Monthly Archives: November 2017

The Day Before Thanksgiving

I am the chief cook and bottle washer at Thanksgiving.   I’ve been that for going on fifty years.   We did use to go to our son’s house for Thanksgiving, but now he lives in Chicago and that is too far for most of us to travel, plus we all would have to stay overnight and go home the next day. Since our house is central to most of the family, I make the dinner.

I got up this morning before Thanksgiving and hit the floor running.  First I went outdoors and let the dogs out of their pen, fed and watered the chickens, checked for eggs(they have been providing us six eggs a day lately,)  and put out fresh water for the dogs. Then I came inside and made rolls, got the noodles made and rolled out(made with our good, fresh hens’ eggs,) made scalloped oysters, put chicken thighs in the crockpot to make broth for the noodles, made sunshine salad, cleaned the downstairs bathroom, mixed up some cranberries and sugar to cook in the oven, and boiled eggs for deviled eggs. I still had not gotten out of my pajamas or brushed my teeth.

I am taking a break and this afternoon I will cut the noodles, pull the meat off the chicken, make another salad, make the deviled eggs, bake the oysters because I think they taste better the next day and clean the kitchen.  Tonight I will collapse in a chair and watch one or two episodes of Doc Martin, which is my very favorite show right now and get to bed earlier than usual for the big day tomorrow.  We are having chicken and noodles(because our family is not fond of turkey,) ham, homemade rolls, mashed potatoes, scalloped oysters, deviled eggs, home grown corn, two salads, cranberry sauce, pecan pie, cherry pie( Marie Callender’s because I  love her pies) and pumpkin cake with whipped topping.

Then I plan not to cook for the rest of the weekend!  And probably shouldn’t eat much either.

Make the day after Thanksgiving Outdoor Day Friday instead of Black Friday. Instead of getting in the crowds to push and shove to get one more present that will be forgotten two days after Christmas, get out and take a walk with your family, or friends or your dog. Smell the fresh air.  Look at nature.  You will be richer and healthier for it.   That’s what I plan to do.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving and remember the One who provides all our blessings.  Thanks be to God.  I have so much to thank Him for.

Here’s to Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims who started it all. Bye.

Riding the School Bus

When I was a little girl I longed to ride the school bus. Every day I would watch my older brothers and sister climb the steps of the bus and head to school.  I always missed them when they left and couldn’t wait until they got home.  When it came near time for the school bus to bring them home, Mom would tell me  and my little brother, David, and I would run out to the swing set by the road and sit in the swings and wait.  When we saw the school bus coming down the road we got all excited.  The bus was always noisy and it just looked like fun to me

Finally the day came for my first day of school.  Mom tied the sash of my new dress into a pretty bow and brushed my hair.  I was so excited.   I was going into the first grade. Our little school had no kindergarten and went from first grade to grade twelve in the same building.  I already knew how to read as I pretty much taught myself.

Suddenly my brothers yelled, “The school bus is coming!” and out the door we all went and crossed the gravel road and waited for the bus to stop.  The steps were high and I was little and the bus driver looked scary.   I climbed the steps and stood there facing strangers staring back at me. I quickly took the very front seat while my brothers and sister went to the back of the bus.   Down the road we went.  We picked up a little girl whose nanny goat had followed her down her long lane.  I learned her name was Jennifer and she sat by me.   We soon became friends.  We were both in the first grade.

When we got to school, we all piled out and went to our classes. My sister probably took me the first day as I don’t remember how I found my room.  The day seemed long and I was homesick and couldn’t wait for the bus to take me home.    For the longest time during my first year of school, every time the bus brought me home on Friday I thought I was finished with school. In fact on Sunday nights when Mom would tell me I had to go to bed early because school was tomorrow, I would start to cry.   It’s not that I hated school. I just loved being home with my mother so much more.   But I would get on the bus on Monday morning and go to school once again.

As I became an old hand at riding the bus, I became more courageous.  Now we had a bus driver, Cecil Richmond who ran a tight ship. No one was to change seats and loud talking was not allowed. He carried a switch over his visor and he kept his eye on his passengers at all times. He scared me to death.  I never saw him use the switch on anyone, but I wasn’t going to test him. I did forget once and changed seats and he yelled at me.  I never did that again!  But he wasn’t all bad.  Mr. Richmond ran a gas station in our little town  and every Christmas, as long as he drove the bus, on the way home from school on the last day before Christmas break, he would drive his bus to his gas station, get out, go inside and come out carrying boxes of candy bars for all his passengers. Back in the 50’s you could buy regular candy bars in a pack of six.  That is what he gave each of us. A six pack!  We looked forward to it every year.

When Mr. Richmond retired, my best friend’s father drove the bus through my senior year. We all knew each other then.  Now I wonder if parents know who is driving their children.

I have fond memories of sitting in the back of the bus and gossiping with my girl friends, learning how to kiss( we used our arms to practice kissing) and when we got older, flirting with boys in cars behind the bus.  I had a boyfriend one time we picked up on the way to school and I always couldn’t wait to see him.  Yes, I have kissed boys on the bus, including my husband when we went to the same school.    Later, during the basketball season I would ride the booster bus to the games in other towns and it was the most fun.  We would sing and flirt with the boys and yell cheers for our basketball team.  The bus driver had to have had a lot of patience or he wore ear plugs.

Nowadays most children are driven to school by their parents.  The big yellow school bus still goes by where I live now and I always think of the fun times I had riding one.   My children rode the bus. I said if it went by our house, they were going to ride it.   They did until they got older and either caught a ride or had a car of their own.  I wonder if kids like riding the bus as much as I did growing up.

Here’s to big yellow school buses and the people who drive them. Bye.


Autumn Daze and Country Roads

I had the best two days this past week doing something I love to do. Drive along country roads and go antiquing.  There was an event going on.  Several ladies had joined together to have a tour of their home owned shops out in the hills and valleys of southern Indiana. It was called Country Neighbors.  Now country neighbors don’t always live close to each other.     When David and I started out, we didn’t have a map, just addresses I had gotten off the internet.  Miss Garmin had a problem finding the first one.  We missed it entirely.   But just remember, the best is usually saved until the last.

It was just by happenstance I saw a sign along the road  regarding one of the shops and then we realized there were signs all over if we had known to watch for them. After that, we had no problem finding them as we got a map at this particular one.




Please forgive me if I don’t put the names of  all the shops here as we went to several and I can’t remember which was which, but this one was called  the Washhouse for a reason you will soon see  It was so wonderful with so much to see and so much to buy if you chose to do so. I bought several things here.  I added to my Santa Claus collection. Getting to this place was quite a trip along high cliffs and woods.


This was a gem of a scenic drive that not many people see.  Most people go to Brown County to see the Fall foliage, but this was just as beautiful and we were the only people there.


The colors of the leaves on the trees was just wonderful.  This picture looks magical to me.


It was just a gorgeous Autumn day.  But, back to the shop…..


The proprietor had a washhouse where she actually did her laundry, but it didn’t look like any ordinary laundry room. It was a building off by itself.  Full of all kinds of old laundry paraphernalia like wooden clothespins, wash tubs, old baskets and old clothes pin bags hanging on the walls.



Here is David getting ready to go inside.  Long underwear hung on clotheslines outside.


She really had quite the collection.


And she really did her laundry here because there are her washer and dryer hidden underneath a cloth. If I had a laundry room like this, I would be doing laundry every day!


This was another little shop and here are some pictures from a few others.




Each was unique in its own way.




I remember this one only because the lady who had the shop told us to go on through her house and look at it.  I was a little concerned to just walk into a stranger’s house and look all over it and I said, “Do you really mean we can go walk around your house?”  And she said, Yes,” so she didn’t have to tell me again and in David and I went into one of the most wonderful houses I have ever seen. Her husband was standing in the kitchen offering hot cider(which I am not fond of) and I said to him, “How do you feel having strangers walk through your house?” and he answered “I’m use to it.”  I found out this house had been in the magazine, Country Sampler and another magazine I don’t remember the name. It did look like it came right out of the pages.   Her décor was primitive with woolens folded neatly in an old cupboard. The bathroom is the rustic bathroom of my dreams and I told David if we ever get our little house built in our woods I want my bathroom to look like hers. I didn’t take any pictures because I didn’t feel right doing so, but if you ever get the chance to see this house, you must do it.  Her shop is called Mustard Seed.


She has this cute sign out on her front lawn.


As you can see from this brochure, Mustard Seed and the Washhouse will be open on December 1st and 2nd and will be decorated for Christmas.  Oh, How I would love to go back.  Maybe we will.  Who knows.   These shops are well worth the trip.

So we wandered through the countryside looking for all the shops and finding most of them.


I really, really loved this building.


And this little shop in a little barnlike structure.  I was fascinated by all the lighting in this shop. The husband had done some very unique light fixtures, one being an old fan. He used canning jars and hung them from the ceiling with old fashioned looking light bulbs inside them.    He directed us to the last shop we were going to and believe me, it was the best one and I don’t have any pictures because there was so much to see, I didn’t have time. It was in a very nice neighborhood by a state park. The lady who lived there had made her backyard a wonderland of old buildings and antique art with little old looking shops full of goodies to buy.  While waiting for me to get out of a shop David saw two deer and I got a picture of the backside of one of them before it got away.  But I can’t show it because I forgot to download it. I did buy a primitive table painted red. David and I had a discussion about how I had too many tables already and I won the discussion because it came home with us and sits in my girly room as I type.  We are going to put our Christmas tree on it.   One day, when we are gone, our kids are going to have the neatest stuff or the best auction!  I keep telling David I am buying our children’s legacy.  Ha.


David is the perfect travel companion.  He drives me everywhere safely and waits patiently as I look at everything.  He did find himself a canister of buttons as he is a button collector and has thousands of them all over my workshop.  I am blessed and I know it.








We drove by woods, old barns, bucolic scenery, majestic old houses, and little churches that dotted the countryside.

We followed a swollen river for miles.  They had had a lot of rain in southern Indiana and the rivers were overflowing their banks.


The river was this close to the road.


We drove down this road and came to water standing in it and David thought about driving through until I said a big “NO!” imagining us getting caught up in the current and swept downstream never to be heard of again, so we turned around and went another way.  It can be an adventure sometime to drive backroads.

Sunday was church and a day of rest and then today we got up early and drove to our younger grandboys’ school for a Veteran’s Day program. They put one on every year and invite veterans to come. The children sing patriotic songs and the principal gave a speech and a retired army colonel spoke and a boy played taps for all those lost in wars.  I must say, I got tears in my eyes hearing the children sing and a lump in my throat hearing taps.  David and I have talked about him being in the military. I have said it is my one regret that I did not join a branch of the military when I was a young girl.  It would have been good for me, I think.   We counted up all the days David was gone from home while in the National Guard and he was gone well over a year of our marriage and that doesn’t include the times he was traveling to other states to take classes.  He would go to different states and take pictures while there and later on our family would take trips to see what he saw.   That is how David and I have traveled in most of the states.  He was in the guard for over 36 years and not until he retired did he tell me he did not enjoy it. He was taking care of his family and that is what it meant to him.   It was a job and he did it well and was well respected by the men in his unit.  I didn’t know how well until one time we went to a Veteran’s Day parade in Indianapolis that he was taking part in and so many young men came up to him and saluted him and greeted him with smiles.  It made me very proud of him.


This picture is horrible but here he is with our grandboys during the program.  They are learning to love our country, what serving our country means and they say the pledge of allegiance.  So proud of them, too.


There was a bigger crowd this year than usual.   I think this school must be growing. It’s one of the highest rated schools in Indiana for elementary academics.   So happy my grandsons are going here.


God bless our flag

Now to end this post with some added sweetness.

Our daughter’s golden retriever had puppies a couple of weeks ago.  She had eleven and six of them lived.


They don’t pick them up for two weeks and it was so hard for me to keep my hands off of them.


Such a sweet mama. Their little bellies were full as you can see.


This is proud papa.


In a couple of weeks we will go see them and I can hold them then.  Can’t wait.

To end this post today I will tell you a cute story. Or at least I think it’s cute. David came into the house today and told me to put on my shoes and come outside, he had something to show me.  I had no idea what it was.  He said he had heard our little lame chicken, Miss Mary Foster, just cackling up a storm like she had just laid an egg.


This is Miss Mary Foster. She is such a pet.  She follows me around when I am in the chicken yard hoping for some extra chicken scratch and she gets it.

Anyway David showed me this.


Just a bunch of old boxes and wood stacked in the garden,  but……..DSCN6449

behind it, Miss Mary Foster had been laying her eggs for at least five days. I don’t know why she started laying here as she has been laying in the chicken house, but now we know she is hiding her eggs.  I wonder if she thinks she can hatch them?  She can’t because they are not fertilized as we have no roosters. Poor Mary Foster.  Her hopes are dashed.

Here’s to darling shops, fun drives, puppies and sly chickens.  Bye.













Of Mice and Music Men

I’m not a fan of mice. At least those not of the Mickey Mouse kind.  I’ve had my run-ins with mice through the years.   When I was a young girl, my family was seated in our living room watching television,  when out of the corner of my eye I saw movement across the floor. It was a little mouse scurrying to wherever it was going. I screamed and that’s when my brother, Andy,  jumped into action. He ran and stepped right on that mouse’s tail and held it there.  We all sat in surprise as we looked at first my brother and then the mouse whose tail was caught under his shoe.  My mother ran and got a box to put the mouse in and it was scooped up and put outside.   We all had a good laugh about it and it’s been tucked in my memories ever since.

When we moved to our old house forty years ago we were plagued with mice for a time because the house had sat empty for several months and the mice decided to take over.  I had had enough when one day I opened a kitchen drawer and out popped a mouse, just as scared as I was.  We set traps and caught mice and  finally were rid of them. At least we didn’t see any more for a long time.

Several years ago some piles of rocks were removed from behind a business across the road from us.  After that, I began to see rats in our yard. In fact, the first I noticed them, I stepped on one in a flower bed.   Then I started to see rats everywhere in our yard. We believe the rats had had their homes in the rock pile and by removing it, the rats were looking for a new home. I was so scared the rats would get in the house.  I found dead rats in our dogs’ pen that they had killed. Our neighbor said he was seeing rats too. So we all put out lots of rat poison. I had to put it in boxes with holes so my dogs would not get into it. Little by little we noticed the rat population was dwindling.    After a while we saw no more rats and I breathed a sigh of relief.

In the Autumn, when the weather starts to get cool, the mice come in seeking warm places to make a home. We haven’t had a mouse problem for years, but this year I began to notice mice tracks in my shop. I would put out poison and the mice were eating it, I could tell, but still I was seeing mice tracks everywhere. When I sat at my sewing machine and saw mouse tracks on it, I knew the poison was not doing the trick so David bought some mouse traps and set them in my shop and in the house and the first day we caught four.  The next day we caught one and we have caught no more since so I am hoping our mouse problem is solved. (We have since caught nine since this post and not done yet, I’m afraid.) No, I am not a fan of mice.  Cute as they can be.   Ever see a baby mouse?  They are so cute.  But I don’t want them in my house.

This past weekend our granddaughter was in her last musical at her school as she is a senior. They performed The Music Man and it was great.


She played Ethel Toffelmeir  and we were so proud of her.  She was in the scene where the ladies sang Pick a Little, Talk a Little and she danced during the song Shipoopie.   When the townspeople sang the Wells Fargo Wagon is A-comin’, in came a wagon pulled by a real horse and the crowd went wild.   Since the Music Man has been my very favorite musical ever since I saw it with my mother, with Robert Preston as the music man and Shirley Jones as Miriam the librarian, I so enjoyed it.  I have memorized all the songs and could have sung right along with them.


Here she is with her “baby” brother who is taller than she.


I am so blessed to have these two as grandchildren.

Remember the pumpkin quilt I was making?  I had it all cut out.  Well, it turned into an apple quilt.

I have had this fabric for a very long time.



I always thought I would make an apple quilt with it one day and the day finally came.

I searched out all my red fabric and some green fabric.


Using this pattern I made apples instead of pumpkins.  I also used the pumpkin pattern from Lori Holts Farmgirl patterns.


Soon I was piecing each block together feverishly.




Block after block went together.


I couldn’t stop.  I was on a mission.


And I finished the top.  I love, love, love it.


I had to pose it in various poses.  Such a wonderful Autumn quilt.


I don’t usually piece a complete quilt top in a matter of days, but this one went together very quickly.   Now I have to quilt it.   Then, maybe, I will get back to my pumpkin quilt.


But at the moment I am hand quilting this quilt and loving every minute I am working on it.   This particular quilt has been on my to do list for years.  I am finally getting it done.  I have a Christmas quilt I want to do after this one.  So many quilts. So little time. I quilt into the wee hours of the mornings most often. The best time for me to quilt because I have no distractions then.

Last night our daughter called and said we have new granddogs. Her golden retriever, Lily, had her second litter of puppies.  Our daughter said this will be her last.  She lost five of them, but five survived so we are going to have to go visit them soon.  They are going to sell them and probably already have them sold.  They have the most beautiful golden retrievers.  Three and they all are house dogs. They are not allowed upstairs and I didn’t know it and one time when I was there, I threw their ball up the stairs and they just sat there looking, but didn’t even try to go up the steps.   Good dogs.


The leaves have finally changed and Fall is in the air most definitely.


A busy season lies ahead.  Veteran’s Day program at our grandsons’ school this week.  Two Christmas programs coming up and in between it all I must get all this quilting and sock knitting done.

Despite all the tragedies we are seeing around the world, God is still in control.  Evil will not win.  Love will triumph.   Remember there is hope and peace with Jesus.  My prayers and sincere sympathy to those whose lives were taken this week.   May God be with them.  Pray for peace and love to abound. Bye.