Monthly Archives: January 2018

Learning in the Fifties

I grew up in the fifties and sixties of the last century.  That sounds like so long ago, but to me it seems just like yesterday.  I attended a little school in a little town of about 400 people where the first through the senior classes were all in one building.  A two story brick school house with no air conditioning.  When it got hot, we opened the windows.  It was heated by a big furnace in the basement cared for by our one janitor, Mr. Mikesell.   I sat at desks where there were holes for inkwells  in the top though we didn’t use them anymore. My desk had carvings on it that other pupils had made while sitting in them.   Our books and yellow writing tablets were put underneath on a shelf.   The classroom smelled of chalkdust, paste and crayons.

We had a music teach, Miss Hower. She seemed like a little woman to me even though I was a little girl. She would come to our classroom once or twice a week to teach music. She was always wearing a dress with a full gathered skirt, a jacket or sweater and tiny heels.  She was soft spoken, but she taught us well. She had one of those pitch pipes she would blow to get the note we were to start on in a song.  Our favorite time in music class was when we could pick out the songs to sing in our songbook.   Now, I don’t know what crazy things they may or may not be teaching in public schools today, but our choice of music was not what I would think children should be singing in the classroom although I loved these songs.  One of our favorites was called, and I am serious, “There is a Tavern in the Town.”   I can still remember all the words.  Picture a classroom of second and third graders belting out this song at the top of their voices.

There  is a tavern in the town, in the town.

And there my true love sits him down, sits him down

And drinks his wine mid fancy free

And never, ever thinks of me!

Fair thee well for I must leave thee

Do not let this parting grieve thee

But remember that the best of friends

Must part, must part.

Adieu, adieu kind friends,  adieu, adieu, adieu

I can not longer stay with you, stay with you-u-u

I’ll hang my heart on a weeping willow tree,

And may the world go well with thee.

I can’t imagine what my father and mother thought of this song as they did not drink, but I am sure I sang it around our house. I loved it!

Another song we sang was “Barbara Allen.  A song that always made me sad.

I know there are several verses to it, but I can only remember three of  them

Twas in the merry month of May

When the green buds they were swelling,

Sweet William on his death bed lay.

For the love of Barbara Allen.

Oh, mother, mother, make my bed

Oh, make it long and narrow.

Sweet William died for me today,

I’ll die for him tomorrow.

And here’s where I would feel like crying…..

They buried her in the old church yard,

And they buried him beside her.

And from his grave there grew a rose,

And from hers grew a briar.

And the song from the war years, years before any of us were born.

Don’t sit under the apple tree

With anyone else but me,

Anyone else but me,

Anyone else but me, no, no, no.

Don’t sit under the apple tree,

With anyone else but me,

Til’ I come marching home.

I just got word from a guy who heard

From a guy next door to me,

The girl he met just loves to pet

And it fits you to a T!

So, don’t sit under the apple tree

With anyone else but me,

Til’ I come marching home.

We probably didn’t even know what petting was at that age, but we loved singing that song.  My question is, who put those songs in children’s songbooks back in the fifties?   I find it funny now.

We had three recesses every day. One in the morning. One after lunch and a third in the afternoon.  In good weather we would race to the schoolyard trying to get one of the swings before they were all taken.  These swings swung high and we’d swing so high the chain would buckle and of course we would jump out at the highest point.  There were teetor-totters and we tried bumping each other off them by dropping down hard on the ground while the other one was in the air.  I had the wind knocked out of me several times doing that.  Playgrounds looks so dull and uninteresting now and I wonder how the children can have fun in them.  We had a merry-go-round that the big boys would spin while the rest of us would hold on for dear life. I lost several dress sashes on the merry-go-round when they would get caught and I would fall off.  I look back now and wonder how we all survived, but we did.  And it was glorious fun.

If you have seen the movie, Christmas Story, my classrooms looked a lot like Ralphie’s  and his teacher reminds me a whole lot of my first grade teacher, Mrs. Retherford.    I loved school, but would cry every Sunday night when I realized I had to go back to school on Monday.   We had three reading groups, the Cardinals, the Bluebirds and the Robins. The Cardinals were the best readers and I was in that group as I had pretty much taught myself to read before I went to school.  I have never lost my love of reading.  I felt sorry for the Bluebirds who were struggling learning to read.   They all learned to read, though and that is what was important.

When someone would get sick in the classroom and didn’t make it to the bathroom which was in the basement of the building, Mr. Mikesell would come in with his mop and bucket and as we kids watched fascinated, he would mop up the mess without acting like it affected him at all while we kids went “eww” and “ick,” and when he left, our teacher would thank him and he would shake some good smelling powder on the floor.   It was a common occurance in our classroom, it seemed.

When it was too bad to take recess outdoors, we would play in our classroom, writing on the blackboard, coloring or jumping rope. I loved jumping rope and could jump hundreds of times before the rope would catch my legs.

Lunch time was the social time of the day as we would sit with our friends and either ate our lunch we brought from home or ate a hot meal prepared by the cooks, who were usually someone’s mothers.  The meals were delicious and we could go back for seconds.  One of the cooks baked homemade cinnamon rolls once in a while and you could smell them baking all over the school and by lunchtime you would be so hungry.  Friday was fish day for the one Catholic family who lived in our school district.  I loved fish day.

So many memories of my school days.  I pretty much loved learning and still do.  My second grade teacher, Mrs. Farmer, turned me onto writing and I thank her for teaching me how to write a good story.  My first story was about an apple and what happened to him as he was picked and taken to be made into apple cider.    I wish I still had that paper.

How was your school years?  Do you have fond memories or would you rather forget them?  Good teachers can make a big difference in how children look at education.  Here’s to those teachers who made us want to learn.  Bye.


It’s been so cold here in Indiana. How cold, you ask?


So cold my little snowmen had to build a campfire.


So cold the birds eat two full feeders of birdseed in less than a day.


So cold Belle gives me the evil eye when I have to make her go outside.

We have been under storm watches, freeze warnings and snow storms for what seems like weeks even though it’s been about a week.  This weekend warmer temperatures are coming.  Up in the fifties  by Sunday.  Woot! Woot!

I am really like a little mouse who wants to just build its little nest and snuggle down inside it and stay warn until this weather goes away, but, alas, life happens and the chickens have to be fed and watered and the eggs gathered before they freeze and the dogs have to be let in and out of my shop about twenty times a day, it seems like.

For outside dogs, they have spent a lot of this winter inside.


Molly in her crate.  She is very possessive of this crate. Belle made the big mistake of getting in it once and there was a huge dog brawl right in my shop.


Anyway, Belle has her very own soft, warm bed.

David gets up every morning before five and goes to work and never complains.  He sees this weather as a challenge to be conquered while I look at it as something to be avoided at all costs.  I don’t like to be cold.  But I don’t like to be hot either and I wonder where I could live where the weather would be perfect for me,  Like the three bears’ porridge. Not too hot, not too cold, but just right.  We have those perfect days about two or three times in the Spring and again in the Autumn.  Next month the Farmer’s Almanac says we are having deep snows.  As long as it’s not this cold, I will love it.

I feel like I am on hold for some reason. I have started cleaning out my shop. This is what it looks like right now.


Okay, this isn’t a good picture, but everything is off one wall while I paint it.  I’m doing one wall at a time and then this Spring I am doing the floor.  It’s going to be a long process I am afraid.  I did manage to take out a huge bag of stuff to the trash.   I am hoping to one day have whitewashed walls, a grey floor, everything organized and everything clean and dusted and new burlap curtains.    I am at the place where I ask myself, “Why did you start this?”   Ever been there?

I have knitted three pair of socks since Christmas and completed two quilts since October.  I am still working on the pumpkin quilt. I was doing really well on it today until I looked and saw I had sewn a row upside down.  How does one get pumpkins upside down, but I did.


I was so close to being done piecing the top.


That’s what happens when one gets cocky. Mistakes happen.   I really am enjoying sewing this quilt, though.  I have another quilt ready to start as soon as I get this one done. And I have a Christmas quilt in line to quilt.

We did get out into the frozen tundra to see a couple of movies.  “Downsizing.” Save your time and money. The concept was interesting, but the movie derailed halfway through. There is full frontal male nudity too, if that isn’t your piece of cake.   This movie tells me why Hollywood is in trouble.

Then we saw “The Darkest Hour” and I realize that every once in a while Hollywood gets it right.   While everyone is giving kudos to the man who played Winston Churchill, I loved Lily James in her part as Churchill’s secretary.  I have loved her in all she has done. Loved her in Downton Abbey, loved her as Cinderella and she was so good in this part.

January is already half over. This weekend David celebrates a BIG birthday.   Time marches on Bye.



Year in Review

How was your year?  Was it pretty good or did some bad things happen to you?  Did you lose a loved one?  I am very sorry.  My niece lost her husband just before Christmas and I had two friends at church who died then, also.

Did you take a vacation?  Did you do something new you have been wanting to do for a long time?  Did you lose weight?  Did you gain weight.(I can relate.)   Did you get married?  Did you get a divorce?   I know the pain that can cause.  Did you have health problems or were you at the peak of health?

Whatever happened to you in 2017, it’s over now and we can start afresh in 2018. I’m brushing off myself and looking back on 2017, so here goes.




Lily, our daughter’s Golden Retriever had her first litter of pups.  They were so cute. I hope they are in good homes and are well loved.


We practiced shooting guns in our son-in-law’s woods.  I rather enjoyed it.



Wintery blue skies.  Looks like the new Crayola crayon color “Bluetiful.”




Made some Valentine type projects.

We attended the Indiana Home Show in Indianapolis where I saw this kitchen island which is like a cutting table I want David to build for me for my shop.  He hasn’t gotten it done yet.  Maybe this Summer.


We actually did some porch sitting even if we did have to bundle up.



I cannot wait to sit out here again. Maybe next week when the frigid temperatures will be gone for a few days. I see thirty and forty degree days on the horizon.


My birthday month.


I knit David a pair of socks and he loves wearing them.


Molly Marshmallow enjoyed some sun while sitting in her favorite chair.


More porch sitting.


More sock knitting. These were gifts for Christmas this year.


This flower bloomed in the snow.  Helebores.  They are so beautiful in the winter landscape.

Wow, do I miss the flowers outdoors.


Did some antiquing for my birthday and bought this tablecloth that I then saw featured in a magazine about antiques.


I really need to get that tablecloth out and starch it and put it on my table now to brighten our days.



Bought new chicks.  These little girls have become excellent layers.  We get a dozen eggs every two days. Miss Mary Foster, my little lame chick, is the one in front. I love her.


More sock knitting.  Do I see a pattern here?


Made a quilt for a sweet baby girl in our church.


The redbuds burst into bloom. Spring was here!


Was time to put the Easter decorations out.


The grandkids here for the annual Easter egg hunt.



Flashing the dollar bills they got for collecting the dollar eggs.





Finally flowers all over the garden.  I am so looking forward to this time again.


We got our upstairs bathroom remodeled. This is the before picture.  I can hardly remember it looking like this.


Our baby chicks were turning into pullets.

May or June( I can’t remember the date.)


My fairy godmother….



took me to a Trump rally in Pennsylvania. One of the best times I have ever had and I’ve had some good times.  Made me love my country even more than I did.


Our almost finished bathroom. I don’t think I ever took a real after picture.  I love my new bathroom and I love soaking in that big tub.


Dame’s Rocket.  A surprise flower that came up from my wildseeds I had planted last year.


My other “wild seed.”  Miss Molly is such a playful pup.


Clematis growing up on our deck.

Really June


My  baby brother’s baby girl got married


She was a beautiful bride.


Her dress was exquisite.

That same weekend, because her brother was home from Germany, my other niece, my brother’s oldest child got married.


Unfortunately, we were not able to stay over another day for her wedding as we had to get home as I was having tests the next day.  My health issues were resolved, thankfully.



Found a darling garden shop on one of our little trips.


Bought more sock yarn. This yarn is already socks and most were given away.


The garden just kept getting more and more beautiful.


Played with fire with friends from church.


And watched fireworks, but the music accompanying the fireworks was so dreadful, I contacted the radio station who sponsored the show and complained.  The music was the least patriotic music I have ever heard.  And rap.  Ugh.


David and I made a trip to Evansville so I could see….


Beth Moore.  On the drive home we saw President Grant’s childhood home and passed through some wonderful little, historic towns.








Went to King’s Island with this crew.


The garden began to look like Autumn.


Pumpkins were growing on the fence.

We took our three youngest grandsons to the state fair.


I think they had a good time and we ate our way through the fair.


Went to my fiftieth class reunion and saw some school friends I hadn’t seen since we graduated. They didn’t look quite the same as in our yearbook!


Although these three really look the same to me.  I have many memories with these friends.  The lady on the left is David’s cousin and drove us on our first date. We saw the movie, “Joy in the Morning.”  I still love that movie.  David held my hand through the whole movie.


Visited with James Whitcomb Riley.



Went to Grandparents’ Day at three of our grandchildren’s school.






Worked on a pumpkin table runner which was given away this Christmas.


Watched our grandsons play soccer.




Decorated for Halloween.


Did some driving on country roads to see the foliage.


Made an apple quilt. I’m keeping this one.



Attended our younger grandsons’ school’s Veteran’s Day program.  Love attending this every year.


Saw our granddaughter in the Music Man.  It was wonderful.

Time to get out the Thanksgiving decorations.




Lily had her second and my daughter says, her last litter.   She is such a good mother.


I can’t stand how precious this picture is.   Everyone should get to hold a puppy every single day. The world would be so much happier.


Drove some really beautiful back roads of Indiana.


And toured some primitive shops on those back roads that hardly anyone ever travels.



Had Thanksgiving dinner where I didn’t get that one picture for some reason.



The puppies were older and even more cute, if possible.


Christmas came all too quickly.


I was feeling so nostalgic this year remembering Christmases past.

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If we could only spend one day in those times gone by.  But it would probably make me cry that I would have to leave it again, so maybe it’s best to leave the past in the past and keep the sweet memories.


Socks were a part of the gifts to everyone.


But when You get right down to it. Spending time with those you love is worth all the money in the world.

I know that it will be a split second and I will be writing about 2018 and looking toward 2019 if I am blessed enough to live that long.   So here’s to another year. May it be the best ever, free from care and heartache.  Full of love and joy.  Bye.















We are standing on the threshold of a brand, new year. It’s like getting a new box of crayons, a new unmarked journal, an unread novel, a bright, shiny penny, a new fallen snow that no one has walked on.  It’s so fresh and new you can smell the hope in it.

I am leaving 2017 with gratitude, relief and a little sadness. It was a good year in many ways, but a sad year also as we lost several church friends and a family member.   It’s been a year of ups and downs with mostly ups, thankfully.  It held many surprises, some tragedy and some comedy.

This year I want to be more faithful, less fearful of new things, more determined in my quest to walk 10,000 steps a few times a week and more happy in my circumstances.   I managed most of these in 2017 except for the walking bit. I kind of slacked off on that.  Right now we have the most frigid temperatures we have ever had to endure the last few years so it’s hard to want to get outdoors and walk.  Oh, and I want to knit lots and lots of socks!

We are planning our trips for our fiftieth wedding anniversary. So far we are planning trips west, south and northeast.  It’s going to be a busy year.

I wake up every day thinking “who can I bless today.”   I write this blog not to make people think how wonderful my life is.  My life is just like yours.  I have my good days, my great days, my lousy days and my sad and lonely days. Some days I’d just prefer to stay in bed, but I get up and get going because I don’t want to be a slug.    But even through everything, I hope I have touched someone in a way that will help them.  We aren’t alone on this planet.  Everyone wants to be loved. You are.  Everyone has pretty much the same needs. I am interested in all of you.  I hope your year will be kind to you. I hope you have good health.  I hope you have someone to love.  I hope you never feel so alone that you think no one cares.  Someone does.  I hope when 2018 is over you can look back and say, “I made it through and it wasn’t so bad.”   I really hope you can look back and think, “Wow, what a year!”

Love, don’t hold onto anger, forgive, take chances, and remember the One who is always there for you.  Happy New Year, everyone!  Bye.