Category Archives: Quilting

My quilt projects.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

I know I sound like a recording, but isn’t the time flying?  It’s almost Valentine’s Day already and we were just celebrating the New Year.  When I hear young people say the time is passing quickly, then I don’t know what to say because if it’s passing quickly for them there is something happening to the space time continuum of planet earth.  I often wonder if God is speeding time up for Jesus’ coming as He looks upon us and sees the evil that is in people’s minds and actions. I can hardly bear to read the news or listen to it anymore.

I also believe at times that I live in an alternate universe from many people.  I don’t understand a lot of people a lot of the time.  Maybe they feel that way about me.  I don’t know. Of course, my husband tells me I am weird all the time.  The last time I visited my doctor, he called me weird because of how my body reacted to the medicine he says helps everyone else.  So, maybe I am weird! But I’m a happy weird.

Well, that is about as deep as I’m going to get today. Just something to think upon and wonder about.  I try to live each day with joy and hope and I know how it all ends, so I’m not afraid.

I’ve had so many projects going on and many more I want to do before the warm weather gets here and I will want to be outside in the fresh air playing with my dogs. They have been rather neglected in these cold and rainy days.   They have been spending a lot of time in my shop with me, listening to my radio talk shows, ha, and watching me cut out Bullseye quilts.  I am addicted to Bullseye quilts. I think I am because I love going through all my fabric and finding material that will go together to make a block, knowing I will cut that block into four pieces along with many other blocks and then sew all those parts together to make a pretty amazing looking quilt.  And I am discovering fabric I had forgotten about, so that’s a plus, too. It’s almost like Christmas when I find a forgotten fabric.  I made a pillow with a four of the blocks.

I love this pillow way too much. I had had it on the couch for a couple of weeks  David just noticed it!   My very observant husband.

How can one miss this bright and colorful pillow!   I’m going to make some more. Maybe give some away.  I have a Christmas Bullseye quilt almost all cut out.  Like I said, I’m addicted.

And wonderful things have been coming in the mail. I read Mary Etherington’s blog over on Country Threads Chicken Scratch. Mary and her friend, Connie use to have a quilt shop in northwestern Iowa called Country Threads. They wrote many patterns, some of which I sold in our store, Craig’s Vac and Sew, years ago. They closed the store several years ago, but still write patterns and they have a book out right now that I ordered.

I was so excited when this package arrived.

With the cutest little return label.

And a wonderful book inside.

Here’s Mary and Connie.

They are very good friends and were superstars in the quilting world years ago.  I met Mary, the one in glasses, years ago when we traveled through Garner, Iowa going out west. I wanted to visit their quilt shop. It was wonderful, but the best part was I got to meet Mary as the quilt shop was located on her farm.  You know you see someone who is famous in their field and you wonder if they are as nice as they appear in their pictures. Well, Mary is the nicest person you could ever wish to meet. She welcomed me and showed me around the farm. I’m sure she doesn’t remember me, but she had a hurt arm or shoulder and I grabbed her and hugged her before I realized it and she was so nice about it even though I probably caused her great pain.

I felt like I did when I saw the Beatles.  Mary was that famous in my eyes.  Their patterns sold very well in our store and I have made so many quilts from them. If you want the book, go over to her blog and I think you can still order it.  And they sign the ones you buy from them.

I’m just saying. Superstars!  I plan to make several quilts from this book.

I got more flower seeds.  I honestly don’t know where I am going to plant them all as my garden is pretty full already, but I will stick them in somewhere.

Zinnias are one of my top five favorite flowers to raise. Just toss the seeds in the ground and in a few weeks you have a wonderful display of blooms.

And I got some more fabric.

Just some basics to use in my Bullseye quilts.

And last, but certainly not least I got more yarn.

It came in a bag that had this on the front.

And each skein of yarn had a yarn marker attached.

An extra little bonus.  I will be ordering from this business again.

Her yarns are amazing.  And fun to knit up.

Years ago our city had a major flood. They called it the hundred year flood because in theory it only happens every one hundred years.  But this week, people were getting worried as the rains kept falling for hours and hours.  We drove past a park in town and this is what we saw.

I’ve climbed that tower from which you can see the downtown.

The amphitheater where shows and bands perform. Not going to right now.

The playground.  Many years ago before this park came into existence, there were people who lived down by the river in shanties.  I have seen pictures from years ago of those shanties flooded. Finally, the city moved all the people and put in this park that gets flooded every so often because the river runs right by it.

Friends of mine, who lost everything in the last flood, were getting concerned and I didn’t blame them. It was looking scary for a while, but finally the rains stopped and the sun came out and the water is receding.   Today it is snowing and sleeting.

My church helps support a Crisis Pregnancy Center. Every year we are given baby bottles to fill with money to give to the center.  I am always happy to contribute because they are saving babies’ lives there and with what we see in the news today, we must continue to fight for and protect the unborn.

I am glad my church participates in this. I pray for all the babies.

My chickee-poos are still laying during this crazy weather.  We get just enough eggs for us right now.  I must show you the one a hen laid.  She certainly gave her all.

Almost as big as a duck egg and I should know. I use to raise ducks.

 

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?  If I don’t plan anything, we won’t do anything. I do have a delicious looking Valentine Jelly Donut cake recipe I am thinking of making for David.

I bought these candy hearts. You know, the ones that have cute words on them for Valentine’s Day, but you can hardly read the words they’re so dim.  And it’s a brand name, too.   What is wrong with them!   You really have to look to see what each heart reads.   Oh, well. That’s the way of things today.  I may be getting old, but things really are more poorly made than they were years ago except for maybe cars because one rarely sees a broken down car on the side of the road any longer.  When I was a girl you’d see them all the time and cars use to rust out faster than they do today. Our car is ten years old and still going strong and we’d like it to last another ten years.   That car has been all over the United States, to Alaska and down the Alaska Highway through Canada. North, South, East and West.  I’d like to keep her a while longer.

I sincerely hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day.  Whether alone or with a loved one, you still are loved by the One who loves us all.  He never disappoints. He will never forsake you.  He is the best Valentine a person could have. Jesus. Love you all and God bless. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Did you hear the brouhaha about this song before Christmas? That it was “sexist?”  People have way too much time on their hands and get incensed about the silliest things.  Maybe they need to get a job or hobby that takes most of their time so they can leave well enough alone.

That said, baby, it is cold outside.  We are supposed to have the coldest temperatures we have seen in a long time. I spend my days letting the dogs in my shop and out again.  They are mostly outside dogs, but when it gets this cold, I feel happier knowing they are inside where is it warmer. I look back at the hot Summer days when I was wishing for this and now here we are and I don’t feel so glad about it.   My favorite temperature is somewhere between 50 degrees and 70 degrees.  I can be pretty comfortable then. Anywhere lower or higher and I feel it. Is there a place on this earth where those are the temperatures all the time?

You would think the days would drag by when it’s this cold and I’m not outside all that much and we haven’t really gone anywhere all month except out to eat occasionally, but the month has flown.   We did have a late Christmas with our oldest son and his girlfriend and her son where I gave what else, socks and a quilt for some of the gifts.  I am already planning quilts for next Christmas and one for a friend who shall not be named, although I don’t think she reads my blog.    I’m ordering more fabric just because my stash needs refreshing and I have so many ideas in my head running rampant and I need some new colors.  You fellow quilters know what I’m talking about.

Here is the Bullseye quilt I am making that Mary over on the blog, Country Threads Chicken Scratch, has been teaching us.

It’s a little bigger than a lap size quilt. I’m going to sew it together and then with some leftover blocks I have a plan.  Plus, when you are cutting out this quilt, you are left with a lot of circles and I have plans for some of them, too.  This has been such a fun quilt to put together, I already am planning several more with one being in reds and greens for Christmas. You should see my cutting table. It’s piled high with all the fabrics I’ve picked out for these future quilts.

Meanwhile, I have managed to knit a few socks.

Hey, the colors in the socks match the colors in the quilt!

I do love color.  I can’t stand monochromatic decorating.  An all white room or an all blue room is not my style.  Right now we are getting ready to remodel a bathroom. The contractor who will be doing it, added this bathroom in an addition we put on the back of our house over thirty-five years ago, so I think it’s time for an uplift. We picked the tile for the shower yesterday and I can’t wait to show you the floor tile for the shower. The tile reminds me of a quilt.  The room is tiny so I’m going to use light, bright colors.  We are also getting our back deck rebuilt and screened in with a roof over it.  So there is much to think about for this coming Spring.

David celebrated fifteen years working for Ralph Lauren at the outlet mall the other day.  When he retired from over 36 years in the military, he was at loose ends for a time.  For nine months he cleaned closets and puttered around the house until he ran out of things to do.  So I told him it was time to look for a part time job as he was not an old man.  The store was just opening and he was one of the first hires at the time.  He’s been part time, assistant manager, manager and now back to part time and I’m trying to get him to cut back even more. He really loves the job and the customers.  He has customers who come in and ask for him. Even some from Europe who come in almost yearly to buy clothes.   Anyway, the vice president wanted to do a conference call with all the people who had been working for Ralph for fifteen years.  I was called and asked to come to hear it, but to keep it a surprise. Well, anyone who knows me knows I cannot keep a secret, especially surprise parties. I have “accidentally” ruined two surprise parties just by innocently saying something I shouldn’t have.  I was so afraid I would let it out of the bag to David.  But I managed to not spoil it and he was so surprised when I showed up at work.  The manager of the store had food and the best cupcakes I have ever tasted and she bought me flowers for being so supportive of David and his job for those years.

Gerbera Daisies which are some of my favorite flowers.

If David works another ten years, Ralph Lauren will fly him to New York for a celebration. I told him he was not going alone because I want to go to New York, too. We will both be close to or in our eighties by then, so let’s see if we make it!  I hope we do.

Speaking of birthdays.  Oh, I didn’t?  Well, David had a birthday this month.  We were going to go out to eat with some of our kids and grandchildren, but that was the weekend we had a big snowstorm so everyone stayed home. I baked him a cake and we had our own private celebration.

And we ate it all ourselves! Not all at once, of course.

The seed catalogs came right after Christmas and I have ordered some flower seeds. Found a new company I tried and this was on the outside of their package.

Kind of like I felt when I got the seeds.

It won’t be long before I will be planting these.  I got some more seeds in the mail yesterday that I will have to show you another time, because the packages are so pretty.

We are in the deep freeze now so I will be spending my day inside working on a quilt and knitting socks and baking bisquits.  Not a bad way to spend a day. I would be content to spend the rest of my days in such pastimes.

Hope you are keeping warm where you live.  If you live in the tropics, enjoy the warmth, too.  Have a happy day everyone. Bye.

January is For the Birds

Here we are, almost in the middle of January already and it’s been a productive month for me quilt wise. Since Christmas I have pieced six small quilts and finished three of them, working on finishing a fourth and started a quilt that is being taught on a blog.

I am loving this little quilt from Kathleen Tracy’s book.   It’s almost folk art in its simplicity.

It’s not very big, but it packs a wallop color wise and will look cute as a table topper or a wall hanging.  It’s hung here by this….

This chicken toy I found at an antique store years ago.  Before I even had a thought about raising chickens. I guess I have always had chickens on my mind.

I did make a mistake on this quilt and it’s been fixed, but you can see it here if you know the pattern.   It was fun making this quilt and used very little material.

This is a pile of Bulls-eye blocks for the Bulls-eye quilt being taught over on the blog, Country Threads Chicken Scratch.  I am making a lap-sized quilt, but you can make it smaller or larger if you would want.  This is another quilt that is suppose to use up one’s stash, but it hasn’t made a dent in mine.

There are still a few steps to making the blocks so they won’t look anything like this when I am done.

While searching through my stashes and boxes, I found this book I bought eleven years ago. I know that because I  always write the date on the inside cover of a book when I get it.  I had high hopes of making a quilt from the book, but none has happened so far.  There is a lot of history about Louisa May Alcott in the book.

So then I had to hunt down this book….

Little Women, which was in my family’s library when I was a child and I am ashamed to say I have never read it. I have seen practically all the movie versions of it from when Katherine Hepburn played Jo, to June Allyson playing her and then Winona Ryder.  Then PBS is having Little Women on and have sexed it up a little bit more than I like. Why do modern movie producers feel the need to do that in so many movies?   We really don’t need to see the sisters in their skivvies, do we?  Even though Miss Alcott was a women’s rights advocate, I think she would be shocked to see her girls parading around in their underwear.  Anyway, I really must read this book sometime.    I remember it when I was growing up and looking at the pictures in it.

I guess because I had seen the movie I didn’t think I needed to read the book, but if it’s always true for me, the book is much better than the movie.  The only book I have ever read that I thought the movie was as good was Gone With the Wind, even though a whole lot of things were left out of the movie such as Scarlette  had more children than Bonnie Blue.

We finally had snow this weekend. We’ve been having almost Spring like temperatures for a while, but this is our normal usually in January.  David went from cleaning the pool…

to building a fire.

And because of all the snow, the birds must be fed.  They go through a lot of feed. We just bought two more forty pound bags of bird seed and hope it lasts the rest of the month, but I’m not betting on it.

I counted twelve cardinals at the feeder yesterday and today I barely got the feed in the feeder when two cardinals  flew above my head.

Birds wait in the trees like airplanes on a tarmac and drop down when it’s their turn.

I love seeing the cardinals against the new fallen snow. So pretty.  I was worried about the birds this year.  A businessman bought the property right next door to us and cut down all the trees. Almost every last one. The only one left was the one right by my shop and I asked him not to cut it down as it was mostly on our property.  I still worry about it.  He did leave a few bushes for the birds to alight in and I am planning to plant some more trees this Spring.  I was worried that all the birds would go away, but so far, we have more than ever, it seems.  They have all moved over to our property where they know there are people who love trees and bushes and birds and squirrels.

This is my one lone tree. A maple. I hope it will grow big and strong and lovely. You can see the barren field next door where the travesty took place.

There use to be trees all long the property line. They had to come down because of “liability” concerns.  I was very sad about it all, but I will be planting more trees on my property.

Sadly, in our travels, I am seeing more and more of this destruction of trees and meadows across our country due to “progress,” where whole forests are cut down and burned and housing developments and businesses sprout up like weeds and a blight on the countryside.  I know people have to have somewhere to live and work, but the wanton destruction of forests and farmland is very disturbing. It cannot be replaced and in newer developments, they are even told what kind of trees they can plant, so there is no diversity and that’s what I thought government and businesses were all about. You can drive from one city to the next and see the same kinds of houses and business and everything looks generic.   I call some of these developments, Taupevilles, because all the houses are the same color.   I’d love to see just one red house in  them just to stop the boredom.  As you can read, I am very passionate about this. We cannot lose all our forests and farmland to development.

Just a picture of my work area in the house while I watch tv or listen to the radio.

All the yarns laid out to inspire me.  Oh, and laundry that is less inspiring!

A devotional book to feed me spiritually.

And new lipsticks from Color My World. I love these lipsticks. They seem to last forever and they come in the cutest tubes.

Now that I have stepped gingerly off my soapbox, I will leave you with a good cup of coffee.  Starbucks has nothing on my coffee.

Bye.

 

JUNE!!

June is busting out all over.  I remember when I was a girl on a beautiful June day walking down the gravel road to my older sister’s house, singing the song from the musical, State Fair, June Is Busting Out All Over.   I use to know all the words.   But I had a song in my heart, was free as a bird and happy to be going to my sister’s house.  She was like a second mother to me being eleven years older.   School was out until September. A long, lazy, fun filled Summer lay ahead on the farm.  After breakfast and my chores were done, I had the whole day to wander the farm, play with the animals and lay for hours on the front porch swing reading books from the library. I was in 4-H which kept me busy, too, sewing, embroidering and baking cakes or yeast rolls.

Now that I am retired from any outside job, there are days when I get the same feeling of freedom.  I can choose whatever I want to do and I’m telling you, it is a grand feeling. I hope all of you get to feel that way one day.  I could burst into song right now!

We had a graduation a week ago. Our oldest grandchild and only granddaughter graduated from high school.  It just seems like only yesterday I was all excited about her being born and driving up to Chicago to see her for the very first time.  I was in love.  She has been the most wonderful granddaughter a grandmother could have. We are so proud of her.

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She is cute, funny, smart and full of life.  She has a bright future ahead of her.

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Here she is going up to get her diploma.

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Here she is with her dad who is VERY happy she has college practically paid for already.  She has worked hard for this.

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The choir held hands as they sang. It was very touching. The kids in this school are extremely close.  There is no bullying there and everyone is treated with respect.   When you enter that school, you can feel the goodness there. I can’t explain it, but when a school is Christ centered, it just feels differently.  Most schools use to be Christ centered until God was taken out of schools.  Sad.

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I would recommend this school to anyone who wants their child to get a well rounded education.  Most of the graduates are either going to college or the military.

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My grandson.  He’s growing up, too.

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And his older brother. He graduates in two years.    I still am not use to the fact he is driving.

The next day they had a party and it was fun.  There was so much food and almost all of it was eaten. I think about one hundred people came through the house that day.  I made a big pot of macaroni and cheese and had to make another one.

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The tables were decorated with books as our granddaughter is a bookworm and has had a book published.

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Lots of pictures of her were on the walls.

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She displayed some of her artwork.

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Her dad, who is an Indiana University graduate wore this shirt……

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He said he never thought he would ever wear a shirt with Purdue on it. His brother went to Purdue and there was always a competition going on there.  Never say you will never do something because you will find yourself doing it!

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I made her this quilt. This was taken in my house. See that floral chair? That’s my new Lazyboy  I got for Mother’s Day.   The pattern on it is called Van Gogh so now I can say I have a Van Gogh in my house!

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I made this quilt this past Winter.  I was so afraid I wouldn’t get it done in time, but it had been completed for a long time only I had not made a label for it. So the week before graduation I finally got the label made.

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I try to label all my quilts.  I find it sad to find an old quilt with no name on it. I always wonder about the women who have made some of my quilts that I have purchased at sales.   I have so many and don’t have a clue who made them or when.

It was a fun weekend but we were both exhausted when we got home.

Yesterday we went to a textile fair not far from home.

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There were booths and several buildings at the fair ground with yarns and other textiles for sale.  I was in heaven. This particular booth had the best selection of feed sack material I have ever seen and why I didn’t buy any, I don’t know.  But I can see why women back in the thirties and forties made clothes out of feed sacks. They are very colorful.  Many florals that would have made pretty dresses.

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This lady had a camper full of yarn and yes, I did buy some.   Traveling the country with yarn in the back of your camper sounds like a great thing to me.

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There were sheep there. Some man was walking around a little, black sheep, but I didn’t get a picture of it. Do any of you remember the Disney movie back in the fifties called So Dear To My Heart?  It was about a little boy who raised a black lamb and all the trouble the lamb got into with the boy’s grandmother and how he showed it at the county fair. It was my favorite movie when I was a girl.  The little boy got to see the racehorse, Dan Patch, taken off a train for exercise.  As a girl who was mad about horses, I loved this scene in the movie.  Dan Patch is mentioned in the musical, The Music Man when  Professor Hill says, “want to see some stuck up jockey boy sitting on Dan Patch, make your blood boil?”

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There were llamas too.

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Any animal that provides wool for yarn was there. There were angora rabbits too.  They had the most beautiful fur.

There was one booth where young girls were learning to card wool and spin it into yarn. What a wonderful thing to learn while you are young.   One girl was explaining the process to me and she was so well informed and so mature acting.   Conner Prairie, a pioneer village which is based on the  people and times of the year 1806, sponsors this and it truly is a way to keep the old arts going.

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Even some of the bags had sheep on them.  And I bought several skeins of yarn.

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The lady selling this yarn had a sock knit up with it and it was so pretty I had to buy some.

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One of my grandsons said he wanted me to knit him blue and black socks so this should fit the bill.

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I cannot wait to knit this up.

On the way home we stopped at an antique store called Vic’s just north of where we live. We are looking for an old floor lamp.   We got one there a few years ago, but I knocked it over and ruined the lampshade.  We were also looking for old lampshades, but I found this instead.

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An old tablecloth, but I am either going to make curtains with it or a Summer skirt.  It is so soft and the colors are so pretty.

We have several things planned this Summer since it’s our fiftieth wedding anniversary year.  Next trip will be to some caves and a pioneer village with our grandsons.

Here’s to high school graduates and wonderful fairs.  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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Celebration and a Tutorial

Can’t believe Easter was just last Sunday.   It’s one of my favorite holidays for many reasons. For one, it’s the happiest day for Christians all around the world who celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ who was beat, tortured and hung on the cross on Friday and on the third day he arose.  He took every last one of our sins upon himself. Only God could do that.   Because of Jesus, I can face every day knowing that He lives and lives through me.  One day I will see His face.

The other reason I love Easter is because of the fun things we do with out grandchildren.  We always have an egg hunt. This year two of our grandchildren were in California with their daddy and our granddaughter was in Florida with friends.  As our grandchildren grow older, their lives get busier and we see less of them which makes me sad, but that is the way of life.  But we had two grandboys and our son’s girlfriend’s son here to hunt eggs so it was fun. David and I prepared 216 eggs.  Seventy-five of them had little pieces of paper in them with dollar signs on them. Those who found those got a dollar for each one.  Dangling that carrot in front of young boys gives them a big incentive to hunt the eggs.  We hid some in he house and in my shop because we were expecting rain and when it didn’t rain, we hid more outdoors.

The hunt was a great success and each boy got a wad of dollar bills. All but two of the eggs were found. I suppose I will run across them sometime just like I do every year.

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I cut some of the daffodils from my garden for the table.  I had fun dyeing those eggs using just food coloring water and vinegar.

We had a nice dinner and conversation as we ate. In the course of talking we got to laughing about the Debbie Downer character who was on Saturday Night Live years ago.  Debbie Downer always found something pessimistic to say when her friends were discussing something.  Every time she said something pessimistic, the music would go Wa-wa-wa.   It was really funny.  Well, we were discussing whether we were getting any eggs and I mentioned one of our hens had died of old age this week and my son went “Wa-wa-wa,”  and we all started laughing. Then I tried to think of pessimistic things to interject in the conversation just to get to say it.  We were all laughing so hard.  I guess you had to be there, but if you have ever seen that sketch on SNL you know what I am talking about.

This week besides painting in my shop, something that seems to go on and on, I did manage to do a little quilt making.  And by little I mean the quilts are little.

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I have been working on this quilt.  Orange peel.

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Kathleen Tracy made this quilt. Now I have made orange peel blocks before and the instructions for them are in this book, but I make mine a little differently so as to get uniform orange peels.  Here is how I do it.

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Take one small piece of fabric.

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Draw the orange peel shapes on freezer paper.  Cut them out.

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Iron one on each piece of fabric you are using for all the orange peels. I used 64 different colors of fabric to make it more patchwork looking.

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Next, iron in the ends.

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Press all around the orange peel shape. Don’t burn your fingers!

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Remove the parchment paper.

Then I go one extra step some people don’t do.

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I baste around the orange peel.

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Pin it on your square.  Sew around it with tiny stitches.  Do this 64 times and you will have enough little blocks to make this particular quilt.

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I must admit it is quite habit forming making these blocks.  I so enjoyed stitching each different orange peel on its block.  I have them sewn together, but I will show you that in another post.

We are expecting yet another round of snow tonight.   I’m so ready for warm weather and sunshine.   We were going to go to the Indianapolis Zoo Saturday, but that’s been cancelled.   We will get to the zoo sometime this year.  Maybe even go to the Cincinnati Zoo.

Here’s to Spring, wherever she is and may she get here before Summer. 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.

 

 

A Birthday and Celebrating Christmas in March

Well, since I wrote my last blog I have been busy.  David was sick for most of the month of February and has had this weekend off for my birthday.  He is planning on going back to work Tuesday.

Today was my birthday. We started celebrating it Friday by going to this place…..DSCN6733

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With my best buddy by my side we set off on a glorious, almost Spring day.

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The skies were so blue.  A welcome change from the dark clouds that have been in the sky for days.

Zachary’s is a  candy factory with an outlet store. I had read about it in a magazine we get.

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Well, I was like a kid in a candy store. I was looking for Easter candy and we loaded up two large bags with candy.    There was candy of every kind made fresh at the factory. They only use ingredients produced in America which is another reason I liked it.

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We saw this mural on a building in Frankfort.  Remember Grandpa Walton on the Waltons show?  Will Geer was the actor who played him and he was born in Frankfort, Indiana.

We also stopped at the best antique store where I met the two nicest ladies.  We talked about a lot of things, but one thing we discussed was Saturday Night Live in the days when it was funny.  If you are old enough, you will remember Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken in a skit where a band is practicing and Will Ferrell’s character was playing a cowbell.  Christopher Walken’s  character kept saying he needed more cowbell and Will Ferrell would bang that cowbell so hard.  It really was one of the funniest sketches on SNL ever.  Well, I bought an old cow bell in this store and I will use it to call David inside when he is working outside.  I don’t know if he appreciates it, but I am having fun with it.

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I don’t know what this building was, but I like the look of it.  It’s not their courthouse.  Looks like an old hospital.  But we didn’t drive by it, so it will remain a mystery.

Today started out with me feeling sick to my stomach. We were supposed to meet some family after church for Chinese. I didn’t make it to church and thought I might have to call it off, but I took some Pepto-Bismol and felt a little better, but I didn’t eat much at lunch.  Then everyone came back home for cake and ice cream and to celebrate a late Christmas.

David bought me a cake because I didn’t want to bake my own birthday cake, but our daughter brought a chocolate cake she had made.

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Dark chocolate with peanut butter icing.  The sugar high we are going to have. It’s back to veggies, fruits and protein next week.

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It was just like Christmas day again.  With paper all over the floor.

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Watching people unwrap presents we have gotten them is one of my biggest pleasures.

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I think he was surprised with his quilt.

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I love this quilt pattern and how colorful it is. I hope he gets many years of pleasure from it.

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He knows what is being unwrapped because he got one for Christmas.  A hoverboard.

Our son gave us all wristbands for Walt Disney World.  He is taking all of us there this year and I cannot wait. It’s his 50th wedding anniversary gift to us.  We are going to stay in a rented house with five bedrooms  and four baths so we shouldn’t be too crowded.   The last time we did this it was with our older grandchildren and that has been at least twelve years ago.  We had such a good time then.

I am still working on my shop.  It’s been a slow process with us being sick and very tired for so long.

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I am dusting, cleaning and painting every surface I can.  I am going through all my fabric and have taken two large bags of it to a local charity.   I still have boxes and boxes to go, but it’s getting there slowly but surely.   I really am enjoying going through all my fabric, but some of it I will never use and hopefully someone else can get some good out of it.

This has really become a major project.  I wonder how people on those hoarder shows ever manage to get out from underneath with all they have accumulated. It’s funny. You spend the first several years of your life getting stuff and the last remaining years of your life trying to get rid of stuff.  I have become a minimalist in thinking, but my shop doesn’t show it.  Hopefully, when I am done it will.

I did manage to make two little quilts this week. I cleaned off my cutting board and cut them out and pieced them and have one almost quilted.

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I call this one Rhapsody in Blue and Birds.   I used some bird fabric I love.

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Kathleen Tracy has been showing these quilts on Facebook and I figured out the dimensions myself, but she has a small quilt book you can buy on Amazon. I bought one of her quilting books this week that I will share with you later.  Check her out. Her quilts are darling.

I love my grandsons and granddaughter.  My granddaughter grew up too fast and is a senior this year and is going to New York City this week with all the seniors. What an experience that will be. I have never been to New York City, but David drove through the center of it once. He said he got a lot of one finger waves while doing so!    Here are my two younger grandsons who always make me laugh.

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Candy corn teeth!

Oh, and if you think I am done buying stuff, I’m not.  We went to a La-Z-Boy store on Friday also and I ordered a new rocker recliner in fabric called Van Gogh.  Bye.

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Brrrrrrr!

It’s been so cold here in Indiana. How cold, you ask?

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So cold my little snowmen had to build a campfire.

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So cold the birds eat two full feeders of birdseed in less than a day.

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So cold Belle gives me the evil eye when I have to make her go outside.

We have been under storm watches, freeze warnings and snow storms for what seems like weeks even though it’s been about a week.  This weekend warmer temperatures are coming.  Up in the fifties  by Sunday.  Woot! Woot!

I am really like a little mouse who wants to just build its little nest and snuggle down inside it and stay warn until this weather goes away, but, alas, life happens and the chickens have to be fed and watered and the eggs gathered before they freeze and the dogs have to be let in and out of my shop about twenty times a day, it seems like.

For outside dogs, they have spent a lot of this winter inside.

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Molly in her crate.  She is very possessive of this crate. Belle made the big mistake of getting in it once and there was a huge dog brawl right in my shop.

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Anyway, Belle has her very own soft, warm bed.

David gets up every morning before five and goes to work and never complains.  He sees this weather as a challenge to be conquered while I look at it as something to be avoided at all costs.  I don’t like to be cold.  But I don’t like to be hot either and I wonder where I could live where the weather would be perfect for me,  Like the three bears’ porridge. Not too hot, not too cold, but just right.  We have those perfect days about two or three times in the Spring and again in the Autumn.  Next month the Farmer’s Almanac says we are having deep snows.  As long as it’s not this cold, I will love it.

I feel like I am on hold for some reason. I have started cleaning out my shop. This is what it looks like right now.

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Okay, this isn’t a good picture, but everything is off one wall while I paint it.  I’m doing one wall at a time and then this Spring I am doing the floor.  It’s going to be a long process I am afraid.  I did manage to take out a huge bag of stuff to the trash.   I am hoping to one day have whitewashed walls, a grey floor, everything organized and everything clean and dusted and new burlap curtains.    I am at the place where I ask myself, “Why did you start this?”   Ever been there?

I have knitted three pair of socks since Christmas and completed two quilts since October.  I am still working on the pumpkin quilt. I was doing really well on it today until I looked and saw I had sewn a row upside down.  How does one get pumpkins upside down, but I did.

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I was so close to being done piecing the top.

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That’s what happens when one gets cocky. Mistakes happen.   I really am enjoying sewing this quilt, though.  I have another quilt ready to start as soon as I get this one done. And I have a Christmas quilt in line to quilt.

We did get out into the frozen tundra to see a couple of movies.  “Downsizing.” Save your time and money. The concept was interesting, but the movie derailed halfway through. There is full frontal male nudity too, if that isn’t your piece of cake.   This movie tells me why Hollywood is in trouble.

Then we saw “The Darkest Hour” and I realize that every once in a while Hollywood gets it right.   While everyone is giving kudos to the man who played Winston Churchill, I loved Lily James in her part as Churchill’s secretary.  I have loved her in all she has done. Loved her in Downton Abbey, loved her as Cinderella and she was so good in this part.

January is already half over. This weekend David celebrates a BIG birthday.   Time marches on Bye.

 

 

Of Mice and Music Men

I’m not a fan of mice. At least those not of the Mickey Mouse kind.  I’ve had my run-ins with mice through the years.   When I was a young girl, my family was seated in our living room watching television,  when out of the corner of my eye I saw movement across the floor. It was a little mouse scurrying to wherever it was going. I screamed and that’s when my brother, Andy,  jumped into action. He ran and stepped right on that mouse’s tail and held it there.  We all sat in surprise as we looked at first my brother and then the mouse whose tail was caught under his shoe.  My mother ran and got a box to put the mouse in and it was scooped up and put outside.   We all had a good laugh about it and it’s been tucked in my memories ever since.

When we moved to our old house forty years ago we were plagued with mice for a time because the house had sat empty for several months and the mice decided to take over.  I had had enough when one day I opened a kitchen drawer and out popped a mouse, just as scared as I was.  We set traps and caught mice and  finally were rid of them. At least we didn’t see any more for a long time.

Several years ago some piles of rocks were removed from behind a business across the road from us.  After that, I began to see rats in our yard. In fact, the first I noticed them, I stepped on one in a flower bed.   Then I started to see rats everywhere in our yard. We believe the rats had had their homes in the rock pile and by removing it, the rats were looking for a new home. I was so scared the rats would get in the house.  I found dead rats in our dogs’ pen that they had killed. Our neighbor said he was seeing rats too. So we all put out lots of rat poison. I had to put it in boxes with holes so my dogs would not get into it. Little by little we noticed the rat population was dwindling.    After a while we saw no more rats and I breathed a sigh of relief.

In the Autumn, when the weather starts to get cool, the mice come in seeking warm places to make a home. We haven’t had a mouse problem for years, but this year I began to notice mice tracks in my shop. I would put out poison and the mice were eating it, I could tell, but still I was seeing mice tracks everywhere. When I sat at my sewing machine and saw mouse tracks on it, I knew the poison was not doing the trick so David bought some mouse traps and set them in my shop and in the house and the first day we caught four.  The next day we caught one and we have caught no more since so I am hoping our mouse problem is solved. (We have since caught nine since this post and not done yet, I’m afraid.) No, I am not a fan of mice.  Cute as they can be.   Ever see a baby mouse?  They are so cute.  But I don’t want them in my house.

This past weekend our granddaughter was in her last musical at her school as she is a senior. They performed The Music Man and it was great.

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She played Ethel Toffelmeir  and we were so proud of her.  She was in the scene where the ladies sang Pick a Little, Talk a Little and she danced during the song Shipoopie.   When the townspeople sang the Wells Fargo Wagon is A-comin’, in came a wagon pulled by a real horse and the crowd went wild.   Since the Music Man has been my very favorite musical ever since I saw it with my mother, with Robert Preston as the music man and Shirley Jones as Miriam the librarian, I so enjoyed it.  I have memorized all the songs and could have sung right along with them.

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Here she is with her “baby” brother who is taller than she.

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I am so blessed to have these two as grandchildren.

Remember the pumpkin quilt I was making?  I had it all cut out.  Well, it turned into an apple quilt.

I have had this fabric for a very long time.

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I always thought I would make an apple quilt with it one day and the day finally came.

I searched out all my red fabric and some green fabric.

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Using this pattern I made apples instead of pumpkins.  I also used the pumpkin pattern from Lori Holts Farmgirl patterns.

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Soon I was piecing each block together feverishly.

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Block after block went together.

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I couldn’t stop.  I was on a mission.

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And I finished the top.  I love, love, love it.

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I had to pose it in various poses.  Such a wonderful Autumn quilt.

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I don’t usually piece a complete quilt top in a matter of days, but this one went together very quickly.   Now I have to quilt it.   Then, maybe, I will get back to my pumpkin quilt.

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But at the moment I am hand quilting this quilt and loving every minute I am working on it.   This particular quilt has been on my to do list for years.  I am finally getting it done.  I have a Christmas quilt I want to do after this one.  So many quilts. So little time. I quilt into the wee hours of the mornings most often. The best time for me to quilt because I have no distractions then.

Last night our daughter called and said we have new granddogs. Her golden retriever, Lily, had her second litter of puppies.  Our daughter said this will be her last.  She lost five of them, but five survived so we are going to have to go visit them soon.  They are going to sell them and probably already have them sold.  They have the most beautiful golden retrievers.  Three and they all are house dogs. They are not allowed upstairs and I didn’t know it and one time when I was there, I threw their ball up the stairs and they just sat there looking, but didn’t even try to go up the steps.   Good dogs.

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The leaves have finally changed and Fall is in the air most definitely.

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A busy season lies ahead.  Veteran’s Day program at our grandsons’ school this week.  Two Christmas programs coming up and in between it all I must get all this quilting and sock knitting done.

Despite all the tragedies we are seeing around the world, God is still in control.  Evil will not win.  Love will triumph.   Remember there is hope and peace with Jesus.  My prayers and sincere sympathy to those whose lives were taken this week.   May God be with them.  Pray for peace and love to abound. Bye.