Category Archives: Home and family


Like the phoenix which rose from the ashes, our new porch is rising from the ground up.  I am sitting here listening to the pounding of hammers and the pulling off of siding and then, sudden quiet.  What is going on?  I go out every so often and snap a picture and talk to Bub, the contractor, and then try to go about my business pretending there are not four or five men completely changing the appearance of my house.



Here it is before the beautiful, old pillars are taken down. David is pretending to push one over and it really is about to fall in this picture and I wish he was not standing so closely to it, but, boys will be boys.


Then they dug these gigantic holes(where my flowers use to be.)



They then put cement in them.  The pillars will rest on this foundation.  How firm a foundation.


The pillars were set in place and then the rafters were built.  I love to watch the process.  These men certainly know what they are doing.


Just a picture to show that the porch is going across the whole front of the house.  It looks gigantic in person.  More than I even expected.  They are making it so sturdy, it should last another one hundred years.



The rafters going up. Isn’t the sky so blue?  I am loving these Spring days.



The daffodils are blooming all over the yard.  Even the ones I had to transplant a few days ago are doing well.  All that rain we had for a couple of days helped them.  Thank you, God.


Maybe we shouldn’t put a roof over this.  Then we could see the sky.



I took this picture this morning just as the sun was coming up.  DSCN7690

Meanwhile, in other parts of the land, the sandbox is going to become a flower box.  I’m going to fill this with Miracle Grow planting soil and grow zinnias in it.



Bub’s old wheel barrow has seen a lot of mileage.  If you ever need remodeling done, Claude Wright, Jr. is the one to call.  He gets the job done in record time and his workmen do excellent work.  He built our addition to our house almost thirty years ago.  He was a young pup then, like us and it was one of his first projects.  It’s stood the test of time and he has replaced the windows so it will last another thirty years or more.


Just another view.  That’s a whirly-gig we bought at Rural King.  When the wind blows just right it spins like crazy.


We opened the hot tub last weekend and the grandkids enjoyed it.


Who is that scary looking man watching them?  Just David in his hoodie.


These are parts of the pillars we tore down.  I am going to paint these and use them to put pots of flowers upon.  Or to be grammatically correct, I will use them on which to put flower pots.


This one I will paint also and put dirt inside it and sow seeds. David said when we move this, we better put it where it will stay forever because it is heavy.


Before I go, just wanted to show you a cute pillowcase a friend made for me.  I love it.



She got this fabric at JoAnn’s and it is so cute.  Now I can dream of chickens on my chicken pillowcase.  Flowered chickens.

Here’s to builders, blue skies and blooming chickens.  Bye.

Porches, Patterns and Pooches

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



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


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





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



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

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

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



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



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


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



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






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



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



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


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



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



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

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



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



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



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



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

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



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

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

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



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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Birthday

I met my husband when I was sixteen years old.   We have been together ever since. Actually, I met him when I was twelve years old, but that’s another story.  We both knew we would get married one day, but it was three years later until we could wed.  My mother wanted me to go to college at least for a year before I got married, so I did that for her and it was a nice experience, but what I really wanted to be was married and to raise a family.  I know in this day of women in the work place and families seeming to take a back seat to  many,  I still believe I did the right thing.

David and I got married right in the middle of the women’s liberation movement when the ERA was being pushed and some  believing that women should serve beside men in the military.  That is actually one thing I wish I had done when I was younger.  Join the military when David did so that we could have shared the experience together.  He keeps telling me I would have hated it, but I am not so sure.   He served for thirty-six years and was away from home at least two weeks out of every one of those years, plus we could never plan anything on weekends until we knew when he would be having drill.  It was just a part of life.   Our daughter even had to change the date she wanted for her marriage because her father had drill that weekend.

Speaking of the ERA, it was a time when everywhere a woman went she was asked, “what do you do?”  As if being a homemaker and raising your own children wasn’t enough.  I was often made to feel inferior because I did not work outside the home.  Of course, later when my children were almost grown, I did work in our store, I cleaned our church and even worked in a pizza shop for a short time, but my main interest was my home.  It still is.  To make a comfortable, welcoming home has always been important for me.

But this isn’t about me today.  It is David’s birthday.  Yesterday we ate out with our daughter’s family and had cake and ice cream.  Today David is doing just what he wants.  And what is he doing?  Cleaning his office and doing taxes.  What???  Not my idea of fun, but, oh, well.

I cannot believe the time has gone so quickly.  We have shared many birthdays together since that first year of dating.  David gave me a surprise birthday party at his grandparents’ house for my seventeenth birthday.  How nice was that?

I can never surprise David, it seems, but I will one day and when I do, it will be a doozy.

Happy Birthday to my sweet, darling, wonderful husband.  May you have many more.  Love you to pieces.

Tonight the temperature is suppose to drop again.  Frigid, arctic air is heading our way.


The snow people have set up camp complete with a roaring fire in my girly room.  Yes, they still have their Christmas tree up.  It does brighten up the dark and cold winter nights for them.

Here’s to happy birthdays and snow people who want to keep warm. Bye.


Finishing My Last Blog

My computer went all whacko on me last night and refused to let me post anymore pictures.  I think it was tired. So I will try to finish what I began yesterday.  What was I talking about??? Oh, yes, traditions.

One of my favorite traditions on New Year’s Day is to put up new calendars.  I didn’t get it done yesterday, but they are all up today.


I didn’t even know there was a Susan Branch until a year or two ago.  She is an author who hand writes all her books and water colors each page.  They are beautiful.  She includes quotes and recipes and stories about her growing up which is very like how I grew up.  Since we both grew up in about the same era, that is natural.  She also produces a calendar each year and last year was the first year I bought one.


How can you not like a calendar which has on one of the dates in January to visit your local fabric store today?  I visited one a little early already, but this made me smile.


Each calendar page is a work of art and very interesting to read.  There are probably a few left out there, so run to your local calendar store and get this calendar.


I have to have a labrador retriever calendar which I put in my downstairs bathroom.  This one has all puppies which really makes me want to get that lab pup this year.


I have been buying Lang calendars for years.  This one was a gift and will hang in my dining room.  This is the one on which I write all the birthdays and anniversaries in our family.


This Lang calendar will hang in my shop.  I love all the old timey pictures in it.  Makes me wish I had lived in those simpler times.  Especially on a farm.  With a horse.

Did you make any new year’s resolutions this year?  I quit doing that long ago. Too much pressure.  I have a lot of plans and things I would like to do this year.

I want to spend as much time as possible with my children and grandchildren.

I want to learn to play my ukelele and not be afraid to play it in front of people.

I want to make as many quilts as I can, especially the ones that will be gifts.

I want to learn how to water color like Susan Branch.  She started water colors later in her life.  She didn’t even know she had that talent until she just started one day.  Isn’t that like a lot of us?  We are afraid to start something new because we are afraid we won’t be any good at it.  So what.  At least you tried.  There are so many things we can learn if we just set our minds to it.

I want to be a good witness for Jesus Christ.  I have given this year and my family to Him and pray He will do His will in them.

I want to stay connected to old friends and family members I don’t see very often.

I want to keep raising chickens and maybe adding a few more to my little flock.

I want that lab puppy.

I want to see my grandson play his lacrosse game in Traverse City, Michigan where David and I honeymooned many years ago.  There is a road in Traverse City named after my husband’s family because only his family lived on it at one time.  I don’t know if any of his family is still living on it, but we will probably check if we get up there.

I want to see my granddaughter play her ukelele we gave her on her praise team at her school.

I want to get to Cincinnati and Chicago for personal reasons.  I want David’s brother and sister-in-law to bring their grandchildren to visit us and meet our grandchildren.

I want our new porch to be built this year as the old one is pulling away from the house and playing havoc with the walls in our living room.

I want to write more blogs to include stories about my growing up on an Indiana farm in the fifies.

I want to have Bible studies in my home and have fellowship with other Christian women.

I want to walk more, eat less, lift weights more and just take better care of my body.  Notice this is the last thing I put on my list.  Hmmmmm.

Oh, I could add a few hundred more things I would like to do this year, but I think these will keep me busy for a while.  Hope your new year is productive and creative.  Bye.



End of Year Frivolities

Well, it’s the end of 2013 except for the celebrating.  My idea of celebrating this year will be to go out to the chicken coop at midnight and throw the girls some chicken scratch like confetti and yell, “Happy New Year!” which will cause them all to lay an egg because they will have all been asleep.

I will also give Belle and Bonnie some bones and give David a great big kiss and go upstairs and snuggle down into my bed and read a good book.

I’m done with all the partying and trying to pretend to have fun on New Year’s Eve when really, I would rather be home with the one I love or if any of my other loved ones wanted to join us that would be okay, but don’t expect me to be the life of the party.

I use to think we needed to be out doing something on New Year’s Eve and every year I never felt like it was all it was cracked up to be.  David and I dressed up one year and went to a big party at a hotel in Indianapolis.  There were bands and lots of food and even a casino.  I don’t gamble but this was not gambling for money.  We were the oldest ones there and everyone treated us so nicely and we had a good time. At the end of the evening there was a balloon drop and it was amazing there were so many balloons.  We had masks and hats and noise makers.  It really was fun.  We stayed all night at the hotel and the next morning they served a huge breakfast buffet with everything you could think of, even sushi, which I tried and decided I didn’t like it much, but everything else was so good.  We planned to do it again the next year, but David had back surgery right after Christmas that year, so we couldn’t go and for some reason, we have never done it again

We have several birthdays in December.  Our youngest grandson was born three days after Christmas and this year he had his very own party instead of sharing a party with his older brother who was born in November.   It was like Christmas all over again for him.



He was one happy kid.



He licked his fork clean of all the icing.



He opened lots of presents.  He does that tongue thing that seems to run in our family.  My mother use to stick out her tongue when she was concentrating.

We had a nice evening visiting with my son-in-law’s family and enjoying the children.  When we were driving home we passed this amazing, Christmas lighted house.  We pulled off the road to take pictures.



A beautiful Nativity.



Polar bears around a tree.


This house had everything lit.  It was beautiful.


Santa and his sleigh.

It was a lovely ending to a very nice day.

Now that 2013 is being put to sleep and a brand spanking new year is upon us, I want to wish you all a very blessed new year.  May your year be one of health, joy and love.   I’ll be writing about my plans for the new year next time.  Happy New Year!  Bye.

I Got This New Camera, so……..

Last fall I dropped my little camera that I have been using ever since I started my blog.  It wasn’t an expensive camera, but it did the job I wanted it to do.  When I dropped it, I couldn’t zoom in for pictures any longer.  So, David got me a new camera for Christmas.

Since we got to spend some time with our grandchildren this week, I got to practice taking pictures and my grandchildren were happy to oblige.








Photo bomb.


My granddaughter wasn’t here at the time.  She was busy getting her first book published.  Yes, my fourteen year old  granddaughter has written a book.  One of a trilogy and she will soon be a published author.  That will be a blog in itself when the book gets published.  Therefore, I didn’t get many pictures of her.

I wanted to get a picture of all the cousins together.  Getting kids to all smile at the same time can be hard as you will see by the next few pictures.







Finally got a decent picture, but, as you can see, I got the other adults’ pictures, who were trying to take photos too, in the mirror behind the children.


This boy was a chubby little baby just a blink of the eye ago.  Now he can bench press his six year old cousin.


We gave the  children some Christmas gifts.  These are games David and I built and painted.  We gave them an assortment of balls and they spent a good part of the evening rolling the balls down the ramps.  There was a third one, but I didn’t get a picture of it.


I tried getting creative and took a picture of my daughter’s Christmas tree’s reflection in the window.  I think it looks awesome.  They live out in the woods up a big hill.  The view in itself is awesome.

I’m really looking forward to taking pictures in the coming year with my new camera.  Who knows where it will take me or I will take it.  What adventures we will have.  Maybe something spectacular will be photographed.  Who knows.  The new year lies before us with all its joys, sorrows, fun, and living to experience.  I want to photograph it all.  Bye.


Signs of the Season





Just a couple of days ago the headless scarecrow and the woodpile were shrouded in layers of snow and ice.  I slipped and slid back to the chicken coop to gather the eggs and feed and water the chickens.

After two days of rain, the snow is completely gone, but not to worry.  The weathermen are forecasting more snow and ice and cold weather coming our way.  Such is life in Indiana.

We are ready for Christmas.



The tree is decorated with all the ornaments and children’s creations we have collected over the years.



Most of the presents are wrapped and under the tree.



Stockings are hung by the, er, window with care.   My mother made the red stockings with the rickrack on them many years ago when I was a girl.   She made them for her Sunday school classes and filled them with homemade candy and cookies.  She always made gingerbread men and I would help her decorate them.


Old electric candles are glowing.



I got these cute loaf bowls from a friend today.   Tomorrow I am going to bake little loaves of bread in them and make garlic and butter bread sticks for a family get together we are having.



I made candy today and realized why I hate to make candy.  I don’t have the patience.  These were supposed to be neat little squares of peanut butter fudge dipped in chocolate, but they quickly became globs of peanut butter and chocolate with no shape whatsoever.  They are still good, though, and about five hundred calories a bite.



David has been doing his part being the hunter and gatherer.  He went and got us Kentucky fried chicken one day when I just could not cook another thing.


Lights glowing, hearts waiting for Christmas Day.  It will come whether we are ready or not.



Merry Christmas to you all and Happy Birthday, Jesus.   I will see you on the other side.  Bye.


Before and After the Storm

Yesterday one of our grandsons turned six years old.  It seems like only yesterday we were waiting anxiously at the hospital for him to be born.  He was the tiniest little baby I have ever seen.  But now, he’s a big boy, going to kindergarten and growing fast.


He was basking in all the attention.


That’s his other Grandmother sitting next to me.  She is a beautiful lady and I enjoyed visiting with her.


The lighting of the candles.  My grandson seemed to be more interested in his presents.


The cutting of the cake.   It was a marble cake and my grandson was explaining to us how they put marbles into it! It was really good with Neapolitan ice cream.


We had some bad weather go through here today.  All across the midwest there were storms and tornadoes.  We had some wind and lots of rain, but missed anything really bad here.  It was gray and gloomy all day, but then the storms passed and the skies looked like this…..






The sky got more and more beautiful until it finally looked like this….


Just beautiful.  The skies were azure and the clouds were pink and orange with a touch of bluish-gray.  I couldn’t stop looking at it.  There is always light after the storm.  Keep that in mind.  Bye.

When the Frost is on the Hot Tub

     When the frost is on the hot tub,


And the dog lies in the shop,DSCN7328

And the leaves are looking hoary,

As from the trees they drop.DSCN7309

And you hear the chickens cluckin’

As they scratch the cold, hard ground,DSCN7331

Chuckling to each other

About all the worms they’ve found.


  The gardener plows the garden,

While the wife takes in the seeds.

To supply the family next year,

With all the food it needs.


  The sky’s as blue in heaven,

As all the seven seas.

And the chill winds

They are blowin’,

Chasing squirrels among the trees.

O, it brings a chill to people,

That is felt down to their toes.

So they hop into the hot tub,

To ease their bodies’ woes.

There’s something kind of pleasant,

To be soaking in the tub.

It’s getting to it without freezing,

Now, that’s the only rub.

The bubbling of the jets,

As they beat against your skin,

Makes your toes curl up tightly,

As you wear a happy grin.


Then you know you have to exit,

And wonder what you’ll do?

“It’s cold out here,”  you’re thinking.

It makes you cry, “Boo Hoo!”

But at last you feel the warmth again,

As you run into the house.

Then you jump in bed and snuggle up,

Like a furry, little mouse.


Good Night.