Monthly Archives: October 2013

Finishing Some Odds and Ends

David had the last two weeks off for vacation.  The weeks went by way too quickly and Monday he will be back at work.  We spent some time traveling as you know, but we are glad to be back to home sweet home.

Here is what has been going on the last couple of weeks:


We got to spend some time with David’s brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Terry.  We had so much fun with them and they taught us how to play Dominoes.  I intend to learn to play it better and challenge them next time we see them. Hope it won’t be so many years before we see them again.  They talked about bringing their four grandchildren to visit us next summer to meet our grandchildren.  Hope it will happen.




We walked the beach. Oh, how I love the beach and the wildness of the ocean.  This particular beach was almost deserted except for a very few people.  Met a girl walking her lab puppy and I had to pet it.  Guess we will be getting that new puppy next year.




We took a ferry ride.  It was windy.  Can’t you tell?


We stayed in motels where the maids folded the towels in decorative ways like these.  They looked like little shirts.


I really loved this carpet in one of the motels.



We  saw several barn quilts that weren’t on barns.  They are really popular in the south.


We passed this truck carrying all these chickens that were probably heading toward an untimely end.   I felt really badly seeing them all packed in like that when I know how wonderful my girls have it.  I told my girls when we got home they should be very happy that I am their owner.  They live a very spoiled life.  If they could only see how the other half lives.


We drove very curvy mountain roads.  This is really one road that met itself.   The little car on Garmin was spinning out of control on the curves.


We saw so much beauty in the North Carolina mountains.


We walked through a really old cemetery.  I’ll have to tell you about that some time.


We passed cotton fields.  One time in Texas we passed a cotton field and I got out of the car and went and picked a few bolls that I brought home and put in a quart jar that I labeled “quilt starter.”  I am sorry I stole those cotton bolls.  I still have them if the farmer wants them back.


We ate at several hometown restaurants.  This one was in Tennessee.  They served the most decadent desserts here that we had to eat ice cream with them to cut the sweetness!


We kept finding these little soaps in antique stores and by the end of the trip I had collected quite a few.  They all smell so good.  I like using homemade soap as I think it is better for your skin.





Of course I bought some fabric.  I really didn’t plan to, but some of it just jumped into my hands.  In one antique store they were selling rolls of fabric for a quarter.  A QUARTER.  Well, I would have been crazy not to have bought some. We also bought a few other things in the antique stores, but we were really trying not to overspend as we really don’t need anything more in our house.  Really.


I bought this batik fabric to make a skirt but I evidently didn’t look at it closely in the store because when I got home I noticed it had snails on it.   Do I really want to wear a skirt with snails on it?  We shall see.


When we finally arrived home David and I hurried and made some soup because we had starved ourselves on our trip.  Ahem.  Actually, I just found this recipe for soup like the Zuppa Tuscana we love at Olive Garden and wanted to try it.   It was better, I think, and made a huge amount.  Enough for several meals.  David and I laugh and say I make better coffee, bisquits and now soup than any we had in all the restaurants.  Why do we need to travel?


I was so glad to see Phoebe, Freedom, Pininnah, Jemima, Dorcas and Beatrice.  I think they were glad to see me as they rushed to the gate to meet me.  They now have free range in the garden area and have really been scratching up a storm.


Bonnie still sits watch.  One day before we left for our trip we were sitting by

the firepit and I saw movement in the chicken pen and it was Bonnie in there.  I had forgotten to close the gate!

Bonnie wasn’t interested in the chickens, however, she was looking at what they were eating.  She knows the hens get scraps every once in while and was looking for something good to eat.  I was so surprised that she didn’t even try to catch a chicken, thank heaven. I still won’t let her have free run of the coop, though.


All in all, it has been a wonderful two weeks.  We reconnected with some family we don’t see very often and had a great time together. We got to relax some and slow down and isn’t that what vacations are for?   Now to start planning our next vacation.


Whoops, I must go get David out of the stocks.  Bye.


Behind the Horses and By the Sea

Busy, busy day today in Wilmington, North Carolina.  Wilmington has Savannah Georgia’s charm with none of the crowds that Savannah always seems to have.

We took a trolley ride today to see parts of the city and hear some history.


Our two “rescue” horses waited patiently for us to board the trolley.


Our conductor drove the trolley and kept up a steady talk about the city.  He had that southern drawl I so love to hear.  Soft and words drawn out.  One syllable words becoming two syllable words.  By the end of the day, David was even saying Y’all.


We passed historic house after historic house.  Most built one, two or three hundred years ago.


That’s my brother-in-law, Bill, looking with interest at the pretty houses.



Each house had a history.


Each house was a different color.  I really loved the color of this house and even David said he wouldn’t mind our house painted this color. Kind of a terra cotta color.  Maybe in the future.


My sis-in-law.  We could be partners in crime I’m telling you.  We are so much alike it is frightening.  So much fun to be with her and my brother-in-law.  We do this about every thirty years.  We said we need to get together more often than that!  We have always lived rather far apart.


Terry is an author. Her books are on Amazon.  She’s working on another one right now.  Really admire her for that.  She also publishes books for others.


Outside her house she has this beautiful plant with these big trumpet flowers.  Don’t think it would grow in Indiana.  She also has a palm tree in her yard.


One of the things I absolutely love about the south is the Spanish moss.  It drapes the old oak trees.


There are a lot of old oaks in the south draped with the Spanish moss. No, those two on the bench are not the old oaks. Behind us.  Wish you could have seen some of the oaks along the streets in Wilmington.  It was magical driving down the streets and seeing the old houses and trees draped with the moss.



Driving down the street, I got all excited because I thought this was a quilt shop.  We parked and walked to it. I hadn’t seen the guitar on the sign and it turned out to be a restaurant with musicians. Boo.  They really need to change that sign. We did finally find a quilt shop where I could feed my fabric lust.



Went to the city pier.  Hardly any people were there.



The beach was long and smooth.  Sandpipers and Seagulls played along the shore.




David and I love to walk along the beach.



Last thing we did was drive over to see the U.S.S. North Carolina battleship. It was too late in the day to go through it.  That is just another good reason for us to come back to North Carolina.


Many brave men sailed on this ship and some lost their lives.

Here’s to painted houses, Spanish moss and battleships.  Bye.



North Carolina Dreaming

Have you ever been to North Carolina?  Do you live here?  It is one of the most beautiful states we have visited.  I say that about almost every state I have ever been in, but NC is right at the top of my list for beautiful states.  It has mountains, rivers, the ocean, palm trees, Spanish moss and some of the nicest people you would ever want to meet.

David and I are spending some time here with family and visiting some pretty sights. Before we got to Wilmington, we passed through some charming southern towns one of them being Blowing Rock.  Have you read the Mitford books by Jan Karon?   Jan based her books on this little town in the Northwest corner of the state smack dab in the most beautiful mountains you would ever want to see.




Blowing Rock is enchanting, quaint, friendly, entrancing and just plain enjoyable.  We spent a long morning there looking in all the shops.



Eating some of the best ice cream we have ever eaten.  David got Traverse City Cherry and I got Butter Pecan and Dominacara chocolate.  Yum. (We found this same ice cream shop in Wilmington today.)



The town was all dressed up for Autumn with mums and these gigantic pumpkins all over town.


Have you read the Mitford books by Jan Karon?  The town of Mitford she wrote about is said to have been based on Blowing Rock and it is easy to see why.   You can almost see Father Tim walking down the streets of the town.  Esther Bolick carrying her special cakes to someone.  Miss Sadie driving her car upon to the sidewalk. Cynthia walking down the street with one hair roller hanging in her hair.

We saw the Episcopal church Jan Karon based her Father Tim’s church upon.



I could just see Father Tim coming out the door of this church.  It was so charming.



A nice lady asked us if we wanted her to take our picture and we said, “Sure.”  Behind us are some of the gardens surrounding the church.  It was just so pretty and I felt like I was in the pages of a book.



David found a friend to share a park bench with.



Hydrangeas grew all over the town and were at their peak.



They were the biggest hydrangeas I have seen.



David saw this cute empty little house on main street and said it would make a great quilt shop.   I said, “Let’s sell our house and move here and open a shop.”  Nice dreaming, but I think we will stay where we have been planted.



We walked down some side streets and found this little garden lady standing among the flowers.


Everywhere you looked there were Autumn vignettes.  I could have stayed all day and looked and looked and looked, but we had to move on.



We wanted to see the place which gave the town its name.



This is Blowing Rock.  David decided to climb it.  I was  taking pictures and hoping he would not fall over the top when he got up there. Legend has it that an Indian brave jumped off this rock and his lover waited here day after day until one day he was blown back up onto the rock by the winds.  Snow is said to blow backward here.  Still watching David and praying the wind won’t blow him over!



He made it!  I would have tried to climb it, but I didn’t have the right kind of shoes on, so I lived vicariously through David.  It was harder to come down than to go up.


It was just beautiful up here.  I could have stayed all day, but there were other places to go and other things to see.

Here’s to the beautiful state of North Carolina.  I’m in love.  Bye.


Christmas Must Be Coming

Before I talk about Christmas, I want to show you a few pictures of Autumn.


Is there anything more beautiful than the sky in Autumn?  So bright blue and clear.  Look up and see the wonder.


A tomato plant that I did not plant is giving me bowls of cherry tomatoes right now.  They are so good just to pop in your mouth.  It tastes like Summer.


This is our scarecrow. David brought a bunch of plastic wrap they throw away at  Ralph’s and we used it to stuff him really good.  He sits guard on our front porch.


With the cool evenings it’s nice to have a roaring fire in the fire pit.  David and I spend hours just sitting out there and talking.


Nice to warm the tootsies too.

I always know that Christmas is coming when the catalogs start to arrive in the mail. I get so many and love looking through them even though I rarely order from most of them.



This catalog has some exotic things that I will never order.


Like this belly dancing outfit.  I had a friend who took belly dancing lessons and she said it was good for her waistline and she had the whole outfit and everything.  You would have never known she could belly dance to look at her.  I would have liked to have seen her dance.


Or how about this outfit?  I could be a bar wench.  Hmmm, don’t think so. Even so, there are a couple of really cute tops in here that I would probably wear.


I have ordered many things from this company.  Their clothes last forever.  I am wearing a sweater I bought from them years ago right now.  I still like it.


I haven’t ordered from J Jill for a while.  Their line of clothes have changed and I don’t

like them as well as I use to.


Of course I receive some quilting catalogs.  This is one of my favorites.


I got this stack of catalogs yesterday.  Wonder what the mail will bring today?

I will be taking a break from writing for a couple of weeks.  There are places to go, things to see, people to visit, adventures to be had, antiquing to do so I will see you soon.


May blue skies be above you and happiness surround you.  Bye.















Fluffy Bottoms

When God created the heavens and the earth, he decided to put animals and birds on the earth to inhabit it.  I have always thought God has to have a great sense of humor because of some of the creatures he created.

Who but God would think up a duck-billed platypus?   I did a report on them in elementary school. I was so interested in them and have always wanted to see one in real life.  A creature with the bill of a duck, webbed feet, fur, a paddle tail like a beaver  and it lives in the water.

How about the octopus?   A bulbous body with eight long legs and the legs have suction cups.  Suction cups!!!

Then there is the ostrich.  A gangly bird with a long neck like a giraffe and it hides its head in the dirt when it is scared.  It lays the biggest egg of any bird except maybe the emu.  I’m not sure about that.

How about a zebra?  Looks just like a horse, but is striped and acts more like a mule.  Yes, God has a sense of humor.  Looking at some of mankind I have to believe it also.   He has made us all different for a reason.

When God created chickens, and by the way, the chicken came first, not the egg, He really used His creative juices to make a wonderful bird.   Here is a bird with eyes kind of like a dinosaur’s.  Remember when the t-rex first appeared in Jurassic Park and looked in the car at the two children sitting there cringing in fear?  Well, I think a chicken’s eyes sort of look like that.


Picture this head a hundred times bigger than it is peering at you through a window.  Don’t you think it would freak you out???  Since chickens are so small, they are not scary at all, but they do have kind of scary eyes.  And they don’t miss a thing.



Penninah can out stare me.  She doesn’t blink.


When I sit down, these two begin to sneak around me, pecking me when I least expect it.  Doesn’t hurt.


They try to get behind me and before I know it, I feel a peck on my back.  Therefore, I don’t turn my back on these girls.


These Barred Rocks are beautiful.  If you could get close enough to them, you would see teal colored feathers under all the black and white.  I was surprised when I first saw it.  God surprises us even in the little things.



But besides the beautiful feathers and strange eyes, chickens have fluffy bottoms.  They look like little powder puffs.


The Buff Orpingtons have especially puffy, fluffy bottoms.  The better to keep their eggs warm if they were to set on fertilized eggs to hatch them.



It’s hard to snap a picture of Freedom’s fluffy bottom.  As soon as I get my camera ready, she runs.  But she, too, has a fluffy bottom.


I guess because chickens spend so much time with their bottoms up in the air pecking at anything they can find, it’s nice their bottoms are cute to look at.  Next to a baby’s bottom, I think chicken bottoms are the cutest.



Look!  This one is even in the shape of a heart.


I really don’t spend all the time looking at chickens’ bottoms.  There are other things in my garden to catch my attention.  The morning glories are at their peak right now.


I will leave you with one especially pretty bloom.  Bye.

A Gathering of Quilts and Seeds

We spent a night in the beautiful hills of brown in Brown County this week.  We stayed at our daughter and son-in-law’s beautiful house in the woods.  You have to drive a long, long drive to get to their house.  It is surrounded by trees and this time of year it is so beautiful there.  Have I used the word beautiful enough???



I broke my camera and cannot use the zoom on it so you will have to use your x-ray vision to see the pygmy goats in their pen.  They can get out in the larger pen and I did let them loose and had a hard time getting out the gate because they wanted to come with me.

Anyway, for me it’s almost a vacation to go there.  We babysat our two youngest grandsons and had a fun time with them, then when they went to sleep, I sat out on their back deck and looked at the stars. They seemed so close and crystal clear out where there are no city lights to dim them.  I think I saw a star explode, if that is possible.  There was a bright, flash of light and then  it dimmed slowly.  Planes flying across the sky were more visible in the night sky.  All that could be heard were the cicadas in the trees.  Complete silence except for the passing of cars way down the hill.   Oh, and the baaing of the pygmy goats.

I have given my daughter several quilts in the past and she has hung them all over her house.  Here are a few.




I like how she used a tree branch to hold it.  I believe this is a Country Threads pattern.  We use to sell these in our store.


I really love this quilt, but it looks better in her house than it does in mine, although I would like to make another one.


  I had this log cabin fabric and it worked perfectly.


This block makes me thing of Alaska.


Kind of a blurry picture, but this is the double wedding ring I made for my daughter when she got married.    I have since made two more.  They are really easier than they look.


I called this Cardinal in the Pines. Do you see the cardinal?


As I tucked my grandsons into bed I saw the quilts I had made them for their beds.


I made this Double T quilt because my grandson’s name starts with T.

I also completed piecing a quilt from some quilt blocks a friend from church gave me.  Her mother or grandmother had pieced the blocks a long time ago from old fabric and feed sacks.


I really loved how this turned out.  Kind of Christmasy I think.  It made a pretty big quilt.


I love the old fabrics in it. This could have been someone’s dress at one time.


This fabric looks like fabric from pajamas that my brothers use to wear.  Just a side note.  When my brothers outgrew their pajamas, guess who they were handed down to?  Yes, I wore my brothers old pjs.  Funny thing was, I liked it.  The fabric was always so soft because they had been washed so many times and besides, I very rarely got new pajamas when I was younger.  I was a tomboy, though, so it didn’t bother me.


More pajama looking fabric.  The blocks were very uneven and I had to do some trimming to make it all come together, but I think it turned out well.


This time of year I gather seeds from flowers for next year’s garden.  I order zinnia seeds from Wild Flower Seeds out of Texas.  I usually get a pound of seed and I can have flowers all over my yard that way.  I like to mix the old seed with the new to get several varieties of zinnias.


I go through the garden picking off seeds like this and storing them until Spring.  I use to help my mother gather seeds when I was a girl.  I enjoyed doing it and Mother always had a beautiful garden.


I gather lots of Cleome seeds. These flower actually reseed themselves, but I like to spread them all over.  They are an old fashioned flower that has been around for a long time.  David does not like them because they always grow around the pool and lean over and drop their seed in the pool.  I did not plant many this year and I still had lots.


This would be several packets of seed for several dollars so I save by gathering the seed.


I gathered them in this little china cup from a tea set I bought at Walt Disney World one year.

Well, I have done nothing this morning but drink coffee, watch the news and quilt so I have got to get up and get moving.

Here’s to Brown County, saving seeds and quilts that make a home cozy.  Bye.


Autumn Decor and Dibs and Dabs

I love Autumn.  I love the word, Autumn.  I love the colors and the way the sunlight seems golden.  I love the cool nights when we throw the windows open wide and sleep deep sleeps in the cool, crisp air.  I love the almost too perfect days of blue skies and golden everything.

I also love to decorate for Autumn.  I have always felt our house was built for Autumn because it always looks it best this time of year.


I love that Halloween comes in October.  There are so many festivals and harvest celebrations in the Autumn.  This is the front table of my shop.  Those pumpkins are my very own pumpkins that I grew myself this year.  David made the wooden pumpkin.



A few years ago we traveled to New York to the finger lakes district and went through several  beautiful New England towns.  In one shop in one of the towns they were selling wooden jack-o-lanterns.  They were kind of expensive and David said,  “I could make them.”  And he came home and made two for me and one for each of our kids and I painted them.   They light up at night.  I tell David he could make these and sell them.


These are more of my pumpkins.  I am already planning to grow pumpkins again next year.   I really like the white ones.   There is a scarecrow sitting just opposite these pumpkins, but I forgot to take a picture of him.  I’ll show you later.


See how golden everything looks in our house?  I picked these hydrangeas and sedum and lamb’s ear to make a dry flower arrangement.   Okay, you don’t see the golden?  My picture just does not do the light coming in our house justice.


I strung a garland of leaves I made across the kitchen window.




Just a few things I have made to decorate for Autumn.


The Autumn sedum is especially pretty this year.


The squirrels are gathering nuts and other food for winter.  This one is pretty plump.  Looks like he/she has been eating very well.  I put out cobs of corn and the whole cobs disappear.  Somewhere in some tree a squirrel has a lot of corn stored away.


Of course we always have candy corn or candy pumpkins out.  David is the only one who eats them.  I don’t really like them.  Does that make me bad?



I got a Yankee Candle catalog this week and was astounded that they had a candle scented like turkey and stuffing.  The catalog has scratch and sniff places in its pages and this candle smells very strongly of sage.   They also have Sweet Potato Pie scent and Cranberry Sauce scent.  I don’t know how they do it, but the scents are very close to the real thing.

A few weeks ago David laid a cement pad just outside the new door in my shop and two of my grandsons and David and I put our handprints in it.











Our other grandchildren will have to put their handprints on with paint and then I will seal the cement for all eternity or until the cement falls apart or I fall apart, whichever comes first.  It startles me that my grandsons’ hands are almost as big as mine.




I haven’t posted any pictures of our dogs for a while.  Please excuse Belle.  She forgot her manners and stuck out her tongue.

Here’s to Autumn, pumpkins, cool evenings, and naughty pups.  Bye.