Category Archives: David’s and my projects

Already June

If the days go much faster, I may as well stay in bed because night comes so fast and I wonder what I got done and where did the day go?    It’s crazy.  We have been busy the past few weeks and every time I think I will write a blog post, something else takes my attention and another day is gone.  With grandson’s ball games and our granddaughter’s wedding shower we don’t lack for places to go.

Got to see one of this young man’s ball games.  The ball park was out in the boondocks. We drove and drove back roads and finally found it, then discovered there was a shorter way to it, but the drive was nice.  His team lost, but he did strike out all the batters in the inning he pitched except one who hit a homerun.   I love watching baseball because I understand it and I use to play it when I was a girl.  I was on a girls’ softball team one Summer and we traveled around to different towns and played.  It was so much fun and it was a great bunch of girls on the team.   I think we were pretty good if I remember right.

And we got to see this young man play soccer.  I understand soccer pretty well, but because we were sitting so far away, it was hard to tell who was who.  His team won their game.  Just wish the boys lived nearer so we could go to more games because I really love seeing them play.

One of my projects this Spring was to clean off my shop porch and make a small raised bed garden in front of it.  My porch had become the catch all for everything from garden supplies to David’s tools, to just junk so I want it all gone.

We took some steps from our old back deck to make the raised beds. Turned the steps upside down and there we had a raised bed.

An old chicken laying stand is used for a backdrop and to display a few flowers. I found the white chicken at an antique store a couple of weeks ago and I bought the metal chicken at Rural King last year. The little girl statue is named Sara after our daughter.

Since this picture was taken the leaf lettuce is almost ready to pick.  I love wilted lettuce made by cooking chopped onion and bacon together, stirring in some vinegar and brown sugar and pouring it over leaf lettuce. Yum.  Don’t have the measurements I use, just trial and error.

We have had this old grill sitting back by the dog pen for the last few years and every year I told David I wanted to do something with it, so this year I did.   Cleaned it up, sprayed it with spray paint and it makes a wonderful place to plant flowers and display them.   I’m really pleased with it, if I do say so myself.

Used some barn quilts I painted a few years back to hide the mess under the porch table.

Put this lavender in a maple syrup bucket.

I have lots of room in front of my shop to plant a lot more if I want to. Since it’s hazardous to anything I plant in the back yard with the puppies still chewing on everything, I am using what I can to plant what I can. Just this week they tore out an azalea I had just transplanted while digging for a mole, so I put the azalea in my kitchen garden which is fenced in.  I will have to show you that garden another time. I have been pulling wheel barrows full of weeds out of it. I haven’t been able to weed in there for the past few years and the Creeping Charley took over. Now Creeping Charlie is kind of pretty in its own way, but it tends to take over a flower bed and a lawn.  It just about kills me to weed now, but I’m determined to get that garden back in shape. I have discovered several Hibiscus that were overtaken with the weed, but now they have sunshine and just in the past couple of days they have grown taller. I also pulled out poison ivy and dug up a little tree that had taken up residence.

A few years back I planted some wildflower seeds from Wildflower Seeds Farm out of Fredericksburg, Texas.  We visited there a few years ago and it was amazing.  Anyway, the only flowers that keep coming back from that planting are these Dame’s Rocket.  And they have spread.  I’ve got potatoes planted in that old wash tub that doesn’t have a bottom.

 

Dame’s Rocket is so pretty. It crossed the drive and planted itself right by our walk up to our  front porch. We had to mow some down because it was taking over, but I love it.

Here it is by the front porch steps. I really wouldn’t care if it spread all over the yard. It seems to bloom forever and it’s self-seeding which are wonderful traits for a flower.

Just a few of the Iris I have in my gardens.  One day a complete stranger stopped and asked me if he could have a start of that bright orange Iris. I told him sure if he had anything he could trade me for it.  So a few days later that man brought me a small lilac bush and this year those lilacs were so beautiful and smelled heavenly and we already have transplanted another lilac bush from it and there is another sprout we are going to transplant.  So it’s fun to trade plants with people. I hope my flowers are doing as well for that man. And those orange Irises have spread to different parts of the garden and I haven’t touched them!

The snowball bush I thought had died last year put on quite a show although the flowers were smaller than usual.

And the small bush that we transplanted from the older bush really did well this year.  We got the original plant from David’s grandmother’s yard years and years ago.

You can make a planter out of anything. This is an old fertilizer spreader that’s seen better days.  Just a paint job and David put a board inside to hold the dirt and voila!  Flowers in bloom.

The peonies were absolutely gorgeous this year. My favorite flower. And here is art imitating life. I painted the picture last Winter and tried to imitate it with my own bottle and flower.

Funny what I can get up to with time on my hands!

Who doesn’t like peonies? If you don’t, I’m not sure about you!   They are so beautiful and many smell so good. Their only problem is they don’t last long enough in the Spring.  I’ve ordered nine more of them for planting this Fall.

If I were getting married again I would want a huge bouquet of peonies to carry down the aisle.

I love Spring skies. Pastels just like in the garden. Finally warmed up enough that I wasn’t chilled for a few days and then it got cold again and now it’s back to normal.

I have much more to write about, but I will end with two of the best things that have happened in the past month. My oldest son and his girlfriend finally decided to get married.  They have been together for eleven years and her son is like a son to my son(got that?)  So one day they just decided to get married without a ring or anything.  They bought a house together.

It’s in a beautiful division with houses that look old from the outside.  It’s very pretty on the inside also.

This is the happy couple and their son and dog, Annie who is so cute.

I think they all like each other and I officially have six grandchildren now.  The more, the merrier.

And speaking of weddings. Our oldest granddaughter is getting married in July just three days after our 53rd wedding anniversary.  A shower was held for her last Saturday.

There was lots of yummy food although this is the only thing I got a picture of.

This girl is not my granddaughter, but I’ve known her since she was a wee baby. She and her mother and I made quilts for the babies at Riley’s Children’s hospital. When she was first born she spent her first few weeks there because she was premature, but here she is now. The quilts were her senior project by the way and now she’s already graduated from college and is teaching English.

My granddaughter in glasses. She graduated from Purdue University in three years with honors, already has a job this Summer at the Children’s museum and she and her future husband have already bought a house.  She got straight A’s, by the way, but I’m not at all proud of her!!!

We all wrote questions for her to answer and also we wrote down when we first met her and she had to guess who wrote each note.  It was easy for her to guess mine as I’ve known her since she was born.

There were lots of laughs and some tears, but a good time was had by all.

I will end right here which is a good way to end. Bye.

 

 

 

 

What’s Happening

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Making it Through the Quarantine

Does it seem to you that this quarantine has gone on forever?   I’m sure our president has to be very careful about lifting it. Will the media attack him if even one person dies of the virus?  Or will people celebrate they are free to move around again and be out in society not fearing to be exposed?   It’s a difficult decision, but the quarantine has to be lifted sometime.  There will always be a virus around us and we cannot hide out from it forever.

Not to make light of it and  knowing many people were affected and some have died, this quarantine has not affected me very much. We went to the grocery yesterday and there were people walking around with masks and gloves on.  David and I were not wearing either and we were not concerned at all.  The grocery had some shelves that were empty, but most things I wanted were there so we are good for another month.  A friend of mine went to the same store today and actually had toilet paper taken from her cart when she wasn’t looking.  I don’t understand this toilet paper shortage at all.

It’s been nice having David home.  We are finding out we will not kill each other by being together for weeks on end.  He respects my need for privacy and time alone and I cook for him. It’s all worked out!

I told you we painted a bedroom and here are a few pictures after we put everything back into the room, minus a few things.

I absolutely love the color we painted the walls.

We folded some of the quilts on an old trunk.  We also refolded all the rest of my quilts and put them in another room. I must have at least one hundred.

This is David’s grandfather’s old rocker that my daddy stripped and refinished for me one Christmas long ago.  David’s grandpa would sit on his front porch and smoke a cigar every evening. When my mother and I would drive by his house at night, all we could see was the lit end of the cigar and mom would say, “There’s Mr. Henley, smoking his cigar.”  I didn’t know at the time I would be his granddaughter-in-law one day.  These are three quilts I’ve made.

I’ve still got to get some linen pillowcases and we just ordered a Victorian crystal chandelier and the room will be completed.

Can’t remember where we got this old chest of drawers. Probably an auction.

David learned his folding skills while working for Ralph Lauren. He’s folded so many clothes in the years he’s worked there so when I need things folded very neatly, I ask David.  I had a pile of tablecloths I’ve collected over the years and he folded them for me. I asked him to count them so I’d know how many I have.

Here they all are. He said I have one hundred tablecloths!   I had no idea.  I’m going to have to start getting rid of a few I think.  But doesn’t that pile look neat?  I would never be able to fold those so neatly.

When the days are warm ,we spend a lot of time on one of our porch swings and watch the world go by. Of course, not too much of the world is going by at this time because of the virus, but there are people still traveling the roads going some place.  We had an eighty degree day this week, but today it’s in the fifties and will freeze tonight.  While sitting on the swing on my shop front porch a few days ago we saw this…

Peeking through the trees across the road a big moon was glowing.

So David ran in and got the camera and we took some picture of the super moon. The Pink Moon or Planting Moon it is called.

I love the silhouettes of the branches across the moon’s face.

Then David took some close ups.

The moon is absolutely beautiful. They say we only have so many full moons in our lives. I’ve seen most of the ones I’m going to see, but I hope I have a few left.

Skipping along. David found an old fruit press we got a long time ago.  We had a few oranges so he made some juice. How many oranges does it take to make a glass of juice?

Quite a few. And with the juice and some zest I made the best orange chiffon cake with orange icing.  I didn’t get a picture of it, but suffice it to say it was delicious!  I’m going to make another one this week.

Can’t leave without showing the garden and how it’s springing to life.

The weeping cherry is about ready to blossom and the pink flowering almond is full of bloom.

More pink flowering almond beside the house.

The Azalea in full bloom.

We cut down dead foliage, but this space will soon be full of hydrangea and Indigo.

Redbud is everywhere in Indiana.  This one is in my front yard.

Last, but not least, is the crabapple. It doesn’t look like much now, but when it blooms it will be glorious.

Hope you are faring well during this season of  our lives.  Enjoy Spring Or Autumn, if that is what it is in your part of the world.  Wishing everyone a very blessed Easter.  He is risen!   Bye.

 

 

 

 

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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from this blogger….DSCN6106

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.