Category Archives: Pets I love

June?!

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Feeling Good?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Molly and Belle enjoying freedom for a time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sad Day

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

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

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

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

Life’s a Little “Cheeper”

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

Another project I am just starting is this….

Found in this magazine…..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Did you hear the brouhaha about this song before Christmas? That it was “sexist?”  People have way too much time on their hands and get incensed about the silliest things.  Maybe they need to get a job or hobby that takes most of their time so they can leave well enough alone.

That said, baby, it is cold outside.  We are supposed to have the coldest temperatures we have seen in a long time. I spend my days letting the dogs in my shop and out again.  They are mostly outside dogs, but when it gets this cold, I feel happier knowing they are inside where is it warmer. I look back at the hot Summer days when I was wishing for this and now here we are and I don’t feel so glad about it.   My favorite temperature is somewhere between 50 degrees and 70 degrees.  I can be pretty comfortable then. Anywhere lower or higher and I feel it. Is there a place on this earth where those are the temperatures all the time?

You would think the days would drag by when it’s this cold and I’m not outside all that much and we haven’t really gone anywhere all month except out to eat occasionally, but the month has flown.   We did have a late Christmas with our oldest son and his girlfriend and her son where I gave what else, socks and a quilt for some of the gifts.  I am already planning quilts for next Christmas and one for a friend who shall not be named, although I don’t think she reads my blog.    I’m ordering more fabric just because my stash needs refreshing and I have so many ideas in my head running rampant and I need some new colors.  You fellow quilters know what I’m talking about.

Here is the Bullseye quilt I am making that Mary over on the blog, Country Threads Chicken Scratch, has been teaching us.

It’s a little bigger than a lap size quilt. I’m going to sew it together and then with some leftover blocks I have a plan.  Plus, when you are cutting out this quilt, you are left with a lot of circles and I have plans for some of them, too.  This has been such a fun quilt to put together, I already am planning several more with one being in reds and greens for Christmas. You should see my cutting table. It’s piled high with all the fabrics I’ve picked out for these future quilts.

Meanwhile, I have managed to knit a few socks.

Hey, the colors in the socks match the colors in the quilt!

I do love color.  I can’t stand monochromatic decorating.  An all white room or an all blue room is not my style.  Right now we are getting ready to remodel a bathroom. The contractor who will be doing it, added this bathroom in an addition we put on the back of our house over thirty-five years ago, so I think it’s time for an uplift. We picked the tile for the shower yesterday and I can’t wait to show you the floor tile for the shower. The tile reminds me of a quilt.  The room is tiny so I’m going to use light, bright colors.  We are also getting our back deck rebuilt and screened in with a roof over it.  So there is much to think about for this coming Spring.

David celebrated fifteen years working for Ralph Lauren at the outlet mall the other day.  When he retired from over 36 years in the military, he was at loose ends for a time.  For nine months he cleaned closets and puttered around the house until he ran out of things to do.  So I told him it was time to look for a part time job as he was not an old man.  The store was just opening and he was one of the first hires at the time.  He’s been part time, assistant manager, manager and now back to part time and I’m trying to get him to cut back even more. He really loves the job and the customers.  He has customers who come in and ask for him. Even some from Europe who come in almost yearly to buy clothes.   Anyway, the vice president wanted to do a conference call with all the people who had been working for Ralph for fifteen years.  I was called and asked to come to hear it, but to keep it a surprise. Well, anyone who knows me knows I cannot keep a secret, especially surprise parties. I have “accidentally” ruined two surprise parties just by innocently saying something I shouldn’t have.  I was so afraid I would let it out of the bag to David.  But I managed to not spoil it and he was so surprised when I showed up at work.  The manager of the store had food and the best cupcakes I have ever tasted and she bought me flowers for being so supportive of David and his job for those years.

Gerbera Daisies which are some of my favorite flowers.

If David works another ten years, Ralph Lauren will fly him to New York for a celebration. I told him he was not going alone because I want to go to New York, too. We will both be close to or in our eighties by then, so let’s see if we make it!  I hope we do.

Speaking of birthdays.  Oh, I didn’t?  Well, David had a birthday this month.  We were going to go out to eat with some of our kids and grandchildren, but that was the weekend we had a big snowstorm so everyone stayed home. I baked him a cake and we had our own private celebration.

And we ate it all ourselves! Not all at once, of course.

The seed catalogs came right after Christmas and I have ordered some flower seeds. Found a new company I tried and this was on the outside of their package.

Kind of like I felt when I got the seeds.

It won’t be long before I will be planting these.  I got some more seeds in the mail yesterday that I will have to show you another time, because the packages are so pretty.

We are in the deep freeze now so I will be spending my day inside working on a quilt and knitting socks and baking bisquits.  Not a bad way to spend a day. I would be content to spend the rest of my days in such pastimes.

Hope you are keeping warm where you live.  If you live in the tropics, enjoy the warmth, too.  Have a happy day everyone. Bye.

Cluck, Cluck, Quilt.

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

Loved the way the shadows played on their feathers.

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

“Where’s the chicken crack?”

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

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

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

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

My pets give me endless joy.

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

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

Then I decided to make a Christmas themed one…

And then another vintage looking one…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway, the socks were a hit.

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

Went out yesterday and saw these flowers blooming.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Autumn Weekend

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

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

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I am slowly decorating for Autumn.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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Lily, on the floor is the mother.

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Two sweet faces.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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He is beautiful with a beauty mark on his face.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Once There Was A Summer

Remember those first few days of Summer when you thought they were spread out before you like a gift just waiting to be opened?   So many plans made for picnics, road trips and long, lazy days by the pool.   Blue, blue skies?   Warm sun on the face?

Days when clouds had curls on the top like a Dairy Queen ice cream cone? 

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Summer didn’t quite turn out that way for me.  I have spent a great deal of Summer painting and gardening.   We have talked for years about painting the house so this year we have decided to get it done.  But first, we wanted to try some paint colors to see what we would like. We painted the shed and my shop a deep, dark syrupy chocolate and I like it.

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Between David and myself we got them both done with two coats on each.   We are having the house painted.  No tall ladders for us.

It’s rained so much this Summer so we painted between the rain drops.   The rain has done wonders for my garden, though.

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The pumpkin vines have spread everywhere and I have seen a few pumpkins starting to form.

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One vine grew up and tree and then down and there is a pumpkin hanging in there somewhere.

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And the vine continues to grow down to earth again. Who knows where it will end up?

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These pumpkin vines are waist high on me.  The leaves are huge.  I hope the pumpkins won’t disappoint.

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Being a farmer’s daughter, I am always glad to see that the farmers have good stands of corn and soybeans in their fields. I heard on the radio that harvest may come early this year.  Good for the farmers.

And even though it’s Summer, I have still found time for knitting.  In the early morning or in the evenings I try to knit a bit.  Here are a few of the socks that have come off my needles.

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With all this yarn I knit a pair of patchwork socks.

 

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Not sure anyone but me will want to wear these colorful socks, but I do love them.

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Another pair of socks from odds and ends of yarn leftovers.  I rather like these, too. These were a bear to knit for some reason. I tore out one of them three times, once when I was at the toe.   Grrrr.

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And I found the colors in this ball of yarn almost matched my patchwork socks.

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And here they are.  See the mistake?  It’s hardly noticeable, but I know it’s there.

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And I also did some patching of holes on some older socks I knit.  These are some of the first socks I ever knitted.  I knit little squares and sewed them over holes.

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Then I did a little yarn embellishing.  I will be glad to wear these on a cold Winter’s day.

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The children are all back in school sitting at their desks hopefully filling their brains with useful information that will get them far in life.  Our oldest grandchild started college this year and our youngest is in fourth grade. How fast they have grown.    Soon the leaves will begin to change. The air will have a crispness in it that I have longed for all Summer.  I am not a hot weather person.   We have plans for this Autumn.  I will be making trips to Indianapolis with our daughter as she takes part in a physical therapy study for MS patients.   Pray for good results.   Then we will all go to Walt Disney World together and have some fun.  That’s our plans.

Hope your Summer was full of everything your heart desired and that Autumn will be the same. Bye.

Oh, and Belle and Molly give their regards.

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Woof!

 

 

 

 

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.