Category Archives: Pets I love

My New Sweet Tweets

I talked myself into getting chicks this week.  I know they are something else I will have to take care of, but since my flock is slowly diminishing, I decided it was time to add a few so the egg supply will continue next year.  I had certain kinds I wanted to get, but when I got to Rural King I saw that they didn’t have the ones I wanted so I chose two new kinds.  I got three Blue Barred Rocks and three Buff Orpingtons that are not buff colored, but will be black when they are grown. I looked them up and they look like they will be big, fluffy birds and good layers.  The Buff Orpingtons I have now are yellow and fluffy and good layers.

So then I had to name them, of course. My last six were named after ladies in my Sunday School class and this bunch are named after more ladies in my church and one is the name of another friend.  They will be Miss Wilma, Miss Shawna, Miss Nancy, Miss Erika, Miss Lori, and Miss Mary.   Now I have to decide who is who.

Before I introduce you to my new birds I have to tell you how much fun it is to have chickens.  After you’ve had them for a while, they get to know you and mine meet me at the gate every day and I have one that’s a real talker and will talk her head off until I get them some chicken scratch. She seems to be the spokes chicken of the bunch.  She also is demanding. She will jump up and peck the bowl with the scratch in it or grab hold of my coat sleeve in order to get to the scratch.  I believe she is hooked on scratch.  It’s like crack for chickens.   Which is why they only get a little of it every day.   Chickens can be as friendly as you want them to be, but you have to work at it because they usually are, well, chicken.   I don’t pick up the chicks too much because I don’t think it’s good for them, but you do have to handle the chickens a bit to get them use to you and to not run from you. I find that once I’ve caught a chicken and held her and stroked her feathers for a little bit, when I put her down she seems negligent in wanting to run away from me. I think they like being petted even though they fight it at first.

Having chickens means you have to get out of the house and take care of them which is good during this quarantine time.  It’s nice to get out in the fresh air and walk to the chicken yard and see my girls all waiting for me.   I like watching them as they scratch and peck around.  Free range chickens have to be the happiest creatures alive. They only live for that next bug, piece of bread(which they love also) or handful of scratch. They haven’t a care in the world unless a predator, like a hawk, comes around.   They are on a time clock with the sun, out at dawn and in by  dusk.  Anyone who thinks chickens are hard to care for aren’t doing it right or have never had chickens. Other than cats, they are the easiest pet of them all. They just need feed and water, don’t have to be walked or played with and will supply you with all the eggs you need.  Mine have never had any health issues except for one lame one I had who lived a happy life despite her handicap.   Sadly, I think a hawk got her or the other hens had a pecking party, I will never know for sure.  And yes, chickens can be vicious to other chickens especially if one has something that makes it weak in the eyes of the others.  I’ve never had that problem before to my knowledge.

So, anyway, here’s my new babies. Snug in their dog crate coop until they are big enough to go in with the other big girls.

I guess I’ll never get over how cute baby chicks are.  My daddy raised chickens on the farm and every Spring, we’d drive to the post office and pick up two boxes full of fifty chicks each and carry them home in the car listening to their peeps all the way. I loved getting chicks day.  We’d take them out to the brooder house, a little building specifically for keeping baby chicks, where there was a big heat lamp in the center of the ceiling. We’d let the yellow chicks out and they’d all rush under the lamp in one big clump. Daddy would fill their water jars and their feeders and then leave them to settle down.  I would go out to the brooder house several times a day just to look at all those baby chicks.  Sometimes I was naughty and would try to scare them and laugh when they’d all run in the one big clump to the other side of the room. My daddy would not have been happy if he knew I did that.  Baby chicks can trample each other if there are enough of them.  But they grew and grew and one day sprouted feathers and then were allowed outside with the older chickens and there were no more baby chicks until the next Spring.

This is a Blue Barred Rock. At least that’s what the sign read on the trough the chicks were in.  It doesn’t look blue to me right now, but maybe it will change.

They’ve got little fluffy white bottoms and white chests.

The lighter ones are the Buff Orpingtons, but again I’m not sure what these will look like or whether they will turn darker.  Sometimes it’s a mystery what you are getting from Rural King.

So now I begin the adventure of raising new chickens again. They will be in this crate for a couple of months at least until they are large enough to make it with the big ladies.

Molly sits outdoor of the cabin where we are keeping the chicks and whines while I’m in there wondering what I’m doing and not including her.

Belle could not care less.

Have to show you what one of my sons sent to me for Mother’s Day.

Good with a nice cup of coffee.

He’s a good son. I’ll keep him.

Here’s to baby chicks. Everyone should have some, sometime. Bye.

 

 

 

Good-Bye March, Hello April

Saying good-bye to March was bitter sweet. I always look forward to the month because it’s my birthday month and I celebrate all month, but this March, well, it sure wasn’t the usual March.  It started okay. We did the usual birthday stuff, eating out, cake, shopping, antiquing. But then everything seemed to go downhill fast.  The corona virus attacked and people went into hibernation, stores closed, people were out of work, people were getting sick and some were dying.  Not what I envisioned for the month of March.

David and I have adjusted to him being off work. Other than a short retirement right after  he left the military, he has never been home this much.  He’s always worked at a job somewhere, Sometimes two or three jobs. Now he has all kinds of time, is sleeping in past 5:30 in the morning and even has breakfast sometimes.   When he’s home I tell him I have to work harder because he’s always doing something and I can’t allow him to outdo me.

Here are some of the things I’ve been doing.

Surprise, I’ve been quilting. This is a small quilt I started January 2019 and I’m just finishing it up today.

 

 

Planting seeds. I’m wondering when the nurseries will be open or if they will be and if I can get some more plants this year. I’ve order two lilac bushes so I can plant something.  These seeds are cucumbers and phlox.  I’ve never tried raising phlox from seed before so we shall see how this turns out.

Decorating for Easter. Our younger grandsons asked us the other day if we are still having our annual Easter egg hunt. I told them we didn’t know yet.  It’s hard to plan things when you don’t know what’s going to happen. They’ve cancelled all the egg hunts around here.

The sky was so blue this day and the bush cherry I planted years ago was the tallest it’s ever been.  When the man next door cut down all his trees, our bushes and tree got a whole lot more sunlight and are growing taller now. I don’t remember this bush flowering like this before, but it was so pretty.

Our neighbor’s Bradford pear is just gorgeous. It fills my kitchen window with its beauty. We are going to get new neighbors over there as our neighbor has moved. It’s always a little worrisome getting new neighbors. You hope they are nice and you get along with them.  We’ve been pretty fortunate with most of our neighbors over the years.

Our little mulberry is full of bloom this year. ( This is not a mulberry tree. It’s a magnolia. I know that just didn’t have my brain in gear while typing.)  I’ve always dreamed of having a mulberry, (magnolia again)now I do.

Checking out all the perennials that are coming up. This is Dame’s Rocket. It came in a packet of wildflower seeds and reseeded itself and there are several more all around it, but this is the biggest one.  I love flowers that reseed themselves and don’t need much care.  It will be tall with pretty blue flowers.  Last year I had to protect it from the contractor’s builders as they were working around it, but it made it through.

Everywhere I look there are flowers coming up.

These big planes fly over us once in a while. They are from Camp Atterbury and the pilots practice their touch and takeoffs at the local airport.  I love seeing them. Our son flew in something similar when he was in the Air Force.

I’ve gotten a pair of socks finished.  And started another pair.  I love knitting socks. So relaxing.

I baked cupcakes, some of which I took to our daughter for her birthday.   Today I baked an orange chiffon cake.  David and I are going to have to loosen the elastic on our pants,

A friend asked me the other day if I had any eggs she could have. Do I have eggs?? At one time I had nine dozen in the refrigerator and couldn’t give them away. Then we took some to our daughter and then this friend got some.  She brought something to trade even though I didn’t expect her to.

Toilet paper!  She wrote on it, “Don’t hurry, don’t worry. Do your best and flush the rest!”  We got a good laugh out of that.  Now we are set on toilet paper for a while. I’ve got good friends.

So how are you coping with this enforced isolation?  We do get out and get takeout and ride around. We took a long ride Sunday through Brown Country down roads we’ve never been on before.  Took a ride through Brown County State Park which waived its entrance fee for the duration. There were a lot of people enjoying being out and exercising.   I try to get outside as much as possible and breath fresh air and play with the dogs.  My daily routine hasn’t really been different other than having David home all day.

When this whole enforced quarantine is over are we all going to come out of our houses like groundhogs on a bright Spring day?  Hopefully we’ll not see our shadows and won’t have to go back in.

Some of you are finding our what retirement is like except without all the fun because you can’t go anywhere. Believe me, retirement is a lot more fun than this.

This quarantine has made a lot of us think about our freedom and how wonderful it is to be able to go anywhere you want and not be impeded.  Right now it’s the grocery store or feed store to feed the animals and people and to the pharmacy to get meds.

This is giving our young people something to tell their grandchildren one day, about the great quarantine when the world almost came to a stop.  How they couldn’t go to school and had to learn at home.

Are you catching up on all that sleep you said you’d get once you didn’t have to work any longer? I know I am and I’m retired!  Between the quarantine and the cloudy, rainy days we have had and it still feeling cold to me, I want to sleep all the time.

Molly and Belle don’t know there’s a quarantine.

They just know David is around a whole lot more.  They like that he’s outside with them working around the yard.

Well, it looks like at least another month of this, so I will continue to look for projects. David is building a new fence along the back of our property so that will keep him busy for a while.  Hope you have something to do that you enjoy.  This time is really a blessing.  Really, it is.  And one day it will be over. Bye.

 

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.

 

June?!

I guess it’s June and almost Summer, but how did we get here so quickly?  I’m still back in May when Spring was new and the flowers were just opening up and the weather was almost nice except for all the rain.  And guess what?  June is becoming a very rainy month also. I feel so sorry for the guys who have been working on our house. They have actually worked outside in the rain, getting drenched and never complaining. At least I never hear them complain. Today is a beautiful day and they are working inside, of course.

The porch is more or less done. They will give the floor a second coat of stain and put up the screen doors after they are done working on our bathroom/laundry room.   Right now the place is all torn out and we have to run upstairs to use the bathroom. I can’t believe we lived like this for years with three children and one bathroom, but we did.  Now I look back at how we lived and I sound like an old pioneer woman when I tell our children how fortunate they are to have two or three bathrooms and Pampers.  I use to rinse all the cloth diapers in the toilet and wring them our WITH MY BARE HANDS and take them to the laundromat because as a pioneer woman, I had no washer and dryer at the time.  But I loved how fluffy and soft the diapers were after they were cleaned and I don’t regret it at all that I had to do all that. Now it’s  flip, a tape and a throw away and you are done with a diaper. Can’t help thinking how many landfills are full of those things.

But back to the bathroom/laundry. I can’t believe all the decisions one has to make about one little room.  Where to place the toilet and sink.  What kind of tile for the floor and shower.  What kind of faucets. What kind of lights. What color paint for walls, ceiling and woodwork.  I had no problem picking out the new washer and dryer. We have Maytags right now and they have been the best.  I could have probably used them for several more years, but me being only five foot one inches tall, it is becoming harder for me to reach clear down into the bottom of the top load washer to get all the clothes out, so we bought a front loader washer and dryer with stands so I think it will be easier to load and unload as I keep going into my tottering old age. Anyway, I hope it will be easier.  And they have a ten year warranty which is just about the time my warranty is up, so it’s all good.

I’ve been working on a patriotic wall hanging for the Fourth of July and onward. I get in the mood to sew and then something happens that I can’t get out into my shop and nothing gets done.  But here are some of the fabrics I am using.

 

Okay, this is how my fabric piles usually look when I am working on a quilt.

I really love this fabric and wish I had bought more of it.   This picture does not do it justice.

This is the pattern I am using. I got it over at Country Threads Chicken Scratch, Mary Etherington’s blog. I think you can still buy the pattern there until July 4th if you are interested. It’s a fun pattern, but I have to admit, it’s been a difficult one for me for some reason with all the pieces and my mind not quite on the job all the time with all that is going on.  But I have it pieced now and am starting to piece another one to go with it that I will show you when I’m done. It may be next July 4th, but be patient with me!

Here’s Uncle Sam’s legs. This is a long wall hanging which surprised me because I thought it would be little, but it’s not.  There is a pattern for a smaller one included which I may try sometime.

I did finish the quilting on a quilt I started last year.  A quilt I wanted to have for Autumn.

My apple quilt. I did a trash job of staging this quilt, didn’t I? Maybe when it’s done, I will show it off a little better. It deserves that.  But I do love it and will hang it up this Autumn. Maybe with a bowl of apples by it.

And I am still knitting socks. It’s really addictive and something I can do in the evening when I am watching my current favorite show, Wild At Heart, on Amazon Prime about a family that moves from Bristol, England to Africa. The father is a veterinarian and moves his family onto a game reserve and takes care of the animals. I really love this show. It’s family friendly. No cuss words.  No nudity. An old man in his underwear is as risqué as it gets which is fine with me. Too many shows now are so vulgar and going for shock value instead of a good story and good people.  Game of Thrones is one of them. So popular, but so vulgar.  I won’t be watching that one.  Not my cup of tea.  It’s getting harder and harder to find anything to watch on tv so I find myself watching it less and less which is probably a good thing actually.   I don’t even watch the news much any longer because it’s all so negative when I don’t think it needs to be.   Watch too much negative things and hateful things and you soon find yourself being negative and hateful.  And life is way too short to be negative and hateful.  I didn’t mean to get on a soapbox today.  Ignore me.

But, back to socks, I knit this pair and gave them to a friend who likes purple.

She had given me some flowers in a mason jar for Easter so I rolled these up and put them in the jar and tied a ribbon around it and gave them to her. Hope she likes them.

If you have been reading my blog, you know I have been having some health issues. I went to the doctor yesterday and he said it may not be my heart and was going to schedule a lung scan for blood clots. I really don’t think that’s what the matter is, but I’ll humor him and do the scan. Then the cardiologist set me up for a heart checkup where they go into your heart to see what the matter is and if they find something, he said they will fix it.  Still feeling breathless and faint at times even though I did plant twelve perennials this morning, but I find when I lean over and my head is below my knees, I don’t feel breathless or faint. Would be kind of hard to walk around like that for long though. Ha. Anyway, if you are a praying person, send up a prayer to My Father in Heaven because He knows exactly what is wrong.   But I don’t feel any fear about it all.

Enough about that.  Back to our new screened-in porch.  We had a gully washer of a rain the other day and we sat outside on it and didn’t get wet at all.

The wind was coming in at every direction and it was thundering and lightning.

Molly and Belle came running in and decided they really needed to rub against me!

Silly ol’ dogs.  And there’s David as close to the weather as he can get. He loves thunder and lightning.  I do, too, but at a safe distance and only if lightning doesn’t strike something.

Have a great day.  Hope the sun is shining down upon you. Bye.

 

 

 

 

Feeling Good?

How are you feeling today?  Do you have some aches and pains that are bothering you?  Do you have something on your mind that causes you problems?  Do you have a physical impairment getting you down?   Whatever you have or are suffering, you are very probably not alone.  Health is a funny thing. When you have it, you don’t treasure it as you should and when you don’t have it, you despair of ever having it again.   And if you regain your health, you are happy for a time and then start taking it for granted again.

I try to never take good health for granted any longer.  For the past two years I have been battling something and no doctor seems to know exactly what. I’ve had just about every test conceivable for my heart and the doctors tell me my heart is healthy, although I do have some extra beats in one chamber.   I feel tired and breathless a lot of the time and I can drop asleep at the well, drop of a hat!   I can’t remember a day for a long time where I got up with a lot of energy and pep.   I do get a lot of things done most days, but it can be a real drag on occasion.   Maybe it’s these dark, rainy days we have had lately. Ever since the builders started work on our screened in porch, it’s rained almost every day. It’s raining right now. Is there a man named Noah building an ark somewhere? I am soaked from going out and feeding and watering all the chickens.  The chickens don’t seem to mind the rain at all.  The yard is green and the flowers are all in bloom, so they like it, too, but I sure could use a little sunshine right now.

As for the screened in porch, it’s much bigger than I thought it would be.  We could hold a dance on it and have plenty of room. We have talked about David building a swing bed for it so we could sleep outdoors when we want.   I am so looking forward to decorating the porch with a rug, screens and lights.  Everyone tells us we are going to love our porch because the bugs won’t be able to get in and bother us and we can sit there even when it’s raining.   I’m sure we will enjoy it if it ever gets finished with all the rain we are having.  The roofer came and went yesterday and still no roof on it.   I should be out in my shop doing some quilting, but I’m no in the mood.   After sewing all those mug rugs for the women’s dinner at church, I felt a little burned out.  I’m wanting to get into the garden and transplant some flowers and I still have flower seeds to plant and a new bed to make for in front of the porch.

Finally got some pictures of the new porch to show you.

This was just the beginning.  Like I wrote, it’s rained every day since they started so the process has been slow.

Then the floor and the walls were built. See, the floor is wet from the rain!

Then the rafters. This is where it really begins to look like a porch.

The overseer says things are going as planned.  Poor Belle and Molly. They have been penned up for days because the workers have to leave the gate open to get in and out with things so the dogs are penned up while they are here. They will love it when the work is all done. They still have a bathroom to remodel. Thirty-six years ago this same contractor built our bathroom downstairs. Until that time, this old house had one bathroom for five people upstairs. Built in the 1950’s!   I know because when they tore out the old toilet that was the date on it.  We really needed a second bathroom then.  Now he is remodeling the one he built years ago.

Molly and Belle enjoying freedom for a time.

Roof is still not finished, but they may do it tomorrow, I’m told.

The porch is a whole lot bigger than I imagined it would be.

Other things have been happening.  The ladies at my church had a brunch last Saturday.  The theme was “Wonderfully Made by God.”  They used some of my quilts on the tables.

My chicken quilt. One of my favorites of all the ones I’ve made.

Tables were set with the church’s best china.  It was a pitch-in. I made cinnamon rolls.

The little mug rugs I made were placed under the coffee cups and everyone took one home.  I really had fun making these and have a few left. I made forty-two of them altogether. The speaker talked about how we are like unfinished quilts, but God has a plan for us and is making us into what he wants us to be if we let Him.  We may look unfinished to the world, but God has a plan and He’s working it all the time.

One of our grandsons had his Spring instrumental concert this past week.  All the fifth and sixth graders in all the elementary schools in their town gathered at one of the high schools to play a concert.

The gymnasium was full and parents and grandparents packed the seats.

I am so proud of this boy and am so glad he is taking an instrument.   Next year both he and his younger brother will be playing.

It takes concentration to play an instrument.   Makes me want to take up the violin again.

We thoroughly enjoyed being there and went out to eat afterward with them.

Here’s a picture of the little screen door I bought at the antique show a couple of weeks ago.

The real doors look exactly like this and I have a larger metal star just like the one on this door. It will hang on a wall in our new porch.

Hope you are feeling fine and having some sunshine where you are. I don’t remember what the sun looks like!  Ha.  Have a great weekend. David and I are having a Friday night date night. Something we haven’t done in a while. Dinner and a movie. Going to see Poms about older women who form a cheer leading squad. Should be funny.

Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sad Day

I told you about my baby chicks in the last post and today I have a sad thing to tell you. My Auracanas did not make it.  They looked a little puny after a day and yesterday one of them just sat and did not do anything and this morning the second one looked unwell.  I knew it was just a matter of time.  David, as usual, took care of the bodies for me, like he’s done ever since we’ve been married and I have had pets.   He’s less attached than me.  Sometimes you get sickly animals when you least expect it.  We had a dog once who was always nervous. She was scared of her own shadow. When I’d walk her, she would shy away from  mailboxes. We always wondered if she had poor eyesight or some nerve condition.  And one day she just up and died. No warning or anything.

Growing up on a farm there was always the chance of an animal dying. We had cows, pigs, one sheep, a horse, chickens, ducks, guineas, rabbits, dogs and cats.  There was always the chance of one of them dying or being part of a, ahem, meal.  So we learned early not to get too attached to the animals that were our food.  We did have one bull calf we named Penny because he was a beautiful copper color.  I helped hand raise him and he grew up big and strong and lord over all the cows.  But he was destined to be meat for our table and one day, the man who did the butchering, came to our house and shot him and dressed him for my father.  I stayed in the house all day and cried.  I vowed I would never eat any meat my mother cooked from him.  Long story short, my appetite got the better of my sadness and I did help eat Penny. But I still remember how beautiful he was. If this disturbs some of you, just remember that was and is farm life.  Most people don’t get to see where their food comes from and vegans would never have eaten Penny, but I was not and have never been a vegan.  We raised our own vegetables also so I know where they come from, too.

Boy, did I get a long way from the death of my baby chicks.  I guess it’s to say, it’s the circle of life. Some live longer than others, just like we humans and we feel sad about it, but we go on and maybe I will get more baby chicks in the future. I still have four of them that are hale and hearty and I hope will grow up to be good layers. I just won’t have blue eggs like I was hoping for.

Maybe you have a sad tale about a pet or animal you loved.   If you grew up on a farm, like me, you probably have several tales to tell. Bye.

Life’s a Little “Cheeper”

Turn your tv off. Stop listening to all the talking heads who only have opinions.  Put down your cellphone, unless you are reading this on it.  Take a deep, hearty breath of the fresh Spring air, if it’s Spring where you are and come visit with me for a while.  The more I hear the news, the more I want to turn it off because according to most “news” people life will end soon. So I have decided since I have such a short time to live, I may as well enjoy myself.

I indulged myself this week and got some baby chicks. I had argued with myself that I really didn’t need even more critters around that depend upon me for their livelihood.  Then I walked into Rural King and back to the troughs where they kept the baby chicks and my heart melted. I have lost two of my hens in the past month and it’s been kind of traumatic for me so I felt like I needed some little cheepers.    They are so adorable.  I had to get six as that was the fewest Rural King will sell at a time so I got two more Buff Orpingtons, two Barred Rocks and two Auracanas, ones who lay blue eggs.  I’m so looking forward to seeing those.  And here they are.

The Auracanas looked like little chipmunks. In fact, I asked the guy who was getting mine for me to get the ones who look most like chipmunks.  David said I should call them Chip and Dale, but since they are females, I am going to call them Chippy and Dahlia.   The Buff Orpingtons are Rosy and  Peony  and the Barred Rocks’ names are Violet and Pansy, keeping with the flower theme. In the past my chickens have been named for women in the Bible and women in my Sunday School class. This made it kind of bad when one of them died and I’d have to say so-and-so had died.  Miss Mary Foster is one of my older hens and the name of a good friend of mine and I’m thinking when Miss Mary Foster dies, I’m not telling anyone for fear someone would get the wrong idea.

They are as curious about me as I am of them.

Can you see why I think she looks like a chipmunk?

They keep me company in my shop while I sew.  One of them was cheeping all afternoon.

 

I have had to use this seam ripper several times with these blocks.

 

This is what I have been working on.  I am sewing a mystery quilt featured on Kathleen Tracy’s blog.  If you go to her blog and click on the files on mystery quilt, you can get the directions for four months of quilt blocks. When we have them all sewn, she will show us how we are to put them together into a quilt.   I don’t usually do this kind of thing, but this has been fun and I look forward to each month’s new block. And while going through some of my fabric, I found this fabric that has all the colors in the blocks.

If you are a quilter or sewer, you can understand how I felt when I found this fabric. Kind of like Christmas.  I can come upon a fabric I had forgotten about and it’s just like that to me!   I’m hoping I have enough of this for a border for this quilt.

It just goes so well with all the blocks.  It really does not take a whole lot to get me excited especially when it comes to quilting.

Another project I am just starting is this….

Found in this magazine…..

The blocks are made with one and one half inch pieces, the smallest I will go to make a quilt.

Then there is this square to be appliqued and embroidered.  I think I am going to really enjoy making this as I do love handwork like this.   I am making this to hang in my shop.  I’ll have to hurry because when the weather finally gets warm, I want to be outdoors as much as possible.  We are looking at 70 degree temperatures by the weekend.

And speaking of outdoors, we have corn out for the birds and whoever else wants it, but we never have seen anyone eating it until this week when I saw this squirrel busily munching on it.

He/she sat there for quite a while picking off kernels and eating them.

We are still feeding the birds, but soon they will be foraging for food in the wild again and won’t need our help.

The puppies are so happy with the warmer temperatures.   I do believe Molly is smiling here.

And she’s in a playful mood.  Both dogs’ tails are wagging like crazy here even though you can’t see it.

“Come on, Belle, let’s play!”  Belle will be twelve years old this year, 84 in people years so she decides when they play.  She still acts like a puppy at times and then at other times her joints hurt and she limps around.  I can’t believe she’s that old already. Seems like we just got her as a puppy not long ago. I guess that will be the next new pet I will be looking for.

Hope you are enjoying the beginning of Spring and that it’s warming up in your neck of the woods.  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.

Cluck, Cluck, Quilt.

I haven’t talked about my chickens for a while so here’s some pictures of my girls. It was a sunny day and they greeted me as they always do by the garden gate.

Loved the way the shadows played on their feathers.

Miss Mary Foster, my little crippled hen, but she doesn’t know that.  She lays one egg almost every day.

“Where’s the chicken crack?”

I have two Buff Orpingtons. They are so pretty and good egg layers also.

Every time I go to Rural King, I look at the baby chickens if they have them.  My flock is down to nine birds from twelve so I really can’t add many more until some of them go to, ahem, chicken heaven.    We won’t talk about that, though, especially around the ladies.   Having chickens is just so much fun for me and I can’t see a future without them.  I have to hire a pet sitter for them when we go away just like for the dogs.

Just had to share these pictures of Molly Marshmallow sitting out in her chair nodding off to sleep.

She almost fell off the chair and I was laughing at her as I took her pictures.

My pets give me endless joy.

I told you in my last post I was doing a mystery block quilt and I finally got it done.  In fact, I got several done.   Kathleen Tracy shared this pattern on her Facebook page so if you want to make one of these quilts, go to her group under files and find the pattern. It’s really simple, something I needed right now and yet I ended up with a very cute quilt.  Here are mine….

This was the first one I made.  I bought the ticking at an antique store and the floral fabric I originally bought years ago to make an apron, but decided I’d rather put it in quilts as I have a lot of aprons already.

Then I decided to make a Christmas themed one…

And then another vintage looking one…

And material for yet another one, which I already have all cut out…

These little quilts are almost addictive. They are quick to make and now I have a good start on next year’s Christmas!

I bought this book of Kathleen Tracy’s a while back and have made a few small quilts from it.

I made the quilt that is on the cover. Don’t have it quilted yet, but think this one will be hand quilted.

Here it is hanging behind my cardio-glide which I use once in a while for exercise.

I have my quilting mojo back. It kind of got lost in my sock knitting craze. I still knit a little every single day and everyone got or is getting socks if they want them for Christmas. I just hung them up on the fireplace mantle and let people pick a pair they want.

You can just see the socks on the mantle at the right.

We had one Christmas gathering with family already last Saturday night.   We had a good time together, although one of my grandsons was not feeling well. They found out this week he has abcesses in his colon and is on antibiotics for it now.   He was really sick for a few days.   Anyway, I gave him and his older brother each a pair of these socks.(warning to all Trump haters, don’t look!)

There is a company called John’s Crazy Socks. This man has a son with Down’s Syndrome and they started a company together and sell all kinds of socks and I found these and knew I had to buy them.

Along with the socks, I got a thank you note from John and a small bag of Skittles.  Kind of a nice touch for a company.

Anyway, the socks were a hit.

Put on and modeled. The socks come with a little comb to  comb President Trump’s hair.

Went out yesterday and saw these flowers blooming.

Honeysuckle. Confused because we have had such warm temperatures the past few days.  It won’t last, but it’s been nice.

Before we know it, it will be Spring. Someone said only about ninety-five days away which will fly by like it all does now.

Another project that I have become obsessed with.  Making twine.  I got the directions from this magazine which I love.

They call it ribbon in the magazine, but I call it twine.  It’s great for decorating packages, but I also think I will use it to tie up plants on stakes and maybe use as shoelaces.   Here’s how much twine I’ve made so far.

It’s really fun to make and is so pretty.   And last, but not least, another quilt I plan to make after Christmas, if not before…..

I’m done making large quilts for a while although I do have a few UFO’s I do need to finish.  Looks like a busy year ahead for quilting.

This was David’s and my very first Christmas tree the first year we were married. We went out in the woods and cut it down. I didn’t have a lot of ornaments then, but I loved our first tree and our first tiny house.  You see those tiny houses on tv now. Well, we lived in a tiny house with three tiny rooms and  I had to shower in the basement under an open shower head, no bathroom down there.    We didn’t live there long, but I have such happy memories of it.

Feeling nostalgic?  My next post will be about Christmases past.   Bye.

 

 

Autumn Weekend

Autumn has officially began with all its glory.  No, the trees are not changing color yet, but lots of things shout that Autumn is here. Everywhere you go, you see pumpkins at roadside stands, in fields and at grocery stores.  Mums in all different colors are displayed and tempt us to buy one, two or three.

Candy corn and candy pumpkins are put out in the stores. We have already gone through three bags of candy pumpkins or I should say,  David has gone through three bags of pumpkins. I ate one pumpkin, but I think they taste like wax.   I did some baking in an Autumn theme.  Cookies for a bake sale iced in orange icing and sprinkled with orange sprinkles.  My daughter said they made $275 for the MS Society at the sale, the charity the children chose to donate to.  I also baked a caked, iced in orange icing with candy pumpkins on top.

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I am slowly decorating for Autumn.

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The little tray I bought at an antique store filled with, what else, pumpkins.

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I love getting out all my Autumn quilts.  I am working on a pumpkin quilt right now and have an apple one to finish.  Maybe this week or next  I will be done painting and will have time to devote to quilting.  Speaking of painting, I have been painting on something since the first of the year.  I painted the inside of my shop, the shed, the outside of my shop, boards for our new screened in porch, stained and polyurethaned  two screen doors, and today I finished staining the floor of our front porch once again. I also am preparing to paint four new barn quilts to hang on the front of our house.   To say I am growing tired of painting is an understatement.

I love changing out my wardrobe from Summer things to cool weather things. I am getting out my clothes and washing and ironing them getting ready for a new season.

 

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Our Grandboys spent the weekend with us.  It’s always fun to have them here. We went to see the movie, “Small Foot” about a man taken in by the Yeti who considered him an object of curiosity.   It was cute, but I thought the music was way too loud.  The movie, “Goosebumps 2” that is coming looks really good. I don’t see too many movies anymore because most just aren’t my cup of tea.  There are very few movies made for adults that appeal to me.  There is always a hidden message that I don’t care to see. Why does Hollywood do that?  Just make a good movie with good dialogue and we will come.

Took the boys to church and right in the middle of it, one of them left to go to the bathroom and was in there for a very long time so David got up to check on him. A while later, here they came and Foster had lost a tooth.   He put it in his pocket to take home, but later I saw it lying on the floor underneath a pew.  Wonder what the janitors would have thought about finding a tooth in the sanctuary?  I use to clean our church. I found some strange stuff at times.

Anyway, he put the tooth back in his pocket and I hope the tooth fairy was good to him.

We took the boys home and visited with our granddogs.  I love Golden Retrievers, but I will never have one because of the long hair that has to be brushed all the time.  My daughter’s Goldens are just beautiful and the sweetest things.  I took lots of pictures of them with the boys.

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Lily, on the floor is the mother.

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Two sweet faces.

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Now that’s a doggie smile. My son-in-law was telling me that one day when he was off work, he was putting his shoes on to take a walk and the dogs all knew what was happening and he said they all looked like they had big smiles on their faces because they knew they were going out for a walk with him. Oliver, the dog who lost his leg in a trap, still wanders sometimes.   You would think he had learned.

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This is Oliver, the one I wrote a story about. He is so beautiful and you hardly notice he has a leg gone.

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You can tell the boys and the dogs love each other.

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Really tried to get a picture outside, but the dogs didn’t cooperate.  They wanted to play.

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My grandson made a basketball goal out of paper just because he wanted to.

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I like to encourage creativity.  I think he did a good job.

This week will be more trips to Indianapolis for my daughter’s PT.  We had a little excitement coming home last time. We were driving along on the interstate and a car with some men inside, drove up beside us and a man pointed to our car and wanted us to stop. Me, being the paranoid person I am, and having heard of scams where men do this to women to get them to stop, I told my daughter to just keep driving. The men had pulled off to the side of the interstate thinking we would follow them. We were near our exit and the outlet mall where David works so we drove to the store and I went in and he came out to see. Lo and behold, we had a sort of flat tire.  David looked at it and had us go to a filling station to fill it with air.     A side story. Once when we were traveling through Arizona, we stopped at a filling station and suddenly a man came up and looked under our car and said if we didn’t have a certain thing repaired, our car might flip. David, being a mechanic in the military, knows about cars and blew him off.  We traveled thousands of miles in that car afterward with absolutely no trouble, so I believe we were being scammed in that instance.  But me, I worried all the time about that car flipping!   I am completely useless when it comes to cars and their repairs.

Remember when we had the kittens under our porch?  Our daughter took one and Sunday was the first time I had seen him since she adopted him.

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He is beautiful with a beauty mark on his face.

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But very hard to hang on to.  He’s made them a nice pet.

Here’s to Autumn, Goldens, Grandboys and Cats. Bye.