Category Archives: Things on my mind

Yikes, Time Flies!

Here is it deep into November and I cannot get into my blogging mojo because I’ve been sooo busy making Christmas gifts which I can’t talk about. Tis the season not to be nosy, I tell my family when they ask what I’m making.  I always do this. Just before Christmas I get in the “must make gifts” mode and start sewing up a storm.

I’ve been going through all my boxes of fabric and I tell you, it’s like Christmas. I am finding fabric I had completely forgotten about and have gotten so many ideas for Christmas gifts.

I have found several quilt tops that need to be quilted. That is on my list for 2022. Finish some of those quilts.  And I’ve found some things my mother had started and not finished that I would like to complete, also.  I go to bed all excited about the next day when I can get out into my shop and sew!    And I won’t be able to show you anything  I’ve made until after Christmas!

David has been off this week getting some work done around the house.  He also has built some things I can’t show you because of, well, Christmas.  It’s Santa’s workshop here for sure.  I really love what he has made and after I add my touches I think there will be gifts well received.

We went on another Country Friends tour where all these ladies open their homes and shops and sell things they have made or had in stock.  We made it to about five of the places until it started pouring down rain. I was happy, though, because I got what I was looking for.  Can’t show that stuff, either. Sorry I cannot show pictures this time.  The real reason is that I have a new camera and have not learned how to get my pictures up to my blog, but I will learn soon and get it done.  I have tons of pictures I have been taking.  Just hope I remember what they are pictures of when I get them ready to show you.  Anyway the tour was fun and we got to drive the back roads of rural Indiana and see all the beautiful Autumn colors.  The colors were so vivid this morning like a light had been turned on the trees and bushes.   I love Indiana in the Autumn.  We have talked about living in a warmer climate, but I know I would really miss the seasons so we are where we are supposed to be.  I am even looking forward to snow. We haven’t had a really good snow for a few years.

A few weeks ago we were at Rural King and at the counter I saw Sugar Daddies for sale.  If you don’t know what Sugar Daddies are they are caramel on a stick essentially and I loved them as a kid. I remember when my baby brother was born. He’s now in his sixties.  When Mom and Daddy brought him home they placed him in the baby bed and all us other children surrounded the crib to look at him. Daddy had brought us all Sugar Daddies and we were all eating them as we stared at the new baby.  I was a little jealous because that had been my bed just a few days ago!   Fast forward to me at Rural King seeing Sugar Daddies for sell again and I had to have one. I hadn’t eaten one since I was a kid.  A few days later I decided to eat it and it was so good, but halfway through I felt a crunch in the caramel and I looked and saw what I thought was a broken tooth.  I cleaned the piece up and called the dentist.  It turned out I had pulled off a crown and thankfully I had saved it so the dentist just had to reapply it so it wasn’t anything major, but I’ve had to give up Sugar Daddies. And I had two more cavities.  Can you be too old to have cavities?  I thought that, but I was wrong.

I’ve rattled on long enough.  Next time I promise pictures.    Really.  Bye.

 

Every Day is a Gift From God

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

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

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

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

Here are several reasons why I love Summer.

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

Rudbeckia.  A wonderful Summer flower.

The flowers in my front yard.

Stella De Oro day lilies.

My backyard full of Hibiscus plants.

This one is by our back porch.

The flowers are huge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who could shoot one of these birds?

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

Something caught its eye, however.

And it leapt away.

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

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

Molly agrees!

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

The rivers were up.

We took a drive through a state forest.

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Being Alone, Solace, and Loneliness

Ever been alone?  Ever sought solace?  Ever experience loneliness?  I’m sure most reading this have done all three at one time or another.   When I was growing up on the farm I spent a lot of my time alone. Once in a while I got to have a girlfriend over and we had relations visit quite often so I wasn’t alone all the time.  I would go outside in the morning and not come in until dinner at noon and then, unless I had chores to do, back outside again until Supper.  I didn’t want to be inside.  In  fact, one time I came in the house in the afternoon and felt kind of strange because I had never been inside at that time of day.   My daddy never came inside except to eat as his work was outside on the farm.  A lot of the time I was with him or in the barn shooting baskets or playing with some young animal.  My older brothers were out doing their own thing and my sister was married. I had a younger brother and I must have played with him sometimes, but I really don’t remember.  We did shell peas together on the front porch and one time we were shelling the peas and throwing the pea pods all over the porch floor, thinking it was funny at the time, when our pastor came to visit. Mother came to the door and saw what we had done and she was not one bit happy about it. She kept silent until the pastor left and then we got it!  And we had to clean up all those pea pods.

I have sought solace at times when I was sad or upset about something. Going off alone and praying always has helped me.  I  go outside even now and sit on a swing and pray and talk to God.  Jesus often went off alone from the disciples to speak to His Father.  If it was good enough for him, it’s good enough for me.  Try it sometime when you need to have some peace.

Loneliness is a whole other thing. Ever felt alone in a crowd?  I have when I didn’t know anyone.   It’s tough to feel alone in those circumstances.   Some people just cannot stand being alone. I know a few of them.   They need people around them all the time. I think my alone time growing up prepared me for my alone times now that I’m adult. Ever hear someone say they are their own best company?  Sometimes that is how I feel.  I feel very comfortable by myself and I’m never bored. I usually agree with myself and we have really intelligent conversations!   I love to read, sew and knit and all those things are pretty much done alone. It’s not that I don’t like to be around people because I do.  When My children were growing up, there were times I would wish I had some alone time to read.  I did most of my reading right before bed and it’s become a habit for me.   Unfortunately, I usually fall asleep before I read very far.  So I’m trying to read more during the day.  I’ve been trying to catch up reading all my Reader’s Digests I have received in the mail.

My mother got the Reader’s Digest years ago and I would read them cover to cover.  I kept taking it through the years after I was married. They have so many interesting stories and articles and I try to read all of one before I throw it away.  But I got a backlog of them and am playing catch up.   Do you take the Reader’s Digest?   It’s one of my favorite magazines.  Farmhouse Style and Yankee Magazine are two others I enjoy.  But why do I take magazines when I have thousands of books waiting to be read?

Back to being alone.  I really don’t mind being alone.  I have so many things running around in my mind that I want to do and I already have so many projects I am working on.  And even if I didn’t, I have a good imagination that keeps me occupied.   When I was a girl, I dreamed of being an author. I would walk around and tell the story of my life in my mind describing my movements and what I was thinking.   I also had a horse story with the same characters I would think about. It was an ongoing story for years and I don’t know when I stopped thinking about it. Probably when I got my own horse.  I’m thinking this blog will come as close to writing a book I will get.

What do you do when you are alone or suffer loneliness?  Where do you seek solace?   Everyone handles being alone differently and there really isn’t a right answer.   I do not like to shop alone or go to the doctor alone even though I do.  There are some things I don’t like doing alone.  I find myself wishing I still had my mother to take me to the doctor or dentist because I really don’t like to go to either one by myself.   Funny, because it was my daddy who always took me to the doctor and he took me to my one and only dentist’s visit when I needed a tooth pulled and the dentist was so mean, my daddy gave him a dressing down and told him he would never bring any of his children to him.   I didn’t go to a dentist again until I started taking my children and then I had my teeth checked.  One time I stepped on a rusty nail and my daddy took me to our old country doctor and all he and my father talked about was people getting lockjaw(tetanus) and dying from it because they had not had a tetanus shot. Scared me to death!!  So I was glad to get a tetanus shot and I still ask for them now every ten years or so since I work so much outside.  I have heard of people getting tetanus from digging in the ground.

As usual I have strayed far from my original essay.  Alone, loneliness and solace.  People suffer every one of these in their lives. It’s how you handle them that matters.  Hope no one feels alone tonight or suffers loneliness. Bye.

 

What’s Happening

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

I’ve Become Humpty Dumpty

It’s been about three years since I had my first heart episode and had all the tests that went with it ending up with a pacemaker. Before that, I was a walker. A few years ago I lost a lot of weight just walking. Didn’t change my diet or anything, just walked until I was walking five miles every day. And it was easy.  I was skinnier than I was when I got married.

Then I hurt both legs, not at the same time which made walking painful. Then the heart…. Well, it just all went downhill from there.  I’ve always been an active person, but this last year and with the Covid quarantine on top of it, I’ve been less active, let’s just say. I do manage to keep the house, play with the dogs, take care of the chickens, quilt and knit, but a lot of that is done sitting down as I tire very easily.  I really try to walk, but just a few steps and I’m winded.

Sadly, just because I’m not walking as much does not mean I stopped eating and with the quarantine and David always being hungry, we eat all the time it seems to me. I could go all day, and I do, not eating a thing, but when David is home he wants to eat.  And he is thin.

Anyway, I’m not one to stare in the mirror very often, but I caught a glimpse the other day and I did think to myself,  “I’ve turned into Humpty Dumpty.”   Regular sized howbeit, busty on top and round from the waist down.  I told David I could be a Weeble  Wobble. Remember those? Weebles Wobble and they don’t fall down. Well, the falling down I cannot guarantee, but I could wobble, I tell you.  My clothes have not changed fit or else they’ve stretched A LOT, but I haven’t gone up a size, thank goodness but you can’t go up much when you are at the top of the sizes!

Well, something must be done.  Summer is coming and I do want to go swimming and there’s a wedding coming up and I would like the bride not to be ashamed I’m her grandmother so I am going to try to trim down a bit.  Don’t know how, yet, or if I will even be successful because when you tire out easily, exercising does not come easily.

I bought a new exercise thing that I saw on TV. It was advertised by the guy who use to host The Newly Wed Game back long ago.  He’s old now, like me, and found that his balance was not very good so he, with his exercise guru, devised this platform that rocks and you have to stand on it and balance yourself. It has two poles that you hold onto while doing this.  I noticed after I had the pacemaker installed that for some reason my balance was not as good.  When the puppies would jump on me I’d practically fall down and that wasn’t good. So I got this THING and I’m trying to use it so I can gain my balance again. It also has rings attached I can lift to strengthen my arms and upper body strength which I have none.  Right now I’m doing good to do twenty arm curls.

I’m not making any promises to myself or anyone else, but I’ve got it in my mind that I will exercise and maybe get back to walking a little each day and seeing if I can remove the Humpty from my Dumpty.  David never says anything about my weight. Never has for which I am eternally grateful, because who needs a husband who tells you you are fat?   It would be like me telling him he’s getting bald.  Men don’t like to hear that, either.  But David wouldn’t say anything anyway because he’s kind and loves me.

I wish I could say I will challenge myself and tell anyone reading this how I am doing, but I’m not going to do that. Nor am I going to have a before or after photo should I succeed.  But if I do happen to lose a few pounds in the coming months, I will tell you.  If all is quiet suffice it to say, I’m a complete failure at this.

I’ve bought so many exercise machines in the past.  I still use my exercise bike and I have the Cardioglide which you stand upon and swing your legs forward and backward. I love that. I have had other things that have gone by the wayside. I even had that contraption you hung yourself upside down on, but it scared me and I sold it to a guy at a garage sale I had.  Now I kind of wish I still had it. I need to stretch this body out a little longer.

If you are struggling to lose some weight, join the party.  It’s a pretty big one from what I can tell when I go out in public.  Not a whole lot of stringbeans out there.  We are a rather rounded bunch of people, we Americans.  McDonald’s has not been good to us!  Not that I eat at McDonald’s that often. Maybe once in the past year.  I find myself looking at people and thinking to myself, “Am I that fat?”  I probably am or fatter, but I tell myself, “Naaah.”

I never thought I’d talk about my weight here where anyone can read it, but hey, what’s the secret.  People can see me.  I know I’m not in tiptop shape. Not even tip shape.  But there is hope and hope springs eternal and it is Spring and Summer is coming….

Here’s to exercise and the strength to do it!  Bye.

 

Living Through the Decades

I’ve been around a while. I was born smack dab in the middle of the Twentieth Century. A very eventful century to be sure.  One that has a lot of memorable newsworthy events in it. We went from the horse and buggy to the space rocket in that century.  We watched Davy Crockett, The Mickey Mouse Club and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.  We went from having milk and bread delivered to big box stores that carried everything.  We had our feet measured before we tried on shoes, sometime our feet were even X-rayed beforehand.  Now, no one helps you with your shoes.  Gas went from 21 cents a gallon to over two dollars a gallon and during the Obama administration in the 21st century, gas almost went to five dollars a gallon.

Of course, back in the earlier part of the twentieth century salaries were much lower. When David and I got married, we were making about five thousands dollars a year.  If someone had told me we would be making what we are making now I would have told them they were talking crazy, but with inflation, salaries rose also.  Government intervention rose also which made a lot of things cost more, like college. When I went to college it cost me $130 a quarter.  I made enough waitressing to pay for my first year in college. Then government started offering “free” Pell grants and other things to “help” us and college tuition went up into the low to high thousands per year.  Don’t tell me government doesn’t cost us money in everything.

I knew people who were born in the nineteenth century. Who were alive when horses and buggies were the norm.  These same people lived through two world wars and the Great Depression.   David’s Grandmother learned how to be frugal after that and she was frugal the rest of her life.  She saved everything.  My mother also lived during the roaring twenties, through two world wars, the Great Depression and the Viet Nam war and saw the first man to walk on the moon.  David’s grandmother lived to be 93 years old. She saw a lot of change in her lifetime, some good, some not so good.  My mother and daddy were married at the very beginning of the Great Depression, but my daddy was a farmer so they never went hungry and wanted for nothing.  It certainly wasn’t easy for them, but they made it through and raised six children through the thirties and into the seventies when their last son graduated from high school.  I wish my mother had had a blog back then so I could read more about her life. When you are a kid, you don’t think about asking your parents about their lives.

Now I am the grandmother of five grandchildren.  One born in the twentieth century and the rest in the twenty-first century.  If they live long enough, they could see the twenty-second century.   When I was young, I never thought I would become this old, but I did and pretty quickly, too.  Young people think think they will be young all their lives. I remember thinking that. I also remember thinking maybe my children would not grow up. I really did think that. That I would get to keep my children little forever. Well, it doesn’t and didn’t work out that way and now they are the age I think I am or would like to be.   In all honesty, though, I would not want to have to repeat all those years again.

What will my grandchildren see in their lifetime?  I hope they don’t see their country turn into a socialist one or worse a communist one. It seems at the time we have an administration who would like nothing better than to take away our rights given to us by our Creator. I fear for my grandchildren more and more and pray every day that things will change.  Things seem all upside down. What’s wrong is called right, what’s right is called wrong. Then I wonder if that is how my parents felt, how my grandparents felt in their day about the direction the country was going.  Maybe it’s a generational thing. I just want my grandchildren to know I fought as hard as I could to keep the country our founders began way back centuries ago. Wise men wrote the Constitution and gave us the Bill of Rights and if we are a moral and good country, we may be able to keep it. At least that is what one of the founders said at the signing.

I do wonder what is in the future.  What will people be using as fuel since the powers that be want to get rid of gas and oil products.  What will people be driving at the end of this century?  Will the pandemic still be going on? It seems like it’s gone on forever. I’m to the point I don’t want to participate any longer. Throw all masks away and take my risks. The school children are getting the worse end of the deal. They are losing their childhood experiences having school every day and being with children their age.  The not the  president says he will open schools one day a week!  What good is that?  Couldn’t one catch the virus on that one day as well as on five?  It’s really confusing what we hear from government. I don’t think they know what they are doing and are throwing stuff on the wall hoping it sticks.  I really miss President Trump because he always had a plan and he knew what he was doing.

Yes, things have changed through the years.  Remember when you had to get up off your seat and go change the channel on your television set?  Or you had to be within a couple of feet of your phone because the cord was too short to go far?  I remember dinners around the table every evening. My mother was the best cook and you didn’t want to miss one of her meals. I’m really hoping that this pandemic has brought families closer together and they are eating at the table with each other again.  Maybe this pandemic has taught us to slow down a bit.  Maybe God thought our lives were getting too hectic and we were losing our way.  We needed to have time for one another.  I hope so. 

I won’t see another century, but I know some people who probably will.   What have you seen in your lifetime?   We all are put here at certain times for a reason or a time like this as Esther in the Bible was.  She had one job God gave her and she accomplished it.  If she hadn’t many Jews would have been killed.  Are you ready for such a time as this?  I hope I am.  I pray I am.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

The Brontes, the British and Me

I love all things British.  Just about any PBS show based on an English author is a must see for me.  Today I discovered a show about the Bronte sisters, Emily, Charlotte and Anne and their attempts to get their books and poetry published.  It was hard for women back in their day. They had to send their work to publishers under men’s names.  This show is brilliant in its portrayal of the sisters and their brother, Branwell, who lived a less than calm life himself.

Other things I love about this program are the clothes and the fabrics.  I am working on a quilt right now using reproduction fabrics from the 1880’s and the early 1900’s.  We think of people back then wearing dark and somber clothes, but they really didn’t.   They used vibrant colors in their clothes, florals and paisleys.  When we look at the black and white photos or pictures from those times, we may think all people wore were black and brown clothes.

The quilt I am making is called the “School Girl Sampler Quilt,” and is made from many different fabrics. I’ve ordered fabric twice in the last month to add to my reproduction fabric stash and I must say, I am falling in love with these fabrics and would love to make some clothes from them.  I have always thought I was born in the wrong era as I don’t think people dress very well in this day and age.  Back in the Brontes’ time, full skirts and petticoats were the norm as were corsets to hold in their tiny waists.  Not sure I’d like wearing a corset, but the dresses are lovely.

Along with the quilt using reproduction fabric, I’m making another just like it in Christmas greens and reds.  There will be one hundred and forty-four blocks, seventy-two in each quilt.  The blocks are 4 and1/2 inches each and there are half square triangles that border the blocks.  It’s quite a lot of cutting out and piecing of fabric, but it’s what I love.  I spend hours in my shop, the three doggies asleep in their crates, cutting out blocks and sewing them together. It’s a peaceful kind of work and when it’s all done, I will have two more quilts.  There are 5000 women and men all over the world working on the same quilt.  You can see some of their handiwork on Kathleen Tracy’s facebook page. Kathleen Tracy is the lady who designed this particular quilt and wrote a quilt book around it.  It’s really going to be quite an accomplishment when it is finished. It’s fun seeing all the different fabrics people are using. Each quilt will be unique.

While talking about British writers, I have always been a fan of Charles Dickens.  Now he could publish in his own name and made quite a name for himself back in his day.  I  have always loved Dickens’ Christmas Carol and have seen several adaptations of this story in different forms. This past Christmas I watched Disney’s version and it was wonderful. The best I’ve seen, I think.  I watched it twice during the Christmas season.  I always love to see how Scrooge’s outlook on Christmas changes so dramatically, from “Bah, humbug,” to buying the biggest turkey for the Christmas dinner.  If you ever get the chance to see this version, do.  You think of cartoons with Disney, but this was made like the Snowball Express where the people look almost real.  I loved it.

Here it is, the end of January. David celebrated another birthday. He took a week off work and I enjoyed it. I hope he did.  I took him out for dinner and baked his favorite chocolate cake.  I keep thinking he is younger than he is. In fact, I told a repairman, who was at our house this week, that he was two years younger than he is!  I wish I could wish the years away like that, but time marches on.  My granddaughter is getting married this Summer and she posted on Facebook “could there be as great a love as this?”  And I told her yes, there is and I hope and pray she and her future husband will be together fifty years from now. I know they think that’s a long way away, but it’s really not. Those years flew for David and me.  This year will be our fifty-third anniversary. It’s true, life is just a vapor. We are born and before we know it, we are old and you wonder where the years went even though you enjoyed them all for the most part.

I must show you a beautiful flower I bought myself for Christmas this year. The last couple of years I’ve sent my sister and her husband an amaryllis and this year I decided to get one myself. It has not been a disappointment.  Better than any poinsettia I’ve had and much longer lasting. When I got it the flowers had not even started growing so we watched every day as the stems grew taller and taller and finally a few days after Christmas this one popped out.

This week three more flowers came out. It’s been so much fun watching this plant grow. I will probably buy another one next Christmas.

Our puppies tore a hole in our pool liner a few weeks ago. They are the first labs we’ve had that wanted to get into the water.  So, today we went and looked at pool liners and ordered one to replace the torn one.  The man working there told us that it has been so hard to get pool supplies and parts for pools because of the pandemic that they are two years behind in installing pools.  People will have to wait until 2022 for their pools to be installed. We had to put a down payment on the liner and get in line to have it installed and still we won’t have it in until June or July which is all right with me as I usually don’t swim until it’s hot, but David usually is in no later than May so he’s kind of disappointed.

How are you doing in this longest of pandemics?  David and I are managing to be active and enjoy our time together. This has really been a blessing in some ways, but I can’t imagine what it’s like for those who live alone or are in nursing homes or hospitals and cannot have visitors.  I gave David a puzzle for Christmas to keep him busy, He had it done in two days.

It’s a puzzle of quilt patterns.  Wouldn’t a quilt be lovely in these colors?

Besides quilting, knitting socks, and playing with pups, I’m painting another picture. It doesn’t look like much now.   I heard in a movie this week a girl describing another girl saying she was like a Monet painting. Beautiful from far away, but a real mess up close!  I thought that was so true. Paintings seen up close you do see all the imperfections, but viewing them from a distance they look good or great depending on the artist.

Here’s to the British, to wonderful quilts and Christmas flowers that delight. Bye.

 

 

Good-Bye 2020 Welcome 2021, I Think

What a year 2020 has been and it just keeps on giving.  When the new year started, it seemed like everything was so fresh and new and that wonderful things would happen and then,…. China gave us the present of the Covid Virus. I’ve heard that was an act of aggression on their part or even an act of war, but we Americans calmly accepted it and started the journey of quarantining ourselves, wearing masks and not gathering together.  It was all so strange. We are a people who like to do things in large groups.  This year we won’t even be able to gather in Times Square and welcome in the new year. Oh, the ball will still drop, but no one will be there to see it.  Is it kind of like if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there, will anyone hear it kind of thing.

I hate wearing a mask. I have breathing problems at times anyway and wearing a mask gives me claustrophobia and shortness of breath so I try to avoid places where I have to wear one.  Thankfully, we are not required to wear them in church.  I try to do all my shopping at once so I don’t have to go several times a month.  I try to spend time outdoors in the fresh air as much as possible. With three dogs, I have to be outside.

Speaking of dogs, they have been a life saver, keeping me company and giving me entertainment.  Lucy and Sugar have definitely become MY dogs. David can be outside playing with them and all they have to do is hear me open the back door and they are off to the races seeing who can get to me first and jump on me.  We are working on that jumping part because when you have two fifty pound puppies slam into you, you really feel it!  At least they are happy to see me and I am usually happy to see them unless they get muddy paws all over me.

Three needy dogs.  They are all three people pups. They love being with people.  The puppies have grown so much and they are still only about half the size they will be.  Our vet said they were slightly overweight, but they look skinny next to Molly and she has lost some weight. The vet told us Labs were always hungry and she was right. They act starved all the time.

They are so darn cute, I can’t get mad at them even when they tear up everything in the back yard. One of them dug up all the flowers I planted around our porch.  I hope they get that out of their system before next growing season.  Lucy still has those beautiful eyes.

They are all partners in crimes. Here David has a treat waiting for them.  All eyes on it!

All our dogs when they were puppies destroyed something. Well, our new pups tore the pool liner getting in and out of the pool so we are going to have to replace it next Spring. The pool is eighteen years old, so the liner was needing to be replaced.  David didn’t even act disturbed about it. Hmmmm.  When Molly tore up the pool heater he had built, I thought she was dead dog walking for a while.  He is attached to these puppies like no other.

Then there’s the chickens or chooks if you are in Australia.   They are such good little layers.  We haven’t had a period without eggs for a long while.  Our new layers are starting to lay some pretty big eggs.

One of these eggs is not like the others…..

I love our eggs. They taste like butter.  We have given away dozens of eggs this year. People always offer to pay for them, but we like giving them away.  As long as we are able, we will continue to do so.

I call this one our loner chicken because she stays outside looking in. When I feed them, she waits for all the rest to begin and then she will find a place to fit in. She’s not henpecked, just chooses to be alone.  I guess if some people live like that, so can chickens.

This is our bossy hen. She meets me at the gate every single time telling me I’m not feeding them fast enough. She has grabbed a bowl of feed right out of my hand and will peck me if she feels like it.  She is also a talker and will follow me around clucking up a storm.

Our only Buff Orpington left. She has been a good layer and the next time we get chicks, I’m getting more Buffs.  They are a gentle, sweet chicken.

No exactly sure what kind this chicken is. I thought I was getting a Silver Laced Wyndotte, but I don’t think that is what she is. She is a lot smaller than the other hens.

It’s been a little cold for bird watching although I still feed the birds, but the other day I got a few photos.

He looks well fed, doesn’t he?

Remember Frankenbird?  She has blossomed from an ugly bird.

She’s got a crest and more feathers. Here she almost looks rainbow colored.  I’m happy for her.

Sitting in the living room the other day I noticed the light at the window was beautiful through our lace curtains.

I took a few pictures.  “Scarlette, it’s the land you love.”  Does this look like that scene a bit?

The sky was on fire.  Just beautiful. God’s creation on display for all to see.

Back to the puppies. I couldn’t resist.  David had to build this gate because the pups were eating our shoes we leave on the porch and they tore the screen door out.  David didn’t seemed disturbed by that either. Hmmmmmmmmmm.  Is he getting soft in his old age?

In the new year I am starting a new quilt project. I have never joined a quilt along before. A quilt along, if you don’t know, is where several people get together online and follow instructions on how to make a certain quilt and we make our quilts together and when it’s over, we should have a finished quilt top. There are over 5,000 people all around the world getting ready to quilt with this quilt along.

We are using this quilt book by Kathleen Tracy.  All the blocks measure four and a half inches square and there are 72 squares and a middle medallion with a saw toothed edging.

It’s not too late to join, but you need Kathleen’s book and lots of different materials. You will need to follow her on her Facebook page. I’ve been going through my stash.

As you can see, I  am very well organized. I’ve got boxes and boxes of material and it’s like shopping for new when I go through them as I’ve forgotten a lot of these fabrics. but…

Wouldn’t you know?  I ordered more!  And I’ve ordered more again and am waiting for it to come!  And,… I will probably order more before this quilt is done. I always can find an excuse to order more fabric. One of these fabrics has chickens on it, too!  I’m going to try to make two of these quilts at a time. One in reproduction fabrics from the 1800’s and one from Christmas fabrics, so I will have two finished quilt tops by March, I hope.  It’s going to be so much fun.

Years ago, I use to quilt with a friend and all of a sudden one day I lost my quilting mojo. I just didn’t feel like making quilts. It was awful.  I could not get interested. My friend was worried about me. Thankfully, that little blip lasted a very short time and I was soon quilting again. We had just closed our quilt shop at that time and I think I was just burned out with quilts, quilting, fabric, the whole thing. But now I am as passionate about it or more. I love making quilts I can share with others and our house is full of them.  I told my daughter that was my legacy to her and she can do whatever she wants with them when I’m gone.  She already has several quilts I’ve made her as do her two boys.  I love knowing that when I’m gone people will still be snuggling under quilts I’ve made for them.

So I already know what I will be doing the beginning of the new year. These are a few of the blocks I’ve been practicing on.

Do you make new year’s resolutions?  I use to long ago, but I found that I could never keep them or I forgot all about them. I think it’s best to just live each year and be the best you can be. Be kind to people. Enjoy what you do each day.  Find a passion and stick with it. Take a walk.  Get a pet.  Grow something.  Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.  Remember each day could be your last one. We never know.  I’m glad God made it that way.  I don’t think I would do anything much differently if I knew when I was going to die, Maybe patch up some broken relationships if I could.  I’ve tried before.  But the people I love know I love them so I’m good.  Make a new friend.  Go to church because we are to assemble together with one another.  Pray for your country and its leader. We still are not completely sure who our president is.  There was a lot of chicanery that went on with this last election.  I hope it all turns out well. It will be up to the electoral college so pray for those people.  Give money to a charity that helps people.   I’m all for helping animals, but we people are in need of help too. I find that the Salvation Army is one of the best charities to get the most  to more people.  Pray for a cure for all the illnesses in this world. I pray for a cure for MS because my daughter has it and I truly believe she will be healed one day, but pray for anyone you know who is suffering with any illness.  Pray this Covid thing will go away for good.  I could go on and on about what we could or should do, but you know all that.

While it’s been very different this year, I think it’s been a blessing in disguise, too. Families have had to stay together and do things together.  I know my daughter and her sons have had some real quality time. I do hope the boys get back into school at some time because they need that social connection with their peers.  I’ve enjoyed not feeling like I have to be on the go all the time. I’ve read more books, sewn more quilts, and had more free time than I ever have had before and I love it.  My life was not as interrupted as many have been and I know all you social people are ready for a BIG party so I hope you get it soon.

We will face this new year and we will live right through it like we did 2020.  Many did not survive, but we who did have been blessed and we should make the most of every day.  Thank God in Heaven for all you have because we do live in the richest country in the world.  I heard the other day that just one of our states, California, has the fifth largest economy in the world.  One state!  So we are extremely blessed and we really don’t deserve to be. So thank you, God.

I pray for all of you who read this blog that your year will be full of blessings. That your troubles will be few and your blessings many.  Hugs to you all.  Virtually, of course.  Happy New Year. Pray for 2021 that it only can get better from here.  Bye.

 

 

Why I Will Never Be a Wildlife Photographer and Other Things

Before I get into my story, I have to add something to my last blog I forgot to tell.  You know, the wedding blog.  Well, we got married in July and that September I went back to college. I was taking a finance course and we had a paper to hand in. The next day the professor got up in front of the class and said, ” I have a paper from a Kate Pentecost, but I have no student by that name.”  He looked around the room. I looked at the boy next to me and said in a whisper, “That’s me, but I got married.”  My face was bright red, I’m sure. I slowly raised my hand and said, “That’s me. I got married this Summer and my name was changed.”   The whole class laughed and the professor handed me my paper, which had my pre- married name on it and it had a good grade on it, by the way. I never forgot again.

If we are living in crazy times, I haven’t had much time to notice.  I can’t believe how fast the time is passing and how much we have done this Summer.

We’ve had kids swimming in our pool.

Had seven boys one day.  They had a ball.

David took a week off for our anniversary and we did things close to home.

We took a drive one day.

Just have to say I love Indiana in the Summer.  I sometimes wonder why we ever want to go someplace else when it’s so wonderful here.

Southern Indiana is full of vistas like this.  Lazy rivers and woods.  Once you get away from the cities and towns, most of Indiana is like this.

Cornfields growing high. They did get knee-high by the 4th of July this year.  We’ve been blessed with plenty of rain.

Wildflowers growing beside the roads.

Old church yards with graves behind them.  Whoever cares for this graveyard has a talent.

Someone carved a chair from a tree stump.  It even has a footrest.

There are a lot of old, abandoned houses spotting the landscape all over Indiana. People just up and leave and the houses go back into the earth.

We ate out about every day, but I have to say something about all this cleaning for the Corona Virus.  In one restaurant, my arms stuck to the table and David said it’s the cleaning supplies they are using.  After eating there, I got sick to my stomach.

We went to another restaurant later in the week and the disinfectant smell was so strong, I once again got sick to my stomach and could not eat.  So now I’m wondering if the cleaning for the Corona Virus is worst than the virus.  It can’t be healthy eating and smelling all the disinfectant and now I’m wondering how much of the disinfectants are getting into the food.  I think I’d rather take my chances with the virus.

So on to my photography. I have taken so many pictures the past few weeks.   One day I sat out on my shop porch swing and tried to get some pictures of the birds eating at our feeders.  This is why I will never be a wildlife photographer.  Let me entertain you with my wonderful pictures.

This guy was wondering what in the heck I was doing.

 

He/she kept looking at me suspiciously.

Molly was curious about what I was trying to do.

Finally I got a bird shot.

And another.

Then papa cardinal arrived with one of his babies.

You can see the topknot on this baby bird.

This is what a baby cardinal should look like, but…….

We have a visitor to our birdfeeders that we have named Frankenbird.  Poor thing, I don’t know whether it’s just a young Cardinal or an anomaly, but he comes regularly and doesn’t seem to be afraid of us.

No topknot and very few feathers.  Almost the size of an adult Cardinal.

We will watch him and see if he transforms into a beautiful Cardinal.

You know how life has its ups and downs and you never know when either will come?  I had some really deep downs this Summer when I lost our dog, Belle.  I have to spell her name in front of Molly because when she hears Belle’s name, she starts looking for her. How do you explain to a dog that her friend has died?   I keep telling Molly we are looking for a new friend for her and we have been.  We’ve lost the chance on two litters of Labradors the past couple of weeks.  We didn’t get in soon enough in being a pick which is your number that you get to pick a puppy from the litter because we didn’t know about it.  We tried getting a Silver Lab, but they were all sold before we even got our name in. The second litter was sold quickly also, so when David found a breeder in northern Indiana he got our name in right away and guess what?  We have first pick of the puppies!   They aren’t even born yet. That is how popular Labrador Retrievers are right now.  They will be born next week and six weeks later we can go see them.  I’m sooooo excited.  They will be either black or brown. I don’t care, we have had both and they were great dogs.  I also have someone who will care for our dogs if anything ever happens to David and me.  I hope I have dogs until the day I die, but I want to know they will be cared for.

I’ve outlived too many dogs. This is Belle’s pawprint. It still makes me sad to see it.

And this is the Rainbow Bridge poem that I still cannot read because I know it will make me cry.

But joy comes in the morning and I know getting a new puppy will bring joy to our house so I’m looking forward to it.

I’m watching America’s Got Talent right now. They are having to watch the acts on video which makes it very interesting. One woman sang opera while sitting on her horse in Oregon.   If nothing else, this virus has made people very inventive.

This weekend we will celebrate our oldest grandson’s graduation from high school. We don’t get to go to the graduation which I think stinks, but we will see him at his party.  We are so proud of him.

Here’s to joy in the morning. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Fourth of July

The fourth of July is going to be a big Phsttttttt this year.  No fireworks displays. No congregating with like minded people to watch explosions go off in the air. No hearing the national anthem, which, by the way, is the only national anthem of our country.   David is working so I will be home alone. I wonder if I could be like Kevin in the movie. Eat ice cream in bed, watch old movies, and plan a way to stop the bad guys from getting in the house. That last part I really hope never happens.  But you can bet I will be busy doing something or just laying out by the pool, whichever suits me.

We have had several people swimming in our pool. Our daughter brings her friend, her kids and her friend’s kids and sometimes friends of the friends.  I say the pool is there and it needs to be used, so they have been using it often. I’ve been in the pool once this Summer. The water has to be like bath water for me to get in it.  I like sitting out and watching the kids have fun.  One day they swam for six hours. They all are as brown as nuts.  I tell them that and they laugh because they’ve never heard that before.

I still miss Belle.  Molly still looks for her. I feel sad when I see her bowl I never have to fill and her bed in my shop where she will never lay again. The vet sent us a sympathy card and it made me cry.   She was such a good dog.  But I am looking for a Lab puppy.  The only way to fill the empty space is to fill it with a puppy.  Belle can never be replaced, but a puppy will help heal the sadness. I found a breeder who has three day old Labs and I’ve given him our phone number in hopes he will get in touch with us. I told him we were seriously looking for another Lab.   I sometimes think I am a glutton for punishment by taking on the care and training of yet another puppy. Molly tried our souls. She really did, but she has turned into the sweetest, most loving dog, but she still will chew anything left out in the yard. Our daughter called and said she left her Boes  music box outside by the pool. I immediately felt my stomach drop wondering if Molly had already discovered it and done her work, but fortunately for our daughter, it was still in one piece.  Once the man who mowed our lawn left headphones out in the yard and Molly made mincemeat of them.  So this is what I want to take on once again with a new puppy.

So much has gone on this Summer and so much will be going on so I’m thinking this will be the fastest Summer to pass in decades. We all will certainly remember this Summer, if not this year as the time of the Virus when we were held hostage by a bug that they know very little about and have no cure for and yet we have to work around it somehow and make our country work.  My grandsons will have to wear masks all day at school this Fall.  I feel for them. I’ve worn a mask two times and both times were at the doctors’ offices where they handed me a mask to wear. I really feel claustrophobic with a mask on so I go nowhere where I have to wear one.  I need to get my hair cut, but they require their patrons to wear masks so my hair will be very long before I make an appointment.  I’m getting use to having long hair although it is a pain to take care of and keep the tangles out.

I hope you all are having a good Summer.  It’s a wonderful time to read a book, lay in the sun and just enjoy the lazy days.   I’ve been reading some really good books on my Kindle.  On one blog she has people send in the names of books they recommend. So many books. So little time.

I also have been having fun with my new pastime, painting by numbers. These are not like the old paint by numbers we use to paint. These are very intricate paintings where you really have to pay attention to detail.  I finished one of a flower in a vase and now I’m working on one of all colors of roses. David ordered some frames for them.  It’s very calming to sit and paint.  I think about the masters like Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso and even Norman Rockwell who painted pictures for the front of magazines.  Now they didn’t need numbers and they really had to pay attention to detail, but I bet they got the same relaxing feelings I get when I paint.  I feel at one with them.   I can even order Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh to paint if I so wish. If you are interested, just check out paint by numbers and you will find several companies that produce them. Just know, at this time they are being overwhelmed with orders because of the virus and it takes a month or more to get your set, but if you are patient, it will come in time. My first ones took three months to get here and I have another picture I ordered over a month ago. But they are worth it.

So Happy 4th of July. God bless our country and protect it from those who would destroy it.  May we continue to live in peace.  Bye.