Monthly Archives: April 2017

Calm Before the Storm

We have lived in our old house for almost 40 years now and there has hardly been a year where we have not done something to it like removing wallpaper, putting up wallpaper, removing wallpaper, painting, stripping woodwork, replacing woodwork, putting down tile floors, removing tile floors, ripping out old floors, putting down new wood floors, replacing windows, adding a bedroom and bathroom/laundry room, putting on a deck, ripping down the deck, building a bigger deck, building a brand new front porch(which, to this date, is our most favorite thing we have ever done to this house) and multiple paintings of every room in the house.  David says our walls are at least one inch thicker because of all the paint I have slapped on them for the last 40 years.  One year, when our children still lived at home and the neighborhood kids would come over, one little girl asked me one time, “Are you always painting?”  I had to confess to her that I love to paint and yes, I was always painting something.

Well, we think we are almost done remodeling.  This year we are completely gutting the upstairs bathroom except for the big, old tub, which I love to soak in and having new walls put up, new wiring, new light fixtures, new plumbing, new cabinet and sink, faucets and new flooring put in.  We are also finishing up getting all our windows replaced. It has taken several years, but they will be done this year. Yippee!  Except for our hall window which I love because it slides up into the wall and they cannot find one like it to replace it, so it’s staying.

So today I cleaned the downstairs really well because I know for the next few weeks, my house is going to be tracked in, dust will fall as the plaster walls come out and total chaos will reign for a time.  I’m not good with chaos, but thankfully our contractor is not one of those who takes his time doing a job. He comes in, keeps his men working  until the job is complete.   At least he has in the past and I have no reason to think he has changed.  David has said we have him on retainer because he has worked on our house so much.  We still have one bathroom to go and I don’t know if we will get that done this year.  He and his men are very nice to work with and are very respectful of other’s property.   I worry about my tub getting scratched, but I have been assured they will lay something in it to protect it.   All the tilework around the tub is going to be replaced.  I have wanted to have that done for years.  No amount of scrubbing can make that tile look good, so brand new, sparkling white tile is going up around my old tub and my old tub will be so thankful! And after all the dust has settled and everything is done I will repaint the bathroom myself. I have the colors all picked out  We purchased this really big, old mirror to place above the cabinet.  Now I am wondering if I really want to see that much of me when I get out of the bathtub!   Right now we just have a little medicine cabinet in the wall.  One I am going to keep because it is vintage.  Probably put in the bathroom in the 1950’s.

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So, here are pictures of the bathroom as it is now. A very nondescript little room. But it has served its purpose well for these last few decades.  I have bathed my  children and grandchildren in the big, old tub.  I have waited impatiently outside its door for teen-agers to get done doing whatever teen-agers take forever to do.  I have been so sick in this bathroom, I’ve wanted to die.  I have spent hours soaking in the tub.  I like showers, but a good soak in a bathroom is bliss to me, especially when my muscles are screaming in pain, which they seem to do more often these days.  Yes, it’s been a good little bathroom and deserves to be remodeled and brought into the twenty-first century. Or as far into the twenty-first century as I am willing to go.

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The tub. One would think I would have prettied things up a little before taking this picture, but, well, this is how the bathroom looks most of the time.   I am planning to be neater in the new bathroom.

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We did replace the commode years ago.  The old one had been there since the 1950’s.  But we are getting a newer, more high tech one.  Thank you for looking at my toilet.  I am sure it’s been the highlight of your day!

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Yes, we are keeping this little drawer by the bathtub which has absolutely nothing in it.  And, yes, I do buy shampoo a lot and don’t use up the bottles.

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I love this corner cabinet, but there is nothing you can do with this corner with it there.  So, it’s going.  I’m going to look at antique stores for a storage cabinet of some kind to replace it. Who knows what I will find in the dark, back corners of this cupboard when I take everything out.  It kind of makes me sad it’s going.  Is that crazy, or what?  I tend to hold onto things.  Does anyone want a nice corner cabinet? Let me know before next Wednesday.

I painted this bathroom several times.   The last time was many years ago and my, then, daughter-in-law put the wallpaper border up for me. I have always loved this wallpaper.  I will be sad to see that go too.  I still am friends with my daughter-in-love although she is not technically related to me any longer.  And she is a great mother to my grandchildren.

So, I will be taking pictures of the remodel.  I hope I won’t be screaming in agony as the old bathroom goes.   Who gets attached to a bathroom, anyway?   There is a lot of history between me and this bathroom.   And the people who live in our house down the road will be glad that the bathroom doesn’t date to the 1950’s.  I hope that won’t happen for a long time.  Bye.

 

Easter Celebration

We had a lovely Easter this year.  The weather wasn’t, but the rest of the day was.  It poured rain Sunday morning right before we went to church. Then while in church, the sun came out. Our choir sang an amazing cantata which touched me deeply.  There were a lot of people in church. There were two baptisms and one little girl went forward to make a profession of faith. She is the pastor’s granddaughter, so I know it was a special time for him.

After church we rushed home where some family were already there waiting for us as church ran a little long. We had a delicious meal of ham, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, homemade rolls, corn, salad, potato salad, strawberries and for dessert, chocolate pie, banana cream pie and lemon meringue pie.   I hadn’t made pies in a long time, but these were a success and today there is only one piece left.

We visited for a while, but the children were excited about hunting Easter eggs so finally we told them it was time. There were about 200 eggs hidden, some with pieces of paper with dollar signs on them to turn in for dollar bills and some with smiley faces on them to turn in for candy.

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We made them pose for pictures which was like herding a bunch of cats.

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Could not keep their hands off each other.

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Finally, a picture we liked.  Although they still all were not looking at the camera.DSCN5090

A picture of our beautiful daughter. I have never written this on my blog, but she has MS.  She is the bravest woman I know how she handles this horrible disease. She works almost every day and raises her two boys.  I don’t know how she does it, but she took them to the zoo the other day without help.   She does have a little scooter that she runs around on and that helps.  If you have MS or know someone who suffers from it, you know it’s a very unpredictable disease and people who have it are in pain a lot of the time.  Anyway, I am proud of her and I pray every day for a cure for this horrible disease that affects so many people.  I thank God she has a husband who is very supportive of her and loves her and tries to make her life easier if she will let him!

Anyway, we finally let the kids go and they were all over the yard like a mouse on cheese and soon they were bringing their eggs up to be counted.  Everyone got some money and lots of candy.

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David was the banker. This is our granddaughter.  She asked me  how long she got to hunt Easter eggs before she was too old. I told her eighteen when she is an adult.  She will be eighteen next year. It broke her heart that she was getting too old to hunt Easter eggs.  It broke my heart, too, because she was just a baby yesterday.

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She got her money this year, though and was happy about it.

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Her brother, who I always tell him he looks like my dad, and his winnings.

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David and I saved dollars all year for this day and it’s worth the smiles.

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Smiles?

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Our oldest grandson. He’s about six feet tall and weighs one hundred and eighty-five pounds and is a tremendous athlete, lacrosse being his favorite sport.   He’s fifteen.

After all the eggs were counted, there were still five left with dollar signs in them that hadn’t been found so out they all went again and scoured the yard until they found them all. I know there is still an egg or two out there in the yard somewhere. Just recently I found one from last year.

It was a fun day and the weather became just gorgeous in the afternoon. The garden was at its perfection.  After everyone left to go home, it poured down rain again.

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Oh, I wish you could smell these lilacs.  They perfume the entire front garden. We cut several bouquets for us and  some for the kids to take home with them.

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This has certainly been a beautiful Spring.  It lasts such a short time so I take lots of pictures I can look at in the dead of Winter to remind me the garden will come back again next year.

I hope you had a wonderful Easter.  Bye.

 

 

 

The People in My Shop and Other Things of Interest(for me anyway)

This past week I got some people who arrived in my shop.  They are pretty quiet people.  They don’t exercise much.   They just kind of stand there and wait around. For what, I don’t know.  They didn’t have any clothes to wear so I have been trying to come up with things to cover them.

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They meet me at the door. No hello. No nothing.

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They stand by my work table and watch me work on my projects.   Gee, I wish they’d put some clothes on.

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I finally threw some lace tablecloths over a couple of them and I thought it looked kind of nice. Maybe I could dress them as brides with flowers and everything.

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Or I could take some Modge Podge and make them into patchwork people.

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I have hundreds of these two and a half inch blocks I could Modge Podge all over the people.  I could even Modge Podge  old maps on them.  There are so many ideas to dress these people up.

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Whatever I do, these people are probably here to stay for a while. Actually, where David works they were going to throw out these  dress forms and I offered to take a few off their hands. I got five of them. I could have gotten lots more, but there is only so much room in my shop.  I have all kinds of ideas for them to dress up my shop with these people.  I am going to do some major cleaning and painting and redoing this year and David is going to build me a large table where I can pin my quilts for quilting.   I want a shabby chic look because that is the look I am fascinated with at the moment.  Throughout the years, my decorating style has changed drastically.  I loved the country look, the primitive look, and right now our house has an eclectic look.  Every room has its own theme.   Maybe I will dress one like a policeman and set her in front of a window. I could have a police station theme!  There are so many things I could do.

I have chickens in my shop too.  Six little girls I am raising for my daughter although now I am becoming attached to them.

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This is Shannon.  I thought she was a Buff Orpington, but she isn’t.

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These are her wings. They look like angel wings.

 

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There is also cute little Mary Foster who is a Golden Laced Wyndotte. She has a hurt leg so I think I will have to keep her because she would go to a certain death at my daughter’s house. The chickens over there live dangerous lives with dogs and raccoons trying to get them.  Just when they think they have built a better chicken cage, the animals figure out how to get in.  I don’t know how many chickens they have tried to raise.  Right now the ones they have are hanging in there so I’m hoping for the best.

Speaking of chickens…..

 

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This is the chicken quilt I wrote about a couple of blogs ago.  The one I got a blue ribbon on at the county fair.  I always wondered what the judges thought about all those fried eggs on it.

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I hand appliqued every one of those eggs onto the quilt.

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It was such a fun quilt to make, I may have to make another without the fried eggs.

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The pattern came from this book I have had for decades.

I got this in the mail today.

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Self striping yarn. Yippee!

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Some more.

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Stroll gradient yarn.  Not exactly striping just a gradual change in colors.

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Love these colors.

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And I am loving this yarn.  I can’t wait to get started, but I have a pair to finish first. David and I cannot figure out how to get into this yarn to find the end.  I always let David find the start because I always get into a tangled mess, but this one has him wondering.  I am sure he will figure it out.  I have never bought yarn like this.

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Spring has burst out all over our front garden.   I wish Spring would last for months.  It’s been so cold and windy, it’s been too cold to sit outside and look at it.

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I love Flowering Quince.

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I love you too, Molly.  This picture makes it look like Molly is a giant or I am a very tiny person. And it looks like she has goatee.

David and I found a new antique store. At least it’s new for us.  It’s called The Happy Nest. I got a few things there and saw a whole lot more I would like to have.

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I found some fabric at very good prices.

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I found this cute chalk ware bunny and chick for five dollars.  I bought a book about the pilgrims and the crossing of the Mayflower to the new world.   It looks really interesting.

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These will be added to my bunny and chick collection. These are some chalk ware bunnies I have had for years. That little house has a tiny bunny in the garden.

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I cannot believe it is only one week before Easter.  My bunnies are ready for it.  I am ready for it.  We have about two hundred eggs for the grandkids to hunt. In some will be little papers with dollar signs and they turn them in for money and the rest have smiley face papers that they will turn in for candy.   Last year it was a big success so hope they will enjoy it again this year. We have an added surprise for them, but I won’t tell it here.

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I love Easter. The real meaning and the fun part too. We will attend church and then we will have a big dinner and somebody will jump in the pool(it’s really looking good now) and we will enjoy the grandkids.  The day before, our church puts on a big Easter egg hunt and I am taking two of our grandboys to it.

I hope you have a blessed Easter.   He is Risen indeed. Bye.

 

 

 

 

Sadness and Happiness

Sadness and happiness live pretty closely, side by side.  Life can change in an instant.  Joy can turn to sorrow. And vice versa.  It happens every day to people.  Life is not promised and we may not see tomorrow here on earth. I have been thinking a lot about death lately only because I know so many people who have died in the last few months. When you get to be my age, you start to lose friends and family at a regular rate, it seems.  My church family has been hit pretty hard lately.  Today I just found out a friend’s husband has died.  I grieve for her although she had a pretty hard life with him at times.   She is a very strong woman, though, and will come out on the other side of this stronger than ever.

The weather has not helped my emotions. We are stuck in cloudy, gloomy weather right now.  Generally, the weather doesn’t bother me.  In fact, I look at bad weather as a good time to hunker down with a good book or go out into my shop and make something bright and pretty.  I have done both of those lately, but I still have felt a little melancholy.  I know this, too, shall pass, for I really am, for the most part, an optimistic, happy person who looks at life as one big adventure to be lived looking at everything as a miracle. Because it really is.  You reading this are a miracle. Is my life perfect?  Heck, no.  Am I sad sometimes. Of course.  But I do feel I was placed here for a purpose.  You were placed here on this earth for a purpose. Some of us find our purpose late in life while some children already know theirs.   I read a blog the other day about a family who had a little baby who was not well and died very shortly afterward and yet, that baby served a purpose. Thousands of people who read the blog were touched.  People who had lost babies themselves were touched.  It made me think. How am I touching people’s lives?   I get up every day and ask God, “Let me be a blessing to someone today.”   I don’t know if I accomplish it most days, but I try when I can.   I hope in some small way I am a blessing to those who read this blog.

I find my relationship with Jesus Christ has helped me immensely in this walk on earth. I met Him at a young age in my small church one night at a revival.  He’s been by my side since then. He was always at my side, I had just not acknowledged Him before.  He’s by your side right now. I have been reading some of my diaries from when I was a young girl and I see how my walk with Jesus has affected my life in so many ways.  I have found comfort in Him when times have been tough.  Joy when times have been happy.    I married a Christian man and that has made my life easier.   Do not be unevenly yoked, the Bible tells us. In other words, don’t marry someone who does not believe as you do or does not like how you believe.   I think that is true. At least it’s worked for David and me.

I didn’t mean to get all philosophical here or push my faith on anyone, it’s just who I am.   It’s what I have been thinking the last few days.   I have been blessed beyond measure. If I were to die tomorrow, I have lived a blest life.  I was blest to be brought up in a Christian home, although my daddy did not become a Christian until later in life.  I saw a transformation in him like nothing I had seen before when he accepted Christ as his savior.  I can vouch for the fact that Christ does change people.  My daddy stopped cursing and smoking cigarettes from that moment on and I never heard him say a curse word or see him smoke a cigarette ever again.  And Mother never had to beg him to go to church. He went gladly.

I was going to post a whole lot of pictures on here of things I have purchased at a new antique store we found, of my chicken quilt I wrote about in my last post, of the strange people populating my shop right now, but since this has become a “things on my mind” kind of blog, I will save them for another day.

I hope and pray you are having a wonderful day, that the sun is shining on you and that peace reigns wherever you live.  Bye.