Category Archives: Pets I love

Summer Daze

Okay, I know it’s not quite Summer yet, but it sure feels like it with the heat and humidity.  Today was a picture perfect day with hardly a cloud in the blue, blue sky.  The seasons are running together now for me. I no sooner get ready for one season then it is another one and so on and so on. This is my favorite time of year when the birds are building their nests and raising their families. David and I watched a daddy bird feed one of his babies in our bird feeder today.  There are so many birds. Cardinals, nuthatches, chickadees, Titmice, sparrows, cowbirds, blue jays,( who are nasty critters, I must say) starlings,who lay blue eggs I learned this Spring, purple finches and some I don’t know what they are called.  But the feeder is constantly busy. I saw a humming bird also. They have been very secretive about coming to the feeder and I can never catch them.

The garden just burst into bloom. When they say something bursts into bloom it’s true.  One day nothing and the next day flowers everywhere. If you don’t believe in miracles, go out into a garden and you will see so many all around you. I always wonder how a tree knows when it is time to unfurl it’s leaves. When a daffodil knows to pop its head out of the ground.  Who tells the birds when to fly north. I know, but do you?    It’s all perfectly miraculous.  It’s going on all around us every single day and most of us are blind to it.   That is why it says in the Bible, be still and know that I am God.  Just sit quietly in a garden for a while and if you don’t believe there is a greater Being making all this happen, I don’t know what to tell you.  I believe and I see it every day.

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Bursts. See.

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The peony is one of my top five favorite flowers. I have a lot of them in my garden and I just ordered seven more to be planted this Autumn.

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I want to just stop and look and look at these, but there is work to do.

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But then, there are these beauties. The Iris. On my top five list.  They multiply and you don’t have to do a single thing to make it happen.

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I never have enough flowers, but I am running out of room.

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My daughter and son-in-law gave me this for Mother’s Day.  I love it. But I am not very good with hanging baskets so I hope I can keep this as beautiful as it is now.  By the way.  I had a very nice Mother’s day.  My grandsons learned to play Chinese checkers the last time they were here so they wanted us all to play.  Six people playing Chinese checkers takes a long time. Especially when some people refuse to move!  But it was fun. We played on the Chinese checkerboard I received for Christmas one year when I was a little girl.

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This is not David’s grandmother’s clematis.  This is one we transplanted here years ago and it has really taken off.  It’s what I see from my backdoor.

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Just gorgeous.

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And Molly Marshmallow has to get into the picture. I love this dog. So much.

I always say the back yard is the dogs’ garden because I don’t get all upset if they dig something up or lay smack dab in the middle of a flower bed.

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Here is Belle demonstrating her gardening capabilities.  Which pretty much amounts to snooping, sniffing, pooping and digging. But that’s okay.

I have managed to complete one small quilt in the midst of all the gardening and painting my shop.   It’s another one from Kathleen Tracy’s book.

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It’s nice to do a small project once in a while where you can see the results so much faster.

And I am nearly finished with this quilt.

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I hand quilted it instead of on the machine and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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I still have the border to quilt and the binding to put on.  I already have another quilt I am planning to hand quilt on my mind.  It is slightly bigger. It fits the top of the table David is making me.

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Here’s the table on its side so that he can screw the bottom shelf on.

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And here it is on its feet.  The top still needs staining and polyurethaned but it’s almost there. You can see I still do not have the floor completely painted. Trying to think what I am going to do with the grandchildren’s handprints and pictures they painted on the floor years ago. I am keeping them for sure.   I love this table. We got the idea for it at the Indiana Home Show a couple of years back where I saw a kitchen island that looked like this and I loved it.  The price for the kitchen island?  Ten thousand dollars!  The price of this table with lumber, stain, screws and casters?  Under $500 which is still not cheap, but a whole lot cheaper than the one we saw at the home show.   It will last my lifetime and one of the kids will inherit it if they want it, but they will have to have a big place to put it as it’s huge.   I can see myself this Winter cutting out quilts and laying quilts on this table to pin before I quilt them. And there is so much storage underneath. I am going to buy some baskets to hold projects I am working on.  Thank you, David.  I love you.

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I have my mother’s Singer sewing machine. The machine I learned to sew upon. When my mother got this machine, it was the newest one out and she was so proud of it. David, who has worked on many sewing machines in his life says this is the best sewing machine Singer ever put out with metal gears.  So many of the sewing machines today have plastic gears. And talking about sewing machines.  I came in my shop with wet Crocs and feet the other day and sat down to piece a quilt square and got shocked.   I blamed the machine and immediately began to look for a new sewing machine online. David says it’s because I had wet bare feet that I was shocked, but I have talked myself into a new machine.  A heavy duty quilting machine.    I have worn out a few machines and mine are all over twenty years old with a lot of miles on them so I am getting a new machine.  But no more sewing with wet bare feet!

 

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This little girl is graduating from high school this weekend. I can hardly believe it. I remember when this picture was taken.  My son and daughter-in-law lived in Chicago and both her grandmas got to go with her mother and her to get her pictures taken. It was so much fun and we grandmas watched all gaga over this precious little baby that had come into our lives. Now she is all grown up and ready to meet the world.   I’m still gaga over her and so very proud.

Here’s to wonderful granddaughters, new sewing tables and learning NOT to sew in wet, bare feet. Bye.

 

 

 

 

Authors in the Family and Letter writing

I always have loved to write.  If I were disciplined enough and didn’t have so many hobbies like quilting, knitting, gardening and reading, I might have had time to write a book.  I have written short stories for my grandchildren in which they are the main characters, but that is as far as I have gotten to being an author.  Writing here on my blog seems to satisfy my need to write.

Our oldest granddaughter actually wrote a book when she was fourteen and had it published.  One of our grandsons likes to write and wrote a story about me trying to get to my birthday party.

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I guess that’s me in the picture!

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Wish you could read it. According to the story, I took a subway from Chicago to Lafayette, Indiana. There was a ship wreck and cyclone I had to deal with also.  Quite a feat if I do say so myself.  But I did get to my birthday party!

His brother made a really nice birthday card for me also.

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Better than any store bought card any day in my estimation.

I got a letter the other day from the same grandson who wrote the story, asking for a size 11 pair of socks.  I think he was asking for his dad because I did not knit his dad socks for Christmas this year.   Not sure.  I was just glad to get a letter. The art of letter writing in this day of cellphones and texting and E-mails has gone the way of the Dodo bird.  It takes time to gather a pen and paper and sit down and write down your thoughts, then find an envelope and a stamp and go to the mailbox and mail the letter. If someone does that for you, it’s a real blessing. It means they are thinking of you and you are worth their time.  I wrote him back and also told him to tell his brother to write me also and I would write back.  Maybe we have started something here.  Maybe I need to sit down and write a letter to everyone who means something to me.  Have you ever written a person and told them what they have meant in your life?  A teacher, or relative or friend?     I bet if you did, they would be so happy to get it. I got a birthday card a couple of weeks ago in which a friend had written a prayer for me and it meant so much.   For some reason, a letter means more than a text or even a quick phone call because it means the person thinks you are worth it.

Do they even sell stationary any longer?  I remember as a girl looking at all the pretty stationary and spending time selecting some. Stationary came in pretty boxes and there was usually a picture of something on the top of each page.   I had pen pals I wrote to in Sweden and around the United States.   The two girls I wrote to in Sweden would send me little gifts and I would send them something and we did this for a few years and then we lost contact.  I still have a picture they sent me of the two on them on ice skates  by a lake.   Hard to imagine they are old ladies like myself now.    I often wonder about them. I tried to find them on the internet, but someone I contacted, who  I thought might be one of them, never contacted me back, so I figured it was the wrong person.

I just finished writing a story based on my daughter’s Golden Retriever who lost a leg in a trap a few weeks ago.  I tried to write it from the dog’s point of view and I tried to imagine what he went through, caught in a trap in the middle of the forest for fourteen days.   I still am amazed he survived his ordeal.  My daughter says he runs fast now and coming toward you, you can’t even tell he is missing a leg, but he limps when he walks. It’s amazing how resilient animals are.  After I have done some polishing of the story I will give it to my daughter and her family to read and then I may post it on here.

Have you written a letter recently?   Is there someone who would LOVE to hear from you?

In other news, the work on my shop is going quite well. I have several shelves painted and all but one wall painted and now I am working on the floor.   It takes two days for each coat of paint I put on the floor to dry so it’s a slow process.  Plus, I can only do small portions at a time as I have to move stuff from one side to another.  When this gets done, I am done for a while. I did mention to David that my girly room is in need of fresh paint and he told me to get one project done before I started thinking of the next one!  Maybe this Autumn that room will get freshening up.

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It looks like the walls are pink, but they are dazzling white.

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It’s so nice to have clean, freshly painted walls on which to hang things again. I have decided I am not going to burn candles in here anymore as everything was blackened by the candle smoke.   I have burnt a lot of candles in here through the years.   While I love to burn candles, they do leave a bit of soot even if you cannot see it at the time.   So air fresheners will have to do unless someone can give me some advice on what to use. I’d like to do something with peppermint extract because spiders don’t like peppermint.

I also am trying to make some little quilts from these two books I got in the mail a couple of weeks ago.

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I really love this quilt on the cover and want to make it.  There will be some appliqueing in my future.  In this book, Kathleen Tracy writes of a young woman, Adelia, who lived during the Civil War and shows us some of her diary entries.  It is very interesting. I love reading about this time in American history although it was a very hard time and many lives were lost.

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This is another quilt in the book that I want to try. I love green and pink together.  So Spring like.

I am working on this quilt right now and am loving the process.

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It’s a small quilt and just about all I can handle right now.   Its from this book by Jo Marten.  I want to make every single quilt in his book.  I’m thinking of having a quilt wall in my shop of all little quilts.

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It’s becoming Spring in my neck of the woods. Daffodils are blooming on the south side of my shop and many more are getting ready to burst into bloom.  I know this sounds crazy, but I’m kind of sad to see Winter go as I had so many plans to finish so many projects that did not get done.  I did get some more socks knitted.

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Believe it or not, David loves these and wore them to church this morning.

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These go in the gift bag. I have another pair completed and am working on my Christmas socks. Yes, Christmas. I think about Christmas all the time because I make so many presents.  But the Christmas socks will be mine. The first pair of Christmas socks I knit turned out to be too pink, so they go in the gift bag also.  I also have yarn to knit David Christmas socks.  So, there you go.

Spring starts next week.   Enjoy it because right behind it comes Summer and the heat.   I hope we have a mild Summer this year. Not too hot or cold.

I will leave you with a smiling face.

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Molly Marshmallow says, “Hi.”   Took her to the vet for some shots and  she remembered him from when she was there a few months ago because she got so excited when he walked in the door like she was greeting her long, lost friend.  She doesn’t greet me like that!  Here’s to happy dogs. Bye.

 

 

Brrrrrrr!

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

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So cold my little snowmen had to build a campfire.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I was so close to being done piecing the top.

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

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

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

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

 

 

Autumn Daze and Country Roads

I had the best two days this past week doing something I love to do. Drive along country roads and go antiquing.  There was an event going on.  Several ladies had joined together to have a tour of their home owned shops out in the hills and valleys of southern Indiana. It was called Country Neighbors.  Now country neighbors don’t always live close to each other.     When David and I started out, we didn’t have a map, just addresses I had gotten off the internet.  Miss Garmin had a problem finding the first one.  We missed it entirely.   But just remember, the best is usually saved until the last.

It was just by happenstance I saw a sign along the road  regarding one of the shops and then we realized there were signs all over if we had known to watch for them. After that, we had no problem finding them as we got a map at this particular one.

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Please forgive me if I don’t put the names of  all the shops here as we went to several and I can’t remember which was which, but this one was called  the Washhouse for a reason you will soon see  It was so wonderful with so much to see and so much to buy if you chose to do so. I bought several things here.  I added to my Santa Claus collection. Getting to this place was quite a trip along high cliffs and woods.

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This was a gem of a scenic drive that not many people see.  Most people go to Brown County to see the Fall foliage, but this was just as beautiful and we were the only people there.

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The colors of the leaves on the trees was just wonderful.  This picture looks magical to me.

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It was just a gorgeous Autumn day.  But, back to the shop…..

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The proprietor had a washhouse where she actually did her laundry, but it didn’t look like any ordinary laundry room. It was a building off by itself.  Full of all kinds of old laundry paraphernalia like wooden clothespins, wash tubs, old baskets and old clothes pin bags hanging on the walls.

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Here is David getting ready to go inside.  Long underwear hung on clotheslines outside.

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She really had quite the collection.

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And she really did her laundry here because there are her washer and dryer hidden underneath a cloth. If I had a laundry room like this, I would be doing laundry every day!

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This was another little shop and here are some pictures from a few others.

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Each was unique in its own way.

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I remember this one only because the lady who had the shop told us to go on through her house and look at it.  I was a little concerned to just walk into a stranger’s house and look all over it and I said, “Do you really mean we can go walk around your house?”  And she said, Yes,” so she didn’t have to tell me again and in David and I went into one of the most wonderful houses I have ever seen. Her husband was standing in the kitchen offering hot cider(which I am not fond of) and I said to him, “How do you feel having strangers walk through your house?” and he answered “I’m use to it.”  I found out this house had been in the magazine, Country Sampler and another magazine I don’t remember the name. It did look like it came right out of the pages.   Her décor was primitive with woolens folded neatly in an old cupboard. The bathroom is the rustic bathroom of my dreams and I told David if we ever get our little house built in our woods I want my bathroom to look like hers. I didn’t take any pictures because I didn’t feel right doing so, but if you ever get the chance to see this house, you must do it.  Her shop is called Mustard Seed.

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She has this cute sign out on her front lawn.

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As you can see from this brochure, Mustard Seed and the Washhouse will be open on December 1st and 2nd and will be decorated for Christmas.  Oh, How I would love to go back.  Maybe we will.  Who knows.   These shops are well worth the trip.

So we wandered through the countryside looking for all the shops and finding most of them.

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I really, really loved this building.

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And this little shop in a little barnlike structure.  I was fascinated by all the lighting in this shop. The husband had done some very unique light fixtures, one being an old fan. He used canning jars and hung them from the ceiling with old fashioned looking light bulbs inside them.    He directed us to the last shop we were going to and believe me, it was the best one and I don’t have any pictures because there was so much to see, I didn’t have time. It was in a very nice neighborhood by a state park. The lady who lived there had made her backyard a wonderland of old buildings and antique art with little old looking shops full of goodies to buy.  While waiting for me to get out of a shop David saw two deer and I got a picture of the backside of one of them before it got away.  But I can’t show it because I forgot to download it. I did buy a primitive table painted red. David and I had a discussion about how I had too many tables already and I won the discussion because it came home with us and sits in my girly room as I type.  We are going to put our Christmas tree on it.   One day, when we are gone, our kids are going to have the neatest stuff or the best auction!  I keep telling David I am buying our children’s legacy.  Ha.

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David is the perfect travel companion.  He drives me everywhere safely and waits patiently as I look at everything.  He did find himself a canister of buttons as he is a button collector and has thousands of them all over my workshop.  I am blessed and I know it.

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We drove by woods, old barns, bucolic scenery, majestic old houses, and little churches that dotted the countryside.

We followed a swollen river for miles.  They had had a lot of rain in southern Indiana and the rivers were overflowing their banks.

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The river was this close to the road.

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We drove down this road and came to water standing in it and David thought about driving through until I said a big “NO!” imagining us getting caught up in the current and swept downstream never to be heard of again, so we turned around and went another way.  It can be an adventure sometime to drive backroads.

Sunday was church and a day of rest and then today we got up early and drove to our younger grandboys’ school for a Veteran’s Day program. They put one on every year and invite veterans to come. The children sing patriotic songs and the principal gave a speech and a retired army colonel spoke and a boy played taps for all those lost in wars.  I must say, I got tears in my eyes hearing the children sing and a lump in my throat hearing taps.  David and I have talked about him being in the military. I have said it is my one regret that I did not join a branch of the military when I was a young girl.  It would have been good for me, I think.   We counted up all the days David was gone from home while in the National Guard and he was gone well over a year of our marriage and that doesn’t include the times he was traveling to other states to take classes.  He would go to different states and take pictures while there and later on our family would take trips to see what he saw.   That is how David and I have traveled in most of the states.  He was in the guard for over 36 years and not until he retired did he tell me he did not enjoy it. He was taking care of his family and that is what it meant to him.   It was a job and he did it well and was well respected by the men in his unit.  I didn’t know how well until one time we went to a Veteran’s Day parade in Indianapolis that he was taking part in and so many young men came up to him and saluted him and greeted him with smiles.  It made me very proud of him.

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This picture is horrible but here he is with our grandboys during the program.  They are learning to love our country, what serving our country means and they say the pledge of allegiance.  So proud of them, too.

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There was a bigger crowd this year than usual.   I think this school must be growing. It’s one of the highest rated schools in Indiana for elementary academics.   So happy my grandsons are going here.

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God bless our flag

Now to end this post with some added sweetness.

Our daughter’s golden retriever had puppies a couple of weeks ago.  She had eleven and six of them lived.

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They don’t pick them up for two weeks and it was so hard for me to keep my hands off of them.

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Such a sweet mama. Their little bellies were full as you can see.

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This is proud papa.

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In a couple of weeks we will go see them and I can hold them then.  Can’t wait.

To end this post today I will tell you a cute story. Or at least I think it’s cute. David came into the house today and told me to put on my shoes and come outside, he had something to show me.  I had no idea what it was.  He said he had heard our little lame chicken, Miss Mary Foster, just cackling up a storm like she had just laid an egg.

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This is Miss Mary Foster. She is such a pet.  She follows me around when I am in the chicken yard hoping for some extra chicken scratch and she gets it.

Anyway David showed me this.

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Just a bunch of old boxes and wood stacked in the garden,  but……..DSCN6449

behind it, Miss Mary Foster had been laying her eggs for at least five days. I don’t know why she started laying here as she has been laying in the chicken house, but now we know she is hiding her eggs.  I wonder if she thinks she can hatch them?  She can’t because they are not fertilized as we have no roosters. Poor Mary Foster.  Her hopes are dashed.

Here’s to darling shops, fun drives, puppies and sly chickens.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Creatures Feathered and Furry

I have been surrounded with animals all my life.  I grew up on a farm where there were cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, guinea hens, cats, dogs, one horse and one lone sheep.  I was always feeding, playing with or doing something with animals every single day.  Feed the dogs. Feed the chickens. Gather the eggs.  Feed the calves.  Play with the new kittens in the hayloft.  I was never without an animal.  I grew to love animals and my daddy always taught me you take care of your animals before you take care of yourself because they are completely helpless unless we humans take care of them. My daddy loved farming and loved his animals.  He didn’t name any of them like I do mine because a lot of our animals ended up on our dinner plate at some time.

When I go out to feed and water my chickens, they run to meet me.  I like to tell myself it’s because they are happy to see me when I know for a fact it’s just because I’m the one with the food!

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As soon as they see me coming, they start running to the gate.  Here comes Bernice, Dorcas, Freedom, Shannon, Jan, Linda, Marilyn, Phoebe and Donna. Miss Mary Foster is always behind because of her little lame leg.

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And they act rather offended when I don’t immediately throw them some food.

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“You mean there is no chicken scratch in your hand?  Well, Hurump!”

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A couple of the new hens have started laying I believe. See those two little eggs among the others?   That usually means a hen has begun laying for the first time.  They are perfect little eggs, good enough to eat, but you have to eat three of them to make up for one of the larger ones.

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This is Shannon. She was supposed to be a Buff Orpington, but she got mixed in with them. I think she’s a Brahma. If you know otherwise, let me know because she was quite the surprise to us. Kind of like when you are expecting a girl and get a boy.

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This is Donna.  A Golden

 

 

Laced Wyndotte.  Her feathers are so shiny and have a teal color to them on her back.

 

 

 

 

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But on the front she is orange and black.

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We have three barred rocks now. My favorite one, Penninah died a few months back.  Yes, it made me sad.

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Freedom in her nesting box. She always screams when I open the door like she is offended that I looked in.  She screams every time she sees me.  Don’t know why. Maybe she is telling the other chickens I’m around.

The furry pets keep me busy, too.

After caring for the chickens, I often sit on the swing on the porch of a little cabin we have in our back yard.  I am never alone.

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As soon as I sit down, Molly Marshmallow hops up beside me and gets her bottom as close as she can to me without sitting on my lap.

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I sit there trying to mind my own business, but…….

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Sniff, slurp, lick and she is all over me with loving.   I love this dog despite the fact she has been one of the most worrisome dog we have ever had.  She demands a lot of attention and is very jealous of our other dog, Bonnie.

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Speaking of Bonnie, she knows immediately when Molly and I are sitting on the swing and she saunters over to see what trouble she can cause because she knows Molly is jealous of her.

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Before long there is a tussle on the porch.  This may look fierce, but both tails are wagging during the whole confrontation.

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Then Belle gets tired of it all and goes to lay under some grass with a bone.

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Then Miss Jealousy comes over to see if she can get the bone.

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And she always manages to do so.  It’s a constant battle with these two. I can give them each a bone and they only fight over one of them.   I just sit there and laugh at their antics.

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It’s tough being a dog, you know.

I need to finish up some things from my trip to Evansville a couple of weeks ago.

While we were traveling, we stopped at a quilt shop. Now I haven’t been quilting for quite some time as I have gotten involved in knitting socks.  Lots of socks.  But I actually bought some fabric.

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I found it funny the fabric had farm fresh eggs on it and only had roosters pictured. Don’t think you will get many eggs from a rooster. Heck, the hen doesn’t even need the rooster to produce eggs.   I guess whoever designed this fabric thought roosters were prettier than hens.

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Dream on.

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Yes, all chickens should be free to range.  Put on their little cowboy hats and over the range they go!

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Everyone wants healthy chickens.  Plenty of clean water, food and a large enough place to range and most chickens live a very healthy life.

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I just liked this fabric because there were several designs on it to use.

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I know I will be using this in something.

I had to stop at a yarn shop while we were out.  And this is what I bought.

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They had so many self striping yarns.

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Cute little markers. I am always losing mine.  Somewhere there is a yarn marker heaven where all my markers are waiting for me.  I don’t know where they go and I never find them.

And two other things that have floated my boat lately.

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My fairy godmother, Shannon, gave me this cute bowl to hold yarn while I am knitting.  I love it.  That book behind it, “Use it Up, Wear it out, Make it Do or Do Without,” is a book we sold in our store years ago and there is that particular quilt in it that I have planned for years to make.  I met one of the author, Mary, when we were passing through Iowa. She and her friend, Connie wrote books and patterns together and had the company, Country Threads and a quilt shop by that name which was wonderful and inside an old chicken coop. Now that I am getting interested in quilting again, maybe I will piece it. I did manage to pin two quilts together for quilting and I hope to get them done this year.

I didn’t plant much of a garden this year.  I do have a few tomato plants where I am getting loads of tomatoes.

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David also went out and cut some more rhubarb. We have had so much of it this year and I have frozen a bunch.  We won’t starve with rhubarb, eggs and tomatoes available just for the picking.

The main garden area is full of pumpkin vines.

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It needs rain.

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Several pumpkins are forming.  The vine has grown up over the fence and into the garden and Molly has picked a few pumpkins.   It’s even growing up onto the grape vine and over another fence into our neighbor’s yard. He may be picking pumpkins also!

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This one is turning orange already.   Hope it will last until Autumn when I will decorate with them and give some to grandkids if there are enough.

Still haven’t got my bathroom completely done yet.  I have one wall I am trying to decide how to decorate, but I did get this picture which hangs above me as I lay in the bathtub.

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I just think she is beautiful.   I have always loved the lore about mermaids.  I just watched the movie, “Splash,” with Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah which we saw many, many years ago at a mall in Georgia.   I love that movie.  Why can’t Hollywood make more movies like that with happy endings?  I loved the part where Tom Hank’s character asked Daryl Hannah’s character how they spoke where she lived and she started this high pitched screech that broke all the television screens in the store they stood in.

Here’s to all things feathered and furry and mermaids.  Wish they were real.  Bye.

 

 

The Color Purple

My garden changes almost weekly, it seems.  In the Spring the first flowers to bloom are the daffodils in bright yellows and pinks.   Now we are in the purple faze of the garden.

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I think these are flowers that came back from wild seeds I planted last year.  Dame’s rocket or phlox, I’m not sure.

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Clematis on our back deck.  It was floundering on the back of my shop so we moved it last year and is thanking us with all these blooms this year.

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Salvia and Irises.  Two of my favorite flowers for needing very little care.

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Not all my irises are purple.  This picture does not do this beauty justice.

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Irises come back every year prettier than ever and they seem to double in size.  I have to divided these clumps this year.

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Dogs grow in my garden too.  Molly Marshmallow is free to roam all through my flowers.  I call the back garden the dogs’ garden.  Surprisingly, my flowers are none the worse for wear with the dogs rooting through them for moles.

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Yes, Molly, that’s why you always have a bone to chew so you won’t chew my flowers!

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Last week my upstairs bathroom looked like this.

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Now it’s beginning to take shape.  The quartz cabinet top and new faucet still need to be installed.  But, I get to take my tub baths again. Oh, how I missed them.

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Love these new lights. They are so bright I told the contractor I could get a tan while in my bathroom.

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Just wanted to share a wonderful book I just finished, The Practice House by Laura McNeal.  I hated for it to end.  It tells about the dust bowl in the 1930’s and one family’s troubles and triumphs during that time.  It’s also about an immigrant from Scotland who becomes an important part of this family in more ways than one.   I got it free on Kindle Unlimited.  I love Kindle Unlimited.  I have read books by authors I might not have ever read if I had to buy every book and I have found some pretty good authors.   I don’t know how they make money on their books by being on Kindle Unlimited, but I am glad they are.

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This weekend is Mother’s Day.  My children and I are not getting together this weekend, but are planning a trip to Cincinnati.  I have noticed on Mother’s Day, the restaurants are all so busy and you have to wait for seats and I thought we could celebrate another day.  After all, every day should be mother’s day.  We should show respect and love our mothers every day.  I miss my mother even though she has been gone many years.  We never stop needing our mothers.  Some days I wish I could talk to her and get her opinion on something.   I know I will see her one day and look forward to that.  I hope she knows I am sorry for all the problems I caused her when I was a teen-ager.  I was sort of a rebellious child and gave her a few grey hairs while I was growing up, but I always knew she loved me.   God bless you, Mom.  I miss you.  Happy Mother’s Day.

If you have a mother, have lost your mother, been a mother or had someone who mothered you, Happy Mother’s Day.  Bye.

 

 

The People in My Shop and Other Things of Interest(for me anyway)

This past week I got some people who arrived in my shop.  They are pretty quiet people.  They don’t exercise much.   They just kind of stand there and wait around. For what, I don’t know.  They didn’t have any clothes to wear so I have been trying to come up with things to cover them.

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They meet me at the door. No hello. No nothing.

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They stand by my work table and watch me work on my projects.   Gee, I wish they’d put some clothes on.

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I finally threw some lace tablecloths over a couple of them and I thought it looked kind of nice. Maybe I could dress them as brides with flowers and everything.

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Or I could take some Modge Podge and make them into patchwork people.

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I have hundreds of these two and a half inch blocks I could Modge Podge all over the people.  I could even Modge Podge  old maps on them.  There are so many ideas to dress these people up.

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Whatever I do, these people are probably here to stay for a while. Actually, where David works they were going to throw out these  dress forms and I offered to take a few off their hands. I got five of them. I could have gotten lots more, but there is only so much room in my shop.  I have all kinds of ideas for them to dress up my shop with these people.  I am going to do some major cleaning and painting and redoing this year and David is going to build me a large table where I can pin my quilts for quilting.   I want a shabby chic look because that is the look I am fascinated with at the moment.  Throughout the years, my decorating style has changed drastically.  I loved the country look, the primitive look, and right now our house has an eclectic look.  Every room has its own theme.   Maybe I will dress one like a policeman and set her in front of a window. I could have a police station theme!  There are so many things I could do.

I have chickens in my shop too.  Six little girls I am raising for my daughter although now I am becoming attached to them.

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This is Shannon.  I thought she was a Buff Orpington, but she isn’t.

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These are her wings. They look like angel wings.

 

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There is also cute little Mary Foster who is a Golden Laced Wyndotte. She has a hurt leg so I think I will have to keep her because she would go to a certain death at my daughter’s house. The chickens over there live dangerous lives with dogs and raccoons trying to get them.  Just when they think they have built a better chicken cage, the animals figure out how to get in.  I don’t know how many chickens they have tried to raise.  Right now the ones they have are hanging in there so I’m hoping for the best.

Speaking of chickens…..

 

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This is the chicken quilt I wrote about a couple of blogs ago.  The one I got a blue ribbon on at the county fair.  I always wondered what the judges thought about all those fried eggs on it.

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I hand appliqued every one of those eggs onto the quilt.

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It was such a fun quilt to make, I may have to make another without the fried eggs.

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The pattern came from this book I have had for decades.

I got this in the mail today.

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Self striping yarn. Yippee!

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Some more.

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Stroll gradient yarn.  Not exactly striping just a gradual change in colors.

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Love these colors.

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And I am loving this yarn.  I can’t wait to get started, but I have a pair to finish first. David and I cannot figure out how to get into this yarn to find the end.  I always let David find the start because I always get into a tangled mess, but this one has him wondering.  I am sure he will figure it out.  I have never bought yarn like this.

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Spring has burst out all over our front garden.   I wish Spring would last for months.  It’s been so cold and windy, it’s been too cold to sit outside and look at it.

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I love Flowering Quince.

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I love you too, Molly.  This picture makes it look like Molly is a giant or I am a very tiny person. And it looks like she has goatee.

David and I found a new antique store. At least it’s new for us.  It’s called The Happy Nest. I got a few things there and saw a whole lot more I would like to have.

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I found some fabric at very good prices.

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I found this cute chalk ware bunny and chick for five dollars.  I bought a book about the pilgrims and the crossing of the Mayflower to the new world.   It looks really interesting.

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These will be added to my bunny and chick collection. These are some chalk ware bunnies I have had for years. That little house has a tiny bunny in the garden.

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I cannot believe it is only one week before Easter.  My bunnies are ready for it.  I am ready for it.  We have about two hundred eggs for the grandkids to hunt. In some will be little papers with dollar signs and they turn them in for money and the rest have smiley face papers that they will turn in for candy.   Last year it was a big success so hope they will enjoy it again this year. We have an added surprise for them, but I won’t tell it here.

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I love Easter. The real meaning and the fun part too. We will attend church and then we will have a big dinner and somebody will jump in the pool(it’s really looking good now) and we will enjoy the grandkids.  The day before, our church puts on a big Easter egg hunt and I am taking two of our grandboys to it.

I hope you have a blessed Easter.   He is Risen indeed. Bye.

 

 

 

 

Good-bye March or The Day Before April

      The Day Before April

         The day before April

Alone, alone.

I walked in the woods

And sat on a stone.

I sat on a broad stone

And sang to the birds.

The tune was God’s making

But I made the words.

Mary Carolyn Davies

  I found this little poem in a really old, well loved poetry book for children I have had since childhood.  I think it belonged to my mother when she was a girl or maybe even her mother.  The pages are all torn, it has no cover any longer, but I remember reading this and reading this when I was a girl.  I memorized James Whitcomb Riley’s “Little Orhant Annie” from this book.  Yes, it was spelled Orphant.   I guard it with my life as I love this book.  Who knows what will happen to it when I die, but I hope it ends up in the hands of some child who will love it as much as I have.

March is almost over.  It’s gone as quickly as all the other months go.  Like a whisper or a breath and it’s gone.  So many people I know had birthdays this month. A great month to be born, I’d say.   So many celebrations of life.   Because isn’t it great to be born and live in this life?  No matter the trouble, the problems, the fears, the worries, there is still so much to be thankful for and so many beautiful things in this world that we should not dwell on those things which worry us or make us angry.  Life is too short.  I see young people so immersed in anger and rebellion when they could be accomplishing so many wonderful things.

Yes, the month has been busy.  Here are some of the things that have caught my attention or my eye.

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The weeping cherry in our front yard. We can sit on our porch and look at it.

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Glorious flowers. The daffodils came early this year and are prolific.

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The chicks are growing and some of them can fly up to their roost now.  This is either Linda or Marilyn.  

 

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This is little Mary Foster. She has a hurt leg and I am wondering if I am going to have to nurse her like I did the Rhode Island Red I did a few years ago, giving her spa baths and laying her out in the sun.  We shall see, but she is so cute.

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This is little Shannon the smallest of the peeps.  David and I are wondering if she got in the wrong group of chicks at the store as we thought she was a Buff  Orpington, but she is not colored like our other Buffs are.  Hmmmmm.  Did something strange happen in the chicken house?

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Molly is enjoying the Spring weather playing with her toys.  This is filled with treats and she is not letting ANYONE have it.

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I made a quilt for a little baby’s first birthday.

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Each square has a different picture in it of children and kittens.

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I hope Annalea gets a lot of use out of it and keeps her warm.   Isn’t Annalea a pretty name?

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Years ago when we had a quilt shop, we sold this book.  I have made several quilts from my copy.

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This was the company and these were the women who ran it.

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The one on the right lives on a farm in Iowa and she use to run their quilt shop out of an old chicken coop on her farm. I went there once and it was the cutest shop.  I met Mary and she was so nice and friendly.   I read her blog now.   It’s called, Country Threads Chicken Scratch.  She raises a lot of animals and dog sits for people.   Go there and see some of her quilt projects.

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One year I made this particular quilt, but instead of squares between the chickens, I made fried eggs and put them on the quilt. Out of fabric, of course!   I took it to the county fair and got a blue ribbon on it.  I will show it to you next time if I can dig it out of my pile of quilts.  Or should I say, piles of quilts.

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I have always wanted to make this quilt. It’s called Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Or do without.  I like the idea of it and when I make it, I will add some things I cannot do without.

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My first pair of socks developed holes on the heels so I knitted up some patches and sewed them on. Now I think they would be cute if I put patches all over them.  In all different colors.

Of course I am still knitting socks when I should be doing something else.

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I will have a pile of them by next Christmas. Watch out, grandboys. You will get socks next Christmas whether you want them or not!

The garden has been tilled and the pool is being readied for the grand Easter splash down. It may only be fifty degrees, but I can tell you right now someone will go into the pool that day.

Hope your March was wonderful. See you in April.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

Winter Wonder?

Well, the blizzard I was hoping would hit us in January never appeared. In fact, we had the warmest January in years and February is turning out to be warm also. Today it was 67 degrees out.  It smelled like  Spring.  We sat on our front porch and watched the  Sandhill cranes flying above us heading toward Camp Atterbury where they will rest.  They have a distinctive call as they fly and David heard them before we saw them. Trill your tongue against the roof of your mouth and that is  kind of what they sound like.  We saw two flocks today, but there will be several more.

I wanted January to last for a long time. It seems it’s the only month we are not super busy. A time to get things done inside before Spring.  I have knitted three pairs of sock, made one quilt and completed another since Christmas.  I also made a couple of new pillows last week from some leftover patchwork fabric I found.

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I’ve been working on this quilt for a while and was so happy to get it completed. All machine quilted.

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I used a lot of different fabrics in this quilt which gives it an old fashioned look which I was aiming for.

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These are the two pillows I made this week.  They are big and fat and comfy to lay your head upon.

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These are socks I knit for David. No, they do not match exactly because this yarn did not have a repeating stripe, but he likes them. He has to wear blue jeans and navy shirts to work at Ralph Lauren so these socks will go with his outfit.

I also knit a couple of other pair, but since they might be gifts one day, I can’t show them now.

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Oh, I forgot I made this pillow also. It came in a kit for a small wall hanging, but I wanted a pillow out of it.  I really love it.  It was so much fun to make and I’m thinking an entire quilt made with this pattern would be cute.

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We have missed sitting on our porch and when the weather is even halfway decent we sit outside and watch the world go by.  Even when we have to bundle up.

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But, as I wrote, our temperatures have been such that we sat out in our shirtsleeves today and were quite comfortable.

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The skies have been so blue. You can see the Snow Moon peeking between the branches of this tree. Last night it was full and so bright. They say we had a lunar eclipse which we missed and a comet was supposed to pass close to earth. We didn’t see that either.  I saw the moon early this morning from our bedroom window and it was so beautiful. There is something about a full moon that lifts my spirits, know that there is a God and makes me feel at one with Him.   He set the moon to guard the night, lift the tides and light our way.

Speaking of lighting my way, this dog does it for me every day.  She is so sweet and makes me laugh just to see her.

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The sun was shining on her this particular day and she looked absolutely beautiful.  A shiny coat, a broad chest and that little white patch.  OOOOh, she is so cute.  David has been working with her as she likes to bite his feet so I told him to keep treats with him and when she starts to bite his shoe, stop, tell her to sit and then give her a treat. He also has been playing fetch with her and she seems to be breaking the habit of biting on him.  He has been sorely tested by this dog I will have to admit. She has been slightly more rambunctious than any of our other dogs have been.   She has the sweetness of a Labrador, but the playfulness of a Boxer and sometimes the two don’t mix well.   We think she is more Boxer than Labrador.

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But how can you be angry with her when she has chewed up one more thing, when you look out and see her with her chin on her chair fast asleep?  Kind of like naughty children. They look so sweet when they are asleep!

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Sent out a few Valentine’s Day cards.  I like sending them better than Christmas cards because people don’t really expect to get them.

Can’t believe February is almost half over already. This year is speeding along.  One season following the other in quick succession.   Hope your year is going well. Happy Valentine’s Day.  Bye.

 

Despite

Despite it is only five days before Christmas and despite I haven’t finished shopping yet and despite I haven’t wrapped any of my presents(David has almost all his done) and despite I haven’t decided what I want to feed the mob coming Sunday and despite the house needs a good cleaning and despite the henhouse really needs a clean out and despite I really need to go to the grocery to get enough food for Sunday and despite I really need to get a new hairdo(which will not happen before Christmas, now)  and despite I feel this sense of urgency, this is what I am doing instead.

I get up lazily every morning. That’s what you can do after you are retired after decades of working and raising children.  It’s been really cold here and getting out of my warm heated bed is so hard to do. I make coffee and pour some peppermint creamer in it and light the cedar candle.   After Christmas, I just may plan one day to spend in bed and read and sleep.   Like that will really happen.

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I all of a sudden decided today I needed to go through all the magazines I have collected through the years. Don’t judge me.  I have magazines from the 1970’s and still love looking through them. Magazines were much better years ago. A lot more reading in them and less ads and pictures.  Now they are all ads(mostly drug ads) and pictures with very little reading to do.  I remember when Good Housekeeping had several stories in them every month.  I don’t know why I felt this was something I needed to do, but I found satisfaction in it.  I find magazines that set me off on my love of antiques.  The décor in our house seems to have evolved through the years depending on what the magazines had in them.

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I have been knitting patchwork socks using the leftover yarn from all the socks I have been knitting.   Yes, I need to get this done immediately!

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Binding a Christmas quilt that still won’t be finished this Christmas.

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My Christmas Chickens quilt.  I still have some quilting to do on it.

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Feeding the birds. They eat all this in one day.

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Loving seeing these pretty boys in the shrubs.

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Watching this silliness on the bird feeder and laughing.

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Watching Longmire on Netflix and taking naps.  I am under all these quilts and blankets.

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Playing with these two.  I have a gun that shoots tennis balls and they would play chase the ball all day as long as I have treats for them.  See how alert they are?  I have treats in my hand.

 

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Going around the house snapping pictures of things that look Christmasy to me.

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And last but not least. I found a new blog by a woman who creates wonderful things out of fabric, paper mache, and found objects.  I will write about her blog sometime.  Anyway, she made these really cute little trees and provided a pattern and directions for them, so, of course, I had to stop everything I was doing to try to make a few of them.  I will show you after they are finished. They don’t look like much now, but trust me, they will look cute, I hope.  Her name is Ann Wood if you would like to check out her blog.  She has a pattern for hens on nests that I plan to get and make.    All this makes me so happy.

Of course none of this is what I should be doing, but I feel free and easy and probably won’t really get to work finishing up everything until Friday.  Christmas will come whether I get it all done or not.   I want to enjoy every single day.

Hope you find things that are making you happy too.  Bye.