Christmases Past

Do you remember that scene in Christmas Vacation where Clark Griswald(Chevy Chase) was up in his attic  looking at old movies of his family when they were all younger?  Sitting there with tears running down his cheeks while he watched?

I just had the same experience looking through some old pictures of my growing family as we celebrated Christmas in the past.   I so miss those little children and my parents who made Christmas so special for me.   Those little children are middle aged now and my parents have gone on to live in Heaven.

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This is my mom and daddy.   I miss them.   They have been gone for decades, but you never really ever get use to being without your parents, no matter how old you get.

 

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This is how it was for many Christmases at our house on Christmas morning. The kids would come down the stairs, youngest first. Look at  those faces.  To have the joy of a child at Christmas again!

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One year our younger son played Santa Claus in his school Christmas play.

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Who is that handsome man and who are those babies?   I think this was taken in the Virgin Islands when we visited David’s mother there one Christmas.  Our daughter sits on his lap and her cousins are watching her open a gift. This was the trip where she fell into the swimming pool and was afraid of water for a long time afterward. It was even hard to get her in the bathtub.

 

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New pajamas?  I remember that sofa.  I really loved it for a long time. Now I think it’s kind of tacky.  LOL.   And it clashed so well with those drapes. An interior designer I was not at that time.   I still have that jug lamp only because my daddy made it for me.

 

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Someone got a new bicycle that year.  Snow didn’t stop the first ride.  We lived up a hill with a park right next door to us and we could walk down a path to a lake and to a playground where the children could play. I loved living in that house.

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And the Big Green Machine. Remember those?   This was a fun Christmas for those two boys. You can see the lake behind them. We use to go ice skating on it. There would be a big bonfire and lots of skaters and it was so much fun.  I wish I still had my skates, but I sold them in a garage sale before we moved to our present house.  I guess I knew my ice skating days were over.

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I made those coveralls my younger son is wearing.  I made a lot of their clothes back then. I believe I made the plaid shirt also.   I think they are adorable.

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David’s Grandma reading to the boys. I loved her. She was such a wonderful person and really loved her great-grandchildren.   And they loved her.

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The year our younger son had one of his first of several broken bones.  He was playing on a hill behind our neighbor’s house and jumped off a little hill and landed wrong, I guess, because he broke his leg.  I thought he had stepped on a nail and pulled off his shoe while he was screaming.  Probably didn’t help the break any.  I was so surprised when I learned he had broken his leg.   He got very proficient on those crutches.

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I use to bake so much at Christmas. Now with just David and me at home I don’t bake as much.  I use to make gingerbread houses all the time at Christmas, too.  Today I baked two cakes and some sugar cookies because the grandchildren are coming and like sweets.

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Really wish that I still had this little girl around.  But she grew up and so did the boys and life goes on.    Now with tears in my eyes I will close. Tomorrow I will write about the time I saw the “real” Santa.   Bye.

 

Scrambling

The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are always a blur to me.   It seems like when Autumn gets here I should put on my running shoes and take off with a bottle of water in my hand to keep me hydrated as I scramble through the days.

I am really not the busy, I don’t think.  I don’t have a job.  I don’t have children I have to ferry here, there and everywhere.  I don’t even have a very demanding husband who is always asking me to do things.  I’m just saying, the days seem to fly by like the wind and when a week is over David and I look at each other and say, “That week went fast.”  Maybe it’s our age and the space, time, continuum thing, but I can almost see the world turning, it’s going so fast. I also tell David I can hear God’s voice whispering to me constantly and I am wondering what He is telling me.

I don’t watch that much tv although I have gotten hooked on The Crown on Netflix and have been watching that.  Man, am I glad I was not born into royalty.  I would have hated all my time planned for me every day.  And not being able to leave your house without the media watching all the time would make me downright crazy.  And your privacy certainly is not private.  Poor Elizabeth and Phillip cannot even have an argument without someone noticing and reporting that their marriage is on the rocks. If David and I were watched like that, people would think we were getting a divorce all the time because we do argue a bit at times.   Don’t all couples?  But if you are royalty you are expected to be happy all the time and give a good show to the public. That is not for me.

We also finished watching Longmire on Netflix.  We always watch a show during our evening meal because that is the only time David and I watch anything together.   I really hated to see Longmire end and I won’t give anything away, but I was not happy about something that has bothered me the entire series and it bothered me at the end.  That is all I am saying.  I had kind of a crush on Longmire. That handsome, rugged, cowboy look set my heart to pitter pattering.  David, if you are reading this, you make my heart go pitter patter all the time.   And one other show I have been watching while I knit is the Roosevelts.    It’s  a Ken Burns documentary and I am learning a whole lot of history about our two Presidents Roosevelt and their lives and their families and the times during which they were presidents.    There is something about Teddy Roosevelt that reminds me of our current president.   In a good way, of course because I am not a Trump hater.

But back to time.  I have worked on Christmas gifts for weeks and finally today I am finished buying and making presents and next week David will wrap them.  I don’t like wrapping.  David does a great job and is very meticulous and his edges are crisp and he does not waste paper.  My wrapping looks like a two year old had a tantrum and had some paper and tape handy.

We have attended a couple of our grandchildren’s Christmas programs at their school.  That always gets me in the Christmas spirit.  I have been taking lots of pictures and one day soon I will put them on here when I have time.  There are some things I just cannot show right now because there are people who should not see things before Christmas if you know what I mean.

Hope your days are going well.  All of you all over the world who read this blog, I just want to tell you, I think about you and wonder about your lives and hope all is well in your part of the world. At this Christmas time I wish the world and our country could all come together for a few days of peace.  We all need it.   I like to think if all those who read my blog could get together, we would all like each other and have a great time getting to know each other.  Wouldn’t that be fun?     I’ll bake the cinnamon rolls. Hope you aren’t gluten free or carb free because my cinnamon rolls are to die for.  Bye.

It’s Beginning to Look…….

I have been slowly getting the Christmas decorations up.    I was going to go for a more streamlined look, but, as usual, when I started getting out all our decorations the house was soon overflowing with Christmas cheer.

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To put our tree on top of the old red table I bought at the last antique tour we attended,  involved sawing a fake tree limb to make it shorter so the tree would not touch the ceiling. Next year the tree is going back on the floor!  In fact, I’m thinking real tree next year. Something we have not done in decades.   But the tree is decorated and waiting for the presents that will go underneath.

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I love pulling out all the old decorations we have gathered through the years.  We got this Santa on a hot air balloon at Hershey Pennsylvania many years ago. I remember this vacation in particular because half way to Hershey our younger son rose up from the back seat and with a worried look on his face said, ”  I think I left the freezer door open.”   Well, there was discussion about going back and David said no and believe it or not, I didn’t think about it again until we were almost home and I began to wonder if we would have thawed food in the freezer. We had this huge standing freezer where I froze meat we got from my parents when they butchered a cow, frozen corn I would freeze in the Summer months and other frozen foods.  Having young children I was always having to tell them to close the freezer door, so I was worried about what we would find.  The freezer door was closed.  Why our son said that makes me think I had traumatized my children about leaving the freezer door open.  I was so glad when we got rid of that freezer.   The same thing about the iron.  I was always afraid of leaving the iron on when we went anywhere because I did a lot of ironing at that time.   That and the freezer were usually always checked before we went away.  Our younger son said that was one of his best vacations going to Hershey and I’m glad he enjoyed it.

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This Santa on a stork always goes on the tree.  When we were expecting our first child, David’s grandmother gave me this for Christmas and I have always loved it.   It’ almost fifty years old now and I cannot believe I have a child almost that old.

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This snowman is even older. When I was a little girl my grandfather had a few of these snowmen candles on his tree and I was blessed enough to get a couple of them. I always think of my grandpa when I put this on my tree.  He made the best popcorn balls.  We kids always looked forward to those at Christmas.  That and fifty cents was our present from him and that was enough for us.

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A tiny pillow I made.

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And a table runner.  I have made so many Christmas decorations from fabric in the past years that I cannot put them all out.

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Fabric gingerbread men I sewed when we had our fabric store.

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This was actually a tee shirt I found at Target years ago. I sewed up the bottom and the armholes and stuffed it and it makes a very comfortable pillow.

This time of year I love to bake and make sweets to eat. David and I are both sugarholics.

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I made a big batch of donut holes with sugar and cinnamon.  Yum.

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Those with a cup of coffee are wonderful in the morning. I am so glad I am not a diabetic or on a gluten free diet.  I think I would miss donuts more than anything. The author, Jan Karon, wrote in her cookbook about sitting with some famous people and asking them that if they were going to have their last meal of their life, what would they eat?  There were answers of steak or lobster or cake.  If I thought I was going to die and was allowed one last meal I would want two Krispy Crème Boston crème donuts with a really good cup of coffee with plenty of sweetener and cream.  I use to think ice cream was my favorite food, but in the last few years I have found I could take it or leave it unless it’s really, really good butter pecan ice cream.  I only eat it about three or four times a year because I really do not crave it, but I crave donuts. Anyway, these little donut holes are so good and so easy to make.  I only make them three or four times a year and usually at this time of year.

Speaking of sweet things, we went to see these last weekend.

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Golden Retriever puppies!

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How darling can an animal get?  I love puppies.  But it is dangerous for me to be around them because I always want one.

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Our grandsons are enjoying the cuteness, too.

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They are just like puppies. Growing up too fast.   I don’t know how my daughter can not keep one of the puppies, but they already have three Goldens, so these are all for sale.

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Our beautiful daughter. She is dog crazy like I am.  In fact, when she was a girl, she would scour the ads in the newspaper looking for free puppies and would beg to get one.  We got three dogs that way through the years. then she grew up and guess who was left with the dogs?  But I loved them too, so it was all good.  Now I scour the ads looking for Chocolate Labs.

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I’m in love, but I will resist.  I am holding out for another Chocolate Labrador Retriever. Maybe in another year.  This coming year is going to be busy as it’s our fiftieth wedding anniversary year and we have plans.

As we plan for Christmas day remember this…..

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Keep Christ in Christmas because that is really why we celebrate. The birth of our King and Savior.   With Christ out of Christmas, it’s just another day.

Here’s to Christmas and darling puppies.  May they both bring smiles to your face.  Bye.

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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She really had quite the collection.

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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!

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

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Each was unique in its own way.

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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.

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She has this cute sign out on her front lawn.

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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.

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I really, really loved this building.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The river was this close to the road.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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This is proud papa.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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Soon I was piecing each block together feverishly.

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Block after block went together.

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I couldn’t stop.  I was on a mission.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

Hoosiers

I am a Hoosier girl through and through. Born and bred on an Indiana farm with straw in my hair, mud between my toes, dirt under my fingernails and chicken feathers sticking to my clothes.     Days spent playing on the farm are some of my most treasured memories.   There were all sorts of animals to play with and all kinds of places to play.   I would get up in the morning, eat my breakfast of hot tea and cinnamon and sugar toast and run outside to the great out there where fun and surprises awaited.  My mother didn’t know where I was most of the time. She just knew I was on the farm somewhere, whether it was in the sandbox, up a tree, in the haymow playing with a new family of kittens, or swinging on the porch swing reading a library book.  At times I was asked to weed in the garden or help around the house or gather eggs, but for the most part I was allowed to just be a kid and have fun.

I was thinking of those days this weekend as David and I traveled the country roads of Brown and Morgan County.  We got up early on Saturday morning and headed to Bloomington to a soccer tournament our two younger grandsons were playing in.

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It was a foggy morning making everything look mysterious.

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Past corn fields ready for harvesting.

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Seeing the sun rise. Something I rarely see these days as I have become a late sleeper.  I would usually be tucked away in my comfy bed fast asleep on a morning such as this, but not that day.  And I am glad I saw it all.

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It was fun watching our grandsons play.  Both their teams won their games I am proud to report.  This grandson was an excellent goalie for his team.  Not one ball got past him.

It was a beautiful morning to watch the games.

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Always nice spending time with these loved ones.

After watching the games, David and I set off for home, but we didn’t take the fast way. Oh, no. We took the back way.  Off the beaten path.  Where we love to wander.

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Down lonely roads where we might see a car or two.  I think of all the people who come to Brown County this time of year to see the foliage and all they see is downtown Nashville with all its stores.  Shopping is fun in Nashville if that’s what you like to do and I have done my share of shopping there, but we prefer being out in the country. I am sure Brown County State Park was very busy that weekend.  Vice President Mike Pence’s son was getting married in Brown County last weekend, something neither of us knew at the time. His plane flew into our city and several friends went out to see it. It’s not every day the vice president comes to your town. But David and I were wandering.

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Past woods…

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and old barns.   So sad to say the old barns are going away pretty quickly.  I wish people would take better care of them and preserve them for the next generation.  My family barn is gone because of lack of care.  It makes me sad.

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We drove by fields where farmers were getting in the harvest.

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Past old building like this and this…..

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Past an old one room school.  I think about the children who walked to this school which was probably heated by a stove and they used slates to write upon.

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I dearly love old barns.  In their day they were stacked with straw bales and hay bales and the farm animals sheltered in them.  Now they either stand empty or have old farm equipment in them that is never used.

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The trees were just starting to turn.

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Another week and they will be at their peak unless the rains take off the leaves.

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We saw some interesting Halloween decorations along the way.  Even out where hardly anyone would see them, people like to decorate.

We found a restaurant that looked interesting so we stopped to eat.  This is what happened.  When we went inside the hostess asked us if we would like a table or a booth. We like to sit at a booth so she proceeded to sit us and give us a menu. I had thought I wanted a hamburger but they served liver and onions.   I love liver and onions and most restaurants don’t usually offer it.  This is the second time in a month I have been to a restaurant that served liver and onions.  We perused the menu and decided what we wanted and then we waited. And we waited. And we waited. We noticed the tables all around us were getting their drinks and food and we still had not seen a waitress. Then a group of four came in and were immediately given their menus and asked what they wanted to drink and were served promptly.  David and I just looked at each other. Then we got the giggles because every time a waitress was heard asking her table if everything was okay, David would say, “Yes, it is.”  Even though we had as yet seen a waitress.  “We must have been zapped with the invisible ray gun,” David said and we started giggling again. Then I said let’s wait and see how long this would go on. The waitresses were buzzing like flies all over all the other tables and there we sat with not a drink or a wink.   Finally I said I was going to go talk to the hostess and David said, “Do you want me to? ” and I said, “No because I will be nice.”  So up I went to the hostess and this is what I said,  “Excuse me, did you mean to set us at a booth that would not be waited upon? Everyone around us, including a table that arrived after us, have been served their food and no one has even brought our drinks.” ”   “What booth!” she almost yelled. Well, I thought to myself, “The booth where you sat us.”   So anyway, suddenly a waitress that I had not seen before was suddenly rushing to our table and was getting our drinks and our order.  I noticed there was a man standing where the hostess had been standing. I wondered if he was the manager.   We got our food pronto and it was very good.  The waitress was almost overly solicitous at that point, bringing David not one, but two glasses of sweet tea.  Anyway, I won’t give the restaurant’s name as we did get a really good meal there and the liver and onions was excellent.   By the way, in a previous post I mentioned a restaurant where we got horrible service as the Outback. I was mistaken. It was O’Charleys but I have to say we ate at another O’Charley’s in Indianapolis last week and the food and service was excellent and we happened to be there on free pie night and I got the best piece of pecan pie I have ever eaten,

But enough about restaurants and food.

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Using this pattern…

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I am working on a pumpkin quilt.   This is such a fun quilt to make.

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I’m enjoying getting out all my Autumn fabrics and playing with them.

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I am loving each block I make.  Another project I am working on is molding for around the windows in my shop.  Since we took down some old fencing, I decided to repurpose it as molding.  I cleaned it up and gave it a light brushing with white paint.

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I’m loving how you can see the swirls and grain in the wood.  When David gets it installed, I will show you how it looks.    Now I am thinking of preserving the rest of that wood for a bathroom I am dreaming about that I would like to see put in a little house we may build one day in our woods.   It would look wonderful on the walls.

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We were given this little chipper shredder the other day and David and I spent an afternoon trying to find twigs to put in it to mulch. If we weren’t looking for twigs, they’d be everywhere, but we had trouble finding any even with all the trees around us.   It doesn’t take very big limbs so it takes forever to get a cup full of mulch, but we had fun playing with it anyway.  It really does not take much to entertain us.

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Hope you are enjoying the season.

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Hope your skies are blue.

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And hope your friends are close. Bye.

 

 

October, How I Love You

I love the month of October. After March, April and May, it’s my favorite month.  It usually starts getting cooler although we have had unseasonable temperatures for the last several days.  Today it was in the sixties and I was loving it.  I feel so much more energetic in cooler weather.  The leaves on the trees are slow to change this year, but that’s okay.  The longer the season lasts, the better.

It’s been a busy month.  Aren’t they all?    I was telling a younger friend with young children not to expect to take time off when her children were grown because then the grandchildren come and there are things you want to do with them.  We had fun at King’s Island with one set of grandchildren a  couple of weeks ago and last week we spent time with the other set at Grandparents’ Days at their school.  Our older grandchildren go to a wonderful Christian school where their mother also teaches.  The school ranks #1 in college prep schools in Central Indiana and 98% of their graduates go on to college. Pretty impressive, I’d say.  Our granddaughter will be graduating next Spring.  I believe she and our grandsons have had an A-plus education.

So Grandparents’ Day begins with a sign in and then like a bunch of ants at a picnic, the grandparents swarm the tables with the coffee and donuts on them.  They serve very good coffee and donuts.

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Then they have chapel and our grandchildren join us.  The first day our sixth grader was with us.

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Let me just say that a few months ago, he was a short, little boy and now he’s taller than me(which isn’t hard as I am 5’1″) but almost as tall as his grandfather too.  His voice is changing and he looks like a teen-ager all of a sudden.   Waaaaaaa!  I told him it was just a short time ago I was babysitting him and he would sit on the piano bench and we would play the piano, neither one of us knowing how to play.  He was a baby then. Such a short time ago.  Such a nice grandson.

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He plays football.

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Sings in the middle school choir.  See, he is about a head taller than all the others.

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His class is learning the entire book of James in the Bible and they got up and recited some of it.   He looks like he is really concentrating here.

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This is his good friend who we adopted for the day as his grandparents couldn’t make it.  A really nice boy.

We took him out to eat and told him he could order anything he wanted and his eyes lit up.  Then back to school and we drove home to take care of the animals and then drove back up to Indianapolis to spend the night in order to go to the second Grandparents’ Day.

With these two.

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Our tenth grader and

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our senior.  She painted this mural and she is in the musical in a few weeks. Another trip to make.

Once again the grandparents crowded the coffee table and donut table and then we sat down for chapel. Our granddaughter is part of the praise team. She said she was nervous about singing in front of us, but she seemed very composed and professional.

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It so nice to see our grandchildren growing up to be the kind of people they are.  So kind. So talented. So grounded.

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This young man has my heart.  He can make me laugh so easily, many times when we should not be laughing!   See that lady in black?  She is from Scotland and her granddaughter is a good friend of our granddaughter.

We took them both out to Five Guys, a hamburger joint and they got to order what they wanted and then back to school where our granddaughter had an interview for a scholarship.  I hope she gets it.

It was a fun two days.

Driving home we drove through downtown Indianapolis. When I was young, I really thought this was the BIG city.  Our senior class made a trip there and it was so much fun.  Now I just can’t wait to get out of it.  Too much traffic for me.

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This is our state capitol.

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The top of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monument smack dab in the center of the city.  I wish I had gotten a picture of the whole thing. I have walked up to the top of this monument several times through the years.

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Tall buildings. It’s not New York, but it’s big enough for me. This country girl likes dirt roads and trees and no traffic.

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A very busy downtown.  People out eating at restaurants, walking their dogs, skate boarding.   Fun to drive through. Wouldn’t want to live there.

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The sky was so blue and it really was a pleasant day.

On the way home we stopped at a quilt shop called The Back Door where I had a gift certificate to use. I was looking for background fabric for the pumpkin quilt I am making.   Of course, I found more than I was looking for.

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I just like this fabric and know I will use it in something so I bought a yard.

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It’s hard to tell from this picture, but this fabric looks grey, but has a tinge of green in it. I like the little swirls all through it which remind me of pumpkin vines.  I cut out most of the background pieces for the quilt today.  Hope I have enough of it.

But what really caught my eye and made me swoon was this fabric.  I almost didn’t get it as I really don’t need anymore fabric, but this is the most beautiful fabric I have ever seen in my life.  A masterpiece on fabric.  A Monet.   I just could not leave the store without it.

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Just so incredibly beautiful. I bought three yards and wish I had bought five!   I don’t have a clue what I will make with this, but it has to be an especially wonderful quilt.  I just love it.  Did I say I liked this fabric?   I love it so much I made it my header for this blog.

There are a few other things going on in my world, but that will wait for another day.  Bye.

 

 

Back to Cincinnati

 

I love driving to Cincinnati.  Especially when we take the river road along the Ohio River.  We did that over a week ago, but because of things happening in the world, I didn’t feel like writing about it.     We took off on a Saturday and headed down the road.

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Following the river most of the way. There is something about a river that makes me feel wanderlust.  I think of all those who have traveled this river throughout the years or lived by this river, building little towns and living their lives as the river swept by.   There is so much history along this river. David and I have driven most of it and several times, at that.   It never fails to lift my spirits.

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The sky was so blue that day and the river so calm, but this river has flooded many times through the centuries, flooding those little towns and creating havoc to their citizens.  Still, people continue to settle along it, camp beside it and watch as it lazily flows along.  It’s mesmerizing.

We passed through one little town where I saw some ladies decorating the city park.  And along the road hung on electric poles were these………

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Scarecrows. I don’t know if they were having a contest, but there were several of these all along the roadway.  Made me want to go home and make my own scarecrow.

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I think it might have had something to do with breast cancer awareness because of this sign I saw.

We spent the night in Cincinnati and went to supper with our older son and his girlfriend.  We went to The Outback to eat and they had the slowest service.  We finally got our names on a list and waited and waited. They didn’t look all that busy. Then three more people came in the door and the waitress started to sit them immediately and David spoke up and asked why they were being seated. The waitress mumbled something about the waitress wasn’t ready for our table. Humbug!  Our son said, “Let’s go,” and we went across the street to a restaurant called Mimi’s Café and were seated immediately and I had the best liver and onions I have ever eaten. So, good things happen to those who wait!    It was a pleasant evening, but we were going to King’s Island the next day so we headed to our motel for the night.

The next morning we met up with our daughter and her family.

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The boys were excited because we were going to King’s Island.

Now King’s Island is for the person who likes to ride scary rides. I am not that person. The last two times I was talked into riding certain rides, I cried.  So I knew no one would be talking me into riding any roller coasters or rides that went up high that day.  I loved watching my family ride the rides.  I rode a couple, but I really enjoy people watching and just being with family.   It was such a fun day.  We went to the arcade and there is where I had the most fun playing Ski-ball. I could play that all day.  I helped our son win a card he had been trying to win for some time.  You see, our son goes to King’s Island almost every single day whether it’s before work or after work, just to ride maybe one ride. He’s a big kid at heart.  He plays those arcade games and saves the points. He has enough to get a computer now.   He could have probably bought one a whole lot cheaper, but he loves playing those games.  I do too. It must be in the blood.  David and I, when we were dating, use to love playing the arcade games at the fair.  Tossing rings to win cheap dishes.   I once spent fifty dollars playing ski-ball at King’s Island to win a set of juice glasses!  They were the cheapest glasses I have ever had and they all got broken very quickly.   Needless to say, we don’t go to King’s Island all that often.  Can’t afford their dishes!

It was a fun day and I am sure I got my 10,000 and more steps in as my feet were hurting so badly by the time we got to the car.  We drove home at dusk as the sky was showing off  it’s beautiful colors.

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Where we live there are tall trees so I cannot see the sunset like this at night. It was so beautiful.   Then I saw it.

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A UFO.  Or at least it looked like one to me. And then I saw this.

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Remember in the first Ghost Busters where that dog chased that little guy from his apartment and down the street?  This made me think of that dog.

It was good to get home and back in our own bed.

The past couple of weeks I have been working on quilts.

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I pinned this quilt ready for quilting. I can’t decide if I want to machine quilt it or quilt it by hand.  It’s got hundreds of safety pins in it and my fingers can attest to it.  I am quilting one by hand right now that I want to get done.  Can’t show it as it is for someone special.

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Not sure what this pattern is called. I pieced it years ago. I am going through all my unfinished quilts and trying to get them done.

And yet, I keep buying fabric to make more.

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I bought this fat quarter assemble to make a pumpkin quilt.

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I pre-wash all my fabric and here I hung these on a little line I have strung across my shop porch. I love hanging things out on a line.  Didn’t take them long to dry.  I will show you some of the blocks I have made soon.   I was working on my pumpkin quilt today.

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This glorious fabric will be the backing.   I had to order five yards of it just because I loved it so much.  I will use this in several things, I am sure.

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This fabric I bought on Haight Ashbury in San Francisco years ago when we visited our son who was stationed in California with the Air Force learning to speak Russian to be a Russian linguist.  That was many years ago.  I don’t know why the fabric looks stained in this picture because it isn’t.  There was a wonderful quilt shop there with some very exotic fabrics.

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This yellow fabric was bought for me by my son and his ex-wife when they visited England years ago. They asked me what I wanted them to bring me back from England and I said, “Fabric.”  I have used this in several quilts.

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We got this postcard in the mail a few weeks ago telling us about Grandparents’ Day at our grandchildren’s school.  I was looking at it and saw someone familiar on it.

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David and me and two of our grandkids!.  I must say it was kind of disconcerting to see our faces on there.  I always wondered through the years how they picked the pictures for these things.   We are visiting their school this week.  They  treat us grandparents great.  I am really looking forward to it.

Here’s to river rides, fun times with family and quilting. Bye.