Category Archives: Knitting

Entertaining Myself

I read a blog the other day, Yarn Harlot, where she told how when she and her siblings were young, her mother would tell them to entertain themselves. They came up with some very inventive ways to entertain each other.  I had to laugh because my mother was the same way except she told us if we couldn’t find anything to do, she’d find something for us to do which usually meant “work!”  I would hide out and read or play with the kittens in the barn or do anything to keep out of the house.

So during the quarantine days I have found many ways to entertain myself.  One day I made some blueberry pancakes which David loved and I didn’t and I decided to feed mine to the chickens and Molly.  I wanted to see how they all would react to the pancakes. First the chickens.

These two are the “bosses” of the chicken yard and think they will get the most if they stand the closest, but it doesn’t always happen that way.

So once a piece is thrown, the running and grabbing begins. Every chicken manages to get at least one little piece. Even the younger ones who are still learning the rules of the chicken yard.

It’s really a free for all, but I try to throw the pancake to every chicken so each one gets a little piece. They love blueberry pancakes!

Now Molly gets a pancake.

Here it comes, Molly.

Closer, closer. She stays seated like the good girl she is.

Take a bite. Now Labradors have a soft mouth which means they don’t bite down hard on anything unless they are actually eating. It was bred into them so they would not chew up game after it has been shot and they bring it to the hunter.  Molly forgets that I am not a hunter and she really can eat this thing.   She won’t bite it.

“Well, am I going to get to eat that thing?”

Chomp. She took it.

And she chewed it all up and wanted more, but I only had the one pancake for her. Sorry, Molly.

Well, that was entertainment for about ten minutes.  So I still have to fill the days with other things and surprisingly, I have no problem doing that.

This is one thing I am working on, but I can’t show you much of it as it will be a gift, maybe.

I made a pair of socks with left over yarn and I love how these turned out. I’m trying to use up some of my yarn before I buy more.  It’s fun trying to match up yarns that will look good together.

I’ve finished this pair and am on to another.

There is always bird watching.

“What is down there?”

Frankenbird is still around. He/she is growing, but still no feathers on that head.

We are getting so many tomatoes off my four plants. There are about twenty here now. I try to eat a lot of salad with tomatoes, but I think I will have to make some tomato juice before they rot.

We had this vine grow up on our porch steps. We thought it was a morning glory, but the flowers on it are tiny white ones so I’m not sure.

We have this Autumn Clematis coming up in very strange places where I know I haven’t planted it. We think the birds must have done some planting themselves.

Just a picture of the sweetest dog in the world.

The garden by our back door is flourishing and we’ve had some bird families in the birdhouses. Molly torn down a wren house we had on the fence. Thankfully, the wrens had already hatched and flew away, so David put the house back up, only higher so hopefully the wrens will come back and nest again.

David and I took a very exciting trip today.  I have a wonderful surprise to tell you in my next blog.  Hope to see you then.  Have a happy Autumn. It’s here, whether we are ready or not. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating

I’ve had plenty of time the last few weeks to put my creative juices to good use.   A couple of weeks ago I got these.

That necklace was a Mother’s Day gift from my daughter.  You can’t see them very well, but my grandchildren’s names are all engraved on it.  I love it.  But what I was really trying to show was the paint by number picture.  I ordered two of them in March and just received them recently. The colored picture is what I will be painting.

I also got this one which is a picture of a flower in a small vase on a table. Doesn’t look much like that right now, does it?  I love these because you don’t have to mix colors. A few years ago I bought a paint by number at Hobby Lobby and you had to mix some of the paints to get the color you needed.  I wasn’t very good at it and gave up half way through. Now that I’m painting these pictures, I think I will go back and see if I can finish that one if the paints haven’t dried up!

Anyway, I ordered yet another paint by number from another company and they wrote me that they were weeks behind because of the high volume of orders they had received. Must be a lot of bored people out there wanting something to occupy their time.  I find painting is very relaxing.  I wish I had taken some art classes in high school and college because I think I would have loved painting pictures of my own making.  I know I love painting in general as I have painted every room in our house several times since we’ve lived here.  Something about taking a brush with paint on it and transforming a room or a canvas  just makes me happy.

I’m hoping to have this one done in a week or so and then David is going to build a frame and we’ll stretch the canvas onto it. Saw them do that last night on the show Home Town. One of my favorite fixer upper shows.   David and I took a road trip to Laurel, Mississippi where the show takes place and where the hosts’ have a little store downtown.   Very nice little southern town with beautiful houses and big oak trees down the streets.  I can see why people want to move there.

Do you notice how I get off subject pretty quickly? That’s how my mind works. It meanders through one thought to another thought until I forget what the first thought was!   I was talking about painting, wasn’t I?   When I was a girl I would get color by number picture sets for Christmas and used color pencils to color the pictures. I absolutely loved doing  it. I wish I still had some of those pictures. They sell them on E-bay now and people decorate with them.

But painting is not all I’ve been doing.  I am working on six quilts. Six!  I have a plan, but I can’t write it here because nosy people might know what I’m writing about.  I found some wonderful fabrics in aboriginal prints that I am using in a couple of the quilts.  It’s really amazing fabric.   Sadly, my stamina isn’t what it use to be and it’s taking me a lot longer to get sewing done than it use to.   I have a deadline when I want these quilts completed, so I’m going to have to get it in gear and work harder.   Maybe I’ll show you a corner of a quilt sometime.

And of course, there is always socks.  I could knit all day I love it so much, but it would not be very good for me to sit so long so I get up and do other things like feed and water the chickens, chicks and dogs.  That’s my life. Feeding and watering birds, both wild and domestic and the dogs.  They can’t do it themselves and I’m the only one here most of the day, so somebody(me) has to do it.  Yesterday I accidentally left the door open on the young chick’s pen and two of them got out. Luckily the pen was in the cabin so all I had to do was shut the cabin door and catch the little rascals and all was well. The chicks are getting almost big enough to join the big girls.   Next week we will put their pen inside the coop so they all can get acquainted.  I always worry how the older chickens will take to the younger ones. Once our daughter’s family was going somewhere and needed chicken sitters while they were gone so they brought their flock over to put in with mine.  Well, the rumble began as soon as her chickens saw mine. Her chickens were thugs!  Bullies!  I had to keep them all separated or someone would have gotten hurt. Not going to try that again. Chickens are very territorial.

But, back to knitting.

I got this lovely yarn in the mail.

And this one. This is called Monopoly because it has the colors of the Monopoly game.  This designer always sends a little charm with each hank of yarn she sends to her customers.

Of course, Monopoly had a little green house.

The pink yarn included this pink and white sucker charm. I have several charms from this lady and I bought a charm bracelet the other day and am going to put all the charms on it to remind me of all the stockings I’ve knitted from this one business.

I’ve also been going through my yarn and finding like colors and making patchwork stockings. I knit until one color runs out and join yarn and keep knitting. I’m loving these Christmas colors socks.

The flowers in my garden change almost weekly. The peonies were so beautiful this year, but just did not last long enough.

The last paint by number I ordered is actually a picture of peonies in a vase somewhat like this picture of my peonies. So I can have peonies all year through if I get the painting done.

We practiced social distancing long enough and our grandchildren were ready to get out and the came down to see us.  It’s so nice having grown grandchildren you can carry on a conversation with. They are such fun to have around.

I just love these kids so much and could not be any prouder of them than I am already.

The one on the left is the youngest! I told his brother that one day he’d be taller than him and I was right.  Two are in college and the youngest will be a freshman.  I can’t believe how fast these children grew. Seems like just the other day I was holding them on my lap and reading them stories.

I baked banana bread twice. It is so good with a glass of cold milk or a cup of coffee.

Well, hope you are getting out and about. We’ve eaten out a few times at restaurants that are serving.  Have you noticed most of them expect you to have a cellphone and place your order with the phone? David and I are old school and don’t carry our phone with us every place we go. We went to one restaurant where there was a wait and we said we didn’t mind waiting and the young man told us they would call us on our phone and David told him we didn’t have a phone with us and would you believe, the young man told him we could go to another restaurant!  Banned for not having a cellphone with us?  Needless to say, I wrote the company and told them what I thought of their policy. We have had no trouble at any of the other restaurants. They gladly have someone tell us our table is ready.  Oh, well. You win some, you lose some.

June is here. Can July be far behind?  Summer is going fast!  Bye.

 

 

Good-Bye March, Hello April

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everywhere I look there are flowers coming up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Here’s What I’m Doing

Turn around and the trees have changed and dropped their leaves and all of a sudden we are talking about Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Christmas gift buying.  It’s all strung together into one big to do list that can be overwhelming if I think too much about it.

We watched the last of the soccer games. Our youngest played his tournament and their team won handily.

It began on a Saturday morning when the trees still had their leaves and were beautiful.

We drove to Bloomington where the games were played.

Out grandson is a real hustler.  He really likes soccer a lot and will be playing again next year.

He was put in as goalie which he doesn’t like as much as there isn’t as much action, especially when your team keeps the ball at the other end of the field.  At one point we looked at him and he was dancing.

Later this month our two youngest grandboys’ school honored veterans.  Since their grandfather served in the Army National Guard for 36 years, they wanted him to come to the program. David always enjoys these so much. It’s wonderful seeing school children singing patriotic songs and saying the pledge to the flag.

Here is our youngest grandson.  They go to an International elementary school and this picture depicts the diversity in the student body.   There are children from everywhere who go here. Some of their parents teach at the college and live in Bloomington for a while.   When I was in school there was no one who looked different from me and I always longed for a black friend.  Now my grandsons make friends with people from all over.  I think it’s wonderful.

Kids are kids no matter where they come from.  And they are all so cute!

This is one of the songs they sang

The school orchestra played.

Here is our second youngest grandson in the blue with his class.  This is his last year at this school. Can’t believe he’ll be in Middle School next year.  Just yesterday we were waiting in the hospital for him to be born and he was the tiniest baby.

The veterans were asked to come forward and for their grandchildren or children to join them. We are so proud of these boys.  There are a lot more women veterans than there use to be. Sometimes I wish I had joined the armed forces when I was younger.

Children can be so angelic at times!

There was a nice reception after the program with food for brunch which was very good.  The principal asked the children not to take seven or more things because he was afraid there would not be enough food as so many veterans showed up, but in the end, he was passing out donuts and muffins trying to get rid of them.

It was a very nice day.

Me, I keep making things. Don’t know if I showed this pillow I made from a state handkerchief I had bought.

And, of course, I keep knitting socks.

This yarn is called Monarch Butterfly.

A while back I ran across a magazine with a quilt pattern I have made before.

It’s called Grandmother’s Fancy.  I had a few blocks left over from that quilt so I made some more and bought some fabric for the borders and binding.

Today I finished piecing the quilt except for the border.  It’s huge.  I think it’s at least king size.

Now I have a Christmas quilt I want to get quilted before Christmas and this quilt which I can only show a corner of because it’s for someone.

While cleaning out a drawer the other day I found these.

Post-it notes with what I call my Yellow Book stories. I began writing about this imaginary town with people I made up and drew.  I couldn’t stop writing them. Then I lost them and now I’ve found them again. There are some characters who live in my imaginary town.

I don’t pretend to be an artist, but I drew each character for my stories.  Maybe I’ll finish this one day.

Sunday we have our first Thanksgiving dinner and then I’m having Thanksgiving here and then it will be Christmas all the way. Jingle jingle.  We’ve had lights up for a couple of weeks. David surprised me with tickets to a Beatles’ impersonation show. I’ll write about that later. Can’t wait to see it.

 

Here’s to our veterans who serve our country and to children who honor them. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

Traveling the Backroads

If you have read my blog for any time at all, you will know that David and I like to take back roads when we travel.  We don’t have to go far to get on backroads and we always discover some hidden gem along the way.  Before my pacemaker, or as I like to call them, my huff and puff days, we took a short journey on  back roads to Cataract Falls.  I found it on the map and we had never been there before, so we decided to find it.  Cataract Falls is in our state and not all that far from our house, but it is on winding back roads and it helps to have GPS to find it because I really don’t think we would have otherwise.

Cataract Falls is a series of Falls along a River in a small state park where there is a covered bridge going over the river.   The day we were there it looked like they were setting up for a wedding or wedding reception on the bridge. How neat would that be?!   As I was still tiring out easily we did not walk far but got a feel for the park and may go back one day.  There were kayakers at the bottom of one of the falls that must have kayaked from down river.  There were lots of families enjoying the park and one amorous middle aged couple who acted like they were just married.  Maybe they were!

We left cataract falls and followed signs to a general store.  This store was really off the beaten path, but so worth stopping to see.  It was a real old fashion general store run by a very genial man and his wife.  They sold everything and the kitchen sink.  I found a state scarf from which I am going to make a pillow.  And I found this……

TRUMP ALERT!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

Oh, yes.

Someone had included a handwritten message….

And several outfits President Trump could wear if he so chose to.

There were several more outfits, but I thought that is as many as some people could endure!

I have a friend who would get a kick out of these.

So, as you know, I had a pacemaker put in and I am slowly getting my energy back.   So we went to a football game of our oldest grandson’s last night.  He was wearing a cast on two fingers, but he played anyway. Their team won handily.  I’m not much for football, but I will endure it for my grandsons’ sakes as I like to watch them play sports.

Today we left Indianapolis for home, once again on back roads.  It was such a pleasant drive. Much better than on interstate where everyone is in  such a hurry.  It was a perfect Autumn day.  Went through little towns and saw some really nice older homes. Glad people are still restoring the old things because once they are gone, they won’t be back.

I have been doing other things besides traveling on backroads. I have been getting back into quilting again.

And knitting socks.

A small quilt and a pair of socks I completed last week. I have some larger projects I am working on that I will show later. I also painted a sign to put in front of our house that I will have to show you next time.

Oh, and here is something that has built its web right by our front door.

Isn’t he/she beautiful?  I love spiders. David, not so much. Before I told him about this one I made him promise he wouldn’t kill it.  Notice the coiled like web. They make it this way. Don’t know how, but then I don’t understand where spiders get the material to build their webs. They spin it from their bodies, but how?

Anyway, spiders are welcome at my house.  They are good bug catchers. And they fit right in with the Halloween décor!

Here’s to back roads and fun discoveries.  Bye.

 

June?!

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

I know I sound like a recording, but isn’t the time flying?  It’s almost Valentine’s Day already and we were just celebrating the New Year.  When I hear young people say the time is passing quickly, then I don’t know what to say because if it’s passing quickly for them there is something happening to the space time continuum of planet earth.  I often wonder if God is speeding time up for Jesus’ coming as He looks upon us and sees the evil that is in people’s minds and actions. I can hardly bear to read the news or listen to it anymore.

I also believe at times that I live in an alternate universe from many people.  I don’t understand a lot of people a lot of the time.  Maybe they feel that way about me.  I don’t know. Of course, my husband tells me I am weird all the time.  The last time I visited my doctor, he called me weird because of how my body reacted to the medicine he says helps everyone else.  So, maybe I am weird! But I’m a happy weird.

Well, that is about as deep as I’m going to get today. Just something to think upon and wonder about.  I try to live each day with joy and hope and I know how it all ends, so I’m not afraid.

I’ve had so many projects going on and many more I want to do before the warm weather gets here and I will want to be outside in the fresh air playing with my dogs. They have been rather neglected in these cold and rainy days.   They have been spending a lot of time in my shop with me, listening to my radio talk shows, ha, and watching me cut out Bullseye quilts.  I am addicted to Bullseye quilts. I think I am because I love going through all my fabric and finding material that will go together to make a block, knowing I will cut that block into four pieces along with many other blocks and then sew all those parts together to make a pretty amazing looking quilt.  And I am discovering fabric I had forgotten about, so that’s a plus, too. It’s almost like Christmas when I find a forgotten fabric.  I made a pillow with a four of the blocks.

I love this pillow way too much. I had had it on the couch for a couple of weeks  David just noticed it!   My very observant husband.

How can one miss this bright and colorful pillow!   I’m going to make some more. Maybe give some away.  I have a Christmas Bullseye quilt almost all cut out.  Like I said, I’m addicted.

And wonderful things have been coming in the mail. I read Mary Etherington’s blog over on Country Threads Chicken Scratch. Mary and her friend, Connie use to have a quilt shop in northwestern Iowa called Country Threads. They wrote many patterns, some of which I sold in our store, Craig’s Vac and Sew, years ago. They closed the store several years ago, but still write patterns and they have a book out right now that I ordered.

I was so excited when this package arrived.

With the cutest little return label.

And a wonderful book inside.

Here’s Mary and Connie.

They are very good friends and were superstars in the quilting world years ago.  I met Mary, the one in glasses, years ago when we traveled through Garner, Iowa going out west. I wanted to visit their quilt shop. It was wonderful, but the best part was I got to meet Mary as the quilt shop was located on her farm.  You know you see someone who is famous in their field and you wonder if they are as nice as they appear in their pictures. Well, Mary is the nicest person you could ever wish to meet. She welcomed me and showed me around the farm. I’m sure she doesn’t remember me, but she had a hurt arm or shoulder and I grabbed her and hugged her before I realized it and she was so nice about it even though I probably caused her great pain.

I felt like I did when I saw the Beatles.  Mary was that famous in my eyes.  Their patterns sold very well in our store and I have made so many quilts from them. If you want the book, go over to her blog and I think you can still order it.  And they sign the ones you buy from them.

I’m just saying. Superstars!  I plan to make several quilts from this book.

I got more flower seeds.  I honestly don’t know where I am going to plant them all as my garden is pretty full already, but I will stick them in somewhere.

Zinnias are one of my top five favorite flowers to raise. Just toss the seeds in the ground and in a few weeks you have a wonderful display of blooms.

And I got some more fabric.

Just some basics to use in my Bullseye quilts.

And last, but certainly not least I got more yarn.

It came in a bag that had this on the front.

And each skein of yarn had a yarn marker attached.

An extra little bonus.  I will be ordering from this business again.

Her yarns are amazing.  And fun to knit up.

Years ago our city had a major flood. They called it the hundred year flood because in theory it only happens every one hundred years.  But this week, people were getting worried as the rains kept falling for hours and hours.  We drove past a park in town and this is what we saw.

I’ve climbed that tower from which you can see the downtown.

The amphitheater where shows and bands perform. Not going to right now.

The playground.  Many years ago before this park came into existence, there were people who lived down by the river in shanties.  I have seen pictures from years ago of those shanties flooded. Finally, the city moved all the people and put in this park that gets flooded every so often because the river runs right by it.

Friends of mine, who lost everything in the last flood, were getting concerned and I didn’t blame them. It was looking scary for a while, but finally the rains stopped and the sun came out and the water is receding.   Today it is snowing and sleeting.

My church helps support a Crisis Pregnancy Center. Every year we are given baby bottles to fill with money to give to the center.  I am always happy to contribute because they are saving babies’ lives there and with what we see in the news today, we must continue to fight for and protect the unborn.

I am glad my church participates in this. I pray for all the babies.

My chickee-poos are still laying during this crazy weather.  We get just enough eggs for us right now.  I must show you the one a hen laid.  She certainly gave her all.

Almost as big as a duck egg and I should know. I use to raise ducks.

 

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?  If I don’t plan anything, we won’t do anything. I do have a delicious looking Valentine Jelly Donut cake recipe I am thinking of making for David.

I bought these candy hearts. You know, the ones that have cute words on them for Valentine’s Day, but you can hardly read the words they’re so dim.  And it’s a brand name, too.   What is wrong with them!   You really have to look to see what each heart reads.   Oh, well. That’s the way of things today.  I may be getting old, but things really are more poorly made than they were years ago except for maybe cars because one rarely sees a broken down car on the side of the road any longer.  When I was a girl you’d see them all the time and cars use to rust out faster than they do today. Our car is ten years old and still going strong and we’d like it to last another ten years.   That car has been all over the United States, to Alaska and down the Alaska Highway through Canada. North, South, East and West.  I’d like to keep her a while longer.

I sincerely hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day.  Whether alone or with a loved one, you still are loved by the One who loves us all.  He never disappoints. He will never forsake you.  He is the best Valentine a person could have. Jesus. Love you all and God bless. 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.

Oh, Glorious Days

I love Autumn.  I use to love Summer, but I have become heat intolerant the older I get and I don’t like to sweat so there’s that, too.    We have been having some glorious days and today was one.  Driving back from Indianapolis from my daughter’s physical therapy we saw some of the most beautiful red leaved trees in a field.  The leaves are indeed starting to change.   They are later than usual, but that’s okay.   It will be beautiful in Brown County in another week and the leaf gazers will be out in force.

We have been busy doing things with the Grandboys.   Once again we attended Grandparents’ Day at the Christian school two of our Grandboys attend.  We always enjoy it.   And we take them out to eat and get to have some one on one time with them.  It’s fun having a real conversation with our older Grandboys about all kinds of subjects.

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This one went from a  little boy to a young man almost overnight.   I hate it, but what can I do?  Kids grow up right before our eyes almost.

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This one is a Junior. Ack!

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Taller than us both and such a nice boy.  We love them both so much.

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Then soccer with this Grandboy.  His team won both games. Yay!

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This boy can kick a soccer ball. He made several goals.

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Sitting on his mama’s lap between games.

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This is our “baby” Grandboy. Getting so tall also.  He played goalie for a while.

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Sometimes he didn’t look very interested!   His team won their games, too. Yay!

Since this was the last of the soccer games for the season there were concessions, booths giving away things from water bottles to Tide sticks and some were selling soccer paraphernalia. And this guy showed up since Target was sponsoring the whole thing.

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The sky was so blue that day.

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Trees starting to turn.   It was just glorious and nice to be outside although right after the games the wind picked up and began blowing pretty hard.  Leaves flying everywhere.

In Autumn it seems the flowers give their last hurrah as if they know that soon they will be resting for a few months.

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My hydrangea had more flowers on it than ever before.

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I’ve always wanted blue hydrangeas and this year I finally have one.   I do have to add something to the soil so they will turn blue.

I’ve done very minimal Autumn decorating this year as I won’t be around for most of it.

 

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Fairy lights, pumpkins and Halloween figures on the mantel.

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A tray of tiny pumpkins and a Buttered Maple Syrup scented candle.  I haven’t lit it yet, but maybe tonight.

And of course, new yarn has been ordered and received.  I used up a bunch of yarn on patchwork socks and so I needed a new stash.

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These colors are so beautiful. My horrible photography does not do these colors any justice at all, but believe me, they are deep colored and delicious looking. I can’t wait to get them wound and let the knitting begin.  I’m really going to have to relearn how to knit sweaters because I have knit so many socks this year.  I use to knit sweaters and things for my kids years ago, but it seems I have forgotten all I ever knew.

Enjoy these glorious Autumn days because Winter is right around the corner.  Bye.

 

 

 

September, I Hardly Knew Ye

I’m sitting here with a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee laced with Pumpkin Spice creamer watching WPC56, a British crime drama on tv. David and I have a penchant for British shows, especially ones that take place in the middle of the last century when he and I were just babies.  We pretty much watched all they had on Netflix, quit Netflix and started Amazon Prime which has a large selection on Britbox.    One of my favorites I’ve watched in the past few weeks was the Village about a late nineteenth and early twentieth century British village and all the happenings in it. It was before women’s suffrage and during the first world war.    Very interesting.

But enough about what I’m watching. This month has flown by in a haze.  Earlier David and I had both gone in for eye exams and because I have had problems with one of my eyes and am blind in it, I figured the doctor would find something wrong with me, but instead, David found out he had very bad cataracts and had to have surgery to remove them.  He had told me a while ago that when we were sitting and bird watching that the birds looked a little blurry. I thought he just needed a new glasses prescription.  Surprise to us.  So, this week he had the first eye done and while the doctor was in there he fixed David’s astigmatism. After he gets his second eye done he won’t have to wear glasses any longer. Just use reading glasses.   I have only known him wearing glasses and I’ve known him since I was twelve, so it will be strange to see him go without them.  He has already seen a difference. Amazing what they can do nowadays.

My daughter has MS and has entered a new physical therapy study in Indianapolis and I volunteered to go with her two times a week for moral support.  Plus I have to get her scooter out of the car and put it back in again.  Let’s just say, I have very little upper body strength so it’s been fun getting that scooter in and out of the car. We practically have to take it all apart so I can lift it, but we get it done.  She has a very nice therapist whose name is Depak who is very inspirational and makes us both feel like he can help her movement a lot more.  So I’m looking forward to the next ten weeks as she is put through the paces.

I have been knitting up a storm.  David and I took a road trip to a little town that had a really nice yarn shop and I bought this yarn

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I’ve already knit one sock from this.

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This is knitting up into a beautiful sock.

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This is the yarn I am using. It was a bit pricey, but the yarn is wonderful and knits up so well and I can probably get a couple of pair of small socks from the remaining yarn when I get the larger socks knit.  As of today I have knit fifteen pairs of socks since January and hope to get several more done before Christmas.  I was thinking I would like to knit socks and sell them and was checking out what other people charged for handknit socks and the prices ran from $40.00 a pair to $65.00 a pair depending on the price of the yarn.  I may have to start selling some socks to feed my sock knitting habit I have acquired.   Believe me, the time it takes to make them, getting a pair of handknit socks is a wonderful gift.  I did knit one sock in a couple of  days this week only because I was challenging myself to see if I could do one that quickly.  I know there are lots of faster knitters than me out there, but I never thought I would ever be able to knit one sock, let alone dozens of pairs.

I am hoping to branch out into larger knitted items. I found this pattern at the same store. It looks fairly easy. Just knit rectangles and sew them together. I’m thinking of knitting it in a soft lavender.

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I had Thanksgiving dinner Sunday for my family since we will be gone on Thanksgiving this year.    I hadn’t made a big meal like that for months and it plum wore me out.  I baked a pie, homemade rolls, made homemade noodles and several other dishes to go along.   After I have cooked a big meal like that, I am not hungry until everyone goes home and then my appetite suddenly comes back and then I eat.   As you have read, cooking isn’t my favorite pastime, but I can do it when the need arises.  This next week I will be baking cookies for a bake sale.  One of our grandsons is in a club at school where they do things for others and they are having a bake sale and the profits will go to a charity they have picked, but they have to ask people to bake something for them so my grandson called me on the phone and asked me if I would bake something. Of course. I would do anything for my grandchildren if I can.  Glad they are teaching the children to think of others.    We need more of that.

I didn’t get any pictures of our “Thanksgiving” dinner only the aftermath.

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The table really looked pretty. You’ll have to take my word for it.  But I find I am living more in the moment nowadays and don’t think of taking pictures until it’s too late.   I used my Fiestaware dishes and it was a very colorful table.

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Then we gathered around the tv to see some videos of Disney World rides we will be riding( well, some of us will be riding) when we all go there together.   I’m afraid riding anything that drops suddenly is off my list of rides, but I am sure I will have plenty of things to see and do while we are there.  See the guy in the red shirt on the floor? That’s our oldest son. He is almost fifty and he loves amusement parks. He has a season pass to King’s Island in Cincinnati and goes there almost every day before and/or after work.  He’s ridden all the roller coasters. This is the kid who was afraid of heights and once when we had to sit way up in the uppermost seats at a Cincinnati Reds game, he was afraid.   Things have changed.

October will bring another surgery and more trips to Indianapolis.  I’m hoping to get some quilting done. Ever since we remodeled my shop, I have had hardly any time to just go out there and sew. I did finish sewing together a wall hanging today which thrilled me beyond all reason.   Plus we are getting our house painted and a new screened in back porch built.  It’s going to be another very busy month.

Hope your days are filled with some work and some play and that you will enjoy the Autumn weather because the heat will soon go away.  Halleluhah.   Bye.