Monthly Archives: February 2015

Winter Then and Now

        I get up in the morning from my toasty warm bed, warmed by the heated mattress pad.  I come down the stairs and turn up the thermostat to a warmer temperature.  I then proceed to make a pot of coffee, listen to the news on television and start my day.

I think sometimes of how others long ago woke up on frosty mornings like today and how their day began.  First they would struggle from under their multiple layers of covers ,if they were fortunate to have several blankets, and put their feet on icy floors.  As they scrambled to put on their clothes, they looked out windows with frost upon them.  Then they would have to put wood in the stove or the fireplace.  Wood that they had spent time cutting and stacking the days and weeks before.  The night before they had banked the fire so that it would still have embers in the morning to catch fire.  

As their fire was beginning to burn, they would go outside to the shed where meat might be hanging and cut off some to fry in a pan.  Then they would trudge through banks of snow to the chicken house to gather the eggs before they froze in their nests and bring them in for their breakfast and baking.  They would fill a pot with water and put it on the stove or over the fireplace to heat.  The milk would come later after they milked the cows.

Meanwhile, I have already drank a cup or two of coffee, put my toast in the toaster and taken jam out of the refrigerator.   The house is becoming nice and warm and I can go about my day in comfort.

Our ancestors, meanwhile were still working on making the fire and adding wood to it to make it hotter.  The warmest place in the house was directly in front of the fireplace or stove.  I remember gathering around the stove on frigid winter mornings in our kitchen which was the warmest room in the house.  I was blessed to have a father who had already gotten up early to make the fire so that the house would be warm for his family.

As I go through my day, I don’t worry about keeping warm as the furnace keeps pumping warm air up through the registers and my house is comfortable. 

Our ancestors, however, had to bring in wood from the woodpile several times a day to keep the fire going.  Part of the day was spent splitting wood and stacking it by the door.  Cold foods were kept outside because there was no refrigerator.   I just open a door and there is plenty of food for the day or week. 

Animals had to be fed and watered as they were the family’s livelihood.  Cows had to be milked, chickens fed and eggs gathered, pigs fed and bales of straw spread for beds for the animals.

I get my milk from the refrigerator and remember the times when my daddy had to go out in the cold winter mornings to milk the cows.  Cows needed to be milked every day.  We drank the good cow’s milk after Mother pasteurized it in the pasteurizer.   

Not a day goes by in winter that I don’t think about how easy I have it compared to those who lived long before me.  Roads are quickly cleared now so that people can get into their warm cars and go where they want to go.  Years ago people had to harness their horses or mules and get in their wagons or sleighs to go anywhere.  Roads were not cleared for them, nor did they expect them to be.   We complain if the roads aren’t cleared within hours of a snow storm.

  Every winter about this time, I read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book, The Long Winter.  It reminds me how hard it use to be in the winter for people.  Laura’s family had to heat their house with twisted straw as the long winter commenced because all the wood was gone.  They had no way to get food because the train could not get through to bring supplies to their little town on the prairie.  People were starving and they could not even find anything to hunt.  Finally, Almanzo Wilder, Laura’s one day to be husband, and another man took out across the prairie to find a man that was rumored to have a large supply of wheat.  They were to go there and bring some back for the townspeople.  It was a very exciting trip they had.  They made it before the next blizzard came through and saved the  townspeople from starving to death.

As night draws nigh, I take a bath in a warm tub and heat my pajamas in the dryer before I put them on.  Then at bed time I get back into my nicely heated bed and go to sleep.

My ancestors had to bank the fire, be sure that all the animals were in for the night.  They had to haul water for their baths, heat it beforehand, and afterward they got into their icy cold beds and probably slept as soundly as I do.   I am so thankful I don’t have to worry about where my heat is coming from in the morning or work so hard to get my food.  I thank my ancestors for being the hardy people they were. 

Think about your ancestors when you get up in these cold, winter mornings and thank God you don’t have to do all they had to do just to survive.  Here’s to hardy ancestors.  Bye.

Wonderful, Weathered, Wambled, Wandering,Wacky Week in Weview

This week has been a doozy.  We have been hit with snow storms and flu bugs.  Blessed with grandchildren and friends.  Shop hopped ”til we dropped.  Suffered aches and pains.  Had really weird dreams.  So, let’s begin.

We started out the beginning of the last week by going on a shop hop.  A shop hop is when several quilt shops get together and offer prizes and have quilt blocks you can buy at each shop to make a particular quilt that they have chosen.  Two friends, David and I left on what was supposed to be a snowy day and we were not disappointed.  The roads weren’t too bad until we were a few miles from home.  Then we hit a very slick stretch which made me sit on the edge of the car seat until we got home.

We had fun, though, and I got a new supply of fabric I needed like a hole in my head, but, then, I do have several holes in my head, so what’s one more?  Here are some of the fabrics I purchased.





I am going to make a sun dress from this. Sun?  What’s sun?



Don’t know if you can see, but there are chickens on this fabric.  Curtains for the chicken house maybe?



This will be the binding on a quilt I am hand quilting right now.  I hope to have it completed by Summer.

A few weeks ago I bought this top for Easter and I wanted to make a skirt to go with it.


Here is the fabric I found to make the skirt.  I am so happy!



The roses in the fabric match the roses on the top.  A very inexpensive outfit for Easter and that makes me glad too.


I bought a few pieces of wool felt for my stash.



I found this cute pattern for a wall hanging to be made from wool and wool felt.


That little spotted hen is so adorable.  Gosh, I wish I could raise baby chicks from eggs.  My hens sit and sit on their eggs, but they will never hatch because there is not a rooster in sight.  Do you know how warm it is under a hen?  Warmer than you would think.


We love our chickens’ eggs.  Had a double yolker for breakfast this morning.

We ate at a restaurant I had never eaten at before, Bagger Dave’s.  They make their own sodas and everything is made fresh.  I got a grilled chicken salad with mozzarella cheese and it was delicious.


We had two of our favorite people over for the night while their parents went on a much needed time out.  These guys keep me on my toes.  Despite the fact I have been battling a bad cold or flu bug all week, they made me forget it for a while.



I love these guys.  I made the shirts they are wearing and I must say, they are almost too small already.  We hadn’t seen them since Christmas and I believe they have grown a couple of inches in that time.  I wish they would stop it.


We put together a puzzle, went out to eat, went to Rural King to see the baby chicks and ducks and to buy our pup some new chew toys.  I am still our pup’s favorite chew toy.  I wish she’d stop.


They helped me bake and ice cupcakes.  They did most of the work.  I just stood by and offered help.  Never can learn too early how to feed yourself.


I learned more about Pokémon than I ever knew or wanted to know.  I kept calling it Poky Man and they would say, “Grandma, it’s poky MON!”  Some of these cards were accidently(?) dropped into the toilet.    Bye, bye Pokémon cards.     Reminded me of one time when our younger son had two friends over for an overnight and the next morning I found one of the boy’s clothes in the toilet.  No one ever fessed up to how they got there.  You never know with boys.  I tell ya’.

We watched a really good movie on Netflix called Earth to Echo.  We all got so engrossed in it that bedtime came and went.  The ending was really good.  I took the boys upstairs to bed and I think they were asleep before I got to my room.   They slept all night without a peep.  We all went to Sunday school the next morning.  I help teach a pre-K class and the regular teacher is gone so I taught and I had the biggest class we have had for a while and on a morning after a big snow in our city.  I was very pleased.  I was also very under the weather.  We ate lunch with our daughter’s family and then we went home and I went to bed where I had a dream that actually made me feel sick.  I dreamed I had made five pies and I  ate a piece from every one of them with a whole container of Cool Whip on top.  I was actually nauseous when I woke up, but was so glad I hadn’t eaten all that.  I told David it’s turned me off pie for a long time!

We have had snow and cold now for quite a while.  I try to keep all the pets and the wild birds fed and watered.  It’s a tough time for them, but we will get through.


Be sure to feed the birds.  It’s hard for them to find food when the ground is covered.  Bye.









My Valentine

Valentine (val’an tin’) n. A sweetheart chosen or greeted on this day.                       David is my valentine.  Has been ever since that day in my junior year of high school I saw him sitting at the Dairy Queen smoking a cigarette, sitting there in his leather jacket looking oh, so handsome.  I started dating him soon after, was going steady in a week with his class ring and two years later we were engaged.  A year after that, after he had done his military training, we were married.   Here we are, forty-seven years later, and he still is the only one for me. On Valentine’s Day we are bombarded with advertisements of jewelry, flowers, strawberries, teddy bears and other things that husbands or boyfriends are suppose to buy for the woman in their lives to make them happy.  Long ago I told David I did not want to be one of those women who get angry when their man doesn’t come through on Valentine’s Day with presents.  I knew pretty soon in our relationship that I wasn’t with the most romantic guy in the world when he brought me a box of candy the day after Valentine’s Day.  I thought it was so funny at the time and every year I have low expectations.  That said, David has proven to me daily that he loves me.  He shows me in so many ways.


I love Valentine’s Day because of its meaning and I love decorating for it.  David indulges me in my love.


He went out and bought these pretty flowers for our dining room table.


I bought Valentine candy and cards that I like.


I made fabric hearts and filled them with candy. Then I started looking at all the things that are red in our house that make me happy.



The little iron I played with when I was a little girl.  I could plug it into an outlet and it would get warm, not hot.  I would stand alongside of my mother as she ironed and iron on my little ironing board.

DSCN0175 DSCN0173   DSCN0169

Tootsie Roll pops. My favorite.


These will go on cupcakes I am going to bake this weekend.


My table set up for the  Bible study group.

DSCN0182 DSCN0174

Yes, Valentine’s Day is a special day.  When you can’t wait to see your husband walk through the door each day, it’s Valentine’s Day.  When your husband or boyfriend completely surprises you with something so out of character for them, it’s Valentine’s Day.  When you are sick and your husband brings you Sprite to drink and goes to get your medicine, it’s Valentine’s Day.  When you just don’t feel like cooking one day and your husband says, “let’s go out to eat,”  it’s Valentine’s Day.   When it’s cold out and the chickens need to be checked on and your husband gets out in the cold to do it, it’s Valentine’s Day.  When something breaks and your husband repairs it saving you both hundreds of dollars, it’s Valentine’s Day.  When you are married to your true Valentine, every day it’s Valentine’s Day.  Love you David.  With all my heart. Here’s hoping you have a Valentine in your life. If not, be one to someone else.  Bye.

Antiquing, Wood and Eggs(or AWE)

I couldn’t think of a clever heading to this post so this is what I came up with.  We have done some antiquing, mainly because I wanted to get out of the house and go somewhere besides the grocery store or church.  I have to get out every few days or I will turn into a pumpkin or something.

Wood first.  Many years ago when our children were young, we use to burn firewood in a wood stove in our living room to help keep our old house warm.  We had an old antique furnace that I think was put in during the fifties and it wasn’t all that efficient.  Earth stoves were sold back then.  They were very efficient little stoves.  People who had them would brag about how long they would burn with one stick of wood.  Someone told us that he put a leaf in his Earth stove and it burned all night.  I think he was pulling our leg.  If you burn wood, you have to get it from somewhere.  You either buy it by the rick or cord or you go out in the woods and cut your own.  Back then we cut our own.  David worked at Camp Atterbury at the time and got permission for us to cut downed trees in the camp.  We had an old beat up red truck that I loved and we all piled into the front seat(we couldn’t do that today) and drove to the camp on cool Autumn days and searched for trees that had fallen down.  The children would play while David cut the wood and I helped him throw it into the back of the truck.  When we got the truck loaded, we brought the wood home and had to restack it again.  I read somewhere once that cutting your own wood warms you three times, when you cut the wood, when you stack the wood and when you burn the wood.  It’s true.

When I was growing up on the farm, we burnt wood and coal oil.  There was a big black wood stove in the kitchen and it was the warmest room in the house.  Getting up on a frigid winter morning and coming down from your frigid bedroom into a toasty warm kitchen smelling of coffee and  food was heaven.  It was a warm oasis in the wintry weather.  I always felt cozy in the kitchen in the winter and Mother always had something good to eat prepared.

We cut down a big maple tree in our side yard this Autumn and David planned to split all the wood.  I really thought it would take him all winter, but he finished the job this past week.


There is a lot of wood there.  Our son-in-law and one of our sons plan on getting some of this and the rest we will burn in our fire pit.  There are three giant pieces left that David said he will have to work on.  One of them I plan to make into a garden table.


My man cut up more wood we had laying around the yard this week.


Our older son gave him this saw at Christmas and it has really come in handy.  We cleaned up a lot of wood in the yard and have it neatly stacked now.


We love burning wood in our fire pit.  I love the smell of burning wood and it was nice having the warmth while we worked outside.  Our dogs like to lay around the fire too.

Antiquing.  We took a day out and went out to eat and found a really nice antique mall in Bloomington.  There was so much there and I found a few things.



Feed sacks.  I don’t often buy feed sacks because I think they are a little too expensive for what you get, but I fell in love with these.  I got two of the grandmother’s flower garden ones.  I am thinking of making pillowcases from them.


A pretty Spring tablecloth.  I already have plans for a ladies’ tea with pretty tablecloths on the tables.    On our big front porch.


It’s funny, but almost a year ago to the day I bought a book by this author at another antique store.


Jessamyn West is an author who was born in Indiana and the two books of hers I have are about a Quaker family during the Civil War and afterward.  Friendly Persuasion was made into a movie starring Gary Cooper.  I love that movie and watch it every time it’s on tv.

Eggs.  Okay, my hens are laying sporadically right now because of the cold weather, but we still are getting enough for us and some to give away.  One of our hens is laying gigantic eggs  and I know it’s not the biggest hen because I found an egg under her that is rather small. I wish I could find out who. She deserves some extra chicken crack( I call the chicken scratch chicken crack because they go crazy over it.)  Here is the giant one compared to the regular sized egg,


They are big eggs and heavy, too.  I say my chicken eggs taste like butter and they do.

Here’s to AWE.  Bye.