Monthly Archives: August 2013

Pretty in Pink, a New Door, etc.,etc.,etc.

Remember that movie, “Pretty in Pink,” with Molly Ringwald back in the eighties?  I loved that movie and still watch it when I catch it on tv.  But this post has nothing to do with that.

I was walking around my garden and noticed that the prevalent color right now is pink.




Gerbera daisies.






Not sure what this is called, but it is so pretty.

Speaking of pink, er, red.  I have been a red head for almost one week.  I have learned a lot from doing this.  Some people who know you and see you only one way act very shocked when you do something so out of character or look so different.  I am not surprised.  When I go by a mirror or a window and see my reflection, I have to stop a moment and make sure it is me. I am still a blonde in my mind, so when I see myself, it is a little disconcerting.  It has given me a whole new outlook on life.  I feel braver some how.  Anyway, at least for a few weeks I will remain this way until I make a visit to my beautician.  Boy, will she be surprised.  I also have doctor and dentist’s appointments in the next few weeks and I am looking forward to their reactions.   I’m going to see one of my best friends in a few weeks.  The last time she saw me I was a blonde.  I may call her and warn her, or not.

David decided this week to put a new door in my shop.  It’s not really a new door. It’s half of the old patio door we took out this Spring.


David made a big hole in the side of my shop.


After much huffing and puffing he managed to get the door installed.


He added some pretty trim.  All that is left to do is paint the brown around the door.  It was too hot to do this.  I’ll do it when the temperatures go down again.


Now I can look out and see the garden, the hot tub and the porch.  The dogs can also look in and watch me.   My shop is lighter now so all the work was worth it.


Speaking of gardens, this is what I picked this morning. The slightly pink tomato is an heirloom tomato.  They are so pretty and very meaty and good to eat.


A few days before, I had picked all this plus gathered a couple of eggs.  We could eat very well from our garden and from the chooks right now.  I had fried eggs for lunch today with  tomato slices.  It was so yummy.


A friend from church gave me these quilt blocks that her mother or grandmother had made.  All stitched by hand.  I am slowly sewing them together into a quilt.  The blocks were all different sizes so I have had to do some trimming, but they are all going together well.  I love the old fabrics.  Mary Lee told me it was probably scraps of fabric from clothes and flower sacks.  I love old quilts and I really love people who give me old blocks to sew together.   I hope I can get this done soon so I can show it to her.


While cleaning my shop and going through patterns and quilt books, I found this pattern for a Christmas quilt.  I plan to make this in the near future.  I think it’s so cute. It’s from a book with several Christmas projects and ornaments, many of which I would like to try.


“Are you looking at me?”  Yes, Belle, I am. Want to go for a walk?

When your dog wants to walk, you must take her.  Bye.

Oh, yes I Did!

I have always been attracted to red haired people.   One of my best friends in elementary school had the most beautiful red hair.   I have nephews with red hair, great nephews with red hair and grandsons with red hair.   I think they are all handsome.

For years I have told David I would like to dye my hair red and he just kind of ignored me and we went about our business and it never happened, until a few days ago, when I was walking down the aisle of the hair products at Wal-mart and saw a box of hair coloring and I loved the color on the box.  I have dyed my hair for many years, usually some sort of blonde and one time a light brown, but this was red.  “I’m going for it,” I told David and brought the box home.

I called my daughter and asked her if she would help me dye it and she said, “Mom, you don’t want to do it.”  That just made me more determined than ever to do it, so she agreed to help.

Today I took the plunge.  My daughter and daughter-in-love read the directions on the box and we proceeded to dye my hair red.  My grandchildren kept coming around and the looks on their faces were something to see.  Grandma did not look like Grandma.

Now I will show you the process and the finished product.  If you know me, you will probably gasp.  This is so not me and I like it.  My hair feels silky and soft and it is a bright red.  So without further ado:



My last day as a blonde for a while.


Dyeing the roots first as they were the darkest.


My daughter kept telling me I will not look like myself because she dyed her hair red one time and it was hard getting use to her as a red head.  She really looked like the actress Claire Danes then.


Just looking at this picture I think this is an entirely different person, but I love the color.


My daughter blew my hair dry and it felt so good.  I had not yet seen myself because I didn’t want to see it until it was completely done.


And here I am.  A red head.  Some people are gasping now.  You know who you are.  My hair has never been this shiny.  Now I will have to get a whole new wardrobe that goes with red hair.  What are my colors now?  They use to be pink and purple.  Not now, I don’t think.

If some day I really don’t like this any more, I have a great beautician who can return me to blondehood.  At least now I won’t be hearing dumb blonde jokes for a while.  My granddaughter said she really liked my hair and for me that is a compliment worth having.

Do you have something you have always wanted to do and were afraid to do it or afraid of what people will say?  Do it.  It is freeing and fun and I am going to have so much fun at church tomorrow seeing the looks on my peeps faces there.

Here’s to red heads and the courage to change.  Bye.

Do I Have the Courage???

 There is something I have wanted to do for a long time, but never had the courage   Today I decided if I don’t do it now, I never will so tomorrow is the day.  I have asked my daughter to help me with this and my daughter-in-love will be here with my other grandchildren and they will all be in on it. 

  I may not even be recognizable after I do this.  Tomorrow I will blog about it.

Rodeo! and Other Things

David put on his cowboy hat.


I put on my boots and we went to a rodeo.

There were horses.

And more horses.

There was a clown.

There was patriotism and a cowboy prayer.

An announcer who kept everything going.

More horses.  Sigh.  I want a horse!!!!!

These were some of the bucking broncs that were trying to kick their cages down.  They were rearing and stomping and ready to throw anyone who got on their back.

There was even a  marriage proposal right in the middle of the rodeo and she said, “Yes!”  The clown was in on it and offered the girl a larger(fake) diamond if she would marry him.

It was a fun evening.  The moon shone down on us and the crowd enjoyed it all. I plan to go back next year.

Now for what we have been doing.  We moved into our house thirty-six years ago.  It is now one hundred years old.  We had a birthday party for it this summer.  We have done a lot of remodeling through the years, but one place we never have touched was our cellar. It is not a basement in today’s version of basements, but a cellar where canned goods were kept for the winter.  I never liked going down in the cellar because there were always spiders and I was always afraid I would come across a snake. I never have.   We had a cellar in our house when I was growing up and one time I went down the stairs to bring Mother up some canned goods and laying right at eye level in the cellar window was a big, black snake curled up sleeping.  I ran back upstairs and it was a long time before Mother could get me to go back down into the cellar.  Daddy said it was gone, but I didn’t care.

Our children always wanted us to fix up the cellar into a real basement, but it was not to be.  A week ago David did decide he would paint it to make it brighter down there.

This is the cellar before painting.  You can see one wall that our grandchildren spray painted during Grandma’s camp.  It’s the brightest spot down there.

David began to spray paint.  He painted.

And he painted.  Pretty nearly everything in sight!  Even the shelves and ceiling.  He still has some of the ceiling to paint and then we will put everything back.  I will wash all the canning jars and cover them to keep them clean and it will look like a whole new cellar.

I will continue to store our canned goods down there.  David thinks I have too many cans of baked beans and pumpkin.  A couple of years ago, pumpkin was scarce, at least in our town and you couldn’t find a can to make anything so I began to buy up every can I could find.  Now I have a very nice supply for this Fall’s baking and I will not run out.


Just had to show you a double yolker one of the chooks laid.  The eggs are still pretty small although two of them laid two big eggs, but the silly girls stepped on them and broke them so Belle got to eat them.   I have baked two pound cakes with our own eggs and they turned out so yellow and moist.


I told you about these strips of fabric in an earlier post.  Fifty-two strips of fifty-two two and a half inch squares which make a one hundred and four by one hundred and four inch square quilt.

This is how it is turning out.  I was wondering what were the odds, with so many different fabrics, for the same fabrics to end up together.  Well, as you can see it happens even with one thousand one hundred and forty-four quilt squares. I don’t care.  I’m just putting them together randomly as I pick them up. You’ll never notice it on a galloping horse, as a friend of mine use to say when she made a mistake with her quilting.

Here’s to rodeos, horses and brighter cellars.  Bye.




Deep Thoughts(or Not.)

  David and I took a walk in the dark tonight.   I love Summer nights when the cicadas are singing and there is a slight moistness in the air that clings to your skin and reminds you there are still warm days ahead.  This Summer has gone by so quickly and I am not ready to see it go. 

   Today we drove into town and saw children walking home from school with their backpacks and their idealism.  At least I hope they haven’t lost their idealism yet.  I still have it.  Sometimes I expect everyone else to think as I, but it just doesn’t work that way.  Anyway, seeing all those fresh young faces with so much future ahead of them made me happy.    One of my grandsons began kindergarten this week.  He has a long way to go and I hope and pray his school years will be happy and productive and he will learn a lot and never lose his creativity or his idealism.  He was telling me about his music class and singing a song he had learned when he stopped and said he couldn’t remember the rest because he had learned it in the morning and it was a long time since morning! He will be learning so much.  More things than I had to learn.  I hope he is blest with good teachers who love to teach and he will always keep his love of learning. 

  Now that Fall is just around the corner, can Christmas be far behind?  I’m sorry. I shouldn’t even bring that up yet.  Seems we are rushed from season to season and not allowed to enjoy the season we are presently living.  Halloween things are arriving in the stores.  I am not looking forward to putting all my Summer decorations and pillows away and getting out the Autumn ones.  I will be ready as soon as the air turns crisp and Fall like.  But I just got ready for Summer and it is slipping away too quickly. 

  I  do kind of feel sorry for the children having to go to school while there is still warm enough weather to go swimming or play baseball or go skateboarding.  I remember the last day of school when I would have months to be free of lessons and sitting inside.   One year we got out of school on May 6th and didn’t go back until after Labor Day.    The Summer would stretch before me like a gift just waiting to be opened.  I remember walking down the road to my sister’s house.  She lived about a quarter of a mile down the same road we lived on.  I would be singing, “June is Busting Out All Over” at the top of my voice, the old dog who lived with us at the time following me behind for just a little ways and then he would turn back and go home.  I remember days of swinging back and forth on the porch swing reading book after book until Mother would call me for something.  There were days when I would hunt for kittens in the barn loft, feed calves from a bucket and hunt eggs in the chicken house.  Days of playing croquet and badminton in the side yard for hours it seemed.  There was no hurry to do anything or be anywhere.  I loved it.  I love it when I have days like that now.  And I still gather eggs.

    I am not ready to put away my Summer things and get out the Autumn things, but I will feel differently when the weather turns crisp and Fall like.   I am glad David and I have planned an Autumn vacation.  We will be in the mountains when the leaves are turning, I hope.  Then it will be time for warm sweaters and hot chocolate and hearing the hum of the furnace as it kicks on. (And seeing the dollar signs roll by as the cost of heating goes up.)  But I don’t want to close this with a bad attitude so I will just say, “I love you Summer and this has been an extraordinary one. I have raised chickens and had a wonderful garden and a family reunion and got to visit with friends I don’t see very often.  I got to have three of my grandsons for almost three days for a fun filled Grandma’s camp. I have swam and walked and played with the dogs and watched the sunsets and felt the warm sun on my face and have enjoyed every single minute of you.  I won’t say good-bye because, God willing, I will see you again next year.” 

  Here’s to first days of school, Lazy Summer Days and health to enjoy it all.  Bye.



I really do like comments.  I have had one thousand on my comment page on my dashboard  at times.  Unfortunately, they were mostly spam. How many oxycondon and Louis Vitton spams can there be?  From now on I am spamming all comments on my dashboard.  If a comment does not appear here on my post, I won’t see it.  To leave a comment click on ” leave a reply” and you will see a comment section.  My name and E-mail may already be typed in it.  Just delete those and type in yours and leave your comment.  I think people have been having trouble leaving comments before because of this.  Please don’t leave a comment anywhere else but here or I may not see it.  If anyone knows how to eliminate spam, please let me know.  I am being spammed constantly.

That’s all for today.  Bye.

The Egg and I and a Trip to England

Does anyone remember the movie, “The Egg and I,”  that starred Fred McMurray and Claudette Colbert?  You have to be really old to remember it although TMC may show it once in a while. It’s about a man and woman who move from the city onto a farm to raise chickens and all the problems they had and all the crazy neighbors they had.  I use to love watching it.  Perhaps you could see it somewhere online.

I’m living a sort of Egg and I life right now.  Raising chickens has been more fun than I could ever imagine.  I feel at one with the chooks.  They are my peeps.  They cluck and I cluck back. They ruffle their feathers and I….well, maybe not.    Now we are reaping the rewards of all the time and money we have spent on them by gathering eggs every day. They are still small, but I live in hope they will get bigger as we go along.  We ate some yesterday for breakfast.


Look at that bright orange yolk.


The store bought egg is on the right.  It was a double yolker however.


We ate our breakfast al fresco by the pool.  Yes, that is Spam on our plates.  I do like a slice or two of Spam occasionally.   Spam has gotten a bum rap.  My doctor is stocking up Spam for the end times he tells me.  If it is good enough for my doctor, it’s good enough for me.


We enjoyed the garden as we ate.


Belle joined us. These are her begging eyes.  Can’t you tell?

The other day I received a wonderful book in the mail.  I found a blog over a year ago written by Susan Branch.  I had never heard of her before that, but I absolutely loved her blog.  She calls all her readers her “girl friends,” and always has something wonderful to write about.  She gave a tea party for the new Prince George for her friends and neighbors.  It was quite something and looked like so much fun.  Anyway, she writes books.  She handwrites them and water colors them and they are just amazing.  They include recipes and sayings and Susan’s outlook on life.  As she says about others, she has the “happy” gene.   Susan and her husband, Joe, took a two month vacation to England last year and she chronicled it in a diary.  They went over on the Queen Mary2 and rented a car and drove all over England.  That is exactly what David and I want to do.

Her diary came out in hardcover just last week and as I had pre-ordered the book, I got mine last week.  It’s signed and everything.  This is a book you cannot read on Kindle.  It is a book you need to hold and smell and leaf through over and over and read excerpts from it and stare at the pictures and read some more.

Susan handwrote the entire book and drew her wonderful water color pictures.  This book is a travel guide of sorts and tells all the places they stayed and what they ate where and how crazy it was to drive on the left side of the road.  David and I did that when we visited the Virgin Islands and David thinks it is easier to drive on the left side of the road instead of the right.  He even said the other day he wished he could find a car with the steering wheel on the right.  My guy is crazy like that.


She called her book A Fine Romance.  It tells how she met her husband after she had pretty much given up ever getting married and her love of the English countryside.


I have read this book and am reading it again.  It’s that wonderful.  If you love England, you will love this book.  Here are some of Susan’s watercolors and pictures from the book.


She loves Beatrix Potter, the author of Peter Rabbit, and visited her home called Hilltop.


She and Joe walked through many fields with sheep in them.


Love these phone booths. Are they really used anymore or are they just for atmosphere now?


They sailed on the Queen Mary2.  There were over three thousand people on the ship.  David and I want to sail across to England, but David said we will probably have to take a freighter.  I’m not sure about sailing on such a big ship.  We will have to see.  We want to go over on our fiftieth wedding anniversary. I really don’t want to fly.

Still picking cucumbers.  Fifteen yesterday and four today because I really didn’t want to look for them.  Also we are getting tomatoes.  They are so good.  Nothing is as good as that first tomato from the garden.

Here’s to English diaries, dining al fresco and laying hens..  Bye.


A Book, a Salad and the Chooks


What does one do with this bounty of cucumbers?  By the way, see the egg?  Anyway, I have been picking nine or ten cucumbers out of the garden every day for about two weeks now.  Yesterday I picked fifteen.  So I took several of them to church this morning to give away and I made this salad.


Found the recipe on my facebook page the other day and tried it.  It has cucumbers, onions and tomatoes mixed with oil, water, sugar, salt and pepper.  It is so good, but I have got to watch how much I eat of it because it doesn’t agree with me if you know what I mean.

Even then, I still have cucumbers going bad and the chicks can only be allowed to eat so many.  Might interfere with their egg production.


The eggs they are laying right now are little.  Next to this quarter is one.  Kind of like your first baby is small and then the rest get progressively bigger although my children went the opposite way.    They have only been laying a week and I think only two or three are laying at this minute.  I am hoping some big eggs will start showing up.  Heaven knows I have been feeding the girls very well.


They are all this color.



Here they are next to large size store bought eggs.  I think tomorrow we are going to scramble some.  They are perfect little eggs, just not very big yet.


Had to show you three of my able bodied chicks are roosting on the handicap roost.  Shouldn’t they be fined???  Freedom still sits underneath.  I have to tell you she has been walking normally now for a week or so. Her foot isn’t curling under and she keeps up with the rest so I think we got her over whatever was ailing her.  Funny thing is, with all the attention I gave her and held her so much and handfed her when she was crippled,  she acts the most scared of me than any of the other chicks.  Guess she’s like a teen-ager and has to prove she can get along without me.

Now I have to tell you about a wonderful book I received in the mail last week.  I ordered it months ago and have been looking forward to getting it and I was not disappointed.


The day it arrived in the mail, I put it aside until I knew I would have time to sit down and really look at it.  That wasn’t until I went to bed that night and I read half of it before I went to sleep.  I will show you what it is and tell you about its author in my next post.  You may want to get this book if you are at all interested in England or of traveling to England.  Here’s to salads, chicken eggs and wonderful books.  Bye.



Doing Without

  I read about a woman who decided that for one year she would not buy anything she didn’t need.  No new clothes, no new shoes, no new makeup, no books, no magazines, no gum at the checkout, no Starbucks coffee, nothing.  Just the essentials.  Food from the grocery, no restaurants allowed.   Utility bills. Insurance.  Rent and that was about it.  I wondered how in the world she did it.

   You would have to just stay out of stores except to get groceries or medicine.  I don’t know if I could do it.  Just this week I bought several things I did not need.   I bought more fabric, some good smelling soap at a store in Nashville, some paperback books and a Christmas present(yes, I shop early.) I almost bought some paint I didn’t need today just because I liked the color.  David and I looked at lights we want to buy for the new porch we plan to build.  We looked at a new vanity and sink for one of our bathrooms.  We consume all the time.  Some things are needed, but did I really need that extra fabric when I have bolts and boxes of fabric in my shop? 

  I have been looking at things differently lately. When I was younger it was all about getting things.  Now it is all about taking care of those things, cleaning those things, insuring those things and moving around those things.  The important things in life aren’t things, I read somewhere and it is true.   In fact, some of my things are getting in my way.  That’s why every so often I have a garage sale to sell some things to make money to buy more things. 

   Still, when I see a cute blouse or an interesting book or some new line of fabric I want to buy, buy, buy.   And it is worse when David and I are together.  He is my enabler.  

  I think how if you just did without one Starbucks coffee each week for a year, you would save enough for a night on the town and a hotel room.  If you drink Starbucks every day, you could save enough for a week’s vacation in a year if you stopped drinking it.  I’m not picking on Starbucks. It’s just one thing many people believe they cannot live without.  If you smoke, think of all the money you would save if you banked all that money you are burning up?   If you eat out two or three times a week, think of the money you would save by eating at home?  Now life without eating out occasionally or drinking a Starbucks, if that’s what you like, would be downright boring, but just think of all the money we American spend needlessly.  Does your dog need that new toy?   I find myself looking at dog toys all the time.  My dogs have a wagon full of dog toys.  They are well played with, but did I need to buy so many?  Did my chickens really need a rooster picture in their coop?    Those cute cowgirl socks I bought when we were out west.  I’ve worn them once and felt like a dork.    I try to keep only things I really love around me, but do I really need three magazine subscriptions when I barely have time to read one?   

   I know I will keep consuming.  That is what we Americans seem to do.  Have you ever passed a store at any time of the day  that didn’t have cars parked in front with people consuming inside?   I have decided, though, to think long and hard before I buy something from now on.  I want to go a whole month without buying an article of clothing.  I love clothes, but my closet is packed.  I can’t wear all the clothes I have.  I get so many catalogs because I love to order on the internet.  In fact, most of my clothes I have ordered online.  I have to make myself not look at the clothing sites.   Some people in the world are fortunate if they have new clothes at all. I know I am blessed to have so much and I really don’t need it all. 

  I don’t know where this blog is going.  I told David I would like to try not to buy anything unnecessary for a whole year and blog about it, but then I chickened out because I don’t think I could do it especially since we are doing some remodeling next year.  Maybe I will just be more careful how quickly I decide to buy something in the future.  David doesn’t spend dollar bills.  Whenever he gets change, he puts the dollars aside.  You would be surprised how much he saved one time doing this.  There are all kinds of ways to save money even if you like to buy stuff.   For now, I am going one month at a time to see how little I can spend and still have fun.  It should be interesting. 

     I think I will find I can do without so much more than I thought I could.  It will be a challenge.   But don’t be surprised if you see me consuming in a store one day. Bye.