Category Archives: Home decor

At Last, Fall

Busy days around our house.  Once Autumn gets here, it’s like a locomotive goes out of control and we speed through the days until Christmas.   I have already been Christmas shopping.  I know.  I’m crazy, but I think about Christmas all year and what things I would like to give to people.  It becomes a little bit obsessive sometimes.

I love the Fall, with its cooler temperatures, although for the past several days we have been in the nineties here in southern Indiana.  So, of course, I choose those days to do a little outside painting.   We are replacing boards on our back porch one board at a time.  I stain the wood and David puts it down.  I find painting relaxing as long as I’m not on a ladder and on beautiful days like today, I crank up talk radio and stain to my heart’s content.   When these get done, I am going to paint some old fencing that David is going to use as woodwork around my shop windows and then…. I am planning on painting all the walls in the shop white.  I’ve been looking at pictures on Facebook of rooms that are all white and for some reason, they appeal to me.  Since my shop is pretty well, my shop,  I can do anything I want to it and I want it all white and lace and quilts.  When I get it all done, David is building me a new, larger work table so I can lay out my quilts on it instead of on the floor when I get ready to pin the layers together.  I love having projects.  When we don’t have any, I think up  some.

Here are a few of the things that have been going on around our house these past few weeks.

DSCN6009

Winds were blowing from the hurricanes down south.  I hope those poor people are getting things done and getting their lives back together.  The Caribbean Islands and Puerto Rico are having a really rough time. My mother-in-law lived in St. Thomas, the Virgin Islands the year the last really bad hurricane came through and they were without electricity for quite some time.  It shirred the palm trees and made a complete mess of the island. Not so sure I would want to live on an island now.  Sounds like this hurricane was as bad, if not worse.

DSCN5997

Loving the glow of the sun through the trees. I love the light of Autumn. It’s different than at any other time of year.

DSCN6027

Closing the pool time.  Doesn’t seem like we had a Summer. I know we did, but where did it go? I sold our hot tub last week since David and I rarely use it and it takes a lot of electricity and is just one more thing to take care of.  It was fun, but it’s time to move on.

DSCN6034

DSCN6037

Reading some really good books.  I love it when I find a new author who has written many books.   I just read one about WW2 and the Italian Resistance. Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan. It was hard to read in places because war is well, hell, and cannot be glossed over.  This book is being made into a motion picture. I’m not sure I will be able to watch it.  Saving Private Ryan had me so choked up most of the time I could hardly stand it.

Jan Karon has her new Mitford book out and I have it on my Kindle.  Her books need to be read slowly so they will last longer, but I always hurry through them.  I have read her entire series through at least three or four times.  It’s like visiting with old friends when you read her books.

DSCN6019

DSCN6023

DSCN6021

DSCN6041

DSCN6040

DSCN6006

Enjoying the last of the Summer flowers.  It won’t be long until the first frost and they will all be gone until next year.  I have planted some more lilies and fox gloves so will look forward to seeing them when they bloom.

DSCN6024

Picking pumpkins. I think we ended up with about fourteen.  We gave some to our grandkids and I am decorating with the rest.  Pumpkins are so much fun to grow. Very easy, really, although they take up a lot of room and grow over the fences and through gaps wherever they can reach.

DSCN6039

My little vignette on our front porch.

DSCN6036

The young chickens are starting to lay now. We get about two to three dozen eggs a week.  I give some away and with some I made these….

DSCN6029

Homemade noodles.  I must say these were delicious.  I think we will be having chicken and noodles for Thanksgiving this year instead of turkey since my family doesn’t like turkey all that well, and I don’t like all the leftovers.

DSCN6004

Still knitting socks. I call these Café Au Lait.  I love the colors and someone will be getting them sometime.  Shhhhhhhh.

DSCN6012

I have a quilt in the hoop and this is all I can show because of nosy people in my family.

DSCN6042

And I bought this for the binding.  I ordered more fabric today. I think I’m getting my quilting mojo back after a long period of sock knitting.  I found the cutest pumpkin quilt pattern on a blog and ordered it and had to order some fabric so I could start it immediately despite the fact I have at least ten quilts that need finishing!  If you are a quilter and fabriholic, you will understand this tendency to have to buy more fabric and start more quilts even though you have more than you can handle right at this moment.

DSCN6031

My BFF sent David and me hats she had knitted for us.  They are thick and soft and will be really warm this winter. Thank you, thank you, Carol.  You are such a good friend.   I didn’t get a picture of David’s but its blue with a white stripe.

DSCN5980

As the days grow shorter….

DSCN5978

and the nights grow cooler, and they will,

DSCN6016

DSCN6017

I light candles to make the house seem warmer.

DSCN6018

Bake a cake for us to eat.

DSCN5981

And think how blessed we are right now.   It was a wonderful Summer but Autumn brings school activities at our grandchildren’s schools that we will attend, like Grandparents’ Day and Veteran’s Day celebrations, trips to King’s island with our older son and our daughter’s family and a Harvest Festival at our church where we provide games and candy for any children who want to come.  It’s a fun night and lots of children show up.

So I intend to embrace Autumn with all it has to offer. Walks through the leaves, eating a new, crisp apple and baking pumpkin bars.  It’s all good.  Have a great day. Oh, and Molly sends you a big, wet kiss. Bye.

DSCN6008

s

 

 

 

All Creatures Feathered and Furry

I have been surrounded with animals all my life.  I grew up on a farm where there were cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, guinea hens, cats, dogs, one horse and one lone sheep.  I was always feeding, playing with or doing something with animals every single day.  Feed the dogs. Feed the chickens. Gather the eggs.  Feed the calves.  Play with the new kittens in the hayloft.  I was never without an animal.  I grew to love animals and my daddy always taught me you take care of your animals before you take care of yourself because they are completely helpless unless we humans take care of them. My daddy loved farming and loved his animals.  He didn’t name any of them like I do mine because a lot of our animals ended up on our dinner plate at some time.

When I go out to feed and water my chickens, they run to meet me.  I like to tell myself it’s because they are happy to see me when I know for a fact it’s just because I’m the one with the food!

DSCN5766

As soon as they see me coming, they start running to the gate.  Here comes Bernice, Dorcas, Freedom, Shannon, Jan, Linda, Marilyn, Phoebe and Donna. Miss Mary Foster is always behind because of her little lame leg.

DSCN5765

And they act rather offended when I don’t immediately throw them some food.

DSCN5768

“You mean there is no chicken scratch in your hand?  Well, Hurump!”

DSCN5756

A couple of the new hens have started laying I believe. See those two little eggs among the others?   That usually means a hen has begun laying for the first time.  They are perfect little eggs, good enough to eat, but you have to eat three of them to make up for one of the larger ones.

DSCN5771

This is Shannon. She was supposed to be a Buff Orpington, but she got mixed in with them. I think she’s a Brahma. If you know otherwise, let me know because she was quite the surprise to us. Kind of like when you are expecting a girl and get a boy.

DSCN5772

This is Donna.  A Golden

 

 

Laced Wyndotte.  Her feathers are so shiny and have a teal color to them on her back.

 

 

 

 

DSCN5776

But on the front she is orange and black.

DSCN5770

We have three barred rocks now. My favorite one, Penninah died a few months back.  Yes, it made me sad.

DSCN5777

Freedom in her nesting box. She always screams when I open the door like she is offended that I looked in.  She screams every time she sees me.  Don’t know why. Maybe she is telling the other chickens I’m around.

The furry pets keep me busy, too.

After caring for the chickens, I often sit on the swing on the porch of a little cabin we have in our back yard.  I am never alone.

DSCN5779

As soon as I sit down, Molly Marshmallow hops up beside me and gets her bottom as close as she can to me without sitting on my lap.

DSCN5784

I sit there trying to mind my own business, but…….

DSCN5781

Sniff, slurp, lick and she is all over me with loving.   I love this dog despite the fact she has been one of the most worrisome dog we have ever had.  She demands a lot of attention and is very jealous of our other dog, Bonnie.

DSCN5788

Speaking of Bonnie, she knows immediately when Molly and I are sitting on the swing and she saunters over to see what trouble she can cause because she knows Molly is jealous of her.

DSCN5793

Before long there is a tussle on the porch.  This may look fierce, but both tails are wagging during the whole confrontation.

DSCN5794

Then Belle gets tired of it all and goes to lay under some grass with a bone.

DSCN5795

Then Miss Jealousy comes over to see if she can get the bone.

DSCN5796

And she always manages to do so.  It’s a constant battle with these two. I can give them each a bone and they only fight over one of them.   I just sit there and laugh at their antics.

DSCN5797

It’s tough being a dog, you know.

I need to finish up some things from my trip to Evansville a couple of weeks ago.

While we were traveling, we stopped at a quilt shop. Now I haven’t been quilting for quite some time as I have gotten involved in knitting socks.  Lots of socks.  But I actually bought some fabric.

It seems to have a theme.DSCN5736

DSCN5737

I found it funny the fabric had farm fresh eggs on it and only had roosters pictured. Don’t think you will get many eggs from a rooster. Heck, the hen doesn’t even need the rooster to produce eggs.   I guess whoever designed this fabric thought roosters were prettier than hens.

DSCN5742

Dream on.

DSCN5739

Yes, all chickens should be free to range.  Put on their little cowboy hats and over the range they go!

DSCN5741

Everyone wants healthy chickens.  Plenty of clean water, food and a large enough place to range and most chickens live a very healthy life.

DSCN5743

I just liked this fabric because there were several designs on it to use.

DSCN5744

I know I will be using this in something.

I had to stop at a yarn shop while we were out.  And this is what I bought.

DSCN5726

DSCN5725

DSCN5723

They had so many self striping yarns.

DSCN5724

DSCN5727

Cute little markers. I am always losing mine.  Somewhere there is a yarn marker heaven where all my markers are waiting for me.  I don’t know where they go and I never find them.

And two other things that have floated my boat lately.

DSCN5722

My fairy godmother, Shannon, gave me this cute bowl to hold yarn while I am knitting.  I love it.  That book behind it, “Use it Up, Wear it out, Make it Do or Do Without,” is a book we sold in our store years ago and there is that particular quilt in it that I have planned for years to make.  I met one of the author, Mary, when we were passing through Iowa. She and her friend, Connie wrote books and patterns together and had the company, Country Threads and a quilt shop by that name which was wonderful and inside an old chicken coop. Now that I am getting interested in quilting again, maybe I will piece it. I did manage to pin two quilts together for quilting and I hope to get them done this year.

I didn’t plant much of a garden this year.  I do have a few tomato plants where I am getting loads of tomatoes.

DSCN5754

David also went out and cut some more rhubarb. We have had so much of it this year and I have frozen a bunch.  We won’t starve with rhubarb, eggs and tomatoes available just for the picking.

The main garden area is full of pumpkin vines.

DSCN5761

It needs rain.

DSCN5760

Several pumpkins are forming.  The vine has grown up over the fence and into the garden and Molly has picked a few pumpkins.   It’s even growing up onto the grape vine and over another fence into our neighbor’s yard. He may be picking pumpkins also!

DSCN5762

This one is turning orange already.   Hope it will last until Autumn when I will decorate with them and give some to grandkids if there are enough.

Still haven’t got my bathroom completely done yet.  I have one wall I am trying to decide how to decorate, but I did get this picture which hangs above me as I lay in the bathtub.

DSCN5731

I just think she is beautiful.   I have always loved the lore about mermaids.  I just watched the movie, “Splash,” with Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah which we saw many, many years ago at a mall in Georgia.   I love that movie.  Why can’t Hollywood make more movies like that with happy endings?  I loved the part where Tom Hank’s character asked Daryl Hannah’s character how they spoke where she lived and she started this high pitched screech that broke all the television screens in the store they stood in.

Here’s to all things feathered and furry and mermaids.  Wish they were real.  Bye.

 

 

Nesting

 

Nesting: to settle or place(something) in or as if in a nest. Webster’s college dictionary. 

At certain times during the year I get into a nesting attitude.  Even though our chicks have flown and it’s just David and me here in this house, I still feel the need at times to plump, poof, move, rustle, add to, remove from, clean, clear, change, or make cozy certain rooms.  It usually happens in Autumn right before the holidays begin when I have the least amount of time, but the most energy, it seems.

Nesting has begun at the Craig house.  I have been rearranging furniture, bringing out Autumnal decorations and quilts, burning new candles and just fluffing my nest in general. Let me show you.

DSCN1769

Change up the pillows.

DSCN1784

DSCN1777

DSCN1779

Quilts thrown on the backs of all the chairs.

DSCN1770

Bring out the wool blankets for the cool nights that are coming.

DSCN1776

Place a seasonal tablecloth on the dining room table.

DSCN1786

Place a bowl of Autumn color pin cushions on a table.

DSCN1787

DSCN1785

Place pumpkins everywhere, even on the antique egg scales.

DSCN1780

Decorate the mantle with a Halloween motif.

DSCN1781

Old Black Witch.    I saw this same book in an antique store the other day.

DSCN1782

DSCN1783

Jack Pumpkinhead. He was a character in Frank Baum’s Oz books.

DSCN1789

DSCN1790

Speaking of pumpkins, I cut some of my pumpkins on a stick and brought them in and put them in a jar.  I think they are really artichokes.

DSCN1772

Little pumpkins in a tray with orange fairy lights.

DSCN1765

A big jar of candy corn which will not last long as David loves these. I think they taste like paraffin, so I don’t eat them.   I got this pumpkin jar at an antique store the other day and it was filled with little flocked pumpkins that I am using to decorate.

DSCN1754

See,  I am using them on the mantle in my shop with my little houses my daddy made and fairy lights.

DSCN1771

Autumn flowers in the old chicken feeder.

DSCN1768

Candles are always needed for coziness.

DSCN1763

I got this candle in an antique store last week.  You should smell this.  It is delicious.  The lady had one of these burning in her shop and the whole store smelled heavenly.   She told us she cannot keep these candles in stock.  Of course I had to buy one.  I am a nut for candles.

DSCN1759

This is not an advertisement for Yankee candles.  I just love them.  Every time I am sent one of their catalogues, it’s like a little present because they have scratch and sniff candle pictures and it is so tempting to want to buy every one of them.  That is their evil plan. Ha.  That Salted Caramel one smells so good even before you light it.  Someone was in our house the other day and asked us what was that good smell.  He was sitting right by the unlit candle!

DSCN1756

Even my little toad loves them.

DSCN1773

Soft light from a lamp I bought at the same antique store.

DSCN1774

The lampstand is so pretty.

DSCN1775

And look!  Butterflies on the shade.  How wonderful is that?????

DSCN1767

I am even crazy about fake candles that use batteries.

Just a couple of other things before I end this post.

DSCN1766

I got this wonderful book the other day.  Although it’s a children’s book, it might answer some questions adults have about heaven.  I always knew animals would be in heaven. God created them so why would he leave them out?  God has made a place for everyone in heaven if they only accept Jesus Christ as His son and your personal savior.  It’s so easy.  No work involved.

DSCN1700

Remember this young lady in my last post?

Her mother brought one of her diapers she wore when she was first born at two pounds.  It was so tiny.  And her mother said when she would diaper her, the diaper went clear to her chest it was so big on her.

DSCN1792

It is so tiny.  This picture makes it look bigger than it is.  You could hold it in the palm of your hand and it would still look tiny.  Shows  that miracles do happen and babies can survive being born way too early. I’m glad she did.

Here’s to Nesting and tiny diapers and tiny babies.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

Windows, Chickens and Flowers, Oh, My

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

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

DSCN0892

Here it is taken out.  Nice breeze today.

DSCN0890

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

DSCN0898

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

DSCN0901

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

DSCN0906

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

DSCN0907

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

DSCN0917

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

DSCN9933

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

DSCN0920

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

DSCN0921

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

DSCN0922

I love these pictures.

DSCN0910

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

DSCN0919

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

DSCN0900

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

DSCN0895

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

DSCN0887

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

DSCN0902

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

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

DSCN0915

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

 

Textiles and Me Part2

Yes,  I love textiles.  There is something about walking aisles of fabric stores looking at all the beautiful fabrics, feeling their softness and silkiness.  There are fabrics for every taste, every color in the rainbow.  I feel the same way about yarns although I don’t use yarns very often.

Since Spring is coming(I hope) and I don’t plan on spending time in my shop sewing when the weather is warm, I have been sewing up a storm the last few weeks. I found fabrics I had forgotten I had and brought out some of the fabrics I purchased recently and began sewing.

DSCN0395

This is a skirt I just finished.  I paired it up with a little bolero jacket I made a couple of years ago.

DSCN0398I

I used a handkerchief for its pockets.

DSCN0393

I made this skirt and paired it with a top I bought last year and a shrug I bought several years ago.   I love going through my closet and finding things I haven’t worn for a long time and find they go with something else.  I like wearing shrugs or bolero jackets because I am five foot one and long jackets just don’t look good on me.   I can’t believe I am five foot one. I feel about six inches taller.  Really.  But my doctor says that’s how tall I am so I can’t argue with him.

DSCN0389

This is the dress I wrote about a while back.  The one that I am not sure I like how it fits.  It may be because I am not used to wearing fitted dresses or fitted anything for that matter. I will buy clothes one and two sizes too big because I can’t stand anything close to my body.  This little bolero jacket is kind of a different shape also.  We shall see how much I wear this.  I love the fabric though.

DSCN0390

I just fell in love with this fabric.  Kind of wish I had made another skirt from it.  Maybe I will do some changing to the dress later.

DSCN0399

I put the quilt I hand quilted on our bed this week for warm weather.  Then it got cold again.

DSCN0400

I made these pillow cases from feed sack material.  I told David these are just for show as I don’t think these would hold up to washing after washing.  I do love how they go with the quilt.

DSCN0385

This is what I am wearing Easter Sunday.  I am also wearing a hat. I want to start a hat revolution.  Too many women tell me they don’t think they look good in hats.  I think it’s just because when they wear a hat, they are usually the only one wearing one and feel like everyone is looking at them.  If more would wear hats, then no one would think anything about it.  As it is now, if I wear a hat, someone always says something about it because it is a rarity.  I love hats and want to see them come back.  My mother had so many hats.  One day I will show you some of them which I have, of course.  I also have a little hat I wore when I was a little girl.

DSCN0387

I’m loving my purse.  This pattern is so easy.

DSCN0404

Now I will talk about Miss Molly Marshmallow.  Look at what she is doing to poor Bonnie.  Sitting on her head.  I know it’s a sign of dominance, but I wish Bonnie would bite her on the behind just once.  This is how she sits.   Like a queen on her throne.  David and I have been seriously talking about changing her name to Termite because this dog eats wood.  She brings up whole logs from the wood pile and gnaws through them.  She pulls branches off trees and chews them.  And I told you about the big hole she chewed into our house almost clear through to the inside.  David was not a happy camper about that and words like, “That dog is gong to find itself in a new home,” to ” Something has to be done about that dog,” were being said.  I was close to tears.  But, David repaired the hole and so far, Molly has not chewed the house anymore.  I think she may have heard what David was saying.  She is getting spayed in a week and I am hoping that will settle her down a bit.  Poor baby.

DSCN0402

Here are two eggs David gathered today. See the little one?  See the jelly bean?  What in the world happened with that chicken???  Smallest egg we have gotten since the hens all started laying.  Must have been a bad day.

Here’s to fabric, dog sitting dogs and tiny eggs.  Life is always interesting. Bye.

After the Day

Has Christmas really come and gone already?  Wasn’t it just a few days ago I was putting out the pumpkins for Autumn and decorating for that season?  Seems that when October gets here the days just fly toward December 25th.  I don’t know why, but for me they do.  It’s all a blur.

I finally crashed today after church. I knew it was coming because I have been on warp speed for the last few weeks.  I came home from having dinner and laid down on my bed and slept for hours.  I am still extremely tired, almost like jet lag.

But, enough of that.  We had a very pleasant Christmas.  I say that because after everyone had gone home David said, “Now that was a nice Christmas.”  It wasn’t gawdy or raucous and the food wasn’t all that splendid because I just didn’t feel like cooking a big dinner, but everyone seemed to enjoy the day.   I must say the grandboys hit the bonanza with gifts.  Their uncle gave them their favorite gifts this year.

DSCN9988

Cincinnati Reds backpacks. But that wasn’t all. Inside the backpacks were Reds jerseys, tickets to a Reds game and a scorecard book to various other Reds’ activities.  The boys loved them.

DSCN9986

DSCN9984

DSCN9997

This boy put on his bathrobe I had made him and his backpack and did not take them off the entire day!  Look, what movie is on television?  It runs all day on Christmas.

DSCN9985

Did I mention how tall my grandson is and that all the rest of us are Hobbits?

DSCN9987

Yes,  we are all Hobbits.

DSCN9989

My older son had asked me to make him a quilt for his couch, so I did.  I think he liked it.  It’s called the Australian Bush quilt.  I have made several of these.  Got the pattern from a quilt magazine years ago.  I use to teach classes on it.

DSCN9995

I made our daughter a butterfly quilt and I forgot to take a picture of it.  As usual.  I’ll try to remember to get a picture of it when we are at her house this week.

DSCN0001

I received some nice gifts.  A new computer since mine broke a few months ago and I have been using my husband’s old one.  I received this wonderful picture.  Reminds me of the place where I grew up for some reason.  I don’t know why, since our barn was red, but we did have several out buildings like in this picture.  And there was always a snowman in the yard or barn lot during the winter months.

DSCN9999

Remember that big mystery box I received from Santa?  The one I couldn’t open until Christmas?  This was in it and I love it.  An antique chicken feeder. From a friend who knows I love chickens.    I have never seen one with such wonderful graphics and I have plans for it already.  In fact, I think I am going to decorate an entire room around it.  I have wanted to redo our dining room for a while and now I have a reason.  I see cream colored walls, red buffalo checked curtains from Country curtains and this as a centerpiece with dried flowers in it.  I haven’t painted a room in a while and it’s about time.  I also have a bathroom I am going to redo this winter.  I have the curtain material for its window and know the color paint I want.  I just need a new ladder as the old wooden one we have is very rickety and I don’t feel safe on it.   I got a gift card from Lowes so I know what I am going to do with it.  My favorite thing is going to Lowes to look at paints or to Rural King and look at farm things.  I’m a farmer’s daughter and I will always be one.

DSCN9976

Christmas Day night we  saw the best Christmas movie I have seen in years called, The Secret Santa.  It made me a believer in Santa. As if I don’t already believe!  I think it will become a must watch movie for us, just like Christmas Story.

Closing the window on another Christmas.  Next year I hope more of our family can join us, but we are scattered now and it is harder to get together.  But I have hopes.  Now it’s on to a brand new polished and bright New Year.  We can make a new start.  We can dream new dreams.  We can hope new hopes.  May the new year bring you health, peace and happiness.

My next post will be a Christmas story about when I was growing up in the 50’s.  Bye.

 

It All Started With a Picture

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

DSCN7826

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DSCN8040

First you are welcomed by my little chicken welcome sign.

DSCN8039

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

 

DSCN8045

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

DSCN8046

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

DSCN8014

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

DSCN8015

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

DSCN8016

What’s a porch without some flowers?

DSCN8041

DSCN8044

 

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

DSCN8035

DSCN8036

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

DSCN8033

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

DSCN8032

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

DSCN7901

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

DSCN8038

DSCN8029

I planted annuals in a piece of the old porch.

DSCN8027

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

DSCN8031

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

DSCN8013

DSCN8012

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

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

DSCN8025

 

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

DSCN8026

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

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

Seasonal Snippets

It’s been a very busy month.  By busy I mean planting, cleaning, building, sewing, walking, and visiting among other things.  Summer is building up to be very busy also.    Every Summer we look at the three long months ahead and think of all the time we’ll have and then things start to be planned and before we know it, Summer is over. Right now we have a graduation party, a wedding, a trip to Chicago, visiting relatives and a Sunday school party planned.   I would like to have a candlelight dinner on our new porch, but haven’t got the plans all together for that yet.  I’d love to have a ladies’ day camp at my house where all my friends could come to spend the day, without children, and swim, sun, hot tub and eat yummy food all day.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?  I’d love to have all you girls come enjoy the day with me.

DSCN7893

I am going to talk about our new porch for a minute.  I know you are thinking, “blah, blah, blah, that’s all she talks about.  Her new porch. Boring.”  I know, but I just love my new porch so much.  David and I go out every day and look around and tell each other how much we love it.  The stone mason got the stone laid last week despite that it rained every single day.

DSCN7881

DSCN7899

We had cloudbursts after cloudbursts.  The garden loved it, but it made it hard to lay stone as the cement couldn’t set in the rain.

DSCN7898

The stone masons made themselves a little tent to work under.  I felt so bad for them as I stood inside my nice, dry house and watched them work.  They are truly artists at their work.  The pillars came out even more beautiful than I ever could have imagined.   I am so glad we decided to do them as we were a little afraid of the cost.  Since we plan to live in this house the rest of our lives, I think we made the right decision.

DSCN7910

David had had his eye on these rocking chairs we saw at Sam’s Club and he finally decided to go buy them.  They were the last two they had so I think we were meant to have them.  They are so comfortable and made of teak so they will fade to a grey.  We have originally become old, I said. Two old folks sitting and rocking on their front porch.  I would love to put a bed out there also.  To sleep under a metal roof while a soft rain is falling upon it sounds like bliss to me.  I fell asleep on our swing in our back yard yesterday and when I opened my eyes, there was a carpenter bee right in front of my eyes.  So close that when I swatted at it, I hit it.   I wondered just how long it had been flying around my head and looking at my nostrils as a place to call home!  Yikes!

DSCN7909

I love the way the shadows fall upon the porch.  It’s just a magical place, I have to tell you.  I know it’s just a porch, but it just makes you feel good to sit out there.

I have been having a wonderful time landscaping around the porch.  I had purchased a lot of perennials that I was just itching to get into the ground.  I spent a couple of days planting.

DSCN7907

This little patch of flowers are on the left side of the steps.

DSCN7908

We dug up some more yard for another bed.  The less grass I have to mow the better I like it.  I have planted these plants and sowed zinnia and cleome around them  I also planted some hollyhock bulbs, but I am not sure they will grow.  I have decided buying prepackaged bulbs from certain stores are not the healthiest of bulbs.  I bought garlic bulbs from one particular store a couple of years ago and not one grew.

DSCN7887

Now you know I have to have something about chickens in my garden.  I found this cute garden stake at Rural King, one of my favorite stores.  It has a little bell that really rings.

DSCN7886

DSCN7892

DSCN7889

I’ve planted and planted. Did I really need to buy eight packets of sunflower seeds?  Really??  I managed to find places to plant them, but my garden is getting packed full.  This is an old lawn spreader that I painted pink and planted with annuals.  A movable flower pot!

DSCN7888

DSCN7884

DSCN7883

DSCN7891

I never tire of seeing the perennials bloom every year.  The irises, poppies and peonies are beautiful right now.  Peonies are probably my very favorite flower.  The poppies were started from David’s grandmother’s garden.  She always had a beautiful garden in her backyard.  I can still see it in my mind’s eye.

DSCN7916

Peonies make such a beautiful bouquet.  If I were getting married again, I would want to get married when the peonies are in bloom so that I could have them in my wedding bouquet.

DSCN7920

Two of my favorite colors together.

DSCN7918

Even the white ones are gorgeous.

Meanwhile, David has been working hard to get things ready for summer.

DSCN7879

Want to come swim in our pool?  What’s that?  You say it’s green?  This is what it looks like every year when we(meaning David) takes the cover off.  Then the real work begins.

DSCN7880

David spends many hours cleaning, flushing and checking the chemicals.  It’s hard to believe that soon this green pool will be a beautiful, clear blue ready for swimming.  Our grandkids are coming over this weekend, so hope the pool will be ready.

DSCN7903

We needed a new walkway to our porch and David spent a day working on it.  It was his plan and I must say it turned out really well.  I will show you the ta-da moment on another post as I forgot to take pictures of the finished project.

DSCN7906

 

Doesn’t he have a nicely tanned head?  Working outside in the sunshine will do that.

DSCN7901

Over a year ago, when our new porch was just a figment of our imaginations, we bought this stained glass picture to hang in our front window.  We didn’t want to put it up until it would be in the shade as my stained glass pictures in my shop windows faded after years in the sun.  I love this with all the different birds on it.

Less you think I have forgotten all about the chooks, I haven’t.

DSCN7873

They are so happy to have ground where they can take their dust baths again.  Here they are in front of one of the dog houses.  There’s Freedom getting ready to run.  She always runs when she sees me despite the fact I spent weeks nursing her back to health last year.  Ungrateful chicken.

DSCN7878

Here she is thinking she has escaped me, but I cut her off at the pass.

DSCN7875

Dorcas, or is it Beatrice, is friendlier to me and will come right up to me and let me pick her up.  She’s such a pretty girl.

DSCN7877

Even though Freedom is afraid of me, she keeps her eye on me.  She will follow me all around the coop, but as soon as I go to pet her she’s off to the races again.

DSCN7876

Of course laying season is picking up.  Sometimes I will find as many as four eggs in one nest.  Chickens like communal laying, I guess.  We give a lot of eggs away.  They are good, organic, free range chicken eggs and taste like butter.  I have eaten more eggs this year than I think I have all my life.  Egg salad is a mainstay at the Craig house.

Well, hope you are enjoying the weather and getting outdoors and giving God the praise for His glorious creation. Bye.

 

Porches, Patterns and Pooches

Crazy week.  When you think life is crazy, it sometimes gets crazier.  Last week I thought the building of the porch was weeks away.  All of a sudden it started Tuesday.  Not the building, the knocking down.   I barely had time to feel bad about it.  Yesterday morning, Wednesday, I slept right through the builders and David knocking the bricks down with sledge hammers.  The men said David was like a mad man slinging his sledge hammer.  I looked out our front door and there was a big gap where the front of the porch use to be.  Now is not the time to back out of this project.

DSCN7644

porch

David looks like the unibomber with his black hoodie and his sledge hammer.  Oops, hope the government doesn’t read this.  Just kidding, government.  He had way too much fun tearing down the bricks.  See the old siding behind him?  Clapboard.  Probably the original siding of the house.  Also we discovered the original porch was only half as large as it is now.  And our new porch will be much larger.  Fourteen feet by twenty-five and a half feet larger.  The pillars are still standing for now, but they won’t be much longer.  It has poured rain today and suppose to tomorrow.  Be nice for the weekend, then rain again.  Of course, now that we have started a building project.  We have holes in our  walls where new switchplates and outlets go.  We have cracks in the livingroom walls from the old porch coming off.  Dave and I will have much patching and painting to do after this is all over.  I have found when you start a project, you always end up having more work than you planned to do even when you hire someone to do the work. Understand?

DSCN7641

This is the roof of our porch.  Later this will be all gone and a new roof and exposed rafters will be here.  We will be able to sit on the porch when it is raining and listen to the rain hit the metal roof.  Maybe I should put a bed out here.

 

 

 

DSCN7635

Mom, do my nostrils match??  Bonnie, we are not talking about your nostrils right now.  But, um, they do look a little funny.  Plastic surgery, maybe?

DSCN7636

 

“Look at me and my ball!  Look at me and my ball!”

Belle, I know I haven’t played ball with you today.  You are going to have some little boys to play with you this weekend so you better rest up.

I escape to my shop while the builders are doing their thing.  I was looking for a certain pattern, but as I was looking, it was like walking down pattern memory lane.  Here are just a few of my vintage patterns.

DSCN7665

 

I sewed a lot for my daughter while she was growing up or at least until she decided she liked “store bought” clothes better than Mom’s handmade ones.  I made her a long dress from this pattern in a pink cotton fabric.  Ran ribbon around the sleeves and through the eyelet in the chest area.

DSCN7664

 

My daughter looked every bit as sweet as this girl in the picture.

DSCN7661

Back when Little House on the Prairie was popular, this pattern came out and I made my daughter a dress out of calico with an eyelet trim like the plaid dress on the cover.

DSCN7662

 

I may have that dress somewhere.  I saved a few of my daughter’s dresses because I just couldn’t stand to part with them.

 

 

 

DSCN7658

 

One year one of my boys dressed as a clown for Halloween and I made the costume.  I remember it was a really fun costume to make.  Glad I still have the pattern.

DSCN7654

 

I can’t believe I even tried making men’s and boys’ clothes.  I used this pattern to make one of my sons this outfit.  I don’t know if I still have the pattern or not, but one time I made my younger son slacks with a vest to match and he wore it to school and he came home and told me his teacher didn’t believe him when he said his mother made his outfit.

DSCN7657

 

Back in the day when bell bottoms were the rage, I made David a pair.  Just like the white ones in the picture.  He wore them, too.  A lot.

DSCN7656

I’ve been noticing bell bottoms are coming back.  They call them boot cut, but some of the pants’ bottoms are very flared, just like bell bottoms.  I use to wear bell bottoms.  I was a flower child.(without the drugs.)  Never have tried illegal drugs.  Never had a hankering to.

DSCN7655

 

I loved this pattern.  I made my daughter a cute blue calico outfit like the center picture.  She looked so cute.

DSCN7652

 

One day, when my daughter was in kindergarten, she came home and said, “Mommy, I am going to be a butterfly in the school play.”  My mind started racing. You mothers know what I am talking about.  Was I suppose to make the costume?  My daughter nodded, yes.  Oh, no.  My mother happened to be visiting and we rushed to JoAnn’s and looked through all the patterns and found this one.  Perfect.  I made the butterfly costume and people actually gasped when my daughter came on stage with her long, blonde hair, rosy cheeks, in a pink leotard and her beautiful, butterfly wings.  It was a wonderful moment and I can still see her.

My children sprang things like that on me all the time.  Once my younger son came home and said he had to dress like Thomas Edison.  How did Thomas Edison dress, anyway?  We got together what I thought was a fairly decent outfit.  What I didn’t know, because I was never told anything, (still not) but my son was the star of the show, The Electric Sunshine Man.  He had a huge speaking part and had to sing solos and I didn’t have a clue.  Thankfully, one of the mothers video taped it and gave me a copy and I still have it.  I just sat there in stunned disbelief that he had learned all those lines and I didn’t know he was doing it. Really, I was awake during their growing up years, but my children constantly surprised me.  Still do.

DSCN7629

 

Just wanted to show you a catalog I got in the mail the other day.  I usually order clothes from this company, but they also sell other things.

DSCN7631

 

I love this cherub sleeping in what looks like a larger angel’s wing.  How adorable is that?

DSCN7630

 

They sell bedding to die for, but since this complete ensemble would probably cost about five hundred dollars, I won’t be getting it.

DSCN7632

 

If I were a rich old maiden lady living all alone in a mansion, I would have stuff like this all around me.  I just love this romantic looking stuff, but David, not so much.  I have my girly room and that is fine with me.  But really, don’t you love these things?

Spring seems to be upon us although she was playing coy for quite some time and now she is throwing temper tantrums with thunderstorms, heavy rains and tonight, tornado watches.  But that’s Spring for you.  But have you noticed how green the grass is getting and that the daffodils are finally blooming?  Even the ones I have had to transplant look like they will bloom this year.

DSCN7648

 

A bud on the weeping cherry tree is telling me that soon Spring is going to burst forth in all her glory.

It appears I am going to have a houseful of grandchildren this weekend for an overnight so I must rest up tonight, because once they get here it’ll be gang busters.

Here’s to porches, pooches, patterns and the promise of Spring.  Bye.

 

Sleepy

I don’t know why, but for the last couple of weeks I have been so sleepy.  I sleep until nine or ten in the morning and by mid afternoon I am sleepy again.  Maybe it’s been this extremely cold, damp weather we have been having that chills you right to the bone.

Last night  after supper, I was so cold I got three blankets and laid on the couch with them over me and fell asleep until ten o’clock.  Stayed up for a couple of hours, went to bed and slept until almost nine thirty this morning.  My mother would tell me I am sleeping my life away.  I kind of feel that way.

DSCN7328

 

I wish I could be more like my dogs and not be ashamed I am sleeping so much.  They don’t seem to mind wasting away a whole day just snoozing.    Bonnie stays in my shop all day and doesn’t move a muscle for hours.  She doesn’t care what others might think.  Look at her, how peaceful she is.  By the way, she and Belle got new beds for my shop so now I let them in more often since they don’t get on the furniture anymore.  They are loving that.

It’s not that I haven’t been busy.  When I am awake my hours are full.  I just finished a Bible study, have been doing some Spring cleaning and have been cutting hundreds of two inch squares for a quilt I am making. It needs over two thousand squares.  As I cut them, I sew a few together.  I want to have this quilt pieced before hot weather gets here.  I’ve been taking care of the chooks.  They are beginning to lay more regularly now.  They might be getting some new friends later this summer if my daughter gets me the Austrolorps I want.    I’m too tired to download any pictures right now, but I will be showing you  what I have been up to soon.  I made a bunny garland today.   Just need to do some hand sewing on it.  If I can get out of this sleep funk, I will take some pictures.

We had some exciting news today.   Our contractor, Claude(He calls himself Bub) called us today and said he was ready to start work on our new front porch and put in some new windows.  I have told you our old porch on our hundred year old house is sinking and pulling away from the house causing cracks in the wall of our living room.  David said we had to replace the porch or the side of the house would be torn off eventually.  I don’t like that idea.  I kind of like to have walls between me and the elements.  Another winter like this one with a wall gone?   So, we are biting the bullet and getting the porch built.  It will go all along the front of our house instead of just halfway like the old one is now. It will have stone facings on the porch posts, a ceiling fan and tiffany like lights by the door. It will have low rise steps instead of the high steps it has now and railings down them so my friends and family won’t fall going up and down them.  I have seen people fall off our steps too many times.    If we have to do it, we are going to do it right and in style.

So now I have my work cut out for me.  I have dozens of flowers to move by next week.   If I don’t, I will lose them under the porch.  I guess I won’t be sleeping a lot for the next few days.

I am so ready for gardening, though.  David tilled the garden and we let the chooks in and they had a ball scratching and pecking at the newly turned soil.  I have dozens of tomato plants started and one pumpkin plant that is getting pretty big in its pot.  Hope warm weather will get here before it outgrows it.  I have flower seeds and gladiola bulbs and beans and squash, plus the rest of the pumpkin seeds to plant.  I can hardly wait to make that first trip to the nursery to buy more flower plants.  I am losing my porch flower box that David built me when the old porch goes, so I will have to plant hanging baskets now.

Now, if the weather will just cooperate and I can stay awake long enough, I may get something done.

Here’s to sleep, new porches and dreams of gardens.  Bye.