Daily Archives: January 2, 2014

Finishing My Last Blog

My computer went all whacko on me last night and refused to let me post anymore pictures.  I think it was tired. So I will try to finish what I began yesterday.  What was I talking about??? Oh, yes, traditions.

One of my favorite traditions on New Year’s Day is to put up new calendars.  I didn’t get it done yesterday, but they are all up today.


I didn’t even know there was a Susan Branch until a year or two ago.  She is an author who hand writes all her books and water colors each page.  They are beautiful.  She includes quotes and recipes and stories about her growing up which is very like how I grew up.  Since we both grew up in about the same era, that is natural.  She also produces a calendar each year and last year was the first year I bought one.


How can you not like a calendar which has on one of the dates in January to visit your local fabric store today?  I visited one a little early already, but this made me smile.


Each calendar page is a work of art and very interesting to read.  There are probably a few left out there, so run to your local calendar store and get this calendar.


I have to have a labrador retriever calendar which I put in my downstairs bathroom.  This one has all puppies which really makes me want to get that lab pup this year.


I have been buying Lang calendars for years.  This one was a gift and will hang in my dining room.  This is the one on which I write all the birthdays and anniversaries in our family.


This Lang calendar will hang in my shop.  I love all the old timey pictures in it.  Makes me wish I had lived in those simpler times.  Especially on a farm.  With a horse.

Did you make any new year’s resolutions this year?  I quit doing that long ago. Too much pressure.  I have a lot of plans and things I would like to do this year.

I want to spend as much time as possible with my children and grandchildren.

I want to learn to play my ukelele and not be afraid to play it in front of people.

I want to make as many quilts as I can, especially the ones that will be gifts.

I want to learn how to water color like Susan Branch.  She started water colors later in her life.  She didn’t even know she had that talent until she just started one day.  Isn’t that like a lot of us?  We are afraid to start something new because we are afraid we won’t be any good at it.  So what.  At least you tried.  There are so many things we can learn if we just set our minds to it.

I want to be a good witness for Jesus Christ.  I have given this year and my family to Him and pray He will do His will in them.

I want to stay connected to old friends and family members I don’t see very often.

I want to keep raising chickens and maybe adding a few more to my little flock.

I want that lab puppy.

I want to see my grandson play his lacrosse game in Traverse City, Michigan where David and I honeymooned many years ago.  There is a road in Traverse City named after my husband’s family because only his family lived on it at one time.  I don’t know if any of his family is still living on it, but we will probably check if we get up there.

I want to see my granddaughter play her ukelele we gave her on her praise team at her school.

I want to get to Cincinnati and Chicago for personal reasons.  I want David’s brother and sister-in-law to bring their grandchildren to visit us and meet our grandchildren.

I want our new porch to be built this year as the old one is pulling away from the house and playing havoc with the walls in our living room.

I want to write more blogs to include stories about my growing up on an Indiana farm in the fifies.

I want to have Bible studies in my home and have fellowship with other Christian women.

I want to walk more, eat less, lift weights more and just take better care of my body.  Notice this is the last thing I put on my list.  Hmmmmm.

Oh, I could add a few hundred more things I would like to do this year, but I think these will keep me busy for a while.  Hope your new year is productive and creative.  Bye.



Happy New Year Traditions

It has been a pretty happy and joyous holiday season and I have enjoyed it all, but now it’s time to look toward a brand new year and think how I will spend my time in it.

Before I get to that, though, I want to finish up some Christmas things.  We had such a nice Christmas.  Low key and quiet with some rambunctious children thrown in.  This year there were two gifts that were special to me.  I got a camera which I am still learning how to use, but that isn’t one of the gifts I am talking about.


I was given this darling Jim Shore Santa and I love Jim Shore figurines, but if you look closely, you will see just why I am particularly happy with this one.  He is holding a chicken and a basket of eggs!


That could be Freedom he is holding.


His basket has several eggs in it. How cute is that?  I am wondering if this is the start of a chicken figurine collection?

The other gift I received came from my loving husband.  I have wanted one of these for years.  My brothers had one when we were growing up and I played with it a lot.


A ukelele!!!!  Oh, how I love this. I am practicing on it all the time trying to get my fingers to make the chords sound right.


It’s so pretty, too.  Green paisley.  It has a really good tone and my fingers are beginning to get toughened up by playing it so much.   I know I am going to get hours of fun out of this and I hope I get good enough that when some of our friends get together with their guitars and banjos I can join them on my ukelele.

Today, the first day of 2014 was a really nice day.  We went shopping and I got some fabric.  I haven’t bought fabric since, well, since we went to North Carolina two months ago.  This time, though, I was buying to make gifts for, what else, Christmas this year.  Yes, I am one of those people who works all year on Christmas.  No waiting until the last minute to buy gifts for this girl.  I like to spread the cheer all year and enjoy wondering how people will like their presents I give them.  I have had some specific orders for presents this time and they are going to take a little time.


I came home with these treasures.


Love these wool felt pieces for which I have plans.  I bought a new pattern today and it is so cute and know just the person for which I will make it.

David and I ate at Olive Garden for lunch.  I got baked shrimp parmesan and it was so good.

When we got home, I grabbed Belle and she and I took a four mile walk.  I wasn’t intending to walk quite so far, but the more we walked the more I wanted to.   It felt good to get out in the fresh air. I let Belle loose and she ran all over like a little kid let out of a cage.

When I got back, I started on one New Year’s tradition.  Every year for as long as I can remember, my mother made new pillow cases on New Year’s Day.  It’s good luck, she said.  I have followed in that tradition and I made a couple today.


I used this pretty pink check fabric for one.


No, this isn’t my pillowcase. I am going to sew yo-yos on the one I made today and it will look like this one when I am done.  It’s going to take about sixty yo-yos I think.


I made a pillowcase for David for Valentine’s Day using this fabric.  I will put a York peppermint patty on his pillow.


Here are my completed pillowcases.  Here is a quick tutorial to make a pillowcase.

This is for a standard size pillow.  If you have a King size or other size pillow you will have to adapt this to your pillow.

First cut a length of fabric 42 inches wide by 35 or 36 inches long.



Turn down 1/4 inch on one of the 42 inch sides and press.


Turn down another 3 inches and sew.

Put right sides together and sew the side and bottom seams together.


I use 1/4 inch seams.


Clip one corner where two seams meet. Be sure not to clip your stitching or you will weep and wail and wonder why you ever started this project.

Now this next step is not necessary, but I think it gives a nice finish to your pillowcase.  I zigzag all my seams.

Turn your pillow right side out.  Press the seams flat and then press your pillowcase.  You can starch it if you prefer.  I don’t, but that’s my preference.   There. You have made a pillowcase.  Wasn’t that easy?

Another tradition my mother had was to make something from cabbage on New Year’s day.  It could be sauerkraut, coleslaw or fried cabbage.  I made scalloped cabbage.   I don’t have a picture of it right now, but it turned out real pretty and is it good.  Even if you don’t like cabbage, you might like this.

I was going to show you another tradition I have, but for some reason my computer says no, you cannot add any more pictures to your post. Don’t know why. My husband and I have both worked on it with no luck.

So I will just wish all of you the happiest of New years. I am so happy you take some time out of your busy day to come read this little blog. I am thrilled beyond measure people all around the world are reading it. You there, in Norway, thank you for stopping by. That gal in Australia who comes here. Wish I could meet you all. The British ladies who live where I would love to visit one day. The one in Kuwait, China, France. I know  I haven’t mentioned all the countries, but I just want to say I love knowing you are all here. The local girls, too. I love you all. I look forward to writing about this life of mine. It’s not a large life, but it’s a fun, wholesome, happy life and I wouldn’t want to live any other. I’ll be telling you about some of my plans on my next blog.  BYE.