Category Archives: Pets I love

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.

 

 

What’s Going On

Well, I’m just sitting here wondering where in the world Summer went. It came in a blast of rain and heat and is leaving the same way.   I had so many plans.  Some came to fruition, others went by the wayside.  Like I totally missed our state fair again this year.  Every year David and I say we want to go, but this year we had a nasty bug and were waylaid for a couple of weeks, so we missed it.

I wanted to go to the zoo.  Haven’t made it there.

I’ve wanted to go on a picnic somewhere besides our backyard. Haven’t done it.

I have been swimming a whole lot more since it’s been so hot and humid this Summer.  But because of the heat and humidity, our lawn grows tall enough that we could bale it before we get the energy to go out and mow.

We tried to buy some more land which would have meant more mowing and I was wondering, “What are we thinking?”  Luckily, we didn’t get it.    They wanted way more than we were willing to pay.   It was all David’s idea.   But I always go along with him.  We are partners in crime, after all.

I took care of dogs and chickens all Summer.  Plus fed the Hummingbirds to the point we use about a five pound bag of sugar every week just for them.   They say animals are dumb?  Then why am I doing all the work, feeding, cleaning after them, taking them to the vet?  Molly hurt her eye somehow so we took her to the vet yesterday. I made an appointment for the morning and went to put her in the car, but she refused.  She weighs eighty-eight pounds so I couldn’t lift her.  I begged, pleaded, and gave her treats, but nothing was getting that dog into the car so I had to cancel the appointment and make one when David was here to get her in the car.  So, guess what?  Time for the appointment, she hopped right up into the car and David looked at me like I was crazy.  Go to the vet, she acts like everyone there is her best friend wagging her tail all over the place.  Even sat still while the vet put drops in her eye.   Get her home, she doesn’t want to get out of the car.  Crazy dog.  But I love her.

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I guess she knows who is boss.

Our garden has overflowed with cucumbers and tomatoes.

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I would go out and pick them one day and the next…….

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Bam!  More. I can only eat so many so David has taken at least a half bushel to work with him and given them away.

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This is my puny try at freezing some tomato juice.  So much work. So little produced.  Considering I don’t even use tomato juice very often, this is plenty for us. I have a friend who cans enough food for her and her husband to last all winter.  I admire her and she puts me to shame, but I’m not ashamed enough to do what she does.

I have three little hills of cucumbers and they have produced enough for David to have all he wants and to take to work and give away.  I am so glad those people like our produce.  I hate to throw it away.

We have had two of the grandboys a couple of nights this Summer which isn’t much, but they and their parents have busy schedules.

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So they had these toothbrushes that lit up when they used them, so we turned off the lights and they demonstrated them for me.  It’s so easy to entertain Grandma.

We did manage to go to one auction.  It rained the entire day so I spent most of it in the car knitting while David stood out in the rain and bought a few things.  He got this for me. Five hours later.

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A cute little Adirondack chair.   As I sat in the car, they sold a boat right in front of me for $500. It was a really nice boat too.

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I’ve knitted socks.   Oh, yes I have.

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David tried a new hairdo.

When we were getting our porch built a couple of years ago, one of the men working for our contractor brought me a flower since he saw I liked flowers.  He told me I couldn’t kill it.   Well, I watered in and kept it protected and watched it die down for the winter and it didn’t come up the next year.  This year it didn’t come up either, at least for a long time. Then one day I saw some leaves where a bare spot use to be, and soon the plant was growing taller and taller, so David made a cage around it so the rabbits wouldn’t eat it.  Now it is a beautiful big plant and I looked up what kind it is.

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It’s called a Passion Flower and is so beautiful.  They only bloom for one day, but there are several flowers on the plant.

We are going to see the Ark in Cincinnati this week.  It’s an exact replica of the one described in the Bible.  There is a zoo there also so I get to make my trip to the zoo.   Thousands of people have already visited it and it just opened this Summer, on Dave’s and my anniversary.

Tomorrow I will start decorating the house for Fall.  Before we know it, it will be election day, then Thanksgiving(hope I will be thankful who got elected) and then Christmas.   Time is coming quickly.   Did you know time comes. it doesn’t go?  I learned that this year.   You can’t stop it.  It’s going to come so make the most of every day and give God the glory.

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He’s provided some glorious sunsets this year.

Here’s to another Summer.  Good-bye, Summer, you were really special.  Bye

 

 

 

 

This is Retirement?

I don’t think David and I thought very much about retirement when we were younger.  We were just trying to make a living and raise our three children and keep food on the table.  I always heard that retirement was the time when one could kick back and relax.  Do some traveling.  People picture Grandmas and  Grandpas sitting on the porch, Grandma with knitting in her hands.  Well, a little of that happens around here, but we evidently didn’t get the message about how to behave when retired.

It seems we are busier than ever.  Work just as hard and the days go by much, much more quickly. Here it is, June already.  Where did May go?  I spend most of my days outside in the garden or taking care of the chickens and playing with the dogs.  Between laundry, cooking, cleaning, and other household chores, I keep pretty busy.  I don’t know how our ancestors did it without all the labor saving devices we have now.  My great-great-great grandmother had to heat the water for the laundry, wash everything on a washboard, hang the clothes outside, weather permitting, iron all the clothes and by the time she was done with that, it was time to start all over.  She did this while raising a garden, canning enough food to get the family through the winter, cooking every single meal, and raising a family.  Whew.  I get tired just thinking about it.  I can stick a load of clothes in the washer, go outside, and when I come in, the clothes are washed.  It almost seems like a miracle to me.  But I see miracles in a lot of things.   Not all that long ago if you had leftovers, you had to get out pans and heat them on the stove and then you would have all the pans to wash afterward. Now, with the microwave, we can fill up a plate with leftovers, heat it for a few minutes and have a good, hot meal, almost as good as the original you cooked before.  Miracle.

But I got off subject. I do that all the time.  Here are a few things that we have been doing the last few weeks.

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We celebrated Memorial Day, a day to remember our fallen soldiers and also to remember loved ones who have died.  David’s grandmother always called it Decoration Day because it was the day she always took flowers and decorated the graves of family members.

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I fix a pot of grass for the chickens every once in a while.  They need their greens, too.

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“What are you looking at?  Can’t we eat without being disturbed?”

I’ve become a sock model.

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Why do I always have a bruise on my shins?

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See that pie safe in the background?  I took that step ladder there and climbed up to see if it needed dusting on top.  Well, since I  haven’t dusted up there in years, I found a dust storm up there.  I was a little amazed, thinking I kept a pretty clean house and there was such a dusty place almost right over my nose.  I took everything off it, washed what I could to include several American flags I had in a can.  I scrubbed the top three times until I felt like it was clean enough.  Now it’s good for another ten years!  I reckon if I looked hard enough, I could find several dusty places in my house, but I’m not going to look too hard.  The thing about dust.  It will always be there.  It won’t go away on its own.  I read one time that we could have the dust from the first Adam’s body in our dust bunnies under our beds because dust travels all over the world.  Maybe I have Moses under my bed or maybe Christopher Columbus.    If so, they will be quite safe there as I don’t like to dust all that much unless I really feel like it.

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We had sixteen people here for dinner the other day and the kids all played in the pool. I love having lots of kids in the pool.  They had so much fun.  Besides that, they stir up all the stuff on the bottom of the pool and that actually helps to clean it.   And the water definitely was stirred.

David and I have eaten at a couple of different restaurants lately.  One was called Stone’s Family Restaurant in Mihousen.  The food was so-so, but it was worth the trip to eat the fried biscuits and apple butter.  We could have made a meal out of those.  The restaurant is in this little off the beaten path town time has forgot.   We drove several back roads to get there and the scenery was so pretty.  I don’t think any place is prettier than Indiana in Summer.

The other one was in the little town of Vernon.  Vernon hosts a town wide garage sale every Labor Day weekend.  There are yard sales all the way along the highway to Vernon. We went one year and there was just about everything for sale, plus there were vendors selling their wares.   We have eaten at this restaurant before.  Really good food.

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We missed the Karaoke.

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This is what it looks like on the outside.  Nothing special, but I don’t think I have ever had as good fish as I did there.   It was done to perfection.  Not greasy and not fishy tasting.

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We ate there on the way back from this place.  Streamcliff Farm.  A nursery, winery that was having a flower sale.  I was not going to buy anymore flowers this year. But…..

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Of course, I did.  You took a little red wagon through the greenhouses to pick up your plants.

I bought several perennials and a rhubarb plant. By the way, our rhubarb has done wonderfully this year.  I have several packages of it frozen so that in the middle of the winter, we can have rhubarb pie and think of Spring.

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The plants sold here are so healthy and big.  I don’t know what kind of fertilizer they use,  but the plants sure do flourish.

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There are little gardens everywhere.  I wonder what it is like to wake up every morning and know all this is yours and you can walk through it anytime?

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Fish in the fishpond. Everyone needs a garden they can escape to whether it’s on several acres or on the rooftop of a city building.

There was a man there playing  and singing Johnny Cash songs and he sounded just like him!

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Man in black.  I love Johnny Cash songs.  He was a great song writer and singer.

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This is what I have been doing today.  David is replacing the fence boards along one side of our back yard so I decided to stain them.  There will be hundreds. Today I stained forty some.  He went and bought some more and some more stain, so guess what I will be doing tomorrow.

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David put up the original fence about twenty-five years ago.  It’s held up pretty well, but it’s time to be replaced.

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Just so they won’t think I have forgotten them, here’s the puppers.  Always watching for me to come out.  Playmate, come out and play with me, and bring your dollies three, climb up the apple tree.  Look down the rain barrel, slide down the cellar door.  And we’ll be jolly friends, forevermore.  My mother use to sing that song to me.

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Molly looks like she has a big cigar in her mouth.

Hope you are having a wonderful Summer(or Winter in some parts of our world.)  Soon the longest day will come and the days will start to shorten again.  It never changes.  Bye.

 

Rainy Day

See that beautiful redbud and bright blue skies above?  That is what we had a week ago.  Then rain, sleet and snow came and we are back in winter weather.   It is suppose to warm up again and none too soon for me.

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During the cold days there is potato soup making. (This is actually broccoli soup, but I did make potato soup also.)

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There is yarn winding.  Here’s my very patient husband helping me wind a ball of new yarn.

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There’s outdoor fires and sitting around the fire with friends.

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This is one of the friends. Ha.  Look at that toothy grin.

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Despite all the problems she has caused us(David), I love her so much.  She is definitely my dog.  Looking at me with her doe eyes.  Trying to pretend she wouldn’t do anything bad.  No, not at all.

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It rained all day today.  Looking out the window it looked so misty and mysterious over in the now empty lot beside us.  Still getting use to not having a big house there.

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That muddy place is where the big, beautiful house once stood.

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David says he would love to buy this lot.  I sit and imagine planting hundreds of flowering trees and flowers and making our own park in it.   The grandkids could really have a great Easter egg hunt there.  I see wandering paths and benches for people to sit upon.  I already have it all planted and landscaped and it isn’t even for sale!

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Our back yard is coming to life.  It looked so awful just a few weeks ago and then the miracle happens like it does every year.  I never stop being amazed at the change in such a short time.  David has mowed the grass once already and it needs it again.  Note to self.  Plant more flowers and trees and get rid of more lawn this year.

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The garden is in its pink phase.  My very favorite.  First there’s the yellow daffodils. Then all the pink flowering bushes and trees burst into bloom.

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Love it.

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Rain pouring off my shop roof. I haven’t been out there to work on anything for a few weeks.  Knitting socks has been consuming my time.

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I do have this pretty, Spring like fabric that I will be using to make a skirt.

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So cozy sitting in a warm house looking out on the rain.  It’s really beautiful in its own way.

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See the rain pouring from the gutter?  It really came down hard for a time.  They say rivers are going to flood around our city.  A few years ago we had a major flood. Our hospital was flooded, patients having to be evacuated.  Many people lost everything when the water came up to their houses.  We have several friends who lost everything and had to completely redo their houses.  I can’t imagine how horrible that was.  We were not affected at all.  In fact, I didn’t know it was that bad until a day later.  Our town is surrounded by rivers and a flood can really devastate.  Hope it never gets that bad again.

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But the garden loves this rain.  It’s true.  April showers bring May flowers or in this case, April flowers.

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I planted grass for my chickens.  Yes, my chickens like grass and crack.  What can I say?  Ha. Actually, I am growing lawn grass and when it gets tall enough I will put these in the chicken yard so that they can have a salad.

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So hopefully glorious Spring  will return tomorrow.

Bye.