Category Archives: Knitting

Winter Wonder?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Quiltin’ and Knittin’

This last week has been a productive week for me. I had all kinds of energy and put it to good use.   I made an entire quilt for Valentine’s Day.   I haven’t been quilting much since I discovered the joy of knitting socks.  I have become as much a yarn fanatic as I am a fabric fanatic.   I just received more yarn a few days ago and already have two pairs of socks almost knitted.

But, back to my quilt.  I have many old quilt magazines and I enjoy looking through them on occasion and a quilt caught my eye that I was sure I wanted to make.

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It came from this magazine.

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And this is how long I have had this magazine!

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And this is the finished quilt.  I love it.  I just put the last stitches on the sleeve on its back so that I can hang it.

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I dipped into my stash of red and pink fabric and I love how each heart turned out.

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And this is the backing. I can’t remember where I got this fabric, but it was probably in some western state with all the little cowboys and cowgirls on it.

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Very vintage looking.  This was an easy quilt to make and I got it finished quickly, which I loved.

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You corralled my heart.  Love it.  Looks like a Valentine I might have received when I was a school girl.

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It took a lot of pins to pin it together, but nothing like a king size quilt takes which takes hundreds and I have to crawl around on my hands and knees on the floor to pin it.  I have asked(begged) David to build me an extra big table for my shop on which  I could lay a king sized quilt to be pinned.    He says he will do it this Summer.   I am planning on doing some remodeling in my shop, painting and moving things, so Summer would be a good time to get a new table.

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Since I was in my shop and had some extra squares laying around I made a couple of pin cushions since mine are looking a little raggedy.

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Looks like a porcupine, doesn’t it?  And speaking of animals.  We had crescent rolls for dinner last night and one looked very much like an animal.

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Does anyone see a walrus in this, or is it just me?

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I love this yarn so much.  Whoever gets this pair of socks, I want to borrow them! Ha!

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Using up some of my yarn, I have knitted some patchwork socks.  These look a little wonky right now because I haven’t blocked them, but I do love how they turned out. Notice, I say, “love” a lot.  We kids use to say to each other in school, “Well, if you love it so much, why don’t you marry it?”    Yes, we did say that to each other.   I still say it once in a while.

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We(David) finished the puzzle. I liked working on the colored pieces, but when we got to the white pieces I left them all to David. He’s like a little dog with a bone when he has a project like this to complete. He would sit at this for hours looking for pieces. Kept him out of trouble.  I must find another puzzle to do.

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From Maine lobsters, which, by the way, true story,  I never ate one lobster in Maine when we were there.  Something I have always regretted.  Maybe if we drive to Nova Scotia like we want to, we will go through Maine again and I will eat lobster.

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To the Golden Gate bridge, which we have driven over. It really is a beautiful sight.

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Michigan cherries.  If you ever get the chance to be in Traverse City during the cherry festival, do it.  It is so much fun.  David and I honeymooned in Traverse City during the festival.  Got stopped by a policeman for running a red light.  Ate a lot of Burger Chef hamburgers. Anyone remember Burger Chef?   The Burger Chef in Traverse City had hamburger buns that tasted like homemade and we ate them every, single day while there.  There were some awesome French fries at the festival, too.  We watched otters play in the downtown zoo.  I doubt it is still there.  We have a road named after our family in Traverse City. Craig Road.  At one time only Craigs lived on it, but I don’t think that’s the case now.  We slept on David’s uncle’s boat one night and watched fireworks on the bay.  I have very fond memories of Michigan, and Traverse City especially.

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Mount Rushmore.  We have been there a couple of times. The last time we were there they had a special program for veterans and asked all the veterans to come up on stage.  I was so proud to see David up there as they sang patriotic songs.   Love Mount Rushmore.

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Texas blue bonnets.  We were in Texas, Fredericksburg, a little over a year ago.  The blue bonnets weren’t blooming then, but I think it would be a sight to see. While in Fredericksburg at Wildseed  Farms I bought this poster.

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It has a lot of different butterflies on it.  I am going to Hobby Lobby this week and see if I can get it framed.  I’ve been moving it around and worry that it will get torn or damaged.  I have a wall just waiting for it.

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The puzzle even had a rooster on it.  Chickens seem to follow me everywhere. Speaking of chickens, a friend came up to me in church last Sunday with a big bag and handed it to me and said, “Enjoy.”    I was so excited, I looked inside and there was a box and I ripped it open and here is what was inside.

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A chicken night light. OMIGOSH!!!!  I love it.  It now has a place of honor in my kitchen where I can see it every single day. Thank you, Nancy.  It was so sweet of you.  It looks reddish in this picture, but it is more yellow.

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I bought this kit years ago and came across it a few weeks ago.

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I am working on it. It’s supposed to be a wall hanging, but I am going to make a pillow.  I will show it to you after it is done.

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We have been having a few Spring like days.  The ground smells like Spring and the buds look ready to burst, which I hope they don’t do as we will have more freezing temperatures.  This is a bud on a little lilac bush.

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A bud on one on my magnolia trees.  I just planted this one last Spring. We have an older one that was planted before we built our new porch.

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It will have lots of blossoms on it this Spring.   One year when our oldest son was in kindergarten, the school had a science fair, so I took him outside and we collected branches from different flowering bushes and shrubs and put them in jars of water to watch them burst into bloom. Our son showed all these branches at the science fair and got a blue ribbon.

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There are still some green plants in my garden that will stay green all winter, but don’t ask me what this is right now. I’ll tell you when it blooms.

Now I am going to tell you a deep, dark secret about myself.  Since I let it all hang out here(although there are some things I will never tell since my children read this blog.)   I do not like to dust.  Really hate it, actually.  We live in this old one hundred year old house that seems to produce dust in bushel baskets.   I do try to keep a clean house, but every once in a while I find a spot that makes me say to myself, “What happened here?”   For the last couple of weeks when I ran the dryer, I kept smelling something like it was hot.   And I noticed that the laundry/bathroom seemed to always need dusting.   Then when I was taking a shower I noticed this huge cobweb on the wall and said to myself, “What in the world!”  Then I decided to check behind the dryer and found that the pipe that runs to the outside and sends the lint away was disconnected from the dryer.   I told David about it and he said, “Oh, yeah, I noticed that a few days ago.”  What!?!?!?  Well, just suffice it to say I wasn’t happy about the situation.  So, I spent most of a morning cleaning out from behind the dryer, washing the floor and baseboards, cleaning the walls and wiping down the dryer.  Then when David got home he brought in the shop vac and finished cleaning behind the washer and I washed the floor behind it and the walls. Found several Decon boxes under there and a Terro bottle. Terro kills ants by the way.   David also found one of my paintbrushes.   Anyway, I think we dodged a tragedy here because lint is very flammable and who knows what would have happened if the dryer had overheated.  So I thank God for watching over us.   We have had a couple of near misses through the years that could have turned into tragedies like the time the furnace man came to clean our furnace and the chimney where the gases went up through was so clogged with dirt and leaves that he told us we were lucky we had not all died from carbon monoxide poisoning.  We had not lived in the house very long before that and didn’t even know the flue had to be cleaned out in the basement!  Now I make sure it is checked.  Anyway, after the bathroom/laundry room was all clean I rearranged it.  We are planning on remodeling both bathrooms this year, but after we got all done and I looked at this bathroom, I was quite pleased with it.  All we want to do in there now is take out the old tub and shower around and have it all tiled.

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This little dresser has been in hiding in the bathroom and I brought it out where it can be seen and I like it very much.    The new tiled shower will be on the opposite wall from this.  We hope to remodel our upstairs bathroom which was put in in the 1950″s we think.  New sink and cabinets. I love the tub in there.  It is almost long enough for me to lie down in.

Well, I have rambled on long enough.  Looking forward to the presidential inauguration this Friday. So glad we live in a country where we can change leaders without too much distress.

By the way, that policeman who stopped us for running a red light while we were on our honeymoon, just gave us a warning after we told him we had just gotten married. Thank you Mr. Peaceman.  Appreciate you didn’t give two stupid kids a ticket that day.  Bye.

 

 

 

The Week Between

Santa has hung up his hat for another year.

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There really ought to be a name for the week between Christmas and New Year’s.  I mean, you just spent weeks in a wild scramble to decorate, buy gifts, wrap the gifts, plan a special meal, attend a Christmas cantanta, do some partying if you are so inclined and then Christmas comes and all the gifts are opened, the family comes, the family goes and in a few hours, it’s over.  I spent the day after coming down from a complete high.  Nothing to hurry to get done.  No cleaning to do. No where to go.  Ahh, sweet, sweet nothingness.   Sleep in, read, knit just for the enjoyment.  Work on a new little project I was chomping at the bits to start before Christmas.  But I still felt a little lost. Like something was missing.  The week of nothingness.   I just wish Christmas had  lasted longer.  And all the tv has is reruns.  Glad we have Netflix, but we finished the final show in the series of Longmire, which had quickly become my favorite show on television.  I understand there will be a sixth season of it so will have to wait until it comes on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it and like good stories, good acting, handsome men and the west, you will love it.  Lou Diamond Phillips is in it and he’s a hunk and the star, Robert Taylor isn’t bad either. (Hope David doesn’t read this!)  If we didn’t have Netflix, we probably would not watch much tv.  I am trying to cut back and do more reading.  I’ve put several books on my Kindle.  Does anyone else who has Kindle feel like they read faster than when reading from a book?   I feel like I fly through books now.  I got Kindle Unlimited because I was buying so many books.  Now I can read as many as I want for the price of one book.   There is an author I discovered, George Mahood, who has written books about things he has done like bicycle from the bottom tip of England to the top tip of Scotland with no money, no bicycle and no clothes, except the shorts he had on.  No bicycle, you ask?  You will have to read the book.  He and a friend did it in three weeks with absolutely no money in their pockets.  He wrote a book about a trip he took through the United States which was really good and made me love my country even more. That book was called, “Not Tonight, Josephine.”  You will have to read it to find out who Josephine is.  It’s nice when someone from another country says so many nice things about my country.  Another book he wrote was about different holidays no one has ever heard of before and he tried to celebrate one each day of the year.  Did you know that January 2 is cats’ new year?  It’s called Happy Mew Year. If you want to laugh out loud, read one of his books.

We are the grandparents of four brand new golden retriever puppies.  Our daughter’s dog had them on my grandson’s, her son’s birthday.  What a gift.  We haven’t seen them yet, but hope to see them this week.  I will get some pictures to show you.

Now that the new year is here, I am planning.  One of the things that makes life worth living, is to have something to look forward to. I read that somewhere.  Someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to.  I have been blest all my life with all three.     I am always planning. I have known friends who were still making plans on their deathbed.  I think that is the human condition.  We make plans.  Of course, life almost never goes as we plan it which is what makes it so interesting.

This Christmas almost everyone got socks that I had hand knitted.  It became a running joke as each person opened a package and there were socks.  My youngest grandson looked at me with a worried look and said, “Grandma, I hope I’m not getting socks!”   He didn’t.  All the younger boys got train sets this year. And Nerf guns with plenty of Nerf bullets.

Here is a picture of those who got socks this Christmas, or at least their feet.

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From the leftover yarn I am knitting patchwork socks.  I already have a pair ready for next Christmas!

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Yes, it was a sock year.

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Once you have worn hand knitted sock, you never want to go back to store bought.  They are warm and comfy and stretchy.  One year I bought a couple of pair of socks from the Ralph Lauren store that were really cute, but when I got them home, they had absolutely no stretch in them.  I could barely get them over my heels.  Sad, too, because they were really, really cute.  I have no trouble getting hand knit socks on and off.  I hope they last longer than store bought socks also.

Not to say we have been doing nothing this week.  I made a big pot of potato soup with jalapeno and cheese sausages.

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David and I spent a quiet New Year’s Eve. We went to an Italian restaurant and ate dinner. That night while watching one of the New Year’s shows I suddenly got hungry for pancakes.  “I’ll make some, ” David said.  And he did.

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With strawberry preserves and whipped topping.  Yum.  What better way to end one year and start the next.  I just said we were having breakfast extra early.

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The project I have worked on this week were these little trees  Patchwork pines.  Tattered Trees.  They are  the creation of Ann Wood, a blogger I just discovered who makes the cutest things out of used things, paper machine and  anything she can find.  She provided the pattern for these for free.  I, of course, could not make just one and ended up with a little forest of them.

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Then I put them with little houses my daddy had made years ago and made a little village on our mantle.

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With kissing Grandpa and Grandma, of course.  Ha.

Besides all the other things going on, we had three birthdays in December and on Christmas day we celebrated our youngest grandson’s eighth birthday.  It’s hard for me to think he is already this old. Just seems he was born and he’s half grown almost.

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I made him a cake with a banner with his name on it.

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He seemed happy with it.

And just because we have nothing else to do, David and I started a puzzle this week.

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I ordered this from the Current catalog months ago and we said we’d wait until after Christmas to start it.  It is really a fun and interesting puzzle to do.  Not sure about the marijuana leaves on it, but some states have legalized it.  Even though I was a teen and a college student in the sixties, I can honestly say I have never tried marijuana  and don’t plan to start.  I have always been careful about the drugs that go into my body.  I don’t like taking aspirins too well, but will if necessary.

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This is a pretty big puzzle.  I like how the light is shining on it right now.

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Spread out on two tables. David is really the puzzle maker in our house.  I get impatient and frustrated after a while and have to leave. David will sit for hours working on it and he is not intimidated by all the white pieces in this puzzle.

Well, we don’t know what this year will bring.  Just living it one day at a time and trying to enjoy every moment.  I hope January goes really slow.  We will have a presidential inauguration and David’s birthday on the same day.  That will be fun.

This is the year I am going to start walking again  I was up to five miles a day a couple of years ago and then I hurt both my legs at different times and it was hard to walk a mile without pain, so, this is the year I am going to try to get back to walking again.   I will start slow with a mile or so and work up from there.  I will keep you posted and maybe you would like to start this journey with me.  After all, a journey begins with just one step.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Loving seeing these pretty boys in the shrubs.

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Watching this silliness on the bird feeder and laughing.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

Halcyon Days and Sock Love

David and I celebrated our forty-eight wedding anniversary this past week.  We decided to take a whole week from weekend to weekend to celebrate.   It’s been a long week.  We wanted to go antiquing, but most of the antique stores we went to were either closed or more like junk sales than antiques.   We wanted to go to a Daylily farm and it rained cats and dogs on us.  In fact, it rained almost the entire week.  We did manage to get to Olive Garden for dinner which was very good.   But it was still all good.  When you have been married to the same man for almost your entire life, you don’t expect fireworks all the time, but we did do fireworks one night in our driveway with some old firecrackers and bottle rockets.  There were people shooting off fireworks all around us.  Some people don’t like this time of year because of all the fireworks, but I love it.  We have had a lot of fireworks in our marriage.  Some good.  Some bad.  As we looked back on our life together, we both feel it’s been a pretty good life.  When I said, “I do,”  I meant it and still do.

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We did get to Streamcliff Farm again and had lunch with our older son and his friend.  I managed not to buy any flowers this time, but I was tempted.  I don’t know what they feed their plants, but all the flowers are huge.

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We couldn’t get over how big these begonias were.

After lunch, we went back to the daylily farm, it wasn’t raining, and yes, I bought some daylilies.

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It’s called New Creation Day Lilies and do they ever have a lot of daylilies.  You picked the ones you wanted and they dug them for you right then.

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The first day we went there, it was raining, as I said. This lady was out in a garden picking off the dead blooms.  She had a bucket full.

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This handsome fellow strutted around crowing and keeping his hens in a row.

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There were several roosters and they were all crowing up a storm.  I love hearing roosters crow.  When we went to the Virgin Islands, chickens roamed all over and you could hear the roosters crowing.  It was such a pleasant sound to me.  It sounds like country.

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The day lilies were gorgeous.

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I brought one of these home with me.  Along with four others.

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We drove through storms during our drives.

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We laugh because we have driven through so many storms in our lives and made it out alive to tell about it.

What’s life without a few storms along the way?

It wasn’t all play however.  Our rhubarb just keeps on growing and we keep on picking it.  I have made two batches of strawberry rhubarb jam.

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The first batch was eaten up almost instantly.  We had company and there was a teen-age boy who really, really liked this.  We went through a couple of jars at that meal.

We have been trying to trap a groundhog that has made its home under our front porch.  This is what we have caught thus far.

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Several bunnies that we let loose back into the yard.

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And this.

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He/she was not a happy camper.  Don’t know whether it’s a male or female and I’m not going to check.

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His/her day was not going as planned. David took it over to the woods across the street from us. Hope it doesn’t find its way back.

Still haven’t caught a groundhog though.

But we do have a lot of these and this one is becoming a sort of pet.  Coming to eat under our bird feeders every evening.

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Peter Rabbit and Farmer MacGregor is no where to be seen.   You’re safe with us, Peter.

Remember when I went to see Susan Branch at a book signing in Cincinnati?  Her husband was handing out seeds from their wisteria vine that grows at their house.  I planted the seeds and now I have two of these.

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I am hoping they will grow and produce flowers one day.

Okay, I can’t get away without writing about socks.  My fingers have been flying and socks have been coming off the needles in record speeds!

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All different sizes. That little sock.  That’s my daughter’s size. She has very tiny feet.  In fact, her next pair I have to make a little bit smaller.  She wears children’s socks.  She certainly doesn’t take after me in that respect.

I peruse yarn webpages like I use to fabric pages. My quilting has been laid by the wayside for a time.   I cannot stop knitting socks.

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I keep buying yarn.

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I really, really like these yarns I got the other day.  All variegated and different shades of color.

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I have knit one sock from this and I absolutely love it.

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I’ve got me a lot of sock loving happening in my future.    Yippee!  I never thought I would ever get the hang of knitting socks, but now that I have, it’s really very simple.  Of course, anything is once you know how to do it!

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Speaking of gardens.  My garden is not doing too shabby.  These are some daylilies I have had for years and divided and planted all over the yard.   I got the first ones at a grocery store.

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I love my Summer garden.   Every year it surprises me.  When Winter gets here, I will think I will never see this again and then, it happens like a miracle every single year.

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I wish my mother could see my garden.  She loved her garden too.  Perhaps she can see it, but then, she’s in the most beautiful garden imaginable as I type.

I will leave you with a picture of what I call the “Screaming Tree.”  When the doctor’s house next door to us was torn down, they also took out deadwood out of an old tree and just left its carcass.

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Every time we pass it I think it looks like it’s screaming.  As if it cannot believe they tore down that beautiful, old house.

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What do you think?  Bye.

 

 

 

This is Retirement?

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’ve become a sock model.

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Why do I always have a bruise on my shins?

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

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

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

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

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We missed the Karaoke.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

My New Obsession

I love making things.  Mostly sewn things.  It was my goal years ago to have at least one hundred quilts before I died.  Well, with having a quilt shop and making so many display  projects, with family loving quilts too, and with going to auctions for years, I finally accrued, created and found at least one hundred quilts.  I don’t own all of them.  Many of them have been sold or given as gifts.  All my grandchildren have at least two quilts I made especially for them.  I have made quilts for charities, for church projects and for Samaritan’s purse.  I wish I could see all the quilts I have made in one big pile.   I have quilts for every season.  Quilts are on every bed, on both couches, on every chair and hanging on walls.  I have a big box of unfinished quilts in my shop.  I have one quilt on my sewing machine in the process of being quilted.

But……..a new obsession has taken over my life.   At the beginning of the year I read Lucy’s blog, Attic 24, where she was learning how to knit socks. She made it sound so appealing, I immediately ordered the Minwick Mum’s Sockalong book that took you step by step through the sock knitting process.  At first, it was all Greek to me.  I read it over and over.  Tried knitting socks. Tore more socks out than I care to mention.  Learned that tearing out your knitting stitches was called “frogging.”  Dropped stitch after stitch.  Knitted more ribbing and sock legs.  Learned how much fun knitting the heel flap is.  Found out turning the heel was easier than I ever could have imagined, picked up stitches even when I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing. Knit the gusset and finally decreased the toes. Decreasing the toes is when everything usually fell apart because the book said I had to use double pointed needled to do it.  Then, the other day I just went ahead and decreased the toe stitches on my little circular needle.  No dropped stitches and easy as can be.  I can’t tell you how many times I would get to the toes, dropped three or four stitches and tear out the whole sock.  But, I didn’t give up and have finally found what works for me.

Now, my quilt is still sitting on the sewing machine waiting to be completed.  I hardly look at my fabric even though I have a purse needing to be finished and material for a skirt.   Now I  surf the web looking for yarn companies and drool over yarn like I would drool over fabric.  I have several circular needles, sock blockers, and other knitting paraphernalia. I have looked up my old knitting books from the seventies when I knitted sweaters, booties and hats for my children.  I have baby things on my mind.  I even ordered yarn for a baby project.  And there are no babies ahead in my family. At least I don’t think so.

I have finished two pair of socks and have two more pair almost done.  Today I ordered more yarn. For four more pair!  I think this obsession is going to stay with me for a time.  David has had to listen to me when I could not get it into my head how to knit socks.  He kept encouraging me and said I would figure it all out and he was right.  One day it all just clicked.  The fear was gone.  Now the socks glide off my needles with ease. Oh, I still drop the occasional stitch, but with a small crochet hook, I usually can pick it up.   I wish I could explain to you how euphoric I feel that I finally figured it all out.  It was like a dark cloud of doubt that was hanging over my head just went “poof” one day.     The lesson I took from this is “never give up.”  And I didn’t.  Despite several attempts that went all wrong, I now know how to knit socks.  Now I am looking at fancier socks like ones with cables or other designs.  I’m hoping I can knit socks for gifts.

I guess I owe Lucy and Minwick Mum a huge thank you for turning me on to sock knitting.

I am sure you are tired of reading about my sock obsession.  David says when I decide to do something, I jump in feet first and start swimming and don’t stop.  When I start making things, like purses, quilts or dolls, I never stop at one.  I make a dozen or more.  Now I probably won’t stop knitting socks.  EVER.  I love the process and the finished product.  But, enough about socks, although I could talk about them all day!

We have been doing some things other than me sock knitting and David helping me wind the yarn.  I am trying to start my walking regimen again.  I was up to walking five miles a day a year or so ago and then I hurt my right leg and then by the time it was feeling better, I tore a ligament in my left leg that has taken months to repair.   I just noticed the other day my leg didn’t feel stiff any longer and I wasn’t walking with a limp.    Molly is bound and determined to run into that leg every time I go out in the yard with her.  She loves to play and takes it that I want to play with her every time I go out the back door.   Many times I will play with her, but when I don’t, she follows me as close as she can and then she and Belle get into a tussle right behind me and sometimes slam into my legs.  I’ve taken to carrying a rake and holding it behind me so they won’t hit me.  I really don’t want to have a sore leg all summer.

Last Christmas my older son gave me a cute bench.

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A painted Santa face peeking out.

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A kind of creep Santa peeking out!

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With bird house posts on either side.

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With birds painted on each post.

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Snowmen on the armrests.

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Even Santa’s belt painted on.

Well, it’s almost Summer now and it still sits on our porch.  I tried covering it with a quilt, but it kept getting blown off.  Every time I passed it, Santa was looking at me and creeping me out.  David and I could not lift it because it was made from really heavy wood.   I had no place to store it anyway, so…………

I probably did the unthinkable to some people, but I feel very happy with my new little bench.

I painted it.

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Now, it’s suitable for year round and I can decorate it at Christmas with tiny lights and a wreath, so I am happy with it.   And we don’t have to move it.  It also provides a nice place for the UPS man or the FedX man to leave packages out of the weather and off the floor.   So it’s a win-win for me.

I don’t get up very early any more.  For the first decades of our marriage we had to get up for work or to get the kids up for school.  The alarm rang at 5:30 most mornings.   Lately, I have been sleeping until 9:00 or later.  One day David worked until 11:00 a.m. and when he came home, I was still asleep.   You see, I love staying up late, but I really love the early morning so one of them had to go.  Today, I woke up at 4:30, laid awake and said my prayers until 5:30 and decided to get up.  It’s amazing how many things you can get done before 8:00 if you get up early.   I did a load of wash, did all my ironing and knitted half a sock.  This getting up early seems to be a good thing.  Now I have the whole day to do other things.

When one gets up early, they get to see the sunrise.  I sat out on our front porch and watched the sun come up.

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I have been missing some beautiful sunrises.  The hummingbirds were out feeding and the birds were waking up.  It was glorious.    Still don’t know if I will give up my late nights.  I love to knit and read in the evenings and the time just gets away from me.

I will leave you with some pictures of the late May garden.  It’s peony time and I am loving it.

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And last but not least.  Two years ago when our new porch was being built, I saved some of the concrete pieces from it and planted flowers in them.  I had this one plant I didn’t know what it was and it stayed green all Summer and all Winter. But it never bloomed.  I watched it all last Summer and it didn’t do anything.  Just some green leaves.  This Spring I looked at it and thought to myself if it didn’t produce anything this year, I was going to tear it out.  Well, I am so glad I was patient with it because it is now my header picture.

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It’s phlox and I really do not remember planting this.  There are two different ones and they are so vibrant and pretty.

Here’s to sock knitting, early mornings and the patience to wait for a flower to bloom.  Bye.

 

Flower Child

I was a flower child long before it became popular.  Not the kind of flower child who did drugs or danced naked in the fields at Woodstock.  My mother grew beautiful flowers in her garden and every year I helped her gather the seeds for next year’s flowers.  She also loved African violets and my father made her a little window greenhouse in the kitchen where she grew some of the most beautiful African violets.  She could have won prizes for her flowers, but she grew them just because she loved them.

In the Summer my daddy would put me in the car with a few buckets and a shovel and we would drive down to the river where daddy would dig up sand and put it in the buckets to take back home to put in my sand pile.  While he was doing that, I was pulling up flowers(weeds) to take home and plant in my sand pile.  They didn’t last long, of course, but for a short time I had my very own garden.  I was always looking at the flower catalogs Mother would get.  I would go with her to the greenhouse where she purchased flowers for her porch boxes.   The man who owned the greenhouse knew my mother by name as she was a regular customer and came back every year.  I loved walking down the rows of flowers and choosing the ones I liked in my mind.  My Mother would buy a flat of flowers and bring them home and plant her porch boxes.  I can’t remember a time she didn’t have porch boxes planted when I lived at home.

Now I have gardens of my own and can plant whatever I want.  I still love going to a greenhouse and looking at all the flowers.  I love the smell inside a greenhouse.  The smell of fresh dirt and flowers is the best scent in the world. Wish they could make a perfume of it.  I probably already smell like that about every day in the Spring when I am outdoors planting and digging and dividing the flower clumps.   Today I finally got everything planted, I think, although I did see a corner in my kitchen garden that has only one flower planted there.  We cut down a redbud tree last year and I haven’t filled in the space yet, evidently.  Time to buy more flowers!

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So, come into my garden and see just a few of the flowers that are growing there.

Irises!  One of my favorite flowers because you can’t kill them and they multiply year after year without you doing anything at all.   I told a friend of mine I even mowed my irises down in the Autumn and she thought I was crazy.   But, I do, and every year, they come up bigger and better than ever.

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One of my favorites.  One day a couple of years ago, a man stopped by our house and asked if he could have a start of these irises, so I dug up one for him and asked him if he had any flowers he would like to share.  He did!  He brought me some lilac bushes and I planted them and one of them is doing well.

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These are becoming one of my favorite flowers now. Digitalis or Foxgloves.  They reseed themselves and are biennials so I should have some every year.  I have planted their seed everywhere and bought more plants, too.  You see, I am making my garden self sustaining so that one day, when or if I cannot plant or work in it anymore, the flowers will take care of themselves.

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One of David’s mother’s rosebushes.  It is doing so well now.  For a while, I thought I had killed it, but with loving care, it has come back and has a lot of blooms.  The roses smell just like roses should smell.  I have two of these bushes.  I feel so blessed.  Another reason I can never leave this house.  I have too many flowers from family members that grow all around my garden.  I think of those people every year when the flowers bloom.  Flowers like David’s grandmother’s sixty year old clematis, her snowball bushes, my mother’s day lilies and these roses.  It’s a family garden for sure.

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These poppies were started from Grandma Henley’s( David’s grandma) garden.  She had a beautiful garden behind her house and these grew profusely.  I remember her squatting in her garden, her knees up to her ears,  weeding the flowers until she was almost ninety years old.  She also grew the best rhubarb behind her outhouse!

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I planted two new Asiatic lilies.  I have ordered more Irises and peonies to be planted in the Autumn.   Nope, can’t have enough flowers.

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Speaking of peonies, they are starting to bloom now.  They are my very favorite flower.  They are beautiful and smell wonderful.  The only thing is, they just don’t last long enough.

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I have them in red, white, pink and pink and white.

Flowers are not the only things that have been on my mind.  You remember my sock journey?

I have become obsessed with sock knitting now that I kind of understand the process.  I still don’t like the double pointed needles at the end when decreasing the toe.  That is when everything goes all wrong all at once if I don’t pay special care or I get interrupted.  Which is why I only try to knit them when David is at work.    I am trying to figure out another way to decrease the toes.  Every sock has been an experiment in knitting.

    I do have a finished pair now.  My grey socks.

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I got a little carried away with the second sock and it’s a tad longer than the first one, but no one will notice when I have them on as they are slouchy and loose.  Made out of wool and acrylic, they will be warm to wear next Winter.

I have purchased several circular needles so that I could have different socks going at all times.  I just ordered more needles and sock blockers.  This hobby is becoming expensive!  Now, I drool over yarn like I have drooled over fabric for years.   There are so many yarn companies and so many beautiful yarns to choose from.

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I really love this yarn.  It isn’t exactly a stripe, but there are variegated partial stripes throughout the sock.

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Ready for the dreaded toe decrease on another sock.

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This winter I plan to have a lot of different socks to wear and I am going to try to knit socks for family members if I can figure out how to make them smaller and larger.

It isn’t true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks because I am living proof you can.  I never thought in a million years I could learn to knit socks, but I persevered and finally accomplished it.

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I hadn’t been in my shop for weeks because of the sock making, but today I went out and started a new purse.  I wish I could tell you where I got this pattern.  I got it online and I have made so many purses from this pattern.   Several people carry my purses.   I call this one my garden purse.

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I have this fabric that has country words on it, so I cut out some of the words and sewed it on my purse.

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I’m really loving making this purse.  I’ve done some embroidery on it and will soon have it completed.   Just give me an afternoon.

Hope you are enjoying these wonderful May days.  They are going by so quickly. I wish I could wrap one day up and take it out in the middle of the Winter and enjoy it once again.

Here’s to flower children and those who love them.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

May Days, an Author, and a Lightning Strike

We are in the merry month of May.  One of my very favorite months of the year when the flowers are in full bloom and I can plant even more.  I just went to the grocery this morning and this particular grocery has had the best perennials I have ever purchased for sell again this year.   I came home with three new lilies and some Gerbera daisies.  Now to find a place to plant them.  My garden is quite full.  I asked David the other day if he thought I would ever have enough flowers and he said, “No.”  Simple as that.  He knows me too well to think I will ever stop adding flowers to my garden.  I did take some flower starts to my oldest son this weekend who is trying to cultivate a small garden by his front door for curb appeal.  I took lilies, lambs Ear, irises and Shasta Daisies.  Now, I hope he plants them and doesn’t let them die.

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  The crabapple has bloomed and gone.  It was so beautiful and now I have to wait a whole year to see it again. 

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Begonias and some sweet flowers on the front porch.

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Look!  Aren’t these the sweetest little flowers?  I don’t know what they are called, but I love them.

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Oh, I wish you could have smelled the Mock Orange this year.  It grows right by our driveway and just walking by them one can smell their lovely fragrance.  They are thick in the Tiny Woods and since we cut the big tree down, they seem to be expanding, which is fine with me.

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David’s grandmother’s snowball bush is so lush and lovely this year.  I just want to stand and stare at it.  We have a smaller one in the back yard and one I just planted in the front yard.  It’s such a beautiful bush.  Molly tried trimming it so we had to put wire around it for a time until she got over the urge to do so.

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My little garden in a cup that I plant every year.  Just some grass and little birds and a bird house I found at a bird store.

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Don’t ask me what this plant is.  It is ferny and in the Autumn it’s branches are a bright yellow. This is the first year I have seen flowers on it which makes me very happy.  I don’t even remember planting it, but I must have as it sure doesn’t look like a weed.

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I simply love Irises because of their simplicity.  They are the easiest flower to grow.  You almost can’t kill them(as if I would try.)  They can take over my whole garden if they want to.  One day when I am too old to go out and divide and weed and plant, these Irises will grow all over my front yard and I won’t care a bit. 

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This little girl loves my garden too.

Besides gardening, I have had a seven week Bible study at my house.  It was called “What Are You Afraid Of?” By David Jeremiah.  It used Biblical references to show us why in any circumstance God is with us and will not forsake us.   It dealt with the death of loved ones, loneliness, fear of financial collapse, fear of natural disasters and other things.  We all have certain fears in life and life deals out some pretty rotten things sometimes, but God is always there in the midst of it all to help us and give us peace though the worst times.  None of us gets out of this life without something horrible happening to us or our loved ones.  I can tell you some pretty sad stories, but I don’t like to dwell on the sadness in life.   I’ve had some knocks and bings and bangs, but I have always felt like God was right there with me through them.  I know you are probably asking why God would put any of us through bad times.  He doesn’t.  we live in a sinful world and God gives us free will.  Things don’t always go as planned.  People we love die.  People we love go through tough times.  We go through tough times, but remember this, If you put your trust in God, He will see you through the worst times of your life.  I can vouch for that.

At the last Bible study, we had a British tea.  Or at least our version of a British tea.  The ladies all pitched in and we had a feast.

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Actually, the table was fuller than this and another table besides and we had so much good food to choose from.  I had made cucumber sandwiches( which I am now addicted to) and egg salad sandwiches.  I baked a sponge cake and had strawberries and real whipped cream with scones.  I am now a fan of scones also.

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These are some of the ladies.  I didn’t show their faces as we all were eating and no one wants their faces on a blog with their mouths stuffed full!  It was a wonderful study and I love all these ladies who are my sisters in Christ.

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I am still knitting socks.  I love the process.  I still have to tear out once in a while, but I don’t get all upset about it.  Just look at it as more practice.  I have taught myself a new way to pick up the stitches down the heel and around and up the heel again using one double pointed needle and my little circular needles.  It has become quite simple for me now.  The only place I really get hung up is using the DP needles to decrease the toe, but it is coming easier as I continue to knit socks.   I have several skeins of sock yarn I am looking forward to making into socks.

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I have purchased three circular needles and these cute stitch markers.  Little sheep on the end of them.  I like them better than the plain rubber circles I was using.  Makes knitting more festive somehow.

This Mother’s Day weekend, David and I went on an adventure.  We took a road trip to Cincinnati to see some special people.

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We drove along a road in southern Indiana that follows the Ohio River.

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The Ohio River is so beautiful and mysterious.  The road we were on was not heavily traveled, so we enjoyed the drive.

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Indiana roads have so much beautiful scenery.  David and I like to get off the beaten path and discover new roads.  But finally, we got into the towns near Cincinnati, Vevay, Rising Sun and Aurora.  Aren’t those pretty names for towns?  Then into the bustling traffic of the big city.  Who were we going to see?

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If you have any of her cookbooks or her first two books in this trilogy, or read her blog, you know of whom I speak.

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The Joseph Beth bookstore in Cincinnati.  I got to see Susan Branch!!!     I love her books and could not wait to see her in person.  I have seen several authors in person and it’s always been fun.

We all waited with excitement for Susan to appear.

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Suddenly, there she was right in front of us.  She told us she was uncomfortable speaking in public, but she was wonderful.  She told how her books came to life and took questions with so much patience.  You know, when you meet a well-known person, you usually have expectations of them, rightly or wrongly, that they will be as you imagined them to be.  Susan Branch did not disappoint.  She is every bit as charming, sweet, kind, nice and interesting as I thought she would be.  She is a very pretty lady with a very sweet smile and she had us all laughing and it felt like we were her girlfriends.

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I loved the outfit she had on. Very classy.  A pretty linen blouse with a scarf.  Her hair was done up in a knot on her head and she just looked darling.

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Her husband Joe, of whom she writes, was there by her side.  Her partner in crime like David is with me.

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He and David took pictures of each other.  Give a man a camera……..

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I just want all of you who read Susan Branch’s books or blog to know, she is for real and not a fake.  She is just exactly as she appears on her blog.  A beautiful person.

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And then, I got to shake her hand and she signed my book and put David’s name in it too, because I asked her to.

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I’m not at all happy to be there!

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I think I was just looking at her with adoration here.

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Look how cute she is.   I could move to Martha’s Vineyard and become her friend in a second.  I’d even make her a quilt if she wanted one.  Am I starting to sound like a stalker?  I hope not.

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I had made a new purse to take to the book signing and on a whim, I asked her to sign it and she did!  Now wasn’t that nice?  Oh, and see that top I have on?  It was new and I wore the store tag on it the whole time and didn’t know it!  David told me after it was all over.  Wonderful.  Hope Susan didn’t see it.

I had so much fun at the book signing.  Met some nice people in the audience.  People who loved Susan as much as I.  Anyway, it was a wonderful time and I am so glad I got to go.

On Mother’s day, we went with our son and his friends to King’s Island for the day.  We hadn’t been to King’s Island for probably at least twenty years.  There are a lot more scary rides there which I would not go on.  I went on one they promised me was not scary and I was crying before it was over. I am not a fan of scary rides.   There’s enough scary stuff in the world without purposely putting yourself in danger!  Security was high that day for some reason.  They were searching all purses and bags and wanding all of us as we entered.

At the restaurant in which we ate, there was a live show where they sang songs from the movies.  It was so good and had me singing right along with them.  We got some really good fudge just before we left the park.    I didn’t get any pictures of the day because I didn’t want to carry my camera around all day.  It was fun and I enjoyed watching David go on all the scary rides with our son.  He’s got a stronger stomach than I do.  It was so nice to spend time with out son also.  He makes me laugh.  A lot.

I haven’t been here for a while because our house was struck by lightning a week ago Sunday.  David and I were in bed and suddenly there was the brightest flash of light and the loudest boom I have heard that I nearly fell out of bed.  It woke David, and I said, “That hit something.”  It surely did.  We lost two televisions, our microwave, the dryer, our Direct tv, our internet, a sewing machine(I was so thankful all the rest of my machines were unplugged at the time,)  our pool pump surge control, and the circuit breaker on our hot tub.  We got everything replaced except our internet, which we just got back today.  I couldn’t wait to write my blog.

Now that all is back to normal or what I consider normal I can write more often.  Or at least I will try.

Here’s to books, wonderful authors, sons and daughters and flowers.  May they all be blessed.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

I Did It!!

If you have been reading my blog for a little while, you know that after Christmas I ordered this book.

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I have always wanted to knit socks, but didn’t know how to start.  Lucy from the blog Attic 24, who is a very talented crocheter, had never knitted before and after getting this book and following the instructions, she had knit a pair of socks.  Well, I thought, since I already knew how to knit, it had to be a piece of cake to knit socks if a novice could do it.  Was I ever wrong!

I started on my sock with some yarn I had laying around and it looked pretty good for a time.  Then it all went downhill and I had to rip it apart.  The sock was way too big for me anyway, so I could never have worn it.  So then I went to JoAnn’s and got this grey yarn and began knitting another sock.  Then I ordered more yarn, because of course I believed I’d be whipping out socks with regularity.

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And right in the middle of the grey sock which I had ripped out several times, I started another sock with this beautiful sock yarn.  I love how it looks so far.  I am getting really good at knitting the top ribbing and the leg of the sock.

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When I’d get really frustrated, I’d put down a sock and pick up a scarf.  Knitting in my sleep, almost.  I am trying to use up all my old yarn by knitting scarves that I will give to someone or to Samaritan’s purse or Goodwill.  I might even give some as presents to family.  I don’t know yet.

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I finished this scarf.  It saved my sanity sometimes.

Meanwhile, David thought he was going to have to have an intervention for me to get me away from the socks for a while.  I really didn’t know what a black cloud hung over me because I could not finish a sock.  But, I kept plugging on and learned how to knit a heel flap, turn the heel, pick up stitches for the gusset and finally, the dreaded Kitchener stitch, which wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be.  I find while I am knitting it is easier for me to know where I am in the project if I keep a sheet of paper and pen by me and mark every row.  Then, when I make the matching sock, it will have the same number of rows.  I also used this method while doing the Kitchener stitch, writing down every single stitch so I would always know where I was. It really helped me.

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It’s not scientific, but it’s worked for me.  So……..

This morning I got up and said to myself, “Self, you are going to finish a sock today.”  I was at the Kitchener stitch.  Something I have never tried before.  I read horror stories online from people who had tried it and failed and were never seen again.  I really had to psych myself up to do it. I even knit on a couple of double pointed needles enough stitches that I could practice upon.  But this morning I just said, “I’m going in,” and started finishing the toe.  Stitch by stitch, keeping them recorded on paper less I be interrupted and lose my place.  My pulse rose as I neared the last couple of stitches.  Then all of a sudden, I was weaving the yarn into the toe to hide it and I was done!    I tried it on.  It fit!

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Every single part of this sock is impressed into my mind forevermore.

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The ribbing.  Oh, how I love to knit ribbing.

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The gorgeous heel flap.  Oh, I love it.

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And last, but not least, the grafted toe(Kitchener stitch.)  Lovely.  Looks just like in the book.  Joy, joy, joy.

But then, because this was supposed to be a practice sock, I hadn’t got enough yarn to knit another one. But I found the wrapper from this sock, and went to JoAnn’s yesterday and found the same yarn. Not the same dye lot, but close enough in color that no one will notice.

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There’s another sock waiting in this skein of yarn.  Hope it wants to come out.

Of course, while at JoAnn’s I couldn’t resist buying even more yarn.

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The grey yarn and this yarn is made of wool and acrylic.  Reminds me of the yarn in the rag socks I use to buy from Eddie Bauer.  Now I can knit my own!

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This is yet another sock I have started.

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I find if I put the ball of yarn in this little pot it won’t roll all over the floor, under my chair, under the couch.  It stays put.  I have found with knitting socks, as with any hobby, you start to accrue the tools of the trade.  I’ve bought wooden double pointed needles, steel DPNs, two small circular needles, stitch holders, row markers and little rubber things to place on the end of your needles to keep the yarn from slipping off. Believe me, that has happened so many times for me and meant either trying to pick up stitches or ripping out the entire project again.

Am I happy about my new, grey sock?

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Yes, I am.

Remember the old house that was torn down by us last week?  David noticed when he was over there talking to the man doing the tearing down, there was a little pitcher laying in the dirt, so he went over after everyone was gone and got it for me.  I had mentioned I wish I had something to remember the old house and our neighbors.

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White enamel with chipped green paint.

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When I look at it I will remember Doc and Mrs. McCullough and the beautiful house that once was.

Here’s to knitting socks and to many more. Bye.