Category Archives: Travels

Twelve More Days

I looked at the calendar today and realized there are only twelve more days until Christmas. I have been busy making gifts and ordering gifts. Thank goodness for the internet. I really don’t like shopping and we haven’t had a whole lot of time to shop this year, so most of my gift buying has been on the computer.   You can buy just about anything there nowadays.  And it’s brought right to your door.  I have heard that some people have been having trouble with people stealing their boxes from their doorsteps. I’m usually at home when the mail or the UPS  man comes so I get my boxes inside right away.  Besides that, I have dogs who alert me.

Speaking of dogs, I babysat two of our daughter’s dogs recently.  She won tickets from Sirius Radio to go see one of her favorite groups, Phish, at the Met in Philadelphia.   She is always winning tickets, but this was a big one. It was a closed group with only ticket winners going to the show. So she and her husband got sitters for their boys and dogs and had someone come and feed and water their chickens and they took off for Philadelphia.  They had a wonderful time and we got to have our grandpets for a few days.

Remember Oliver who got his leg trapped in a trap and had to have it amputated?

Here he is still going strong and getting around quite well on three legs. But he was homesick for his buddies, I could tell. He was not at all happy to be here even though I fed him treats and gave him attention, I knew he was kind of depressed. He looks sad in this picture.  One day I thought he had died, but he just was feeling sad and wouldn’t eat.  When they came to pick him up, he was like a whole different dog. So happy and jumping up and down. So when people say dogs don’t have feelings, don’t believe them. They do and they miss their families when they are separated from them.

All the dogs sat outside the door and stared in whenever I was inside.   All these dogs are people dogs.  That’s Molly in front, Farley behind her and Belle is laying down.  That’s what she does most of the time anymore as she is twelve years old.

We bought a new fake tree this year. We have been using the same tree for several years, but it takes so much time putting it up, every branch having to be  put in place, so we decided to get an easier one. This one comes in three pieces and sets up in minutes.


I put the flags on in honor of our military men and women who are stationed all over the world and won’t be with their families this year.  A friend’s son is in Korea and his wife is expecting a baby this Spring so it’s hard for them to be apart.

David and I took a day trip to Frankfort where the candy factory is.  Last time we took our grandsons with us to pick out candy, but this time we picked it out ourselves.  It was fun looking at all the candy and the grandchildren will be happy this Christmas when they open one of their boxes.

I was looking at the Atlas as we drove. I always have an Atlas in the car even though we have GPS because I like to know where we’ve been and where we are going.  Anyway, I saw we were near Rockville, Indiana where they have the covered bridge festival in October every year and thought it would be fun to go there off season.  So off we drove. It was a beautiful late Autumn day. The sky was so blue and it wasn’t too cold out.  During the covered bridge festival it is bumper to bumper cars and the crowds are so thick, it’s hard to get around. We went one year when it was like that. There are flea markets and craft booths set up everywhere then with all kinds of things to sell. The smell of caramel corn and sorghum is in the air. It really is fun, but it’s nice to go there when there aren’t crowds.

Some places were like a ghost town with the stores boarded up and no people around. This is a whole little town that’s been closed up for the season.

I guess you better not go play on the dam.

And old mill not in operation at the moment.

One of the covered bridges that goes over this dam.

There were a lot of places with the name Raccoon around these parts. Raccoon hunting must have been popular back in the day. There was big Raccoon Creek and Small Raccoon Creek and Raccoon Road, etc.

No cars were allowed on any of the covered bridges, but you could walk across them.

In Bridgeton there is an old mill that has been restored and still grinds grain.  We visited it years ago when this man and his family had bought the mill to restore it. They’ve done a good job. There were different kinds of ground grain to buy and I bought some pancake mix that had been ground there.  Notice to self…..although it sounds good, old fashion type pancake mix is not made from the regular refined grains in mixes like Aunt Jemima.  I made pancakes from this mix and did not like them at all.  Sorry. My tastebuds lean more toward the refined grains.  But I did buy some maple syrup made right here in Indiana and it was delicious.  Very different from your store bought syrups, but very good.  The man who bought the mill was still working there.  I bought some things just to help him out a little.  He had lots of things for sale besides all the packages of mixes he had ground.  I try to help small businesses when I can since David and I ran a small business for twenty years and one of our competitors was Wal-mart.  It’s not easy to keep a small business going under those circumstances so we were happy to have loyal customers who would come in and buy from us. Keep that in mind when you are shopping this Christmas.

I wanted to take some pictures of some of the things I have made this year. This is just a few of the quilts and pillows I have made.

The small quilts are patterns I got from Kathleen Tracy’s blog. She gives out free patterns every month or so, plus sells quilt books, some of which I’ve purchased.  Her quilts are fast and easy to make. Sometimes it’s nice to make a quick project. I have been  working on some larger quilts that I cannot show right now as they may or may not be gifts sometime.

Well, I hope you are looking forward to Christmas and are getting as ready for it as you want to be.  There is a man who has built a small village in Canada who posts  pictures of the village and writes a story about each building that brings back memories of a quieter, more peaceful time. I think he must have grown up like I did, in the country, with simple pleasures and close family ties.  That is the kind of Christmas I would like to have.  One of peace, with simple things being the best and being with family around the table. I wish that for all of you. Peace, love and Joy. And remember that Jesus is the center of it all.  Bye.


Traveling South Part II

So, on we drove deeper into the south.  To places that had seen the ravages of the Civil War which was not civil at all.   Thankfully, many of the little towns were bypassed and were not destroyed by the Union soldiers.

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One little town was welcoming Spring. It seems Spring was late almost everywhere this year.


Over tall bridges over rivers running throughout our country.


Until off in the distance we saw another bridge we were going to cross onto an island.


We are getting closer.

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Ocean on either side of us.

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Up and over and we landed safely on the other side!

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Here we were in Dauphin Island, Alabama.  I had never heard of this island until a few weeks ago when David and I were discussing where we were going on our road trip.   He asked me if I wanted to go to dolphin island. “Dolphin Island!”   “No, it’s spelled D-a-u-p-h-I-n Island.  We can drive to it.”  “Okay,” I said and now here we were.  I did not get a picture of the motel in which we stayed. It was called Gulf Breeze Motel and was your quintessential island home away from home. Painted an ocean blue and white on the outside.   The bed was covered with a comforter with shells and fish on it. The dresser had shell carvings on its front.  Island birds and animals pictures were on the walls.  The windows were open with the ocean breezes blowing in. It was indeed magical.  Right across the road was the beach, but would you believe, we never got to that beach.  Not once.  But we did get to a beach. One less traveled.  One you had to walk a two mile round trip to get to.

The first day I made new friends.


Just a few feet from our motel’s front door was a little pier and these guys were gathered there.  I just happened to have some crackers in the car and they loved them. And they called their friends.

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Soon we had several seagulls flying around us.

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They posed for us.  Seagulls are one of my top five favorite birds. They are really what I miss the most about the beach.

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On an island? There has to be a flamingo somewhere.

We wanted to go to the beach and we were told if we parked at a bird sanctuary on the island we could walk to the beach.  We weren’t told it was a two mile round trip, but it was worth it.  Although we heard not one bird while walking through the bird sanctuary we did enjoy the peacefulness of it and we seemed to be the only people there.  When we finally got to the beach, it was almost empty.  David played in the water and I laid on the sand and listened to the ocean.  We walked a way down the beach and saw a dead crab, a child’s shovel and a few shells.  Away out in the distance we could see oil rigs.  Oil rigs surround the island.   It was so wonderful. Not the oil rigs, just being at the beach with the sun and the sound of the waves.  I have always been in awe of the ocean.  But we are northerners with very white skin and soon we were both showing a little redness and remembering horrible burns we got years ago on a South Carolina beach, we decided to head back.

The second day on the island we left the island and drove a few miles north of it to a wonderful place called Bellingrath Gardens.

Heading there we got on this road.


Surely these gardens were not on this road.  Miss Garmin!!!!


All we saw on this road was this fancy rooster who acted like he very seldom saw other humans except his own.  The music from Deliverance was running in my head at this point.


And David would NEVER admit he was lost. Until we came to a dead end and had to turn around.   But we did find the garden so all was well.


Land purchased by a Coca Cola CEO in the 1930’s held only an old fishing shack, but he and his wife built a magnificent house and planted wonderful gardens on 65 acres and opened the gardens to the public.  The gardens were opened to the public off and on until Mr. Bellingrath died in the 1950’s and has been open to the public ever since. What a gift they have given to all of us. For a fee you can tour their house(we didn’t because we knew it would take us all day to see the gardens even though we were told it all could be seen in a couple of hours) and tour the gardens spread out along the Fowl River.  Here are some of the flowers we saw….









These look like cyclamen, but I am not sure. I was entranced by them because I have never seen flowers like this.  So sweet.


Orchids in the green house.


Even pineapples were growing.


Fountains all around.




The smell of roses filled the air.


A little mermaid.


More live oaks dripping with Spanish moss.  That always says the south to me.  Always.

Mrs. Bellingrath was a woman of faith and had a chapel built on the property.  Weddings are sometimes held there.  The windows were exquisite.





Everywhere you looked there was eye candy.


The house was indeed grand and overlooked the river.  But it took us hours to go through the gardens.  I’m not done yet.

There was a wooden walkway you could walk around an estuary.  Of course it took us a while to walk it as we had to look at everything.


We were surrounded by scenes like this.


A lookout built above the estuary.



Lots of fish. This guy looks about right for frying up in a skillet!


And look at the claws on this guy.


Bamboo grew abundantly.


Two old lions making friends.


Trumpet flowers falling on my head!


David called this the Medusa log.  Looks like Medusa’s head, doesn’t it?


We saw this plaque on the way out.


It’s Rebekah at the well giving water to a servant sent to find a wife for Isaac.    It’s a story in the book of Genesis.  Another of Mrs. Bellingrath’s homages to scriptures.

It was a totally wonderful day and it did take us hours to go through the gardens.  Everywhere there were people working on the gardens planting new flowers and mulching. It’s a never ending job.  The only part I found that seemed to not belong was an Asian garden. I don’t think it’s original to the gardens. It was poorly kept and had very few if any flowers. I don’t know if it was under construction or something or was not as popular as all the rest.  It just didn’t fit in.  But all in all, if you are ever in this part of the country, Bellingrath gardens is really worth seeing.

We went through the gift shop and David bought me the prettiest umbrella.  I had been complaining to him a while back when it was raining, that I could never seem to find an umbrella.  Now I have one of my own.

On our way back to the motel we passed this.



An old fashioned tent revival.  I would have liked to have gone, but David was tired so we passed on by.  Next, we visit a Civil War fort and head back north. Bye.





Seeking the Big Cedar

On up into the Olympic Peninsula we drove.  It is so beautiful there.  Forests and mountains and rivers and mossy trees.  You can imagine a Sasquatch walking in these forests.  I really would not want to spend the night in them!   The landscape reminded me a lot of Alaska.

We kept seeing signs for Big Cedar.  Now we have seen the Sequoias and I don’t think any tree could be as big as they are, but, hey, there was a big cedar waiting to be seen so we decided to see it.   Finally we saw the road off to the Big Cedar and we parked and walked about a half mile back into the forest.   We met a couple coming from the opposite direction and asked them if it was a Big Cedar?  “Pretty big tree,” one of them said, but I thought I saw a smirk on their faces. so we continued on the path until its end and this is what we found.




Yes, a big, DEAD, Cedar!   At one time it ruled these forests, but not anymore.  We laughed and went back to the car.  Well, it was a good walk, anyway.

So on we drove when, “What?!?  Another sign for a Big Cedar.  Could there be two or did we just get fooled?   So, of course, we followed the road back to this Big Cedar. Five miles.  We drove and drove. I wanted to turn around and go back, but David was determined to see the Big Cedar.  We passed one car coming from the opposite direction and I wondered if it was the same couple and if they were laughing at us for driving to see the Big Cedar.   Then we came to the end of the road.  There was an old wooden path and a bridge to the Big Cedar.  This is what we saw.


Another almost dead tree standing there in the forest with two crazy people looking at it.  Did I hear laughing somewhere?    Well, it was a good drive and a good time to stretch our legs.


At one time this tree was magnificent, but it’s seen better days.  I had bought a post card to send to one of my grandchildren that had a really big cedar with a man standing by it. I think it might have been this tree in the fifties.

So, on we drove.  With glimpses of the Pacific.dscn4011

Isn’t it beautiful?  We do have a grand and glorious country.dscn4008

David almost took a tumble at one of our stops when he stepped on some loose rocks at the edge of a cliff.  I was thinking I would appear on the ID channel as a wife who pushed her husband off a cliff to get her inheritance.  It really did scare me, though, because we had no cellphone reception and cars were few and far between.  I pictured me trying to get down the cliff and get David back up all by myself.   I really wish he would not get so near cliffs.


Since watching Treehouse Masters on tv, I have been wishing for a tree house.  Now this is a real tree house we found along the way.


Isn’t it cute?     We had more to see and a motel to find so onward we traveled. More my next post.  Bye.


The Northwest

David and I arrived in Seattle, rented a car and off we went on our adventure in the Northwest.   We couldn’t wait to get out of the city.  We are not city people.  We headed toward the Pacific Ocean where we had a motel for two nights at Ocean Shores, Washington. Being that is was off season it was not very busy in that area.


Our room faced the ocean side and this was the sunset we saw our first night.


There was a beach if you wanted to walk about a mile through bushes and beach growth and wonder if there were snakes around.   I don’t think this beach path has been used for years.

Instead we drove around the town and did some shopping and sight seeing.



You know you are in a beach town when there are sharks and seahorses around.


There were cute little shops and this was my favorite one.  They had so many things I would have loved to buy if we had our car and weren’t going back on the train.


It was cute on the outside and the inside.


I bought this  bottle of hand soap just because I liked how pretty it was.


Suddenly we started seeing deer.  Deer everywhere.  I had noticed a sign outside of town that said no hunting.  I guess the deer knew this.


Does and this little fawn.


And these gorgeous boys. They were smaller than our deer here in Indiana.


“Aren’t I handsome?”  He was not at all afraid of us.

Everywhere we turned, we saw deer.   Then we decided to drive onto the beach.


We had it almost to ourselves.  Just a few people.


I love the ocean.  There is something wild and wonderful about it.


We ate at this place one time.  All the locals seemed to like it.  You cannot go near the ocean and not eat fish.  Well, David didn’t.  He ate a hamburger.  But I had cod and clams and it was good.


The water was so cold the fishermen wore warm, waterproof clothes to fish in the water.  They looked like they were freezing.  I walked in the water and it was icy.


One of my favorite birds.  I have seen sea gulls on both coasts,  the gulf of Mexico,in Alaska, and in the Virgin Islands.  They all fascinate me because they are so aware of everything around them.  Drop a crump and suddenly you have twenty or more flying around you. I don’t know how they know when food is around, but they always do  They act solitary until food is around and then, bam.   Every bird for himself.

We left Ocean Shores for the Olympic Peninsula.  We didn’t get up there the last time we were in the Northwest and I always hoped to get back.  It’s about a three hundred mile loop around it so we decided to take three days to drive it.


There are lodges all around it. We stopped at this one to eat lunch.


How cozy is this?  It was chilly out and a roaring fire in the fireplace was just what was needed.  Big, comfy couches and chairs around it.  Wish we had stayed here.


As it was off season, there were a lot of empty tables.


We were seated right by the window and could look out at a beautiful lake and at birds eating at the bird feeders.


We learned this was a Stellar Jay,  not unlike the blue jays in Indiana.


This was our view while we dined.  All the Adirondack chairs waiting for people to come sit and look at the scenery.


Anyone could be a Sasquatch.  Just put your face in the hole.    Sad to say, we saw no Sasquatches while in Washington.


Maybe next time we will stay at this lodge.

We continued up the peninsula in search of the Big Cedar.   That will be in the next post.  Stay tuned. Bye.




Finishing Some Odds and Ends

David had the last two weeks off for vacation.  The weeks went by way too quickly and Monday he will be back at work.  We spent some time traveling as you know, but we are glad to be back to home sweet home.

Here is what has been going on the last couple of weeks:


We got to spend some time with David’s brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Terry.  We had so much fun with them and they taught us how to play Dominoes.  I intend to learn to play it better and challenge them next time we see them. Hope it won’t be so many years before we see them again.  They talked about bringing their four grandchildren to visit us next summer to meet our grandchildren.  Hope it will happen.




We walked the beach. Oh, how I love the beach and the wildness of the ocean.  This particular beach was almost deserted except for a very few people.  Met a girl walking her lab puppy and I had to pet it.  Guess we will be getting that new puppy next year.




We took a ferry ride.  It was windy.  Can’t you tell?


We stayed in motels where the maids folded the towels in decorative ways like these.  They looked like little shirts.


I really loved this carpet in one of the motels.



We  saw several barn quilts that weren’t on barns.  They are really popular in the south.


We passed this truck carrying all these chickens that were probably heading toward an untimely end.   I felt really badly seeing them all packed in like that when I know how wonderful my girls have it.  I told my girls when we got home they should be very happy that I am their owner.  They live a very spoiled life.  If they could only see how the other half lives.


We drove very curvy mountain roads.  This is really one road that met itself.   The little car on Garmin was spinning out of control on the curves.


We saw so much beauty in the North Carolina mountains.


We walked through a really old cemetery.  I’ll have to tell you about that some time.


We passed cotton fields.  One time in Texas we passed a cotton field and I got out of the car and went and picked a few bolls that I brought home and put in a quart jar that I labeled “quilt starter.”  I am sorry I stole those cotton bolls.  I still have them if the farmer wants them back.


We ate at several hometown restaurants.  This one was in Tennessee.  They served the most decadent desserts here that we had to eat ice cream with them to cut the sweetness!


We kept finding these little soaps in antique stores and by the end of the trip I had collected quite a few.  They all smell so good.  I like using homemade soap as I think it is better for your skin.





Of course I bought some fabric.  I really didn’t plan to, but some of it just jumped into my hands.  In one antique store they were selling rolls of fabric for a quarter.  A QUARTER.  Well, I would have been crazy not to have bought some. We also bought a few other things in the antique stores, but we were really trying not to overspend as we really don’t need anything more in our house.  Really.


I bought this batik fabric to make a skirt but I evidently didn’t look at it closely in the store because when I got home I noticed it had snails on it.   Do I really want to wear a skirt with snails on it?  We shall see.


When we finally arrived home David and I hurried and made some soup because we had starved ourselves on our trip.  Ahem.  Actually, I just found this recipe for soup like the Zuppa Tuscana we love at Olive Garden and wanted to try it.   It was better, I think, and made a huge amount.  Enough for several meals.  David and I laugh and say I make better coffee, bisquits and now soup than any we had in all the restaurants.  Why do we need to travel?


I was so glad to see Phoebe, Freedom, Pininnah, Jemima, Dorcas and Beatrice.  I think they were glad to see me as they rushed to the gate to meet me.  They now have free range in the garden area and have really been scratching up a storm.


Bonnie still sits watch.  One day before we left for our trip we were sitting by

the firepit and I saw movement in the chicken pen and it was Bonnie in there.  I had forgotten to close the gate!

Bonnie wasn’t interested in the chickens, however, she was looking at what they were eating.  She knows the hens get scraps every once in while and was looking for something good to eat.  I was so surprised that she didn’t even try to catch a chicken, thank heaven. I still won’t let her have free run of the coop, though.


All in all, it has been a wonderful two weeks.  We reconnected with some family we don’t see very often and had a great time together. We got to relax some and slow down and isn’t that what vacations are for?   Now to start planning our next vacation.


Whoops, I must go get David out of the stocks.  Bye.


North Carolina Dreaming

Have you ever been to North Carolina?  Do you live here?  It is one of the most beautiful states we have visited.  I say that about almost every state I have ever been in, but NC is right at the top of my list for beautiful states.  It has mountains, rivers, the ocean, palm trees, Spanish moss and some of the nicest people you would ever want to meet.

David and I are spending some time here with family and visiting some pretty sights. Before we got to Wilmington, we passed through some charming southern towns one of them being Blowing Rock.  Have you read the Mitford books by Jan Karon?   Jan based her books on this little town in the Northwest corner of the state smack dab in the most beautiful mountains you would ever want to see.




Blowing Rock is enchanting, quaint, friendly, entrancing and just plain enjoyable.  We spent a long morning there looking in all the shops.



Eating some of the best ice cream we have ever eaten.  David got Traverse City Cherry and I got Butter Pecan and Dominacara chocolate.  Yum. (We found this same ice cream shop in Wilmington today.)



The town was all dressed up for Autumn with mums and these gigantic pumpkins all over town.


Have you read the Mitford books by Jan Karon?  The town of Mitford she wrote about is said to have been based on Blowing Rock and it is easy to see why.   You can almost see Father Tim walking down the streets of the town.  Esther Bolick carrying her special cakes to someone.  Miss Sadie driving her car upon to the sidewalk. Cynthia walking down the street with one hair roller hanging in her hair.

We saw the Episcopal church Jan Karon based her Father Tim’s church upon.



I could just see Father Tim coming out the door of this church.  It was so charming.



A nice lady asked us if we wanted her to take our picture and we said, “Sure.”  Behind us are some of the gardens surrounding the church.  It was just so pretty and I felt like I was in the pages of a book.



David found a friend to share a park bench with.



Hydrangeas grew all over the town and were at their peak.



They were the biggest hydrangeas I have seen.



David saw this cute empty little house on main street and said it would make a great quilt shop.   I said, “Let’s sell our house and move here and open a shop.”  Nice dreaming, but I think we will stay where we have been planted.



We walked down some side streets and found this little garden lady standing among the flowers.


Everywhere you looked there were Autumn vignettes.  I could have stayed all day and looked and looked and looked, but we had to move on.



We wanted to see the place which gave the town its name.



This is Blowing Rock.  David decided to climb it.  I was  taking pictures and hoping he would not fall over the top when he got up there. Legend has it that an Indian brave jumped off this rock and his lover waited here day after day until one day he was blown back up onto the rock by the winds.  Snow is said to blow backward here.  Still watching David and praying the wind won’t blow him over!



He made it!  I would have tried to climb it, but I didn’t have the right kind of shoes on, so I lived vicariously through David.  It was harder to come down than to go up.


It was just beautiful up here.  I could have stayed all day, but there were other places to go and other things to see.

Here’s to the beautiful state of North Carolina.  I’m in love.  Bye.


Autumn Decor and Dibs and Dabs

I love Autumn.  I love the word, Autumn.  I love the colors and the way the sunlight seems golden.  I love the cool nights when we throw the windows open wide and sleep deep sleeps in the cool, crisp air.  I love the almost too perfect days of blue skies and golden everything.

I also love to decorate for Autumn.  I have always felt our house was built for Autumn because it always looks it best this time of year.


I love that Halloween comes in October.  There are so many festivals and harvest celebrations in the Autumn.  This is the front table of my shop.  Those pumpkins are my very own pumpkins that I grew myself this year.  David made the wooden pumpkin.



A few years ago we traveled to New York to the finger lakes district and went through several  beautiful New England towns.  In one shop in one of the towns they were selling wooden jack-o-lanterns.  They were kind of expensive and David said,  “I could make them.”  And he came home and made two for me and one for each of our kids and I painted them.   They light up at night.  I tell David he could make these and sell them.


These are more of my pumpkins.  I am already planning to grow pumpkins again next year.   I really like the white ones.   There is a scarecrow sitting just opposite these pumpkins, but I forgot to take a picture of him.  I’ll show you later.


See how golden everything looks in our house?  I picked these hydrangeas and sedum and lamb’s ear to make a dry flower arrangement.   Okay, you don’t see the golden?  My picture just does not do the light coming in our house justice.


I strung a garland of leaves I made across the kitchen window.




Just a few things I have made to decorate for Autumn.


The Autumn sedum is especially pretty this year.


The squirrels are gathering nuts and other food for winter.  This one is pretty plump.  Looks like he/she has been eating very well.  I put out cobs of corn and the whole cobs disappear.  Somewhere in some tree a squirrel has a lot of corn stored away.


Of course we always have candy corn or candy pumpkins out.  David is the only one who eats them.  I don’t really like them.  Does that make me bad?



I got a Yankee Candle catalog this week and was astounded that they had a candle scented like turkey and stuffing.  The catalog has scratch and sniff places in its pages and this candle smells very strongly of sage.   They also have Sweet Potato Pie scent and Cranberry Sauce scent.  I don’t know how they do it, but the scents are very close to the real thing.

A few weeks ago David laid a cement pad just outside the new door in my shop and two of my grandsons and David and I put our handprints in it.











Our other grandchildren will have to put their handprints on with paint and then I will seal the cement for all eternity or until the cement falls apart or I fall apart, whichever comes first.  It startles me that my grandsons’ hands are almost as big as mine.




I haven’t posted any pictures of our dogs for a while.  Please excuse Belle.  She forgot her manners and stuck out her tongue.

Here’s to Autumn, pumpkins, cool evenings, and naughty pups.  Bye.

Chickens and Chatting

I got to spend some time with one of my best friends from school this week.    We went to school together for twelve years from first grade until we graduated.  While I was attending college and marrying David, she was attending beauty school and getting married to a farmer.  We have kept in touch all these years even if It is just once a year.  When we get together it is as if we hadn’t been away from each other for months and months.  I love her to pieces.  She knows things about me and I know things about her and we aren’t telling!

My friend’s husband raises chickens for the eggs.  Not just a few, mind you, but thousands.  Ninety-seven thousand to be exact.  I have always wanted to go up and see their chicken operation and I got to do it this trip.    When we first went in the building, it was cold and on a conveyor belt were hundreds of eggs.  There were stacks and stacks of eggs ready for shipment.  We then went into where the chickens lived.  I was overwhelmed.  To see that many chickens and eggs continuously coming down a conveyor belt was amazing.  They were beautiful white chickens with bright red combs.  And the eggs.  They were enormous.   They made the jumbo eggs in the grocery stores look like small eggs.  The building was so long that you could not see the end. My friend told me if someone was standing at the other end  you would not be able to see them.

Once the eggs are packed and shipped, they go to another company where the eggs are boiled and chopped up and packaged for restaurants so if you get a salad with chopped eggs on it, you very well may be eating my friend’s chickens’ eggs.  It was so interesting and I am glad I got to see it all.

We didn’t just look at chickens, though.  We went to quilt shops and antique stores and talked and talked and ate dinner together before David and I had to get to our motel.  It was so much fun.


This is my best friend forever and no, she is not an antique.  This girl can do more work than any ten women.  She is always busy.  We are bound by something that cannot be broken.

The next day David brought me breakfast in bed from the motel’s breakfast room.  Cinnamon rolls, blueberry muffins, yogurt, a banana and coffee.  It all tasted so good. I had slept so well that I didn’t get up in time to go down for breakfast.

We drove to Geneva where the Limberlost cabin is.  If you have heard of Gene Stratton Porter you know what I am talking about.  She was a famous Indiana author who wrote “Girl of the Limberlost,”  “Freckles” and many others.  She studied moths and butterflies and wildlife in the swamps that surrounded her house in the early 1900’s.  She was saddened to see the swamps being drained for farmland and houses and later in her life she moved away because she couldn’t stand it anymore.  She lived in California, built a mansion there and became the first woman to produce movies.  She was killed in a car accident when her limo was struck.

We took a tour through the house and it was wonderful.


It was a frame house with whole logs nailed to the side to look like a log cabin.  It had a broad, airy front porch that made me want to pull up a chair and sit for a while.


I could live in this house.  I didn’t have my camera to take pictures inside, so you will have to go here sometime and see just how beautiful it is.  The fireplaces all had gas logs.  Something most houses in that time would never have.  It cost five dollars a month to use all the natural gas you wanted.  Wow, I wish it were still that cheap.  The house cost five thousand dollars to build.  In those days that was still a lot of money.


This is the guest bedroom’s own private porch.  How neat is that?


A beautiful bay window with windows that opened at the top and the bottom.  Inside the house Mrs. Porter could close off this area and she would allow any animal or bird to come in this area and could watch them through the glass doors inside the house.  She loved watching the animals and birds.


Mrs. Porter hated seeing the trees being cut down in the swamp and when they cut down this big one, she had it brought to her house and used it as a smoke house for meats.


This little kitten was wandering around the grounds.  He or she was a little skittish and wouldn’t allow me to pet it.


This is the hired hand’s room.  Real comfy looking.  Our tour guide said his pictures look like Yosemite Sam and that he was just as cranky.  Not our guide, the hired hand.


My mother always wanted to come here all her life and never got to see it.  When the tour guide asked us why we were there I told him I was seeing this for my mother.  She read a lot of Gene Stratton Porter’s books and was always telling me how wonderful they were.  I guess I am going to have to read some soon.  Mrs. Porter was very popular when my mother was a girl.

We drove country roads.   We arrived in Berne where I found another quilt shop and saw this clock tower.



It plays music at three o’clock every afternoon, but we left at two-thirty and missed it.

Then we returned to Geneva to find the marshes.


They are returning the marshland to areas around Geneva and this is one of them.  I walked this path and enjoyed seeing a large hawk fly before me, hear the crickets chirping and hear the swishing of the tall grasses in the breeze.  It was so peaceful the farther I went back into the marsh I felt like I was the only person in the world.  It was a mile round trip and I walked it twice, then walked another path across the road.  I would have stayed longer, but David and I had to get home.  We drove back roads as much as we could through small towns.


Saw this sign.   Free speechDSCN6824

Where else but in the country would you see a tractor pulled up to a gas pump?  This was farm country and tractors ruled.

We drove past soybean fields being harvested as dust clouds rose from the combines.  We passed acres and acres of corn growing brown and brittle in the Autumn sun. The sky was blue, the breeze was pleasant.  I love our state.

We had a wonderful time, but we were glad to get home and see that the automatic door on the chicken coop worked and the girls were all fine.  The dogs were hungry and telling us it was time to eat.  Nice to come home to pets.

Here’s to BBF, country roads and wonderful Hoosier authors.  Bye






















A Birthday and A Busy Weekend

It was a busy weekend.  We had two of our grandsons overnight and they helped their grandpa around the house.  They learned how to lay cement and they helped him clean out a shed.  They were a great help and he said he would gladly have them help him again.  I will have to show you the concrete pad they laid right outside my shop door.   We all put our handprints in the cement and I wrote our names and the date so we will remember this day.

Sunday after church we headed to my hometown for a birthday party.  It was my sister-in-law’s seventy-fifth birthday.  She was married to my oldest brother, Jack.  There were relatives there I hadn’t see in ages.  And I mean ages.  They all got old on me overnight, it seems.



This man is my oldest nephew.  I remember when he was born.  But when I was talking to his sister, I asked her where was Doug, and she said, “He’s right here! ”   He was standing beside her.  He use to have red hair.  I gave him a big hug because I haven’t seen him since my mother died in l994.  He’s not suppose to be this old.  I remember babysitting him when he was a boy.



This is my sister-in-law, Carroll, who was celebrating her birthday.  She always remembers to send birthday cards to me and David.  Her cake was so pretty and good, too.


Of course pictures had to be taken for posterity and this is Carroll with my two nephews, Doug and Tom(who I did recognize) and my two nieces, Cindy and Sandy.   I really remember when my niece, Sandy, in the brown shirt was born.  My brother was in the military and gone on duty and Carroll went into labor and called my mother so Mom packed up me and my brother and went over to Richmond where we picked up Carroll, Doug, Tom and Cindy and rushed to the hospital.  I was only a few years older than Doug, but Mom told me to stay in the car with all the kids while she took Carroll into the hospital.  Carroll almost had Sandy before she got into the hospital.  Mom came back to the car very soon after and said I had a new niece.   She couldn’t believe how fast her new grandchild had come.


A picture of my brothers and sister.  That’s my “baby” brother in  the red shirt.  All the others are older than I.   They were all shocked at my red hair except for Joanne who I had already told.


This is my brother-in-law, Clyde, who is married to my sister.  He had a kidney removed in July.  If I had had a kidney removed in July, I would probably still be in a fetal position laying in bed and having David wait on me hand and foot. Clyde is tough. He’s already mowed his yard.  He can’t stand to be sitting doing nothing.  Keep him in your prayers that he will make a full recovery and be able to keep his big garden next year.  He really hates that he couldn’t plant one this year.  He and my sister provide a lot of food for the people at their church.  My sister puts me to shame with all the food she cans and preserves every year.  Clyde is a special guy.


My sister doesn’t like her picture taken so, being the bratty younger sister I am, I kept snapping one after the other of her.  She laughed.


These are cousins of David’s that came to the party.  I haven’t seen either of them for ages either and we had a nice visit.  They are both retired.  Carolyn use to be a school teacher.  A very good one from what I always heard.  Wally is a card and likes to joke around.  They are both  special people too.

David and I drove back roads to get to my hometown and along the way we saw some neat barn quilts.




By the way, have I shown you the barn quilt I painted for our house since we don’t have a barn?  Here it is:



I thought it would look good with our chocolate brown house and in the Autumn it will blend in with all the Fall colors.

On one of the back roads we came upon this.  Something you won’t see on the interstate.



Not exactly sure what town this was near as we were just wandering around, but this bridge was built one year after our house was built.  How neat is that?


I will leave you with a picture of some of the last of the roses of the summer.   I love these roses.  Yellow with just a tinge of pink on the edges.

Here’s to birthday celebrations, family and taking the back roads.  Bye.






Where Am I?

  What has happened to the time?  Where am I?  Is it Summer still or is it Autumn?  I don’t know.  I just wrote about Spring and planting the garden and enjoying the warm weather and now I am so looking forward to cooler temperatures, falling leaves and wearing sweaters, sitting by campfires and drinking hot chocolate. 

  The chicks were tiny little balls of fluff only yesterday and now they are laying an egg every day.  A dozen every two days.   One hundred and eighty eggs a month.   I can’t use them fast enough.  The dogs get one in their dog food every other day.  I boil them, fry them, scramble them, make egg salad, bake cakes and cookies and still they keep coming.  The hens are like little laying machines now and the eggs are getting bigger.  The thrill is still there, though, every time I go out to the coop and find the pretty brown eggs, some still warm from the hens’ bodies. 

  We got an automatic chicken coop door opener today.  We are hoping we can go away once in a while and not have to worry whether the chooks are able to get out during the day and are safely shut in at night.  The company that we ordered from included a free gospel of John in the box.  Was a very nice thing to find.   The company is called Fleming Outdoor if you are interested.

  I am still getting tomatoes.  The cucumbers finally stopped producing, thank goodness.  We got hundred of cucumbers this year.  I have Roma tomatoes just coming on and one cherry tomato plant that is starting to produce.  I love this time of year.  We can eat from the garden and the chooks.  We haven’t gone to the grocery as much lately for some reason.  David said the other day we hadn’t made a big grocery store run for some time.  Don’t know why.  We seem to be eating pretty well.  

  I am sewing on Tuesdays with a friend.  I need to get into another Bible study soon, but I just haven’t felt like studying for a while.  I have taken Bible studies for years and needed to take a break, but I have one in mind I am planning to do.  The new Beth Moore.

  I also need to get into my walking again.  I kind of slowed down when it got so hot and have had a hard time getting myself motivated to get back to my five miles a day.  I’m hoping with the cooler weather coming, I will start again.  I really love walking, but find the first mile is the hardest.  After I can get past that one, I feel like I could walk for hours.  I also need to find a new walking place as where I walk there are so many trucks, trains and automobiles.  Sounds like the name of a movie.  I read blogs where they have beautiful hills and valleys and fields and quiet roads on which to walk and wish I lived in such an area.  I guess I could drive somewhere to walk, but somehow for me that defeats the whole purpose of walking.  When we go on vacation to North Carolina, I am hoping we find a lot of nice walking areas like we did when we went to Alaska.  I walked to Alaska I always say, because every day we found a park or safe area for me to walk and I would walk my five miles.  I even walked five miles a day on the boat going to Alaska.

   I need to get new glasses, but am too lazy to go to the eye doctor.  I hate going to any doctor. Both my dentist and my family doctor are wonderful, don’t get me wrong.  I have a doctor’s appointment this week for a check-up and a dentist appointment the week after.  I don’t know why it spoils my whole day when I have to go have anything done with or for my body to include the hair dresser.  I am sort of afraid what my beautician is going to say to me when she sees my red hair.  I refreshed the color yesterday and still love it.    Anyway,  I feel so out of control in a doctor’s office because I am afraid he will find something wrong which would mean tests and more time spent in medical offices.  I think my fear comes from when I was a little girl and my older sister would tease me about the big, long needles the doctor was going to use on me.  She use to scare me to death.  I grew up in the time when you had to get multiple polio shots and it seemed to me that we were always going to Dr. Barton’s office to get yet another polio shot.  Then I developed a very stiff neck and my parents were afraid I had gotten polio.  Thankfully, it wasn’t, but polio was scary back then.

  I feel like I am in a kind of limbo right now between seasons and what I want to do.  I need a goal so I am going to think of one and put it up on this blog so that I will have to meet the goal.  It will probably be about walking distances or something like that.  Or maybe I will try to finish a quilt a week.  I have so many quilt tops that need to be quilted and bound.  Or maybe I could pick an author and try to read all his or her books.  Right now I am reading a really good Jodi Piccoult book.  I have read some others of hers and liked them.  I would like to find a book with about a thousand pages. The book I read about Deitrich Bonhoeffer had over a thousand pages and I loved every one of them.  It was such an inspiring book, but sad also. 

  I am finished with American television for the most part.  There are very few shows I like and the reality shows just turn me off.  We have Netflix and have been watching British dramas and comedies and those people know how to write a good story.  We are watching “Doc Martin” right now about a surgeon who becomes sick at the sight of blood and goes to a small British town as a GP.  He is rather gruff and abrupt with his patients, but they don’t seem to mind.  I laugh out loud at some of the things that happen to him.  The townspeople are rather quirky and I like quirky people. 

  Have I rambled on long enough?  I felt like I should come here before people decided I had given up blogging.  I haven’t.  I have so many things I want to blog about, but it takes time to upload the pictures and then write the blog and I have been kind of busy.   I have children’s stories I have written I went to put on here.  Oh, no, I am not finished blogging.  I have this need to write whether anyone reads it or not.  I am hoping I am making a kind of diary for my children so they will know their mother a little better. 

  Here’s to rambling on and on and people kind enough to read it.  Bye.