Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Art of Porch Sitting

We had a porch when I was growing up.  A big porch that wrapped all around the front of the house.  We roller skated on that porch with skates you needed a key in order to fasten them onto your shoes.

I would swing on the porch swing while reading library books.  All the lazy Summer afternoon.  Back and forth.  Turn a page.  Back and forth.  Turn a page.

I would sit on the porch swing with my girlfriend eating suckers and kicking the swing higher and higher.  Sometimes my brothers would swing me so high I could touch the porch ceiling with my feet.  We lived dangerously!

Back when I was growing up right after Christopher Columbus discovered America, most of the houses in our small town had front porches.  David’s grandfather would sit out on his front porch at night and if my mother and I would drive by their house, all we could see was the light from his cigar as he sat in his rocking chair smoking and rocking.  “There’s Mr. Henley,”  my mother would say and all I could see was the ember from his cigar.  Somehow that was comforting to me.  To know Mr. Henley was sitting on his porch on a warm Summer’s evening enjoying his last cigar of the day.  All was well with the world.  One day Mr. Henley would become my grandfather-in-law.

On long Summer evenings, my mother, aunt and I and sometimes my sister, who lived down the road would sit out on our porch and I would swing while they sat in the glider and talked. The dogs would lay at our feet seeming to enjoy the company.   Sometimes we children would be playing hide and seek or kick the can while the adults talked.   Back then there was talk of flying saucers and every once in a while my mother would say she saw one and we would look at what was probably an air plane flying across the sky.  It would send shivers down my spine anyway.  Once a bat flew above our heads as we sat on the porch and we all would scream each time it would pass overhead.

David’s grandma sat on her front porch and watched the world go by.  She knew everything that was happening on her street.  People would walk by and say hello and sometimes stop in to talk.

Porch sitting is becoming a lost art.  Too many of the newer homes don’t even have a porch.  Just a little stoop or entryway, but nowhere to sit and wile away the hours.  People are too busy to porch sit, it seems.  I want porch sitting to come back.  You see your neighbors out in their yards, mowing the lawn and you smell the new mown grass.  You see the cars going by,  the train chugging down the track, the mailman bringing your mail, and the occasional fire truck or ambulance going to help someone.  Perhaps you would see a mother walking her baby, or a runner practicing for a marathon,  a child learning to ride his bicycle for the very first time or flowers being delivered to you.  I have seen all these from my front porch.

Sometimes you even see something you would hope you never see.  An accident.  One day years ago, a man ran into a tree in the front yard of our neighbor’s yard and I ran to call an ambulance.  Before we knew it there were twenty-three police cars(we counted them) and three ambulances in front of our house.  My children watched it all as they got the man out of the car and into the ambulance.  I watched from our front porch.  I never found out what happened to the man.  I hope he was all right.

One hot summer day as I sat on our porch I saw a raccoon on the road in front of our house acting like it was drunk. Cars swerved to miss it and then they began to stop.  I think the raccoon was rabid.  I kept the children inside.  Someone came from animal control and took it away.  Oh, yes, porch sitting can become intense at times.

David and I have been doing a lot of porch sitting this Summer.  Our new front porch is made for sitting and watching.  We watch the hummingbirds feed, a bird building her nest, the trucks going over the railroad tracks.  We watch friends and family pull into the drive for a visit.   We watch when they leave and sit and talk about our visit.  You don’t have to do anything special to learn to porch sit.  Just sit on a chair, a swing, a rocker or whatever you have to sit on and start to pay attention to the world around you.  It’s pretty amazing what you will see.  The people you might meet.  The friendships you might cement.  Give it a try.  Bye.


Oh, Frabjous Days!


The halcyon, golden days of Autumn are upon us.  Summer ends tonight.  It seems like a dream that happened long ago.  So much happened and yet, I felt we should have done more.  Picnics, walks, auctions(not one) were in our plans.   I did the walking.   Two 5ks under my belt.   Now that the weather is cooler, I know I will walk more.  Especially since I have another dog to walk.

Speaking of dogs….




Molly Marshmallow is growing by leaps and bounds.  She doesn’t nip at our heels as much anymore and has learned to sit for her treats and has been on a one mile walk with me.  She is learning to behave on the leash.   That said, she has managed to do some damage.


Let’s just say Molly tripped me up a bit and I fell on the steps and got bruised.  It looks worse than it is.   I was just glad I didn’t land on her when I fell.


Miss Belle has been doing a good job training Molly not to bite.  Let’s just say Molly has yipped a few times after nipping Belle on the nose.  Belle would have been a good mother.


Getting several of these butternut squashes from the garden. Since I don’t eat them very often, I will store them and cut them up for the chickens this winter.


We’ve picked nine of these from the garden and there are another nine or ten still ripening.



It was nice to be able to decorate our porch with our own pumpkins this year.  The best year I have ever had for them.  Usually, if I am lucky, I will get one good one to grow.  It’s all that chicken poop, I’m telling you.


Tis’ the season to burn candles.  Our house smells like this right now.  Delicious.  Makes you think I’ve been baking all day.


I’ve made twelve of these mini loaves in the past two weeks.  It’s pumpkin bread and it’s addictive.  I will not be making it again for a while.  I cannot walk that much.


Into each life some rain must fall and we had to bite the bullet and buy a new furnace this week.  Our old one was eighteen years old and would have cost half the cost of a new furnace to repair.  Funny, when we replaced our first old furnace eighteen years ago, it had been in our basement since the 1950’s.  Now we are told a furnace’s lifespan is about fourteen years.  They sure don’t make them like they use to.

I managed to fit in a porch party before it got too cold.  Our Sunday school class came for a candlelight dinner of lasagna, homemade garlic rolls, salad and angel food cake with Cool Whip and strawberries.  A good time was had by all I think.


This gal brought some of the best salad dressing I have ever eaten.  She gets it in Georgia.  Her husband, the fellow on the right, plays softball in Florida every year and they go down there often and she found the dressing in a store on the way.  I am going to ask her to buy me a case of it the next time she goes!


I love fixing food for people.  Everyone cleaned their plates.


These are friends and he is our Sunday school teacher.  Last time I had everyone over, I fixed fried chicken.  He went in the hospital the next day with a heart attack.  I felt so bad, but I think it was going to happen anyway.    I haven’t heard anything bad yet since this meal, so I think he survived my cooking once again.


I have been going through some old National Geographics that we have had for years dating back to the seventies.  I quit taking it years ago, but after looking through them, I think I want to subscribe again.  Anyway, I had been looking for one particular one for years that had an article about Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland.  So funny, but when I brought a few in from our shed where they were stored, the very first one I picked up was the one I had  been looking for.  Eureka!

I so enjoyed reading about Lewis Carroll or Charles Dodgson which is who he preferred to be called.


He remained a bachelor all his life finding himself more comfortable around children than adults.  He made up whimsical stories and nonsense poetry for them  I have always loved his poem  Jabberwocky.  The tongue twisting lines were fun for me to read as a child.  He made up words, frabjous being one of them meaning wonderful, elegant, superb or delicious.


Alice  in Alice in Wonderland was based on this little girl who was Dodgson’s neighbor, Alice Pleasance Liddell.

I will leave you with Autumn garden scenes.







Hope you are having a frabjous day.  Bye.




Have you ever been somewhere that you smell something and it takes you to a memory of the past?  That happens with me quite often.  It happened today as I was walking Belle.  I smelled fish and water from the gravel pit near where I was walking and suddenly, I was in Traverse City, Michigan.  You know how it smells around large bodies of water?  That is how it smelled to me. It smelled like Traverse City which sits on a bay of Lake Michigan.    We went to Traverse City for our honeymoon and for years afterward we would take the family up to visit David’s grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  We haven’t been there in a long time.  His grandparents and aunts and uncles have passed away and his cousins have moved away.

When we honeymooned there we were poor and ate most of our meals at Burger Chef.  Anyone remember that fast food place?  Remember the Big Chef sandwich?  At Traverse City they served the hamburgers on homemade buns that were so delicious.  At the time we were there, the Cherry Festival was going on.  The streets were crowded and vendors were set up all over town.  We ate I don’t know how many french fries sprinkled with salt and vinegar hot out of the oil from the vendors.  We walked all over, swam in the cold water and spent one night on David’s uncle’s boat.  We watched fireworks over the bay.  It was a wonderful time.  I felt so free and happy.  I was married to the man of my dreams and we had the world at our feet.

Another thing I smell that brings back memories is a bologna sandwich.  I can smell one of those and be back in the cafeteria at Greens Fork School.  Sometimes I took my lunch and mother always sent a bologna sandwich, chips and a fruit of some kind.  I bought my milk at school.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t like the food in the cafeteria.  The cooks there were the best.  They served delicious homemade food to include macaroni and cheese, cinnamon rolls, mashed potatoes and green beans.  All made fresh in the cafeteria kitchen by the three or four ladies who worked there.  We had no one telling them what to fix.  They were all mothers and knew what we kids liked to eat and what was nutritious.   You could smell what they were cooking throughout the school and by lunch time your stomach would be growling so loudly and you felt you would die if you didn’t get something to eat.

Smelling cedar takes me to Christmases past.  I have always loved Christmas.  My parents didn’t have a lot of money, but they always managed to have a wonderful Christmas for all us kids.  There were always lots of gifts under the tree.  We always went to church to celebrate Christ’s birth.  Our church had an advent wreath and every Sunday before Christmas a family would read something from the Bible and light one of the candles.  One Christmas,  one of our sons played baby Jesus and was carried down the aisle by a teen-age girl playing Mary.  I was so scared she would drop him, yet so proud he was in the play.  She didn’t drop him and he didn’t cry.  I think he slept through the whole play.

Sometimes I smell newly turned soil and I am back on daddy’s farm sitting on the tractor with him as he plowed the fields.  I loved being with my daddy although he did give me the name “Snicklefritz” which means a mischievous child.  I spent as much time with him as I could when I wasn’t playing or in the house helping mother.  He taught me a lot about farming and the care of animals.  I am so thankful I grew up on a farm and had the parents I had.

When I smell baby powder I am back with my little babies, diapering them.  I used cloth diapers and had to go to the laundromat to wash them every week, but I loved the soft, fluffy diapers that I pinned on my babies’ bottoms.  Now I also think of newly washed puppies when I smell baby powder because the dog shampoo smells like that.

Do certain smells bring memories to you?  Hope they are good memories.  Bye.

All Things Bright and Beautiful

We had another super moon the other night.  The Harvest moon.  David took my camera and a tripod to the porch and took some amazing pictures.   I really did not know that the moon was so colorful.


Gorgeous.  Magnificent. Shiny. Bright.


It began to change colors.  Pink.  Who would have thought?


Wait a minute.  Now it’s becoming a darker pink.  Almost red.


Golden.  Or cheese.  I’m not sure.


This is not Mars.  It is our moon.  Beautiful, huh?


It’s beautiful, no matter what color it is.


Speaking of beauty.  These beauties have been showing up in our garden.  David and I sit out on our porch swing and watch them flit from flower to flower.


The flower compliments the butterfly or vice versa.  Is this a Monarch or a Viceroy?  Anyone know?


Bees are a buzzin’ on the flowers.


They really like the orange zinnias.

Now just for some cuteness.  I never get tired of seeing this.


Bonnie and Molly.  Molly uses Bonnie like a jungle gym.


Bonnie is voicing her objection to the biting of her head.


“I just love you to pieces, Bonnie.”


“Don’t you think I’m adorable? ”


“You just think you’re adorable,” says Belle.


Molly has the prettiest eyes.


I just love her.  Bye.



End of Summer Daze

Before God takes His big paintbrush and paints the scenery with golds, reds, oranges and yellows, I am basking in the last few days of Summer, enjoying the cooler mornings and the sunny days.  Enjoying the burst of color in my garden as the flowers seem to know that soon the frost will come and they will be gone.  The bees and butterflies seem extra busy gathering nectar.  The hummingbirds feast at the feeders preparing for their long flight south.  I always feel a little sad when they leave.

We have tried to pack in as much as we could this Summer, from a trip to Chicago, a trip to Cincinnati and short trips antiquing.  We got our new puppy and two new chickens.  We connected with family and friends we don’t see very often.  It’s been a good Summer, but I do look forward to cooler days.

My little Sunday school class had a party to celebrate the year and the children who will go up to a new class. We had cupcakes and cheese puffs and balloons.


This little girl will go into the kindergarten class.  I’m going to miss her.


I’ve had this little boy in our class since he was tiny.  He is now a big kindergartner.  I’ll miss him too.


This little boy is so funny and will be staying with us for another year.


This little girl always has the cutest clothes on.  I have taught her since she was two.   She’ll be with us another year and I am glad.


As I took pictures of the class the children kept showing me things to photograph.


This is suppose to be a cheese puff butterfly!


I bought some more fabric.  Surprise, surprise!










It’s all going in a new quilt I am piecing.  I am tending toward pastels and pinks lately.  Years ago I would never have chosen these colors.  David says I have had different phases in my fabric buying from dark Confederate colors, to polka dots, to pastels.  I guess quilting is kind of like painting when you choose colors.  It is very hard for me to work on a dark quilt right now.  I need bright, happy colors.



I couldn’t resist this fabric and I am going to make an apron from it.



We got out the kiddie pool for Molly.   She loved it.  I think she is going to like water more than our other dogs.  She tries to drink out of the hose while I am filling her bowl.  Now I have three dogs at the back door begging for treats.  Molly sits as soon as I come out because she knows she gets a treat when she sits.  She doesn’t always get one, though.


Molly is growing so fast.  She is almost twice the size she was when we got her.  I think she will be bigger than Belle.  They play really well together now and Belle hardly ever growls at her anymore.  I think there is going to be a challenge on who is the alpha dog with those two.


I finished all my sister-in-law’s books and got this book from the church library.  I like Max Lucado as he writes in such an easy manner and explains the Bible in terms anyone can understand.  Do I want to be like Jesus?  I try every day.  I fail sometimes and other days I do better, but my goal is to try to be more like Him every day.


We went up to our grandchildren’s house Saturday.  I had promised my younger grandson that when I got a new camera, he could have mine.  Well, I got my new camera so we got a new memory card and batteries and a charger for my old one and took the camera to him and the look on his face when we handed it to him was priceless(wish I had taken a picture.)   He and I took a short walk and he snapped pictures around the neighborhood.  I think he likes his new camera.  David thinks he will be a photographer.


Here he is showing his sister his new camera as he snaps her picture.


Love this boy.  He’s growing too fast.


This is one of their family cats.  He looks like he has a mustache.  Very distinguished.

We decided to go up to Pendleton for lunch.


They were having some kind of festival going on and the streets were crowded and parking was at a minimum. By the way, I love that shirt that lady is wearing.


The fragrance of funnel cakes was in the air.


These were the menus at the restaurant we went to.



Loved the ceiling and old looking lights.


Waiting to be seated.  I love this grandson’s red hair.  I think I need to be a redhead again.

We ate our lunch and then after we were finished we began to walk around when suddenly my stomach felt queasy and we had to leave.  I felt so bad that I ruined the day, but David took me home, I took a bath and went straight to bed and I felt queasy for a couple of days.  We really have to go back there soon as their antique stores looked really good.


The gardenia one of my sons gave me for Mother’s Day finally bloomed.  The plant has grown a lot and I will have to over winter it in my shop.  The flower smells wonderful.  I don’t know how big these get, but this one has tripled in size since I got it.


I am hooked on silent movies.  Crazy, huh?  There is something about them that draws me in.  I think these are movies my mother or father may have gone to the theater to see when they were young.


This was about World War l.  My mother was born just before the first World War.   This man was getting a tooth pulled here. The script on screen read:


This was kind of a comedy, love, drama movie.  It took place in France where a soldier fell in love with a peasant girl.  Anyway, I enjoyed it.  I love old Charlie Chaplin movies and they make me laugh much more than most of the so-called comedies now.  Nowadays the comedies go for the gross and crass and are not my cup of tea.


Mornings are misty and cool. Happy Autumn.  Bye.





Accidents Will Happen

See that adorable face in my header up there?  A face everyone would love?  A face that melts your heart?   An adorable, little puppy face that just makes you want to squeeze her?

Well, I’m just saying to all of you that have managed to raise a puppy indoors, I applaud you.  Molly is caged at night for her safety and David gets her out every morning before he goes to work and then just leaves her in the shop until I wake up.  Then first thing after I get out of bed I let her out and she does what she has to do and then she is left out with the big dogs to play.

So far so good.  Not many accidents in my shop.

This morning it was pouring rain and David didn’t leave her out which I am glad for, but…….

Let’s just say I slept in a little this morning.   Okay, I slept in a lot.  I don’t like to get up late because I feel like I have wasted part of the day away in bed, but this morning with the rain pattering on the skylight and feeling all cozy and snug in bed I slept.  And I slept.  Something I haven’t done in years.  Once I woke up and through sleepy eyes I saw that it was nine- thirty.  “I have got to get up,” I told myself as my eyes closed again.  Then, the next time I looked at the clock it was ten-thirty and I jumped up and ran downstairs to let Molly out of my shop.  I was afraid of what I would see when I opened the door.  My fears were well founded.

Molly had had a poop and pee party all over my shop.  Whether it was from frustration, anxiety or revenge, she sure did  a number on my shop floor.  I was so glad at that moment that I had cement floors and no rugs in the shop.

I let her out and began the clean up, pouring bleach everywhere and spraying disinfectant.  Then I realized I could hardly breathe so I turned on the air conditioner and fan and left the shop for a while.  Later I came back and scrubbed the floor with soap and water.  I am going to go over it with a wet swiffer  in a little while.

Meanwhile, Molly was all, ” I want to play and bite your heels,” something we are trying very hard to train her not to do.  She is out with Belle and Bonnie now.  I know, I know, this is what you should expect with a puppy, but I really didn’t know a puppy could go so many times in a matter of a few hours.  I won’t let it happen again.

Other than that, Molly is such a good addition to our dog family.  She is sweet most of the time.  Once in a while she turns into the Tasmanian Devil and tries to nip and bite and goes all growly and vicious, but we don’t let her get away with it.  She is learning to sit for treats and she loves her treats.  She can smell them before she sees them and gets all excited.

I hope your day started better than mine.  Bye.