veteran’s Day celebration.  All the veterans were met at the door and asked to wait to be seated in the cafeteria.  The rest of us went to get seats.

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This is our daughter, the mother of our youngest grandboys.

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The veterans came in.  I think David was the oldest one and probably served longer than any of the other men.  Thirty-seven years in the army National Guard.

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There he is again.  Or is that Santa Claus?  That little boy is thinking, “I’m sitting right in front of Santa Claus!”

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This is the school principal. They make them young nowadays.  She gave a little talk and introduced the veterans, the pianist and this boy who played taps.  He goes to the school.

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Taps always sends a chill down my back.

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The children who had a veteran there were asked to come stand with them.   Our two grandboys there.

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Although they don’t look too thrilled to be there, our daughter said they were real excited about the day.

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Each class sang a patriotic song.

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One of the songs they sang was Amazing Grace.

The younger classes had made cards for all the veterans and David got a handful.

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This is the  one our grandson made for his grandfather.  It is hanging on our refrigerator.

We walked through the halls of the school looking at all the things on the walls.  It always amazes me how talented children are.

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This wall of quilts  caught my eye.

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This was quite a project.

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Minions always show up when you least expect it.

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It was a very nice morning, but we had places to go and other things to see so we said, “Good-bye,” and off we went.

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David at the wheel, we were going to northern Ohio to a Folkart and Antique show.  I read about it on Facebook a while back and said I would like to go, so we went.

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Over the rivers and through the woods.

To a tiny town called Peninsula.  The show was held in this building.

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Inside were lots of beautiful handmade things.  All kinds of treasures and a few antiques.

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I bought this in honor of our next president.

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And this because I collect Santa Clauses.

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And this because the man who had the booth literally put it in my hands and said I needed it.  Like two heads, but I bought it.

Because sometimes serendipitous things happen to us, there happened to be an estate sale in town.

 

At this log cabin.

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On this busy street.  Ha.

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Plus the log cabin was for sale and all its contents.  It had belonged to an antique dealer who was quite the collector of primitives.  The cabin was stuffed and everything was for sale.  And this was the second week they were doing it.

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Signs telling us we must behave ourselves.

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See that green chair in the corner?  It was twenty dollars and I am crazy about old chairs, but we didn’t buy it.  We went back the next day to see if it was still there, but it had a sold sign on it.  Always buy something when you first see it, because it will probably be gone next time. Oh, well.

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This room had stacks of really old, but beautifully kept quilts.  There were so many things to see that I forgot to take many pictures,  but it really was amazing what one man can collect in a lifetime and now, it’s all being sold.

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There was a forgotten little garden outside with the cutest picket fence.

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We saw this sign while driving around.  Thought I might try making one like it.

After we were finished at the cabin, we looked for some other antique stores and quilt shops.  We were directed to the town of Seville, Ohio by one quilt shop owner who told us there were a lot of antique stores there.  And wouldn’t you know it? Another serendipitous moment because all the stores in town were having a pre-Christmas sale! And, yes, there were several antique stores.  Really good ones. With good prices.

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Ummmm?

And here are some of our treasures we purchased.

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Vintage Christmas tablecloths.

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Vintage sewing paraphernalia.

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Cute little clothespins with a clothesline.

 

 

 

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Vintage children’s books.  I love the graphics in them.

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A Jim shore Santa Claus at a VERY reasonable price.

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Some of the stores even had pretty bags.  I am not throwing this one away.

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We got this little lampshade back at the cabin, I forgot to show it.  But isn’t it adorable and only one dollar.

Tired and hungry we ate at this restaurant that night where I had the best penne pasta with Alfredo sauce and shrimp that I have ever tasted.  With crusty bread, it was a very delicious meal.  They also do carry out because the night before we ordered food at our motel and I had a wonderful turkey sub sandwich which was so big, I could only eat half of it.  We brought it home and the dogs had a real treat with the rest of it.

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Anyway, this was a really good restaurant. Good service too.

So coming home the next day, we took mostly back roads.  We saw a sign that said, “covered bridge,” so of course, we had to check it out.  Remember the Big Cedar?  We drove and drove and drove and David said, “This isn’t going to be like the Big Cedar and nothing is going to be there, is it?”  But, there was a perfectly nice covered bridge and several people were there.  Men were fly fishing in the river going under it.  We walked across it and spent some time taking pictures.

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We were surprised that the fall colors were still so brilliant this far north of us.

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We’ve traveled many roads together.  Some of them have been bumpy and hilly and some have been smooth, but we have been over them together and that is all that matters in the end.   It was a wonderful trip and I really hated to see it end knowing we won’t be going anywhere until next year, but we have such wonderful memories.

Hope you are making memories or remembering fond things in your past. Bye.

 

 

 

 

Autumn Happenings

It seems like when Summer is over and school starts, the year speeds up and there are so many things to do and places to go.   With five grandchildren, there is always something going on that we grandparents must attend.

Every year about this time my three older grandchildren’s school has grandparents’ days.  One year we went to the elementary, middle school and high school to attend for all three.  This year we only went for two days, for the middle school and the high school.

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Every child in my  grandson’s class had made a poster for their grandparents. This is the one our grandson made.  I thought it was very appropriate.

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We attended classroom activities and chapel.

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There was an election for mayor and our grandson was in the running.

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I always take pictures of their lockers so I can use it for blackmail when they are older. Ha.

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I love this boy.

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He is so much fun to be with.

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I see this picture and think, oh, my, he’s taller than me now.  He was just a tiny boy a few days ago.  I always tell him he reminds me of my father and tell him I hope he grows up to be just like him as my father was a very wonderful man.

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The next day it was the high school’s grandparents’ day.  These are my two oldest grandchildren and the tallest one is not the oldest.

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The school was putting on Sound Of Music and our granddaughter designed and painted this sign for it.

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We are very proud of how talented she is.

We took them both out to eat and spent a nice time with them.   Love how nice it is to carry on a conversation with them.  They are not ones to sit and say nothing, that’s for sure.

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Next we had Halloween, Thanksgiving and a birthday all on the same day since three of my grandchildren will be in Chicago for Thanksgiving.  So I asked the grandkids to dress up.  This is a Blue Man and a Wizard from Harry Potter.   The other one is dressed like a teen-ager.  I don’t have pictures of our other two, but one of them was dressed as a prisoner in a black and white striped suit and the other was dressed as a policeman.   They were so cute.

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I had made a birthday cake for the boy in blue. He requested my chocolate chip applesauce cake for his birthday.  He had already blown out the candles, so I asked him to re-enact it so I could get a picture of it.   Our younger grandson thought this was funny!

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I’m getting ready to paint our kitchen.  I don’t know why I do this, but every time there is a holiday, I think I have to paint something or rearrange something.   You can’t really see this yellow very well, but it’s really pretty. David said I just picked this color because it had the word, “chick” on it.  Maybe.

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Next up was the musical.  Sound of Music.  One of my very favorites.  I had been singing the songs from it all week and was so excited to see it.

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Our granddaughter played one of the nuns. “The grouchy one,” she told me.

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Here’s our son with his daughter.  He was in several musicals in high school and in college.  It runs in the family.

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The orchestra tuned up.

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A sold out crowd.

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The whole play was so good. There are some really talented young people in that school.

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Maria being dressed by the nuns for her wedding.

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Some of the nuns.  There were a lot of them.

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“Climb Every Mountain.”  That song always brings tears to my eyes.

I always look forward to the musicals at this school as they are so professionally done and of course I am not a bit proud of my granddaughter’s parts in them.

This week we are going to our two youngest grandchildren’s school where they are going to have a veteran’s day program.

We have some other plans, but I will tell you about that in a later post.

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Nothing like the pure blue skies of Autumn.

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And nothing like a hot cup of mocha latte with whipped cream on top.

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With birds feasting at the feeder.

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And knitting socks with beautiful yarns.

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I’ve finished a pair with this yarn.  I have become a sock knitting machine.

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Time to get out my Jim Shore Harvest Angel.

Time to pick the last roses of the season.

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I wish you could smell this rose. It is from one of David’s grandmother’s rosebushes that we dug up and brought to our house after her house was sold.  This has that old fashioned rose smell that is so wonderful.

 

I hope you are enjoying Autumn.  It goes so fast just like every season.  So wrap your arms around it and take pleasure in each crisp, lovely day.  Soon, the snow will fly.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

Fun With the Grandboys

We took three of our grandsons to the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis Friday.  We started early in the morning by taking them out to Steak and Shake to eat since the food in the museum is so expensive.  Then we drove clear to the top of the parking garage which was packed and parked our car.  It’s been a few years since we took one of our grandsons to the museum and it had changed a lot.

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Dinosaurs at the windows.  Oh, my.

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The Bat mobile was of special interest.  The boys kept saying they wish they could drive it.  Not sure that would be a good idea!

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There was an exhibit of replicas of Chinese statues that were found some years ago. The real statues were life size and so were the replicas. They also had some you could put together as a puzzle. The boys enjoyed this exhibit.  I could have stayed there a little longer and read more about them, but with three boys it’s go, go, go.

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Someone had placed sun glasses on this one.

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What I love about the museum is that it is truly kid friendly and children can climb on most of the exhibits.  As you can see, our grandson thought this was fun.

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Is there a resemblance here?

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There was a Hot Wheels exhibit and cars to climb in.

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Handsome lad.  “Grandma,” he asked me. “Do you think I am handsome because I have red hair?”   “I just think you are handsome,” I replied.  All my grandsons are handsome, but I am not at all prejudiced.  And I do love red hair.

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Dressing up was part of the fun.

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From race car driver to king in one day.

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There was merry-go-round riding.

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David got to be a kid again.  I was taking pictures and then a woman tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was in line for the ride. I looked behind me and there was a long line of people.  Oops.  “Just watching.”  I said.

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More race cars to climb in.

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There is a magnificent Chihuly chandelier hanging right in the middle of the museum.  The last time we were here they were just putting it together.

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Leftover pieces were put in the floor.

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Me standing on Chihuly!

On the floor below this there was a rotating couch people could sit on and look up and see the beautiful colors.

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Looking up at Chihuly.

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This is what you saw from below. I was entranced by this.

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An exhibit about Anne Frank where I would have liked to spend more time, but boys.  Go, go, go. This picture of Anne was made up of hundreds of photos of people.  Her story still saddens me.

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There was a maze where, really, I was afraid I would never get out of.  I kept the boys in my sight at all times.  They knew where they were going.

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There was an exhibit and show about the space capsule that Gus Grissom, the second man in space,  flew in..  The capsule was lost at sea for thirty-eight years.   Thankfully, they were able to save Mr. Grissom, but he later died in a fire in a space capsule.  It was very interesting, and the fact I  remember when this happened made it even more interesting to me. I was twelve years old at the time and space travel was new and exciting.

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There was a train exhibit.

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Pretending to buy and sell train tickets. David and I are going on a train trip this year. Can’t wait.

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Okay, I hate my picture being taken, but David stalked me and got one that doesn’t make me look too horrible.  I won’t delete this one, David. Ha. And who is that woman photo bombing me?  And why do I look so contemplative?

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So I took another picture of my sweetie.  So, is this sign describing the bear or David?  Hmmmmm.

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The boys got all excited about Spiderman and tried to point him out to me.  I could not see him and they kept saying, “There, Grandma!”  Finally saw him and took his picture.  There was so much more we saw and a lot we didn’t get to see.  I would go back again.

It was a fun day.  We stopped at the gift shop and let the boys buy some things and then the museum was closed and we left. When we got back to the car, there were very few cars in the parking garage and the upper deck was empty except for our car.

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It had been raining all day and the sun was coming out again.

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A perfect ending to a perfect day.  Hope the boys had as much fun as David and I did.

Here’s to Grandboys and museums. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spa Day and Father’s Day

I did something unusual for me.  I got up at six o’clock, something I very rarely do nowadays.  I have become a lay-a-bed in the past year or so because I have been staying up late at night.  Last night I sat outside and watched the lightening bugs flit around in my garden.  It was magical.  They would light up all at once and then there would be a short period when few were lit up and then they would light up again.

Anyway, I jumped out of bed this morning, ready to go, got dressed and out the door to do some chores before it got too hot.  David was still asleep.  He is almost always up before me.  I was thinking he was supposed to be at work at five, but his employer changes his hours often, so I just thought he was going in later.    I weeded a flower bed and spread some mulch.  I watered the flowers.  I took out an unwanted bush that had grown up on the fence. I trimmed down a small tree that had popped up in one of my flower beds.  Then I went inside and it was seven o’clock and I thought if David was going in later, he should be up by now so I went upstairs and he was still asleep.  I really hated to wake him, but I was wondering when he was suppose to go into work.

“You didn’t have to go in at five this morning?” I asked him as he opened his eyes.  “No, I go in at ten,” he replied.  “That’s your Saturday hours,” I told him.  “It’s not Saturday?!”  he asked and jumped out of bed.  He was dressed and out the door in fifteen minutes.  As soon as he left the phone rang. It was his manager wanting to know if something had happened to him.  I told her what had happened and that he was on his way.  I think this is only about the second time David has ever been late for work.  He prides himself on arriving early.  This will bother him for days.  He was also hoping they would keep him for two hours longer to make up for the two hours he missed this morning.   Yes, he has a very strong work ethic.

After he left for work, I went out and cleaned out the chicken house, spread some new bedding, raked their yard and fed and watered the chooks.

Then I decided I would do something else I have not done in years.  I took a spa day for myself. Not a go to a spa and get myself pampered.  My spa day was a long soak in the tub, washing my hair and reading all morning.  I very rarely get time to read during the day.  I do most of my reading in bed at night.  So this was a treat for me today.  I am reading a very interesting book by Vernon Coleman.  He has become one of my favorite authors. He not only writes fiction, but he writes about the medical profession, politics and the EU, which he hates.  He was a general practitioner in England until he retired to write.  I didn’t know if a doctor retires in England, he loses his license to practice medicine ever again.  Is it that way here in the United States?  Sounds like a horrible idea to me, but it’s one of the EU’s laws.  Anyway, I read one of his books all morning and enjoyed myself immensely.  Maybe I need to do this more often.  When I was a girl, I would read all day sometimes swinging on the porch swing.  Now that I’m retired(if a homemaker can ever really be retired) I should find more time to read.

I got this book and DVD in the mail today.

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At the Creation Museum near Cincinnati, Ohio, they have built an exact replica of the ark as described in the Bible.  It’s longer than a football field and four stories high.  I sent some money to help it get built and received these for donating.  Very interesting.   It opens on our wedding anniversary, but I think we will wait a while to go see it until the newness wears off it, because the crowds to see it will probably be enormous for the first few months.

This Sunday is Father’s Day. I lost my daddy decades ago, but I still think of him every day and miss him.  I know he’s in heaven, probably building something or taking care of animals.  My daddy taught me a strong work ethic.  Because of him, I am not afraid to work.   In fact, I love to work.  He was a farmer and a factory worker. He raised six children with my mother and I think all of us turned out pretty good.  He saw some tragedies in his life that would have broken weaker men.  He was a Christian.  He got saved later in life and I remember when it happened. Now my father was always a kind and good man, but he could swear with the best of them, especially if he hit his finger with a hammer or some such accident and he smoked cigarettes continually.   The day he was saved, all swearing disappeared, the cigarettes were tossed and he started going to church every week and became very active in the church. Before that, he only attended once in a while.  I kept waiting to hear him swear, but I never heard him say a swear word for the rest of his life.   He took his salvation seriously, as we all should do and lived it until the day he died.

My father showed no favoritism to any of his children.  I loved being out with him when he was working especially when he was in the milking parlor where he taught me how to milk cows by hand.  Later he got milking machines.  He showed me how to squirt milk into a barn cat’s mouth from several feet away.   We kids always loved it when he took some time out from his always busy days to play basketball with my brothers in the haymow.  Daddy didn’t have a lot of time in his days.  He was always working.  Later in his life he slowed down a little and he would come in, lay down on the floor and take a short nap.  Then it would be up and out and working again.  He was the love of my mother’s life and when he died, she lost her best friend, lover and constant companion.  She was never truly happy after that and I understand her completely.

I received some books of my mother’s a while back and in one of the books that was like a high school annual, my daddy wrote my mother a poem.  From the words, it appeared they weren’t dating yet and daddy was trying to get my mother to like him.   Later they would date and elope and were married for over fifty years.

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My daddy was a very handsome man.  He had very blue eyes.  I remember once when I was about five years old, I did something naughty and all daddy had to do was cock an eyebrow and look at me sternly and it would crush me.   I only got one spanking from my daddy in my life and it was when I was grown and old enough to know better.   I said something very disrespectful to my mother and my daddy whipped around, threw me over his lap and gave me a few whacks on the bottom.  I was more embarrassed  than hurt, but daddy was not going to stand by and hear his wife talked to in that manner.  Now that I look back, I sure deserved that spanking and I have never held it against my daddy.  In fact, I rather admire him for sticking up for his wife, which every man should do.

One of my grandsons reminds me so much of my father.  I tell him that all the time.  Daddy had delicate features, but was one of the toughest and strongest men I know.   He wasn’t a big man either, but was tall in stature in my eyes.

Happy Father’s Day, daddy.  I know  you are watching over me and I will see you again one day.  Say  hi and give my love to mother, too.  Bye.

 

 

This is Retirement?

I don’t think David and I thought very much about retirement when we were younger.  We were just trying to make a living and raise our three children and keep food on the table.  I always heard that retirement was the time when one could kick back and relax.  Do some traveling.  People picture Grandmas and  Grandpas sitting on the porch, Grandma with knitting in her hands.  Well, a little of that happens around here, but we evidently didn’t get the message about how to behave when retired.

It seems we are busier than ever.  Work just as hard and the days go by much, much more quickly. Here it is, June already.  Where did May go?  I spend most of my days outside in the garden or taking care of the chickens and playing with the dogs.  Between laundry, cooking, cleaning, and other household chores, I keep pretty busy.  I don’t know how our ancestors did it without all the labor saving devices we have now.  My great-great-great grandmother had to heat the water for the laundry, wash everything on a washboard, hang the clothes outside, weather permitting, iron all the clothes and by the time she was done with that, it was time to start all over.  She did this while raising a garden, canning enough food to get the family through the winter, cooking every single meal, and raising a family.  Whew.  I get tired just thinking about it.  I can stick a load of clothes in the washer, go outside, and when I come in, the clothes are washed.  It almost seems like a miracle to me.  But I see miracles in a lot of things.   Not all that long ago if you had leftovers, you had to get out pans and heat them on the stove and then you would have all the pans to wash afterward. Now, with the microwave, we can fill up a plate with leftovers, heat it for a few minutes and have a good, hot meal, almost as good as the original you cooked before.  Miracle.

But I got off subject. I do that all the time.  Here are a few things that we have been doing the last few weeks.

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We celebrated Memorial Day, a day to remember our fallen soldiers and also to remember loved ones who have died.  David’s grandmother always called it Decoration Day because it was the day she always took flowers and decorated the graves of family members.

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I fix a pot of grass for the chickens every once in a while.  They need their greens, too.

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“What are you looking at?  Can’t we eat without being disturbed?”

I’ve become a sock model.

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Why do I always have a bruise on my shins?

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See that pie safe in the background?  I took that step ladder there and climbed up to see if it needed dusting on top.  Well, since I  haven’t dusted up there in years, I found a dust storm up there.  I was a little amazed, thinking I kept a pretty clean house and there was such a dusty place almost right over my nose.  I took everything off it, washed what I could to include several American flags I had in a can.  I scrubbed the top three times until I felt like it was clean enough.  Now it’s good for another ten years!  I reckon if I looked hard enough, I could find several dusty places in my house, but I’m not going to look too hard.  The thing about dust.  It will always be there.  It won’t go away on its own.  I read one time that we could have the dust from the first Adam’s body in our dust bunnies under our beds because dust travels all over the world.  Maybe I have Moses under my bed or maybe Christopher Columbus.    If so, they will be quite safe there as I don’t like to dust all that much unless I really feel like it.

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We had sixteen people here for dinner the other day and the kids all played in the pool. I love having lots of kids in the pool.  They had so much fun.  Besides that, they stir up all the stuff on the bottom of the pool and that actually helps to clean it.   And the water definitely was stirred.

David and I have eaten at a couple of different restaurants lately.  One was called Stone’s Family Restaurant in Mihousen.  The food was so-so, but it was worth the trip to eat the fried biscuits and apple butter.  We could have made a meal out of those.  The restaurant is in this little off the beaten path town time has forgot.   We drove several back roads to get there and the scenery was so pretty.  I don’t think any place is prettier than Indiana in Summer.

The other one was in the little town of Vernon.  Vernon hosts a town wide garage sale every Labor Day weekend.  There are yard sales all the way along the highway to Vernon. We went one year and there was just about everything for sale, plus there were vendors selling their wares.   We have eaten at this restaurant before.  Really good food.

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We missed the Karaoke.

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This is what it looks like on the outside.  Nothing special, but I don’t think I have ever had as good fish as I did there.   It was done to perfection.  Not greasy and not fishy tasting.

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We ate there on the way back from this place.  Streamcliff Farm.  A nursery, winery that was having a flower sale.  I was not going to buy anymore flowers this year. But…..

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Of course, I did.  You took a little red wagon through the greenhouses to pick up your plants.

I bought several perennials and a rhubarb plant. By the way, our rhubarb has done wonderfully this year.  I have several packages of it frozen so that in the middle of the winter, we can have rhubarb pie and think of Spring.

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The plants sold here are so healthy and big.  I don’t know what kind of fertilizer they use,  but the plants sure do flourish.

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There are little gardens everywhere.  I wonder what it is like to wake up every morning and know all this is yours and you can walk through it anytime?

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Fish in the fishpond. Everyone needs a garden they can escape to whether it’s on several acres or on the rooftop of a city building.

There was a man there playing  and singing Johnny Cash songs and he sounded just like him!

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Man in black.  I love Johnny Cash songs.  He was a great song writer and singer.

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This is what I have been doing today.  David is replacing the fence boards along one side of our back yard so I decided to stain them.  There will be hundreds. Today I stained forty some.  He went and bought some more and some more stain, so guess what I will be doing tomorrow.

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David put up the original fence about twenty-five years ago.  It’s held up pretty well, but it’s time to be replaced.

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Just so they won’t think I have forgotten them, here’s the puppers.  Always watching for me to come out.  Playmate, come out and play with me, and bring your dollies three, climb up the apple tree.  Look down the rain barrel, slide down the cellar door.  And we’ll be jolly friends, forevermore.  My mother use to sing that song to me.

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Molly looks like she has a big cigar in her mouth.

Hope you are having a wonderful Summer(or Winter in some parts of our world.)  Soon the longest day will come and the days will start to shorten again.  It never changes.  Bye.

 

A New Day and An Old House

  We celebrated Easter this past weekend.   Resurrection Day for Christians all around the world when we celebrate the resurrection of the living Christ who died on the cross for every single person on earth.  Took all our sins upon Himself so that no one  would perish.  All one needs to do is accept Him as your Savior and you are saved for all eternity.  How wonderful is that? 

I love Easter and all it means.  But I also love all the renewal in nature with the trees budding, the flowers growing and the birds nesting and making new families.  I love to be with family on Easter and have a big dinner and an Easter egg hunt for the kids.   We had seventeen at our table this Easter.  Friends and family and I felt so absolutely blessed.

 

We had a big Easter egg hunt.  We put money signs in some eggs and candy signs in others and the children had to turn their eggs in for money or candy.

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They were all excited about the money.  Yes, money wins over candy, but not by much.

Here they are ready to start the hunt.  We made it a little harder to find the eggs this year as they all found them way too fast last year and they are all getting bigger so we wanted them to be challenged.  One hundred and seventy eggs to find.

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And the race was on for the eggs.  We hid them in the front yard, in the back yard, in the side yard and in the tiny woods next to our house.

 

 

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When the hunt was finished, they all lined up according to age and Grandpa counted their money out and they picked out their candy and I think they were all excited and happy to receive their prizes.  I told David that next year I want to make it bigger than ever.

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And as in past years, we had a contest to see who would get in the pool first.  It was 54 degrees cold.  All the boys(and that big boy)  jumped in the pool.  Immediately they all ran for the hot tub.

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Fifty-four degrees to one hundred and one degrees in five seconds.  I think these two were numb from the cold.

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The biggest boy of all had to get in also.

Yes, it was a blessed and fun Easter.  I am so thankful we can have this time together to make memories.

And in other news.  I love old houses.  Our house is over one hundred years old and I love everything about it.  Yes, it can be drafty and hard to keep dusted and it’s not open concept like so many people want nowadays.  Yes, it’s a lot of work and we have spent a lot of money through the years to make it up to date and liveable, but we would rather have this old house than any new one.

We had a beautiful older house right next door.  It belonged to a doctor who had his office in it.  When we first moved here, his office was a bustling business.  People in and out all day.  He was an OBGYN and everyone I met through the years knew of someone whose baby had been delivered by him.  He and his wife were nice neighbors.  They let us use their yard when we were building our pool for all the equipment needed to build it to come through their yard.  They even gave us flowers for a gift for our pool.   Then he closed his office and retired and they moved to a house not far away, but kept this old house. Every week they would come and mow the yard and clean up around the house.  They would pick up their mail every day. But the house stood empty for years.  One time some kids broke into the house and David went over and caught them and we called the police, but the doctor and his wife let them off.  They were nice people like that.  So through the years the house stood there.  David and I wondered what would become of it.  Would some family buy it and bring it to life again?  Would it become a business?  One time David offered to buy it for our quilt shop, but it was the family home so it wasn’t for sale.

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It was a beautiful old house. Notice I wrote, “was.”

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For the almost thirty-nine years we have lived next door I could look out any of our southern facing windows and see this beautiful old house.  There was something comforting about it.  Knowing it had stood there for years sheltering families and a doctor’s office.

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A grand old home with a big front porch.    But then…….

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This pulled into the side yard the other day.  David and I speculated what was going to happen.  David thought they were going to dig a new sewer system.  I had a premonition that the old house was going to be torn down.  Sadly, I was right. It seems the house was uninsurable and had to be torn down for liability reasons.

So yesterday I woke up and heard a noise next door I wish I would never have heard.  The sound of an old house dying.

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Piece by piece, it was torn apart and the pieces put in a huge dumpster.  It would take eight dumpsters to haul away all the pieces.

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I get tears in my eyes just looking at this picture and realizing this house will be no more.

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How quickly decades of living and memories can be all wiped away.  A house is built and families come and go in it and it holds all the memories.  Where do the memories go when the house is gone?  Who will remember the things that went on in this house?   Who will remember the people?  I know I will remember Doc and his wife for as long as I live.

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Finally the last vestige of the house remains.  But it can’t withstand the machine pushing it down.

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A final push and it’s over.

While watching the house going down, David and I noticed all the things left inside.  It was almost as if Doc just up and left everything in it and locked the door.

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Clothes hanging in a closet upstairs.  Some look like army uniforms.  Probably from the second world war.   Why did no one want them?

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Painted cabinets and beautiful woodwork and wallpaper.  I wish I could have gone through this house before it was demolished.

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A coffee pot and medical records.  David found one that blew out and it was dated 1932.

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A sign on the wall about the first year’s growth of a baby.

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An old wooden cabinet.    Someone could have torn this out and used it.

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I saw this old door and really wished I could have gone in to save it, but in the dumpster it went.

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Beautiful old wallpaper.

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The old house sat in a big yard.  A yard my children and the neighborhood children played in years ago. Doc was nice about letting kids play in his big back yard.  Baseball games, kite flying, walking dogs.  There was even a “secret” gate into the adjoining field that my grandchildren loved to look for and go through.   Yes, many memories surround this house for our family.  My daughter played under a big old mulberry tree with two neighbor girls.  Neighbors met in the field to talk.  Now most of the neighbors are gone and now the house is too.

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I don’t want to remember the house like this.   Just like a person I have loved who has died, I want to remember them in the prime of their life.  That is how I will remember this house.

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Beautiful and stately with redbuds blooming around it.   Good-bye, old house.

Here’s to the hope of Easter and dear old houses.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

Love, Joy and Sorrow

This past weekend was my birthday weekend.  David and I had planned a getaway to northern Ohio to visit my brother and sister-in-law and go antiquing and sight seeing, but life got in the way.

Two weeks ago one of my favorite aunts passed away and she didn’t have a funeral so this past Saturday there was a memorial for her.  Most of her family got together to remember her.  There were pictures that made me cry.  She was my mother’s sister and my mother has been gone for a long time so to see her in pictures with her three sisters was a little sad.  Her two sons and daughter got up and spoke about their mother.  I don’t know how they did it. I would have been a basket case to do something like that, but they did wonderfully and I learned things about my aunt I didn’t know.  It was a day of nostalgia and remembering the good times and visiting with family I haven’t seen in years.  Two of my cousins were born about the same time I was and we always have felt a little close because of that even though we hardly ever see each other.  I met a second cousin who was named after my great-grandmother, Kate Driggs, just like I am.   We spoke for a while and she told me things about Grandma Kate I had never heard before.  I wish people would write their family history down because once people are gone, it’s lost forever.   As I get older I realize there are fewer and fewer people who remember me when I was a child.    I remember going to grandpa’s when the cousins were there and when it rained my cousin, Cathy, and I would put on bathing suits and stand under the rain gutters.  My cousin, Tim, and I would walk all over town talking and getting into trouble(not really) and having fun together.  It was always a special time at Grandpa’s when the cousins were there.

Sunday we were with family once again.  We went to eat at Scotty’s restaurant.  I have never eaten there before so was looking forward to it.  As we got near the door, two little boy bodies came bursting out of the door and enveloped me in hugs and as I tried getting into the door, my other three grandchildren came up and hugged me.  Nothing makes me happier.  It was so nice having them all together.  We had a nice meal and spent two hours talking and it went so fast.  The only thing I had against the place was they had these tall chairs and I had a dickens of a time trying to get up on one with my sore, short legs, but I finally made it with much coaxing from family members!

After a weekend of doing absolutely nothing but visiting and resting, I decided today to try to get some work done. As it was nice outside, I raked the yard and tried cleaning up all the things the dogs had scattered around the yard.  Our back yard looked like a junkyard dog lives there.  And she does!  Molly had brought up a few pieces of wood and chewed them up all over our back deck, so I got that cleaned up.  I transplanted some tomato plants I am growing into larger pots.  I did some ironing and made soup beans.  I fed and watered the chickens and gathered the eggs and cleaned up the garden area where the chickens play.  It felt good to get a few things done after such a lazy weekend.  I don’t do well with lazy usually.  I have to be doing something.

Last night I watched the last episode of Downton Abbey and it was like getting a wonderful gift wrapped in a big bow and sent with love.   I loved every minute of it.  Sure am going to miss it.  How can anyone top Downton Abbey?  I don’t think it’s possible. Just like no one could make another Gone With the Wind.  Things like these only come around once in a great while.

Hope you had a nice weekend.  Bye.

 

Paper Dolls and Valentines

A friend posted on Facebook the other day, “do you remember paper dolls? ” Do I remember them?  I was the paper doll fanatic in my day.  I grew up in the fifties and sixties and during that time I cut out my share of paper dolls.

When I was a little girl, I would go to the grocery store with my mother.  While there, she told me I could pick out a couple of comic books.  Back then the comic books were on a revolving rack and there were so many choices.  While my brothers went for Superman and other Super heroes, I went for the comic books that had paper dolls in them. Veronica and Betty and there was another one who was a model and there were always several fashions to cut out.  My favorite by far was the Katy Keene comic books.  Katy was a model and while I read her stories, what I looked for were the paper doll cutouts of her in its pages.  I have not met anyone who remembers Katy Keene comic books. (Note: I looked up Katy Keene comics for sale and they are bringing up to twenty-seven dollars or more. Comics I use to buy for ten cents or a quarter.) But every week I would look for her comic books. Sometimes there would be extra thick comic books that cost twenty-five cents instead of the usual ten cents.   When those would be on the rack, I would be in heaven.   Through the years I gathered quite a few paper dolls.  They were really one of my most favorite things to play with when I was little.  One time I even designed a paper doll complete in her bra and panties and designed clothes for her and I gave my creations to my best friend at the time in second grade. She was happy to receive them.  I wish I could see that paper doll now.   At the time I thought she was really pretty, but being a second grader, and her artist, she was probably pretty primitive.  My creative juices were flowing even back then, though and continue to this day.

I was cleaning out a drawer the other day looking for Valentines when I came across some paper dolls I had been collecting.  Several years ago there was a magazine called Home Companion created by Mary Engelbreit.  There was always one framing quality picture Mary had drawn and always a page of paper dolls.  These were not simple paper dolls, but bright, detailed, beautiful dolls.  I began to look through them.

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Ann Estelle was one of my favorites.  I think she was Mary’s, too.

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If you have seen pictures of Mary Engelbreit, you will notice Ann Estelle looks a little like her.  I remember the first time I saw Mary Engelbreit in a magazine telling how she was given a closet in her home, when she was a little girl, to go into and create.  How neat was that?  Her creating turned into an empire of paper dolls, calendars, greeting cards, fabric, dishes and much, much more.  But I loved her paper dolls.  Sadly, Home Companion went out of circulation a few years ago.  Wish it would come back.

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As you noticed, I didn’t cut out many of the paper dolls.  I just couldn’t bring myself to, but I did cut out one Ann Estelle and some outfits for her. Here she is in her Halloween costume.

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Dressed for a rainy day in London.

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As far as I know, Ms. Engelbreit only drew one boy paper doll.  Tommy.

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I’m sure she copied him off someone she knew.  He was so cute.  And he got several pages in the Home Companion through the years.

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One year(2003) Mary Engelbreit came out with this paper doll calendar.  Now I am going to expose a deep,  dark secret I have held inside for years.  I bought this calendar to give to my only granddaughter and just couldn’t give it away.  I’m so ashamed!   But, it is still around and it would probably be gone by now if my granddaughter had had it because she would have probably actually played with it.  Now I can look at it and enjoy it once again.

Each month had a different outfit for four different paper dolls that were also included in the calendar.

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Really cute outfits. With accessories.

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Yes, I love Mary Engelbreit paper dolls. They sure brought this “little girl” a lot of pleasure.

Another paper doll I collected when I was a girl came in the McCall’s magazine each month. My mother subscribed to McCalls, but I was the first one to look through it to look for the Betsy McCall paper doll.

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Yes, I saved some of them.  Not many.  In fact, I forgot I even had them.

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Betsy came ready to dress with a story about her adventures.

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There was a game on the page.

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And a crossword puzzle.  So much fun in such a little space.  Some magazine needs to bring back paper dolls in its pages. I believe it would sell them even faster.

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I found these paper dolls in my stash.  I really don’t know where I got them, perhaps at an auction or in an antique store.

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Clothes to color and cut out.

Besides paper dolls, Mary Engelbreit  has designed some really cute Valentine’s Day cards.

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I can’t show them all because some people I love will be getting some for Valentine’s Day.

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Valentine stickers by Ms. Engelbreit   I love them.  I love stickers anyway.  If I can stick a sticker on something, I will.

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These are especially nice.

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I’m still coloring in my adult coloring book I got for Christmas.  I ordered a tin of seventy-two colored pencils.  This is half of them.

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The tin is really nice to keep them in.

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A picture by Mary Engelbreit.  Since this Sunday is Valentine’s Day, I want to wish you all a happy day.  You are loved by someone.  And you are the apple of Jesus’ eye.  Just wanted you to know.  Love you all.  Bye.