Monthly Archives: June 2014

Come Walk in my Garden

I love to garden.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I love flowers, especially perennials.  Perennials are the backbone of my garden and through the years I have amassed quite a few.  My mother was a flower gardener.  She always got pansies to plant early in the Spring and later she would fill her porch boxes with annuals. Petunias, geraniums, bachelor buttons, marigolds and many others.  Her porch boxes were always glorious bursts of color.  We use to tease her that the man who owned the nursery she went to was her boyfriend because she was always going there to purchase more flowers and he always made it a point to talk to Mother.  One time he even delivered some flowers she wanted to our house.  We really teased her then.  He knew a lot about flowers and I know now Mother was just getting advice about what and where to plant certain flowers.

Mother always had the old fashioned day lilies. The big, tall, orange ones you see sometimes by the side of country roads.  I have some of her day lilies in my garden and they are prolific.  I have dug them out and tried to contain them in one part of the garden, but before I know it, they are spreading to another place.  You can’t kill them, but why would you try?


They are pretty.  After they die, they leave these long wooden like stems.  My brothers and I use to throw them at each other like spears.   I think of that every year when I am removing the stems from the flowers.  Then I throw one.


David’s grandmother’s clematis is very pretty this year.  It’s at least fifty or more years old and still going strong.   My other clematis beside it looks puny and sick. I don’t know why, but I have not had any luck planting clematis and having it live for more than two years, but Grandma Henley’s comes back year after year.  I don’t want to be the one to kill it.

We are in the peak of flower season in the garden.  We started with crocuses and daffodils at the first of Spring.  Then the irises came and went so quickly I hardly saw them.  Now there are many plants in bloom.  Here are a fewDSCN8102




Asiatic lilies.  They are becoming some of my favorite flowers in the garden. They have such vibrant colors and keep multiplying.  Something that is becoming a requirement of flowers I buy.  You get lots more flowers through the years that way when you divide the plants.


Sweet pea.  I never planted this. It grew beside our above ground pool years ago and came back every year.  When we put in our inground pool, I transplanted them and they have come up year after year since with me doing absolutely nothing for them or to them.DSCN8108

Love in the mist.  Isn’t  that a sweet name for a flower?   I missed getting a picture when it was loaded with those tiny blue flowers.  Now the seed pods are coming on and these will reseed themselves.  Good flowers.  Pat you on the head.


Speedwell.  Reminds me of salvia, but the flowers are a little more tight.  I have one in pink also.


Achillea.  This one surprised me in a bed I started a few years ago.  It is such a pretty color.  It hides beneath some taller plants so it isn’t noticeable right off.


I didn’t even remember planting this white achillea, but here it is.  I don’t use much white in my garden although I have seen all white gardens that are absolutely beautiful.  Maybe I ought to try one.  A white garden, I mean.


Echinacea or coneflower.   I have several of these in the standard purple color, but they are coming out with more colors now and I think this one is a stand out.  They, too, multiply.  I really don’t need to plant another plant, but will I stop?  I don’t think so.  Not until there is only a little patch of lawn left.  The people who live here after us had better like flowers or they are going to have a lot of work to do to get a lawn back.


The hardy, ever delightful, Stella de Oro.   You can hardly kill this plant.  If given sun and enough water, it will do the rest.  No deadheading or fertilizer needed unless you just want to throw a handful around them.  They are so pretty and bright in the garden right now.

My garden is just getting started.  Hibiscus, Hydrangeas, August lilies, morning glories, and many other flowers are waiting to make their debut.  Come walk in my garden with me.  It’s peaceful(except when a train goes by) and it smells heavenly.  Bye.


Camping Days

Did you go camping as a child?  I went camping with the girl scouts a couple of times.  It was fun and scary at the same time.  I was a girl who didn’t like to be away from home.  I would be invited someplace and I would get all excited about going and then at the last minute I would not want to go.  My mother made me go sometimes and I was always glad she did because I always had fun.

Anyway, camping with the girl scouts meant crafts and swimming and games.  I was one of the younger scouts, a brownie,  and the older scouts liked to play tricks on us like hiding our underwear or putting something creepy, crawly in our beds.  But other than that, I have fond memories of it all.

One of the things I liked best was sitting around the campfire at night roasting marshmallows and singing songs.  Cuckaberra was one of them.  We would sing it in rounds.  One group would start:  Cuckaberra sits on the old gum tree, merry merry king of the bush is he-e, laugh, cuckaberra, laugh, cuckaberra, how gay your life must be.   Then the next group would start and so on until we had sung our rounds.  I loved that song for some reason.

I went to church camp a few years where we learned from the Bible and went swimming and boating and ran around the campground and laid in bed at night talking.  One year our church went camping with another group of church kids and well, it didn’t go so well.  The other kids took a disliking to us as they were from the city and we were small town kids.  Also there was a couple who couldn’t keep their hands off each other and our leader wasn’t too happy about that.  I had another bad camping experience once I will tell you about sometime if I remember.  But, for the most part, I have loved to camp.

My cousins went to a different camp than I.  They sang different songs obviously.  Great big gobs of greasy, grimy, gopher guts, greasy grimy gopher guts, greasy, grimy gopher guts, great big gobs of greasy, grimy, gopher guts hanging on the mess hall door.  Hanging on the mess hall door.  Hanging on the mess hall door.  Great big gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts hanging on the mess hall door.  They sang that song all the way to a lake where we were going swimming, in our car, with my parents and my mother was not amused.

My cousins, who are twins by the way, just visited me last week and mentioned that song.  I was waiting for them to burst out singing, but they didn’t.

Another cousin taught me a song from her camping days, John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmitt, his name is my name too. Whenever we go out, the people always shout, there goes John Jacob Jingleheimer, Schmitt.  I don’t know why, but I can remember all the words to camp songs and can’t remember where I put my car keys last.

David and I bought a camper years ago and spent several happy years camping.  Our daughter was but a few weeks old when she went on her first camping trip.  She still likes to camp.  We camped in Michigan when David was doing training with the National Guard.  One day some tear gas was actually accidentally dropped near the campground where most of the children were playing and they all, including our two sons, came running back to the campers crying with tears running down their faces. David said that is what had happened as he recognized the smoke.  They all were okay, though.

We camped with my parents a couple of times.  We went to Yellowstone National Park and to Pikes Peak in Colorado.  My dad was a snorer, so we all tried to get to sleep before he did because he could rattle the camper.  Four adults and three children in a camper for a week is very interesting.

Now David and I have a campfire area in our yard where we sit and roast marshmallows.  We don’t sing, though.  We talk and just watch the flames leaping and sparking in the wood and I think back to camping days. Bye.

To all my Australian friends, if I misspelled cuckaberra, please forgive me.  I couldn’t find it in any dictionary I had.


David and I attended a wedding this past weekend.  The bride was beautiful.  The groom was handsome.  The food was delicious and I got to spend time with some of my favorite people.


Here’s the bride.  Her hair was lovely, her dress was beautiful and her countenance was radiant.


Here is the happy couple.


This is the bride’s brother showing me pictures of his children. This guy always makes me laugh.  He’s a sweetie.

Our granddaughter played the ukelele and sang a solo during the ceremony.  I was so proud of her.


That’s my granddaughter in the blue dress wearing glasses.


Quilts covered all the tables.  I provided some of them.  This is an antique one I have had for a long time.


This is a quilt I made for my granddaughter years ago.



Two more of my antique quilts.



Two more quilts I have made.  I was happy to loan them for the reception.  We covered them with plastic so I wasn’t concerned about them getting stained.

Any day is a good day when I get to hang out with my grandchildren.


This boy is a darling.  I love his glasses and his sweet smile.


Whoa, wait a minute.  His nose is growing right before my eyes!  No, I just took a blurry picture which I do quite often.


He smiles as he sucks his thumb. My youngest grandson.  I cannot take a good picture of him because he is constantly moving.




Photo bomb.  Another of my grandsons.


My grandsons with their new stepdad.


My present to the bride and groom will be a signed quilt.  People signed blocks at this table.

There was a pitch-in supper and a pie bar and there was so much food and it all was delicious.  David nabbed me a piece of blackberry pie and it was so good.


I saw Audrey Hepburn in the bathroom.

It was a very nice evening and David and I enjoyed ourselves immensely.

We spent the night in a Best Western.  Our whole weekend was free.  Our night at the motel was free because of points we had earned and all the food we ate for two days was free.  David wouldn’t have had to spend a dime if I hadn’t asked him to buy a newspaper on the way home!   That does not happen very often.  Actually, it has never happened.  Usually we end up spending more than we planned on any outing.

Here’s to brides and grooms and happily ever after. Bye.

A Day in My Shop

I have a shop.  Some may call it a studio.  It’s where I go to create, sew and quilt and have some fun time.  It use to be a two and a half car garage, but slowly it was enclosed, wall board put up and painted, new lighting installed, a furnace added, air conditioner added, a new ceiling(I posted about this ceiling last year) the floor painted and all David’s tools were relegated to one small corner or out in the shed and shelves were put in for bolts and boxes of fabric.  I moved all the fabric I had stored in an upstairs bedroom out to the shop. Fabric we had sold at our quilt shop several years ago.  Hundreds of bolts.  Bolts that are slowly disappearing as I use the fabric for backing for quilts or in quilts.   I started out with about three hundred bolts and am down to about one hundred.  Does that tell you how much I sew?    Even then I cannot pass up fabric.  Online, in stores, in antique stores which are great places to find vintage fabric.  You just have to be careful when buying from there as the fabric isn’t all it seems to be.  I have bought fabric at what I thought was a great price and got it home and it had holes in several different places.  Not a bad thing if you are just going to cut out a piece out here and there, but, still, disappointing. I bought three yards of fabric just recently and when I got it home it was three yards alright, just three yards that had been pieced together in one long piece.  I am cutting it up for a quilt so no problem again, but I should have checked more closely, but the lady who had the booth was there and was soooo helpful in helping me find cottons after I told her I looked for fabric for quilts.  It is pretty fabric, though.

Now, when I can grab an hour or two or three, I will go out there and create.


I light a sweet scented candle because of these:


My two puppers who have decided they like to be indoor dogs better than outdoor dogs now.  That’s okay.  I love having them with me except when Bonnie gets all excited about the flies flying against the door window and slobbers all over it trying to grab them and eat them.  I wash that window every, single, day and right now it has slobber all over it.



Then I turn on talk radio.  Ever since I was a little girl, I have listened to the radio.  My mother always had the radio turned onto WKBV in Richmond, Indiana listening to the Chuck Yount afternoon talk show.  There was a Breakfast Club show she listened to, but I can’t remember the man who was the host of it.  Mom’s radio is where I first heard John Denver sing “Country Roads” and I have loved that song ever since.   It was on Mom’s radio that my brother heard that he had won a Gene Autry gun and holster in a contest he had entered. It was the time when the musical “Camelot” was popular and I just loved that song.  It didn’t matter where I was on the farm, out in the barn, in the chicken house, in the garden, when that song would come on the radio Mom would send one of my brothers out to call me in so I could listen to it.  Camelot was on television just the other day and I still love it.  I was blessed to see Richard Harris as King Arthur in the play years ago. I sat transfixed at every song and feel it was a highlight of my life.  I saw it again years later with Michael York as King Arthur and it wasn’t nearly as good.     The radio has always been a part of my life.  Now I listen to talk radio and the local news and I am fine with that.


I mainly work on quilts although I do do a few craft things with felt and I make purses when the mood hits me.  This is a quilt top begging me to finish it.  I have several more that are calling to me.  Right now I am working on a quilt for a gift for Christmas and a wedding quilt.


This is another quilt on the bottom, the backing in the middle and the binding on top.  I have about five quilts in process right now not including the large plastic box full of tops to be quilted.  So many quilts.  Too little time.  I will get them completed.  I will. I will.  I won’t.   Maybe.


A while back I made this quilt for a great-great niece.  A great-great niece.  Am I that old?   I love making baby quilts.  Sometimes I just make one because they are quick to complete and I am always hoping for another baby in the family.

I give away probably ninety-five per cent of the things I make. I use to sell things in our quilt shop, but I’m through with that now and I love giving things to others.

I haven’t had a whole day in my shop for quite a while.  The garden and yard and chickens take a lot of my time.  Good thing we have winter once in a while when I can stay inside and make things.  I’m not complaining.   I feel blessed to have a shop I can go to when I can.   I hope you have a place you can go to create, read, knit or whatever you enjoy doing.  A special, quiet place that is all yours.

Here’s to creative places and talk radio.  Bye.

Two Desperadoes

Two desperadoes rode into town on 350 horses with several compadres.  These were bad dudes.  Or dudettes as it were. DSCN8093

Look at her fierce look.


Now look at this sweet and sort of dorky face.  Not a bad thought in her head.  Or was there?


Angry dudette.



Sweet, wouldn’t hurt a feather on your head face.

Then these two met and feathers flew.  It was a fight to the death.  Jail was the only answer.


A well built, can’t be broken out of jail.  Oh?   The two desperadoes had other ideas.


The two desperadoes escaped and hid in a nearby bush. A bush that is as tall as a tree.  Clear to the top.  With much straining, cackling and scratches(and that was just David), they were taken back to jail.


More work was done on the jail to make it escape proof.  Oh?


Up in the tree-bush again the next night.  Let’s play find the chicken.


Back to jail with more wood, more sticks, and bricks to keep the prisoners inside.  Finally, it worked, but the two desperadoes were not happy with it.  They continuously looked for an escape.


Meanwhile, happy dorky chicken remains free to fight another day.


“Who you lookin’ at?   I did nothing, I saw nothing.  I’m innocent.”  Ahem.

After contending with that, I decided to paint the floor of my shop porch.  We removed everything off the porch.



When I saw all this I told David it looked like a really good garage sale or auction find.  And it all belonged to me!


I got up really early on the hottest day of the summer so far and began to paint.


Then when it was painted and had dried, I had to put everything back, but in a better order.  I am happy with it.

A little something about painting.  David is a very slow, meticulous painter.  He does a really great job, but takes a long time.  I did this floor in about an hour.  When David paints his shirt looks like this afterward.


When I paint I am more of a fast, kind of sloppy painter.  My shirt looks like this after I paint.


I watch those remodeling shows where the perky, cute well dressed hostess paints a room in jewelry and white pants and doesn’t get a drop of paint on her.  How does she do it?    How does David do it?  I keep this shirt for all my painting so I won’t ruin all my clothes.  I also have a special pair of paint pants.  I can roll in the paint and I wouldn’t worry.   Sometimes it looks as if I did.  I also have to take a bath after I paint and get the paint off my hands, arms, face and out of my hair.  But even at that, I have painted every room of our house at least twice and some three or more times and they don’t look too bad for a messy painter because I don’t get any paint on anything but the walls and me.


I will leave you with a picture of a vintage tablecloth I purchased at an antique mall this past week.  I collect these and it is getting harder to find any I like, but this one really caught my eye and was a good price.

Here’s to desperado chickens and the fun they provide.  Bye.



A Graduation, Roosters, Oh, and a Turtle

Last Sunday we attended a graduation party for a great-nephew.  My nephew grew up just down the road from my home and I babysat him once in a while.  Now he has a boy graduating.


The last time I saw this boy he was the ring bearer in our daughter’s wedding.  How swiftly the years have past.  I made him a little suit with white shorts and a blue blazer for the wedding.  I was putting the hem in the sleeves of the blazer the day of the wedding so they would be the correct length.  He came from Cincinnati the day of the wedding so I had not been able to do any measuring.  He was a very good ring bearer.  Now he has a full four year scholarship to college.


The chocolate graduation cake.  My husband already had taken a piece.


My sister is his grandma.  The one thing about sisters, you always sit in a corner and giggle about silly things.  She didn’t want her picture taken, so, of course I did.


This is my gorgeous niece.  We went to her graduation party last year.  I wrote about it last year and how we somehow got lost getting to her house.  Anyway, she is already a junior in college.  She thinks she might want to go into politics.

We stayed all night at our son’s house in Cincinnati and were going to go to King’s Island, but it was raining so we headed home.  On the way we went through the small town of Brookville.  You will see why I loved it that we stopped here to antique.








Roosters!  Practically every business had a cement rooster in front, all of them painted in different colors.  I loved it.  We have been in towns where there were cement painted pigs, cement painted cows and in Alaska, they had all different colored  moose(meese?)  I think our town should do hens.

Today, after church and lunch I took Belle a walk.  I was trying to walk 5K.  We had been walking for a while when I noticed something in the road ahead.  As we got closer, I noticed it was a turtle.  Belle didn’t know what to think of it since she has never seen a turtle.  She growled and it popped into its shell so I picked it up and brought it home to show David.  That thing was heavy.  Belle kept looking at it like she was a little afraid of it.


It took a while, but he finally came out of his shell, kind of like me.  Ha.


He was sort of pretty for a turtle.


He was giving the evil eye to David as he took pictures.


His underside was pretty also.  When I was growing up you could buy baby turtles in the dime store and little habitats for them where you would put sand and some water.  Usually they didn’t last very long which is why they probably stopped selling them.

After we took several pictures I took the turtle back from where he or she came and let it go on its way.  See, I find just about everything on my walks.

David saw a fox in our front yard yesterday morning as he was going to work.  Hope it’s not looking for chicken.  Bye.

It All Started With a Picture

Several months or years ago, I’m not sure, time goes by so quickly, I saw this picture in a magazine.  I think it was Country Living or Southern Living.


I fell in love with the porch on this house.  The stone pillars, the railings, the metal roof.  We already have a metal roof on our house which we love so this just looked like something that would go with our house.

I filed the picture away for future reference.  At that time, a new porch wasn’t even on our agenda.  Then one day David said our old porch was pulling the walls outward in our living room, causing cracks in the wall and it was going to have to go.  “How soon?” I asked.  “Sooner rather than later,” he replied.  So began our adventure into porch building.

We called our favorite contractor, Claude Wright Jr. and asked him to give us an estimate on adding a porch and on replacing more of our old windows.  We got the estimate, I almost passed out and then we invited him over to talk.

He, David and I sat around our dining room table discussing what needed to be done.  ” Maybe we could save some money by not having the pillars across the front,” David suggested.  My heart sunk clear to my feet.  The pillars are what I loved about the picture in the first place.  “No,” I said.  “Those pillars have been a dream of mine for a long time.”   After some more discussion, we decided to bite the bullet and go for it.  After all, we will probably live in this house for the rest of our lives if we are blessed.  I’m not planning any moves, anyway.

Thinking I had lots of time to move the flowers in front of our old porch, David then asked, “How soon can you start?”   “Next week,” Claude said.  Yikes.  I had just a few days to move a lot of flowers.  So we said go for it and the fun began.

David and I spent a couple of days digging up and replanting dozens of flowers.  He measured how far out the new porch would come so that we would be sure to get the flowers all out of the way.  I have a little magnolia tree I have been babying for a couple of years and this is the first year it had blooms on it.  I put a fence around it.  I cringed for that little tree the entire building process, but the builders were very careful about working around it even though they had to squeeze around it at times.

Soon it was going like gang busters.  The old porch was torn down.  My house was dusty.  The new porch went up. My house got dustier. Then we had a roof, railings, a new tongue and groove floor, wide steps and finally the stone pillars. Hey, so I didn’t dust for a few weeks.  The men worked together like clock work.  They each knew their job and did it quickly and efficiently.  Wiring was done.  We even got a couple of extra outlets put in while the walls were open.  Men came to install new gutters.  It was a busy time around the old Craig house.  I had to watch what I was wearing because I never knew when a man would be working right outside a window.  Reminds me of a show I use to watch, The Gilmore Girls, where Lorelie Gilmore was having some construction work done on her house and one day she came out of the shower stark naked and found a construction guy standing in the hallway.  I did not want that happening to me.

It took about a month, but the work was finally all completed.  The dust settled. It’s still settling.  I could not wait to start landscaping. I had been purchasing perennials here and there wherever I went and had them waiting to go in the ground.  I spent the next few days staining the floor and steps, planting the perennials, replanting some of the flowers I had had to move, decorating the porch, and hanging new hanging baskets.

Want to see the finished project?  You don’t?  I’m sorry, I am going to show it to you anyway.


First you are welcomed by my little chicken welcome sign.


Come up the wide steps.  See the walk David put in all by himself?  He planned it and he did all the work.  I love it.  He’s quite a man.  Flower beds on either side.  On the left use to be grass.  I got rid of more grass.  Yay.  I hate to mow.



David’s and my rockers.  His is the one with padding.  I don’t need padding.


David used left over lumber and built this little table to put our drinks upon.  It’s really heavy.  Took us both to carry it up here. I stained it the same color as the railings.


I put a table and chairs on the porch so we could eat outside.  Have we ate outside yet?  Nope.


I brought this little chair and pillow that were in the grandchildren’s Adirondack room down and put it in the corner.  So, we don’t really have a cabin.  I can pretend.


What’s a porch without some flowers?




I placed humming bird feeders all around.  The little rascals sometimes zoom right over our heads as they fly through the porch.



David placed our fountain in front of the porch so we could sit and listen to it gurgle and splash.  The birds like to drink from it also.  We saw one like this in Nashville years ago, but when we went to buy one, no one had any so I went on the internet and found this one.  We have been using it for years.  It looks like stone, but it isn’t.  We have had people go up and touch it thinking it was stone.  Our grandchildren, when they were little, ,liked to slap their hand on the fountain and make a splash.  Where did those little ones go?


We bought this wind spinner online.  When it spins it looks like a rainbow.


David built this bench from a leftover piece of the old porch and some cement blocks and I painted it.


We hung our not glass, stained glass window in our new front window.



I planted annuals in a piece of the old porch.


This use to be one of our dining room chairs that had seen better days.  I painted it lavender and set it in the garden.


So this is the ta-da moment.  The porch I had dreamed of and kept that picture for.  It’s everything and more that I could ever want.  David and I spend a lot of time sitting out here and talking and watching the world go by.  Why don’t you join us?



It’s almost impossible for me to write a blog and not include flowers.  I can’t remember what the yellow one is called, but the lavender one is called speedwell.  Kind of looks like salvia to me.

Summer is reading time(although I read all the time).  But, anyway, I have a couple of books that I would recommend for reading  For my Christian friends out there and those who would like to know more about the Christ I serve there is this book by Max Lucado.



It’s a wonderful book about Jesus.  There is a description of Jesus that I have never heard about before.  I don’t know where Mr. Lucado got the information, but read the book and see how he describes Jesus’ appearance.


There’s a wonderful series on Netflix called All Creatures Great and Small.  It is based on books by this author, James Herriot.  This book is about some of the dogs he treated in his veterinary practice and their wild, wacky and sometimes odd owners. I have laughed out loud at some of his stories.  All true, with names changed to protect the innocent.

Hope you are having a wonderful summer.  Take some time to smell the flowers and read a book. Enjoy it.  It will be gone before you know it.  Bye.