Category Archives: David’s and my projects

Once There Was A Summer

Remember those first few days of Summer when you thought they were spread out before you like a gift just waiting to be opened?   So many plans made for picnics, road trips and long, lazy days by the pool.   Blue, blue skies?   Warm sun on the face?

Days when clouds had curls on the top like a Dairy Queen ice cream cone? 

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Summer didn’t quite turn out that way for me.  I have spent a great deal of Summer painting and gardening.   We have talked for years about painting the house so this year we have decided to get it done.  But first, we wanted to try some paint colors to see what we would like. We painted the shed and my shop a deep, dark syrupy chocolate and I like it.

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Between David and myself we got them both done with two coats on each.   We are having the house painted.  No tall ladders for us.

It’s rained so much this Summer so we painted between the rain drops.   The rain has done wonders for my garden, though.

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The pumpkin vines have spread everywhere and I have seen a few pumpkins starting to form.

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One vine grew up and tree and then down and there is a pumpkin hanging in there somewhere.

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And the vine continues to grow down to earth again. Who knows where it will end up?

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These pumpkin vines are waist high on me.  The leaves are huge.  I hope the pumpkins won’t disappoint.

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Being a farmer’s daughter, I am always glad to see that the farmers have good stands of corn and soybeans in their fields. I heard on the radio that harvest may come early this year.  Good for the farmers.

And even though it’s Summer, I have still found time for knitting.  In the early morning or in the evenings I try to knit a bit.  Here are a few of the socks that have come off my needles.

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With all this yarn I knit a pair of patchwork socks.

 

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Not sure anyone but me will want to wear these colorful socks, but I do love them.

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Another pair of socks from odds and ends of yarn leftovers.  I rather like these, too. These were a bear to knit for some reason. I tore out one of them three times, once when I was at the toe.   Grrrr.

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And I found the colors in this ball of yarn almost matched my patchwork socks.

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And here they are.  See the mistake?  It’s hardly noticeable, but I know it’s there.

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And I also did some patching of holes on some older socks I knit.  These are some of the first socks I ever knitted.  I knit little squares and sewed them over holes.

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Then I did a little yarn embellishing.  I will be glad to wear these on a cold Winter’s day.

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The children are all back in school sitting at their desks hopefully filling their brains with useful information that will get them far in life.  Our oldest grandchild started college this year and our youngest is in fourth grade. How fast they have grown.    Soon the leaves will begin to change. The air will have a crispness in it that I have longed for all Summer.  I am not a hot weather person.   We have plans for this Autumn.  I will be making trips to Indianapolis with our daughter as she takes part in a physical therapy study for MS patients.   Pray for good results.   Then we will all go to Walt Disney World together and have some fun.  That’s our plans.

Hope your Summer was full of everything your heart desired and that Autumn will be the same. Bye.

Oh, and Belle and Molly give their regards.

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Woof!

 

 

 

 

Summer Daze

Okay, I know it’s not quite Summer yet, but it sure feels like it with the heat and humidity.  Today was a picture perfect day with hardly a cloud in the blue, blue sky.  The seasons are running together now for me. I no sooner get ready for one season then it is another one and so on and so on. This is my favorite time of year when the birds are building their nests and raising their families. David and I watched a daddy bird feed one of his babies in our bird feeder today.  There are so many birds. Cardinals, nuthatches, chickadees, Titmice, sparrows, cowbirds, blue jays,( who are nasty critters, I must say) starlings,who lay blue eggs I learned this Spring, purple finches and some I don’t know what they are called.  But the feeder is constantly busy. I saw a humming bird also. They have been very secretive about coming to the feeder and I can never catch them.

The garden just burst into bloom. When they say something bursts into bloom it’s true.  One day nothing and the next day flowers everywhere. If you don’t believe in miracles, go out into a garden and you will see so many all around you. I always wonder how a tree knows when it is time to unfurl it’s leaves. When a daffodil knows to pop its head out of the ground.  Who tells the birds when to fly north. I know, but do you?    It’s all perfectly miraculous.  It’s going on all around us every single day and most of us are blind to it.   That is why it says in the Bible, be still and know that I am God.  Just sit quietly in a garden for a while and if you don’t believe there is a greater Being making all this happen, I don’t know what to tell you.  I believe and I see it every day.

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Bursts. See.

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The peony is one of my top five favorite flowers. I have a lot of them in my garden and I just ordered seven more to be planted this Autumn.

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I want to just stop and look and look at these, but there is work to do.

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But then, there are these beauties. The Iris. On my top five list.  They multiply and you don’t have to do a single thing to make it happen.

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I never have enough flowers, but I am running out of room.

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My daughter and son-in-law gave me this for Mother’s Day.  I love it. But I am not very good with hanging baskets so I hope I can keep this as beautiful as it is now.  By the way.  I had a very nice Mother’s day.  My grandsons learned to play Chinese checkers the last time they were here so they wanted us all to play.  Six people playing Chinese checkers takes a long time. Especially when some people refuse to move!  But it was fun. We played on the Chinese checkerboard I received for Christmas one year when I was a little girl.

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This is not David’s grandmother’s clematis.  This is one we transplanted here years ago and it has really taken off.  It’s what I see from my backdoor.

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Just gorgeous.

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And Molly Marshmallow has to get into the picture. I love this dog. So much.

I always say the back yard is the dogs’ garden because I don’t get all upset if they dig something up or lay smack dab in the middle of a flower bed.

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Here is Belle demonstrating her gardening capabilities.  Which pretty much amounts to snooping, sniffing, pooping and digging. But that’s okay.

I have managed to complete one small quilt in the midst of all the gardening and painting my shop.   It’s another one from Kathleen Tracy’s book.

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It’s nice to do a small project once in a while where you can see the results so much faster.

And I am nearly finished with this quilt.

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I hand quilted it instead of on the machine and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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I still have the border to quilt and the binding to put on.  I already have another quilt I am planning to hand quilt on my mind.  It is slightly bigger. It fits the top of the table David is making me.

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Here’s the table on its side so that he can screw the bottom shelf on.

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And here it is on its feet.  The top still needs staining and polyurethaned but it’s almost there. You can see I still do not have the floor completely painted. Trying to think what I am going to do with the grandchildren’s handprints and pictures they painted on the floor years ago. I am keeping them for sure.   I love this table. We got the idea for it at the Indiana Home Show a couple of years back where I saw a kitchen island that looked like this and I loved it.  The price for the kitchen island?  Ten thousand dollars!  The price of this table with lumber, stain, screws and casters?  Under $500 which is still not cheap, but a whole lot cheaper than the one we saw at the home show.   It will last my lifetime and one of the kids will inherit it if they want it, but they will have to have a big place to put it as it’s huge.   I can see myself this Winter cutting out quilts and laying quilts on this table to pin before I quilt them. And there is so much storage underneath. I am going to buy some baskets to hold projects I am working on.  Thank you, David.  I love you.

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I have my mother’s Singer sewing machine. The machine I learned to sew upon. When my mother got this machine, it was the newest one out and she was so proud of it. David, who has worked on many sewing machines in his life says this is the best sewing machine Singer ever put out with metal gears.  So many of the sewing machines today have plastic gears. And talking about sewing machines.  I came in my shop with wet Crocs and feet the other day and sat down to piece a quilt square and got shocked.   I blamed the machine and immediately began to look for a new sewing machine online. David says it’s because I had wet bare feet that I was shocked, but I have talked myself into a new machine.  A heavy duty quilting machine.    I have worn out a few machines and mine are all over twenty years old with a lot of miles on them so I am getting a new machine.  But no more sewing with wet bare feet!

 

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This little girl is graduating from high school this weekend. I can hardly believe it. I remember when this picture was taken.  My son and daughter-in-law lived in Chicago and both her grandmas got to go with her mother and her to get her pictures taken. It was so much fun and we grandmas watched all gaga over this precious little baby that had come into our lives. Now she is all grown up and ready to meet the world.   I’m still gaga over her and so very proud.

Here’s to wonderful granddaughters, new sewing tables and learning NOT to sew in wet, bare feet. Bye.

 

 

 

 

Playing Catch Up

I told David we were never going away for a vacation in the Spring ever again. Too much is going on around here and I don’t want to miss it. Plus, it’s planting time and so many things to do around the yard to get it ready for Summer. Right now our yard looks like a jungle because the lawn mower man hasn’t come yet. Well, I didn’t get him called soon enough.  I am amazed how quickly our lawn has grown in one week.  And I don’t mow anymore.  That’s one job I am more than happy to pay for.

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I didn’t miss any of the Spring blossoms. Here is the crabapple tree in all its glory.

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The pink flowering almond outdid itself.  One winter the rabbits ate this clear to the ground so we had to put a fence around it. Now it’s too big for the rabbits to care to munch on it.

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To look at my garden you would never know I love the color pink.

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Even my painted garden has pink in it. I made a trip to one of my favorite garden shops and bought some geraniums in different hues of pink and planted them in eight planters this morning.  I have a few flower seeds to plant and some tomatoes and pumpkins and then I will be finished with the planting this year.

We had a little surprise when we returned home from Alabama.  A little furry surprise. We were going out the door to church the Sunday after we got back and I thought I saw a kitten run under our porch.  When we got home, David staked out a place to watch and before long he saw four little kittens.   Then as he watched longer, he saw there were five!  Five kittens born under our front porch and we didn’t even know it. Their mother is a feral cat that runs around in our neighborhood. David got out the animal trap we had bought  to catch a ground hog that had taken up residency under our porch. We caught a possum that time. Soon he had caught mama cat and four of her babies.  The fifth one, that looked like a Siamese cat, took longer.  It took a couple of days.

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This is mama, but she is vicious.  David had a tangle with her and she bit him five times through leather gloves and scratched him all up his legs.   I didn’t see it happen and he said I wouldn’t have wanted to.

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One long haired and two black and white, one tabby and the Siamese looking one.  Strange how so many different kittens can come from one mama.  So cute, but so wild.

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Such cute faces with a look of danger in their eyes.

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This black and white one was my favorite.  In a week they were litter trained, eating kitten kibble and drinking from a bowl and I found homes for every one of them. The mother is still running loose.   I am hoping she finds a new place for her next litter or I will be calling animal control which I really don’t want to do.

Work is progressing on my shop. I have almost all the painting done now. Woohoo!  That was a chore. I did it all with a paint brush, wall and floor.  I still have a bit of the floor to complete. Meanwhile, David is working on my new cutting table.

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It will be six by six feet, made of heavy wood and on heavy casters so that I can roll it anywhere in my shop I want.  If that isn’t love for him to do this for me, I don’t know what is.  I don’t need any boxes of candy or flowers.  This does it for me.

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And this is what I do in my shop. Sew and make quilts.  These are two I have pieced in the last few weeks.  And like all quilters, I am already thinking of my next one.

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From Kathleen Tracy’s book.  I love this quilt.

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And part of the fun in making a quilt is picking out the fabrics.  Here are a few I plan to use in my next one.

David’s grandmother had a clematis in her garden that was so pretty. She had it for as long as I could remember.  She babied that clematis and it was her pride and joy.  When her house was going to be sold, David and I rescued Grandma’s clematis and brought it home with us and planted it behind our garage, which is now my shop.  It bloomed there, but the last few years it hasn’t seemed happy there so this year we decided to transplant it to a more favorable place. At least I hope it will be.

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David worked very carefully to get it dug and to trim the fencing away from it that it had grown on.   We think we found some new little clematises beside it so I planted them in pots to see how they would do.   They might just be weeds, too!

It now sits in my kitchen garden where it can spread its roots and hopefully grow bigger and have more flowers on it in the future.  If any of our kids are reading this, we will Grandma Henley’s clematis to you.   It’s at least fifty years old.

Meanwhile other bushes are bursting at the seams.

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The Spirea always looks pretty.

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And another transplant from Grandma’s garden. A snowball bush. This one has become quite big and is full of blooms.  I’ve gotten two more transplants from this one bush.  It brings back fond memories of being in Grandma’s garden.  She was the only Grandma I really knew as my grandmothers had passed before I knew them  or they were not well while I was growing up.  My one grandma lived with us for a while and did teach me how to make good pie crust.   But we never talked.  Isn’t that strange?   She didn’t talk to anyone.

I try not to get hooked on movies during the day, but last Saturday one of my favorite movies was on.  Giant.  Starring Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor.

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Both were in their prime.  I really believe Elizabeth Taylor was the most beautiful women in her time.  She had those violet eyes and shiny black hair.  Giant is about a Texas cattle baron and his family. It’s about women’s rights and the prejudices of the time, cowboys and finding oil and becoming rich off it and the disparity between people,  with horses and cattle and bucking broncos all thrown into the mix.   It’s a long movie so I had to tape it to finish it later, but I love it and will watch it again.  James Dean, who comes from my state, was also in the movie as a nemesis for Rock Hudson’s character.  He died in a car accident not long after this movie was made.  He was the stuff of legends.

The cinematography was wonderful.

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It made the old west come alive.    So much of the west is gone now.  Overrun with housing developments and ranchettes and shopping malls, but there are still a few places off the beaten path where you can still see what it use to be like.

And because this has been a hodgepodge  of things I will show you some lipsticks I purchased recently. Found the company on Facebook. Lipstick for women over forty.   Which I have been for some time.

 

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I don’t own any stock in the company or anything. Just like to share when I find a product I like.   I got a set of lipsticks and have tried them all and love them all.   They come in the cutest containers.  The lipsticks are not suppose to feather into the wrinkles around your mouth like some lipsticks do.    I’m still testing them, but so far I have been very happy with the product.   I usually wear Covergirl, but their ads have become kind of freaky and that turns me off a product. Just telling you the truth. I also like Maybelline lipsticks.  These new ones may become my favorites.

So that has been the first week back from vacation.  There’s a graduation coming up. Our first grandchild finishing high school and has her college all picked.  Wow, does time fly.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Authors in the Family and Letter writing

I always have loved to write.  If I were disciplined enough and didn’t have so many hobbies like quilting, knitting, gardening and reading, I might have had time to write a book.  I have written short stories for my grandchildren in which they are the main characters, but that is as far as I have gotten to being an author.  Writing here on my blog seems to satisfy my need to write.

Our oldest granddaughter actually wrote a book when she was fourteen and had it published.  One of our grandsons likes to write and wrote a story about me trying to get to my birthday party.

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I guess that’s me in the picture!

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Wish you could read it. According to the story, I took a subway from Chicago to Lafayette, Indiana. There was a ship wreck and cyclone I had to deal with also.  Quite a feat if I do say so myself.  But I did get to my birthday party!

His brother made a really nice birthday card for me also.

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Better than any store bought card any day in my estimation.

I got a letter the other day from the same grandson who wrote the story, asking for a size 11 pair of socks.  I think he was asking for his dad because I did not knit his dad socks for Christmas this year.   Not sure.  I was just glad to get a letter. The art of letter writing in this day of cellphones and texting and E-mails has gone the way of the Dodo bird.  It takes time to gather a pen and paper and sit down and write down your thoughts, then find an envelope and a stamp and go to the mailbox and mail the letter. If someone does that for you, it’s a real blessing. It means they are thinking of you and you are worth their time.  I wrote him back and also told him to tell his brother to write me also and I would write back.  Maybe we have started something here.  Maybe I need to sit down and write a letter to everyone who means something to me.  Have you ever written a person and told them what they have meant in your life?  A teacher, or relative or friend?     I bet if you did, they would be so happy to get it. I got a birthday card a couple of weeks ago in which a friend had written a prayer for me and it meant so much.   For some reason, a letter means more than a text or even a quick phone call because it means the person thinks you are worth it.

Do they even sell stationary any longer?  I remember as a girl looking at all the pretty stationary and spending time selecting some. Stationary came in pretty boxes and there was usually a picture of something on the top of each page.   I had pen pals I wrote to in Sweden and around the United States.   The two girls I wrote to in Sweden would send me little gifts and I would send them something and we did this for a few years and then we lost contact.  I still have a picture they sent me of the two on them on ice skates  by a lake.   Hard to imagine they are old ladies like myself now.    I often wonder about them. I tried to find them on the internet, but someone I contacted, who  I thought might be one of them, never contacted me back, so I figured it was the wrong person.

I just finished writing a story based on my daughter’s Golden Retriever who lost a leg in a trap a few weeks ago.  I tried to write it from the dog’s point of view and I tried to imagine what he went through, caught in a trap in the middle of the forest for fourteen days.   I still am amazed he survived his ordeal.  My daughter says he runs fast now and coming toward you, you can’t even tell he is missing a leg, but he limps when he walks. It’s amazing how resilient animals are.  After I have done some polishing of the story I will give it to my daughter and her family to read and then I may post it on here.

Have you written a letter recently?   Is there someone who would LOVE to hear from you?

In other news, the work on my shop is going quite well. I have several shelves painted and all but one wall painted and now I am working on the floor.   It takes two days for each coat of paint I put on the floor to dry so it’s a slow process.  Plus, I can only do small portions at a time as I have to move stuff from one side to another.  When this gets done, I am done for a while. I did mention to David that my girly room is in need of fresh paint and he told me to get one project done before I started thinking of the next one!  Maybe this Autumn that room will get freshening up.

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It looks like the walls are pink, but they are dazzling white.

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It’s so nice to have clean, freshly painted walls on which to hang things again. I have decided I am not going to burn candles in here anymore as everything was blackened by the candle smoke.   I have burnt a lot of candles in here through the years.   While I love to burn candles, they do leave a bit of soot even if you cannot see it at the time.   So air fresheners will have to do unless someone can give me some advice on what to use. I’d like to do something with peppermint extract because spiders don’t like peppermint.

I also am trying to make some little quilts from these two books I got in the mail a couple of weeks ago.

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I really love this quilt on the cover and want to make it.  There will be some appliqueing in my future.  In this book, Kathleen Tracy writes of a young woman, Adelia, who lived during the Civil War and shows us some of her diary entries.  It is very interesting. I love reading about this time in American history although it was a very hard time and many lives were lost.

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This is another quilt in the book that I want to try. I love green and pink together.  So Spring like.

I am working on this quilt right now and am loving the process.

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It’s a small quilt and just about all I can handle right now.   Its from this book by Jo Marten.  I want to make every single quilt in his book.  I’m thinking of having a quilt wall in my shop of all little quilts.

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It’s becoming Spring in my neck of the woods. Daffodils are blooming on the south side of my shop and many more are getting ready to burst into bloom.  I know this sounds crazy, but I’m kind of sad to see Winter go as I had so many plans to finish so many projects that did not get done.  I did get some more socks knitted.

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Believe it or not, David loves these and wore them to church this morning.

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These go in the gift bag. I have another pair completed and am working on my Christmas socks. Yes, Christmas. I think about Christmas all the time because I make so many presents.  But the Christmas socks will be mine. The first pair of Christmas socks I knit turned out to be too pink, so they go in the gift bag also.  I also have yarn to knit David Christmas socks.  So, there you go.

Spring starts next week.   Enjoy it because right behind it comes Summer and the heat.   I hope we have a mild Summer this year. Not too hot or cold.

I will leave you with a smiling face.

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Molly Marshmallow says, “Hi.”   Took her to the vet for some shots and  she remembered him from when she was there a few months ago because she got so excited when he walked in the door like she was greeting her long, lost friend.  She doesn’t greet me like that!  Here’s to happy dogs. Bye.

 

 

Some Things Are Too Sad

I had a whole other post I was going to write, but this week has been up and down, mostly down and there are just some things too painful to write about.  Another church friend’s husband   passed away this week and I helped with the funeral dinner.  He was such a nice man. Talked to another friend, who was helping with the dinner, who had lost her husband just weeks ago.  The pain these women have had to endure is more than I can imagine.

But it got worse when some friends from church lost their son in a tragic car accident.  I can’t talk about it.  I taught that boy in Sunday School and his parents are two of the nicest people.  I will leave it there and will keep them tightly in my prayers.   We never know when we will have the last conversation with someone we love or will see them again on this side.   Too often I forget that and when something like this happens, I think long and hard about how I treat people.   I never want my last words to be mean and hateful.  I was taught that lesson in a very hard way years ago when I was a young girl.

Now I loved my daddy and still do, but when I was growing up I could be rather sassy.   Daddy said something to me or made me angry about something one day and I told him I hated him. The very next day he almost died.  He was overcome with exhaust from his little Ford tractor and collapsed in the barnyard.  At that time it was very difficult to get an ambulance out in the country. It was a long distance call and my mother and her friend, who lived down the road, tried and tried to get an ambulance to come.  Meanwhile, my brothers and I were taking blankets out to cover my daddy and talking to him. He had bubbles coming out of his mouth and I was sure he was dead.  Finally, the ambulance came and took Daddy to the hospital and he got better, but I have always remembered that and that my last words were ones of anger.  It’s a horrible thing to think the very last words a loved one might hear from you are ones that hurt them.  So, I try to never leave someone with anger. I’m not saying it hasn’t happened, but I always pray afterward that they will forgive me and that God will keep them safe.   I never told my daddy I hated him ever again. In fact, my very last words to him before he passed away were, “I love you, Daddy.”  So glad I have that memory.

There have been other things going on.   I try to keep busy to keep my mind off sad things all th time.  I have been working in my shop trying to get it painted.

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I wish all my shop looked as freshly painted and organized as this part from the wall to the end of the grey paint. Unfortunately,……………

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This is how the rest of it looks. So much stuff.  As I was trying to walk around my shop I was thinking it was like one of those hoarder’s houses they show on tv where you have to climb over and around stuff to get to anything.  It will NOT look like this when I am done.  I have to move all this to one side to paint and then will have to move it all again to another side and then try to get it all put on shelves or get rid of some things.   That rooster picture is going in the hens’ house.  They will appreciate it more than I do.  The little brown cabinet under the cutting table holds my mother’s sewing machine. The very one I learned to sew upon many years ago. It still sews wonderfully.  If I could get to it.  I expect it is going to take me weeks, if not months to get the shop the way I want it to be.  And that cutting table is going because David is going to make me one about twice as wide so I can pin King-size quilts on it.

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The Grandboys were here to celebrate David’s birthday.  They had learned to play the game, Spoons.  I played it many years ago and had forgotten how, but soon learned and we had fun playing it.  I’m glad I have grandchildren who still like to play games.

The people where David works got him some things for his birthday. Now David is a sugarholic and absolutely loves milk chocolate covered cherries.  Here’s what he got at work.

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Five boxes of chocolate covered cherries, four boxes of Junior Mints, which he loves, too, and three bags of Dove cherry candy.   I had also given him several boxes of chocolate covered cherries because I didn’t know he was getting all this.

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A man and his riches   We laughed about this and the card was about texting since they know David and I don’t text.  I think he was a happy man.

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Valentine’s Day will soon be here and if I can get it in gear, I plan to send out some cards. I haven’t sent Christmas cards in years, but for some reason, I really like sending Valentine’s Day cards.  People don’t expect them.

Here’s a book I just finished.  I really like this author and she has written several books so I have a few more to read.

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I am reading “A Week in Winter” by her right now, plus I have a murder mystery on my Kindle I am reading.  I never want to be without a book to read.   We are studying Revelation from the Bible also, so my mind is going all different ways.

Hope your days have been going well. Hug your loved ones or give them a call.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hoosiers

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

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

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It was a foggy morning making everything look mysterious.

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Past corn fields ready for harvesting.

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

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

It was a beautiful morning to watch the games.

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Always nice spending time with these loved ones.

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

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

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Past woods…

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

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

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Past old building like this and this…..

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

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

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The trees were just starting to turn.

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

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

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

But enough about restaurants and food.

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Using this pattern…

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

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

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

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

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

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Hope you are enjoying the season.

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Hope your skies are blue.

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And hope your friends are close. Bye.

 

 

Calm Before the Storm

We have lived in our old house for almost 40 years now and there has hardly been a year where we have not done something to it like removing wallpaper, putting up wallpaper, removing wallpaper, painting, stripping woodwork, replacing woodwork, putting down tile floors, removing tile floors, ripping out old floors, putting down new wood floors, replacing windows, adding a bedroom and bathroom/laundry room, putting on a deck, ripping down the deck, building a bigger deck, building a brand new front porch(which, to this date, is our most favorite thing we have ever done to this house) and multiple paintings of every room in the house.  David says our walls are at least one inch thicker because of all the paint I have slapped on them for the last 40 years.  One year, when our children still lived at home and the neighborhood kids would come over, one little girl asked me one time, “Are you always painting?”  I had to confess to her that I love to paint and yes, I was always painting something.

Well, we think we are almost done remodeling.  This year we are completely gutting the upstairs bathroom except for the big, old tub, which I love to soak in and having new walls put up, new wiring, new light fixtures, new plumbing, new cabinet and sink, faucets and new flooring put in.  We are also finishing up getting all our windows replaced. It has taken several years, but they will be done this year. Yippee!  Except for our hall window which I love because it slides up into the wall and they cannot find one like it to replace it, so it’s staying.

So today I cleaned the downstairs really well because I know for the next few weeks, my house is going to be tracked in, dust will fall as the plaster walls come out and total chaos will reign for a time.  I’m not good with chaos, but thankfully our contractor is not one of those who takes his time doing a job. He comes in, keeps his men working  until the job is complete.   At least he has in the past and I have no reason to think he has changed.  David has said we have him on retainer because he has worked on our house so much.  We still have one bathroom to go and I don’t know if we will get that done this year.  He and his men are very nice to work with and are very respectful of other’s property.   I worry about my tub getting scratched, but I have been assured they will lay something in it to protect it.   All the tilework around the tub is going to be replaced.  I have wanted to have that done for years.  No amount of scrubbing can make that tile look good, so brand new, sparkling white tile is going up around my old tub and my old tub will be so thankful! And after all the dust has settled and everything is done I will repaint the bathroom myself. I have the colors all picked out  We purchased this really big, old mirror to place above the cabinet.  Now I am wondering if I really want to see that much of me when I get out of the bathtub!   Right now we just have a little medicine cabinet in the wall.  One I am going to keep because it is vintage.  Probably put in the bathroom in the 1950’s.

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So, here are pictures of the bathroom as it is now. A very nondescript little room. But it has served its purpose well for these last few decades.  I have bathed my  children and grandchildren in the big, old tub.  I have waited impatiently outside its door for teen-agers to get done doing whatever teen-agers take forever to do.  I have been so sick in this bathroom, I’ve wanted to die.  I have spent hours soaking in the tub.  I like showers, but a good soak in a bathroom is bliss to me, especially when my muscles are screaming in pain, which they seem to do more often these days.  Yes, it’s been a good little bathroom and deserves to be remodeled and brought into the twenty-first century. Or as far into the twenty-first century as I am willing to go.

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The tub. One would think I would have prettied things up a little before taking this picture, but, well, this is how the bathroom looks most of the time.   I am planning to be neater in the new bathroom.

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We did replace the commode years ago.  The old one had been there since the 1950’s.  But we are getting a newer, more high tech one.  Thank you for looking at my toilet.  I am sure it’s been the highlight of your day!

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Yes, we are keeping this little drawer by the bathtub which has absolutely nothing in it.  And, yes, I do buy shampoo a lot and don’t use up the bottles.

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I love this corner cabinet, but there is nothing you can do with this corner with it there.  So, it’s going.  I’m going to look at antique stores for a storage cabinet of some kind to replace it. Who knows what I will find in the dark, back corners of this cupboard when I take everything out.  It kind of makes me sad it’s going.  Is that crazy, or what?  I tend to hold onto things.  Does anyone want a nice corner cabinet? Let me know before next Wednesday.

I painted this bathroom several times.   The last time was many years ago and my, then, daughter-in-law put the wallpaper border up for me. I have always loved this wallpaper.  I will be sad to see that go too.  I still am friends with my daughter-in-love although she is not technically related to me any longer.  And she is a great mother to my grandchildren.

So, I will be taking pictures of the remodel.  I hope I won’t be screaming in agony as the old bathroom goes.   Who gets attached to a bathroom, anyway?   There is a lot of history between me and this bathroom.   And the people who live in our house down the road will be glad that the bathroom doesn’t date to the 1950’s.  I hope that won’t happen for a long time.  Bye.

 

This is Retirement?

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’ve become a sock model.

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Why do I always have a bruise on my shins?

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

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

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

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

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We missed the Karaoke.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Where Did Last Week Go???

Where did last week go?  For that matter, where did the month of January go?  January use to be my least favorite month, but through the years I have grown fond of long winter days, making things in my shop, sleeping in late in a toasty warm bed, baking and cooking comfort foods, and feeding the birds.  January and I have grown rather fond of each other.

but January sped by this year like every month seems to speed by nowadays.  This was what happened at our house last week.

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I gave our living room a fresh coat of paint.  Through the years  I have painted every room in our house at least three times or more.  I love to paint although climbing up and down the ladder is a little harder than it use to be.

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The room was a light sage green and now it’s a sort of pinkish brown.  A few years ago I painted our bedroom and wanted a soft, darker pink.  It turned out Pepto Bismo pink.  We lived with it.  While painting with this color, I got some on my arm and looked at it and thought, ‘Ah, calamine lotion.”  So now I have a calamine lotion painted room, but I rather like it. It looks really well alongside the grayish diningroom.  We shall live with it.

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This painting looks really good on the wall.

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The fireplace mantle stands out better.  I am getting use to it.

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We had the wolf moon.  I almost missed it, but I got up earlier than usual last Sunday and saw it just before it set in the west.

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I love full moons.  They say people go a little crazy during them, but they have never bothered me.

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I have almost knit to the heel of another sock.  Now I will have to change to double pointed needles to knit the heel flap and then the dreaded heel turn.  I will have to try this when no one is around, all phones must not ring, the light must be just right, I must be well rested and alert, the moon must be in the right phase and nothing, but nothing must disturb me or the stitches will fall off the needles like they did the last time and I tore out the whole sock.  How did someone figure out how to knit the very first sock ever?  How did they teach themselves to turn a heel?  It boggles my mind that someone did it for the very first time without any instructions.  I have instructions, and it still boggles my mind!

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Finished piecing my chick quilt top.  It turned out even cuter than I though it would.

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I could make another one of these, it was so much fun.  It will get quilted soon.

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Today I finished piecing a basket quilt.  This was another really fun one, but oh, so many little pieces.

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I love every piece of fabric in this quilt.

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Of course, I continue to feed the birds.  They are a continuous source of joy for me.  Every time I see a titmouse or chickadee I just have to smile.

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Today I was keeping an eye on this cardinal in the crabapple tree.  She sat there for the longest time watching the other birds at the feeder.

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I kept trying to get a good picture.

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This is the best I could do.  The sun was shining on her making her feathers seem to glow.

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Walking around the yard I noticed that bulbs were starting to sprout in the garden.

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This little bush has stayed this color all winter.

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I’ve been doing a little coloring in this book.

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I have ordered a tin of seventy-two colored pencils to make my pictures more enhanced.

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There is something rather relaxing about sitting down and coloring a picture.  I loved coloring when I was a little girl.  So glad that adult coloring books are in vogue right now.  I love working with the colors and shading and trying to pretend I am an artist.   I saw in Sam’s Club the other day there was a Donald Trump coloring book.  We had our grandsons with us and one of them wanted one, but I said his mother would kill me if I bought him one!  But I thought it was funny.  He got a book, instead.

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I’m beginning to write stories about my two younger grandsons called “The Adventures of Tristan and Foster.”  I have several ideas for stories.  They always want me to make up stories about them when they visit, so I thought I would try my hand at writing some for them.

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We lost Abigail this week.   David went out to make sure they were in the coop and she was laying out in the garden.  No feathers around, no blood.

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We had been getting these really long skinny eggs lately and I was thinking one of the hens must have something wrong with her egg canal.  Since Abigail died, we haven’t got anymore of these eggs so I think she got bound up with an egg.  So sad.  That happens sometimes with chickens.  They can look really healthy, but have an egg stuck inside them and it kills them.

Besides all of this there’s been church going, cookie baking, roll making, grandboys visiting, laundry doing, book reading, dog playing, chicken feeding, Bible study planning, David’s birthday celebrating, and much more.  I haven’t been to the hair dresser for months.  I need a cut and color, but I keep putting it off.  I am getting so lazy in my old age.  Just love staying at home and doing at home things.  I feel blessed.  Bye.

 

 

 

The Needle Arts

From the day that my mother first handed me a needle and an old sock and told me to make a doll, I have been interested in the needle arts.  I still have that sock doll somewhere.   From sewing machines needles to knitting needles to quilting needles I have been interested in making things with needles. My year started out with my trying my hand at knitting socks. I have made three false starts and now I am once again trying to knit a sock.

I purchased this book in hopes it would walk me through the dreaded heel. I have not started the heel yet and to tell you the truth, I am very worried about it.

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I’m practicing on a sock with inexpensive wool.  I am liking how it looks so far.

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I ordered this beautiful yarn from this place…

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It’s so beautiful, I am almost afraid to use it.  But won’t these make wonderful socks?

I have never ordered wool like this and I have never rolled balls of yarn before and it took a village to get it done.  If I had tried to figure out how to find the end of the yarn in these skeins, I would have been left with a  knotted up mess, but David helped me and we ended up with this..

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You know how in some of those old movies you would see the husband holding the yarn in both hands while the wife wound the ball?  That is what David and I did.  One skein down, four more to go.  One skein is suppose to knit up a pair of socks.

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Remember the socks I was knitting a few days ago and ripped out?

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Now they are a scarf, but I would much rather have had a pair of socks to show you. Someone will be getting a scarf for Christmas next year.  Ha.  I can do scarves with my eyes closed.  Maybe that is what I am doing wrong.  Not closing my eyes while I knit socks.  What a catastrophe that would be!

I’m not the only one who can ply a needle.

I wanted to learn how to crochet and David found me one of his crochet hooks and started casting on and before we both knew it, he had crocheted this….

 

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He used up some of my old yarn and wore this to work.  He got several compliments on it.  At least one of us is good with the needle.   I still haven’t learned how to crochet.  But it’s on my bucket list.

I licked my wounds after the sock debacle and went back to what I knew I could do.  Quilting. This first week of January I have already completed two quilts.

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This is one I started a couple of years ago and wanted to finish it before Valentine’s Day this year and I did!   This is made with Pamkitty Love fabric which I love.

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Love the look of old fashioned Valentines.

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Another quilt I completed was made from the book, Little Quilts All Through the House.  A book I had had for several years and lost and just last week I ordered it on Amazon for under ten dollars and am so glad I did.  I have made so many little quilts from this particular book in the past years and this week I made another one.

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Another quilt for Valentine’s Day.  This one made up so fast and I absolutely love it.

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I love fabric with words upon it and this is the border to this particular quilt.

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Has a French look about it.    Anyway, I feel a little better that I completed a project once again as I have been rather discouraged about all the sock knitting failures.   I will knit socks.  I won’t give up.

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This is part of a new project I just started this week also.  It’s going to have quilting, embroidering, and applique on it.  I am making this to wear for Valentine’s Day.  I am so excited because it is my own creation and no one will have anything like it when I am completed.  All these ideas just creep into my mind and suddenly I just have to create.  I put everything else aside when the creative juices start flowing.  Must be like the feelings Picasso, Monet and other artists must have felt like when they created their great art, not that anything I make is great art, but it’s my art and I love it.   I will be showing my creation as soon as I get it completed.

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Alas, the day came to take down the Christmas tree.  It’s never as exciting as putting it up although I do enjoy having more room again, but I sure will miss the bright lights and cheer the tree brought into our home.

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Putting away all our much loved ornaments.  We didn’t put as many decorations on the tree this year, but it was just right and looked really pretty.

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I will look forward to seeing these again next Christmas.

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All my snow people watched with interest as we stored all the Christmas paraphernalia away.  They seemed to be saying, “Phew, we get to stay out another month or two because we are snow people.”

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This little guy joined the others this year.

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A friend gave me this wonderful Jim Shore snowman several years ago.  He is my favorite snowperson.  Shhhh, don’t tell the others.

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This little lady joined my Jim Shore collection this Christmas as a gift to me and she stands on a shelf in the kitchen.  The person who gave her to me said it was me with all the cooking and baking I do.  I took that as a compliment.   I love her.

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This is my new exercise ball my daughter and son-in-law gave to me for Christmas.  Every time I went to their house I would bounce on my daughter’s exercise ball and say, ” I would love to have one of these,” and she listened to me.   It’s good for core exercise and balance.  My daughter has MS and uses it to help her balance.   I love bouncing on it.  Feel like a kid again!

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I got this really great poster of butterflies last Fall when we were in Fredricksburg, Texas at Wildseed Farms.  Don’t know how I am going to display it yet, but I love looking at it and reading about all the different butterflies.  So many beautiful ones.

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I’ve seen a few of these in our garden.

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And last but not least, I bought a couple of inexpensive journals at JoAnn’s the other day.  I love writing in journals when I am not writing here.  There is something about putting words on paper.  I go back to some of my old journals that tell about some of our trips, family gatherings and other things and find it such a joy to read about the good times and even some of the not so joyful times because none of us gets to live a life free of pain or sorrow.  But, all in all, we have lived a pretty good life, Dave and I and I hope I can fill many more journals.

Hope you will be creative this year.  If not, I hope you get to enjoy something from a creative person.  Here’s to needles and yarn and thread and creative juices.  Bye.