A Summer Drive

David and I bought a Jeep last Spring and haven’t really driven it many places except to work and the grocery since we got it, so one day last week we decided to take a drive through southern Indiana.   Indiana in Summer is so beautiful.  Everything is just bursting in bloom and leafing out.  The corn is growing and most fields will be knee high by the fourth of July.  That means the corn will be ready to harvest after the first frost.

Farmers are getting in their hay. It’s been good weather for it.

Bales of hay laying in the fields assures the farmer he will have feed for his cows this Winter.

I’ve seen my daddy baling hay many times while my brothers walked along behind the wagon he would pull and stacked the hay bales that would taken into the barn.  So much of the hay baled today are the big round bales and oftentimes they are left out in the field.

We saw this huge field of hay bales and it looked so picturesque.

The farmer’s pond was below the hayfield and I bet his cows were standing around it on this hot day getting a cool drink of water.

Farmers use to have barns that looked like this.  So many barns are going into disrepair.

Like this one. One time this was a grand barn full of animals and hay.  Now it stands as a sad reminder that if you don’t repair a roof, the rest of the building will soon be destroyed by the wind and rain.

It’s what happened to the barn on my family’s farm after it was sold.  The roof came off and the barn caved in. So sad.

At one time a farmer’s wife probably planted this rose and now it grows wild along the fence beside the old barn.  This barn looks like someone takes care of it.

Barns aren’t the only buildings that are falling into the ground. Old houses pepper the landscape along the backroads of Indiana.

Then we pass well cared for homesteads that you know the people love and want to keep it up.  This house is just beautiful and all the out buildings are in very good repair.

We couldn’t decide whether this was a newly built barn or someone’s house.  It has a lot of windows, but it looks like a barn.

We wondered why the trees were like this in just his area and we saw this sign.

Pin Oak trees in a wetland.

Such a sweet picture of mama and her baby.

We passed the Hoosier Horse Camp where people can bring their horses and camp and there are covered stalls outdoors for the horses to stay in when they aren’t being ridden.  How much fun would that be to camp with your horse?

There were ponds in many yards and fields.

Someone had a mailbox high in the air and had Air Mail painted on it.

Caution:  Death scene ahead!!  If you don’t want to see it, don’t scroll any farther.

 

 

 

 

 

We came across this grisly scene.

A dead deer in a field and many turkey vultures having their dinner.

There was a bunch of them. We disturbed them when they stopped and many flew away.

This one refused to budge.  I call these birds God’s scavengers because they scavenge the countryside in roads and fields and eat all the dead animals they find. I can see them lazily skimming the air currents above our house all the time looking for some small animal to eat.  I tell them to stay away from my chickens!  If not for these birds, there would be a lot of dead animals laying around and smelling so I appreciate them.

Our ride took us to Madison, Indiana, a little town on the Ohio River. It has a lot of cute little shops and it has many tourists that come visit.  I use to always come here for fabric at Margie’s fabric shop, before quilting became a fad, because she carried the old reproduction fabrics I could not find anywhere else.  There is a wonderful antique mall here and a park along the river with benches all along it where people can come sit and watch the boats go by.  They have a regatta every year with speed boats and that brings thousands to this tiny town.  David and I found a bench and sat and watched all the river activity.

We saw this bird sitting on a rock looking for fish.

The more pictures I took of it, the longer its neck seemed to get!

There were several ducks swimming on the river and down the way, children were leaping off a pier and swimming. Oh, to be a kid again.

Madison has a beautiful courthouse and this statue on its lawn.

We saw this tree all a bloom, but I didn’t know what kind it was.

It was loaded with white flowers.

Anyone know what this is?  It sure was pretty.

I have the sweetest little plant in my kitchen garden called Mallow and this year it has flowered very well.

The flowers look like tiny Rose of Sharon flowers.

I am going to have to try to paint these.  They are so pretty.

I’ve been doing some projects and this is one of them.

That white mailbox I showed you a while ago is now painted.

I copied this planter. I’m not an artist, but I do love to paint.  I’m working on a larger mailbox painting quilt blocks on it. The watering can behind these was painted by one of my grandsons years ago when I had them for camp and this was a project.

And last, but certainly not least, David cut some rhubarb for me the other day and I made the first pie I have made in a very long time.  I can’t remember the last time I had made a pie, but this one turned out very well.

It didn’t last very long, I will tell you that.

Hope your Summer is as lovely as mine has been.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Already June

If the days go much faster, I may as well stay in bed because night comes so fast and I wonder what I got done and where did the day go?    It’s crazy.  We have been busy the past few weeks and every time I think I will write a blog post, something else takes my attention and another day is gone.  With grandson’s ball games and our granddaughter’s wedding shower we don’t lack for places to go.

Got to see one of this young man’s ball games.  The ball park was out in the boondocks. We drove and drove back roads and finally found it, then discovered there was a shorter way to it, but the drive was nice.  His team lost, but he did strike out all the batters in the inning he pitched except one who hit a homerun.   I love watching baseball because I understand it and I use to play it when I was a girl.  I was on a girls’ softball team one Summer and we traveled around to different towns and played.  It was so much fun and it was a great bunch of girls on the team.   I think we were pretty good if I remember right.

And we got to see this young man play soccer.  I understand soccer pretty well, but because we were sitting so far away, it was hard to tell who was who.  His team won their game.  Just wish the boys lived nearer so we could go to more games because I really love seeing them play.

One of my projects this Spring was to clean off my shop porch and make a small raised bed garden in front of it.  My porch had become the catch all for everything from garden supplies to David’s tools, to just junk so I want it all gone.

We took some steps from our old back deck to make the raised beds. Turned the steps upside down and there we had a raised bed.

An old chicken laying stand is used for a backdrop and to display a few flowers. I found the white chicken at an antique store a couple of weeks ago and I bought the metal chicken at Rural King last year. The little girl statue is named Sara after our daughter.

Since this picture was taken the leaf lettuce is almost ready to pick.  I love wilted lettuce made by cooking chopped onion and bacon together, stirring in some vinegar and brown sugar and pouring it over leaf lettuce. Yum.  Don’t have the measurements I use, just trial and error.

We have had this old grill sitting back by the dog pen for the last few years and every year I told David I wanted to do something with it, so this year I did.   Cleaned it up, sprayed it with spray paint and it makes a wonderful place to plant flowers and display them.   I’m really pleased with it, if I do say so myself.

Used some barn quilts I painted a few years back to hide the mess under the porch table.

Put this lavender in a maple syrup bucket.

I have lots of room in front of my shop to plant a lot more if I want to. Since it’s hazardous to anything I plant in the back yard with the puppies still chewing on everything, I am using what I can to plant what I can. Just this week they tore out an azalea I had just transplanted while digging for a mole, so I put the azalea in my kitchen garden which is fenced in.  I will have to show you that garden another time. I have been pulling wheel barrows full of weeds out of it. I haven’t been able to weed in there for the past few years and the Creeping Charley took over. Now Creeping Charlie is kind of pretty in its own way, but it tends to take over a flower bed and a lawn.  It just about kills me to weed now, but I’m determined to get that garden back in shape. I have discovered several Hibiscus that were overtaken with the weed, but now they have sunshine and just in the past couple of days they have grown taller. I also pulled out poison ivy and dug up a little tree that had taken up residence.

A few years back I planted some wildflower seeds from Wildflower Seeds Farm out of Fredericksburg, Texas.  We visited there a few years ago and it was amazing.  Anyway, the only flowers that keep coming back from that planting are these Dame’s Rocket.  And they have spread.  I’ve got potatoes planted in that old wash tub that doesn’t have a bottom.

 

Dame’s Rocket is so pretty. It crossed the drive and planted itself right by our walk up to our  front porch. We had to mow some down because it was taking over, but I love it.

Here it is by the front porch steps. I really wouldn’t care if it spread all over the yard. It seems to bloom forever and it’s self-seeding which are wonderful traits for a flower.

Just a few of the Iris I have in my gardens.  One day a complete stranger stopped and asked me if he could have a start of that bright orange Iris. I told him sure if he had anything he could trade me for it.  So a few days later that man brought me a small lilac bush and this year those lilacs were so beautiful and smelled heavenly and we already have transplanted another lilac bush from it and there is another sprout we are going to transplant.  So it’s fun to trade plants with people. I hope my flowers are doing as well for that man. And those orange Irises have spread to different parts of the garden and I haven’t touched them!

The snowball bush I thought had died last year put on quite a show although the flowers were smaller than usual.

And the small bush that we transplanted from the older bush really did well this year.  We got the original plant from David’s grandmother’s yard years and years ago.

You can make a planter out of anything. This is an old fertilizer spreader that’s seen better days.  Just a paint job and David put a board inside to hold the dirt and voila!  Flowers in bloom.

The peonies were absolutely gorgeous this year. My favorite flower. And here is art imitating life. I painted the picture last Winter and tried to imitate it with my own bottle and flower.

Funny what I can get up to with time on my hands!

Who doesn’t like peonies? If you don’t, I’m not sure about you!   They are so beautiful and many smell so good. Their only problem is they don’t last long enough in the Spring.  I’ve ordered nine more of them for planting this Fall.

If I were getting married again I would want a huge bouquet of peonies to carry down the aisle.

I love Spring skies. Pastels just like in the garden. Finally warmed up enough that I wasn’t chilled for a few days and then it got cold again and now it’s back to normal.

I have much more to write about, but I will end with two of the best things that have happened in the past month. My oldest son and his girlfriend finally decided to get married.  They have been together for eleven years and her son is like a son to my son(got that?)  So one day they just decided to get married without a ring or anything.  They bought a house together.

It’s in a beautiful division with houses that look old from the outside.  It’s very pretty on the inside also.

This is the happy couple and their son and dog, Annie who is so cute.

I think they all like each other and I officially have six grandchildren now.  The more, the merrier.

And speaking of weddings. Our oldest granddaughter is getting married in July just three days after our 53rd wedding anniversary.  A shower was held for her last Saturday.

There was lots of yummy food although this is the only thing I got a picture of.

This girl is not my granddaughter, but I’ve known her since she was a wee baby. She and her mother and I made quilts for the babies at Riley’s Children’s hospital. When she was first born she spent her first few weeks there because she was premature, but here she is now. The quilts were her senior project by the way and now she’s already graduated from college and is teaching English.

My granddaughter in glasses. She graduated from Purdue University in three years with honors, already has a job this Summer at the Children’s museum and she and her future husband have already bought a house.  She got straight A’s, by the way, but I’m not at all proud of her!!!

We all wrote questions for her to answer and also we wrote down when we first met her and she had to guess who wrote each note.  It was easy for her to guess mine as I’ve known her since she was born.

There were lots of laughs and some tears, but a good time was had by all.

I will end right here which is a good way to end. Bye.

 

 

 

 

What’s Happening

Once again I lost a complete blog including the pictures.  Our son got the blog running again and my pictures are up there somewhere in a cloud, I guess, but to get each one in the right place on every blog I’ve written the last several years would take a miracle and I don’t have the brains to figure out how to do it, anyway, and it would take me months to untangle it all, so I’m starting over again.

I’ve been taking lots of pictures because this time of year is just beautiful and we have done some family things and I’m working on several projects.  Maybe my next post I will have pictures ready, but right now I’m just too tired to do it.  David and I have been planting trees and perennials. Well, I point and David plants them where I tell him to.   I’ve ordered nine more peonies that won’t be delivered until Fall so we will have time to get their beds ready.  Since we aren’t planting too much in the back yard right now because of the puppies, I made a little garden in front of my shop with flowers, potatoes, cucumbers and leaf lettuce growing.  We sit out on the swing and I tell David this is my little world, all of it.  When we do plant something in the back yard we have to put fencing around it or it would be totally destroyed.   Sugar seems to be the main culprit chewing on everything she can find.  She hauls up whole logs and chews on them. She must have a stomach of steel as it doesn’t seem to harm her.

Speaking of Lucy and Sugar and Molly, too, all three dogs have become wonderful fetchers.  Lucy goes so far as to try to throw the toy to us when she brings it.  And she’s very demanding about us throwing toys for her.  I’ve never seen a dog who loved to fetch as much as she does.  Sugar on the other hand will run with the toy and won’t bring it.  She needs  a little work, but we will teach her.

I finished another quilt top. A basic four patch and I find I love the simplicity of it and can’t wait to get it completed.  I had the perfect backing for it, just hope it’s big enough.  I have another quilt on the machine and as soon as I get it done, I’ll start quilting the four patch.

Our granddaughter, our oldest grandchild, graduated with honors from Purdue University this week.  She was only allowed two tickets so we didn’t get to go. She graduated in three years with a grade point average of 4.0.   All A’s.  She doesn’t take after me that’s for sure.   She is getting married in July and then will go straight back to college to get her Masters.  She is working in a museum this Summer which is what she wants to do.   Plus she and her fiance’ have already purchased a house.  And they say bad things about this generation.  I don’t think so.

I’ve read several good books. I discovered the author, D.E. Stevenson, who writes about English life in the forties, fifties and sixties. They are gentle stories which I find to my liking. No swear words in them.  What is it with authors and/or writers of all types who think they must include cursing and taking God’s name in vain? Every movie I’ve watched lately the actors use the “F” word.  To be honest, I don’t know anyone who uses that word or curses with abandon.  I’m not saying I’ve NEVER used a curse word, but it’s usually when I’m alone and am frustrated about something.  I’d be ashamed for anyone to hear me, though.  Anyway, I just would love to watch a good movie with no cursing.  David and I did just finish watching Five Stories Up with Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton. Two of my favorite actors.  I don’ think either one has ever made a bad movie.  At least I’ve never seen a bad one of theirs. Seems they know how to pick them.   Some actors just consistantly choose bad movies to be in. Is it poor judgement or do they really think they can make them better?

About my granddaughter’s wedding. Neither she nor her fiance’ like wedding cake so they are asking several people to bring a dessert. I am baking several different cakes and have been looking at a couple I want to test before the wedding to make sure they are good.  One is called Magic Pumpkin Cake, a cross between a cake and a pumpkin pie with whipped topping on top. I think it’s a really good idea of them and lets people be involved in the wedding.  I did ask my granddaughter to please not have me speak in front of everyone.  At our daughter’s wedding years ago me and the other mother had to light the  Unity candle and while we were lighting it, it fell over and I imagined the whole place going up in flames. Luckily the other mother had the sense to put it upright again and we continued with the lighting.   Our granddaughter is having her wedding held in a museum. Seems she has a theme going.

I think I will finish right now. Just wanted you to know I had not left my blog. My blog left me.

Here’s to many more posts to come. Bye.

 

Trying Out a New Blog Page

If you hadn’t noticed, I’ve been gone from the Blog world for a while. I lost my other blog and my son is trying to set me up with a new one, so this is a test run.  A lot has been going on in my piece of the earth and I am looking forward to once again writing. I’ve been lost without my blog and telling you all that I’ve been up to, no matter how boring it can be!  So if you are reading this, I hope  to be writing regularly in the next few days. Bye.

After Easter Reflections

We had the most enjoyable, pleasant and yes, even spiritual Easter weekend.   We enjoyed everything about it, well, except me, with all the cooking, but that’s another story.

I spent all day Saturday baking and preparing food for Easter Sunday.  We were going  to have eight family members  with us for our Easter dinner. I don’t prepare large meals any longer.  David and I eat much smaller meals when its just us, but I like to go all out for company. I baked fresh rolls, angel food cake, sugar cookies, and made potato salad and cucumber, onion and tomato salad. We had home grown corn and escalloped potatoes and baked ham also.  I never spend a whole day in the kitchen and it quite wore me out. I went to bed early and slept for twelve hours!   David said next year we will provide the house and the ham and everyone can bring the rest of the dinner. Sounds alright to me.

David and I got up Easter morning and got ready and went to church. The message was such a good one about how Jesus’ crucifixion affected the different people around him on that day.  His mother, the religious leaders, his disciples, the two thieves on the crosses on either side of him being crucified also.  Jesus was not friends with the religious leaders. They spent their time following rules and Jesus did not follow the rules.  And can you imagine being the mother of Jesus and seeing Him suffering so greatly on the cross?    Jesus’ own family did not always agree with Him or believe He was the Son of God, but on Easter, they became believers.  Must have been hard being a sibling of Jesus. Was He always perfect and was He His mother’s favorite?

After the sermon we took communion which symbolizes Jesus’ blood and body that He shed for all of us.  A side note here and you don’t have to tell anyone, but the wafer and drink they are using right now during the Covid quarantine are just plain awful. I know we are not to consider it as food, but the liquid signifying Jesus’ blood puckers your lips and the wafer is like eating styrofoam. I will be glad when we get back to the regular stuff we use to use.  I know, I shouldn’t even be thinking about this while taking communion, but I can’t help how awful it tastes.

We went home and got the meal prepared and after everyone was there we sat down after prayer and  ate the meal together. Another side note.  I really don’t feel hungry after I’ve prepared a big meal and nothing really tastes good to me. I don’t know why.  And David and I are left with so many leftovers. I really need to learn how to cook smaller portions. But everyone enjoyed the meal which is really what counts.

David and I had hidden one hundred eggs around the yard and house with one golden rabbit that was worth five dollars. All the eggs were worth one dollar a piece.  Instead of candy the kids like this much more and I still had candy they could eat if they wanted it. I also baked bunny sugar cookies.  Don’t have a picture of them here, but they were iced and sugared in pastel colors and were really pretty.

These two are our youngest grandchildren and one of them is a teen-ager.  Our grandchildren have grown up so quickly.

These two are in college.  Abby will graduate this May and in July she is getting married to her high school sweetheart.  Aidan plays Lacrosses for his college and is the number one assist in the country. I think that’s how you say it.  He assists the ball into the goal, I guess.  I like Lacrosse, just don’t understand it too well.  Anyway, he is a very good Lacrosse player.

Their younger brother was in Florida with his dad so we didn’t get to share Easter with him this year.

We had a wonderful time visiting and spending time with one another. I know these times will become fewer and fewer as our grandchildren grow up and start their own families, but I do cherish these times we have with them.

Our other children, ahem, keep us very busy.

Lucy and Sugar have grown so big over the Winter.  We spend some time every day playing ball with them. Lucy, the brown Lab, loves to fetch so much. She would play fetch all day if we’d play it with her. She has the longest tongue.

Both puppies are almost as big as Molly. They take the ball out of her mouth like she use to do our old Lab Belle.  Turnabout is fair play, Molly.

Here all three dogs wait for David to shoot the ball. Who will get it first?

Ready, set…..GO!

Oh, oh.  One of the balls fell into the pool. Good puppies not going in to fetch it. They have already torn the pool liner which is going to be replaced this Summer. It’s almost twenty years old which is old for a liner, so I guess we got all the good out of this one we could.

Lucy never takes her eyes off the ball. NEVER.

I’ve neglected to show all the pretty flowers on display in our yard.  We have had so many daffodils and these are some of my favorites.  I will have to take more pictures this week.

Hope you had a blessed Easter and enjoyed it as much as we did.

Here’s to the One for which we celebrate Easter and to families which we cherish.  Bye.

 

I’ve Become Humpty Dumpty

It’s been about three years since I had my first heart episode and had all the tests that went with it ending up with a pacemaker. Before that, I was a walker. A few years ago I lost a lot of weight just walking. Didn’t change my diet or anything, just walked until I was walking five miles every day. And it was easy.  I was skinnier than I was when I got married.

Then I hurt both legs, not at the same time which made walking painful. Then the heart…. Well, it just all went downhill from there.  I’ve always been an active person, but this last year and with the Covid quarantine on top of it, I’ve been less active, let’s just say. I do manage to keep the house, play with the dogs, take care of the chickens, quilt and knit, but a lot of that is done sitting down as I tire very easily.  I really try to walk, but just a few steps and I’m winded.

Sadly, just because I’m not walking as much does not mean I stopped eating and with the quarantine and David always being hungry, we eat all the time it seems to me. I could go all day, and I do, not eating a thing, but when David is home he wants to eat.  And he is thin.

Anyway, I’m not one to stare in the mirror very often, but I caught a glimpse the other day and I did think to myself,  “I’ve turned into Humpty Dumpty.”   Regular sized howbeit, busty on top and round from the waist down.  I told David I could be a Weeble  Wobble. Remember those? Weebles Wobble and they don’t fall down. Well, the falling down I cannot guarantee, but I could wobble, I tell you.  My clothes have not changed fit or else they’ve stretched A LOT, but I haven’t gone up a size, thank goodness but you can’t go up much when you are at the top of the sizes!

Well, something must be done.  Summer is coming and I do want to go swimming and there’s a wedding coming up and I would like the bride not to be ashamed I’m her grandmother so I am going to try to trim down a bit.  Don’t know how, yet, or if I will even be successful because when you tire out easily, exercising does not come easily.

I bought a new exercise thing that I saw on TV. It was advertised by the guy who use to host The Newly Wed Game back long ago.  He’s old now, like me, and found that his balance was not very good so he, with his exercise guru, devised this platform that rocks and you have to stand on it and balance yourself. It has two poles that you hold onto while doing this.  I noticed after I had the pacemaker installed that for some reason my balance was not as good.  When the puppies would jump on me I’d practically fall down and that wasn’t good. So I got this THING and I’m trying to use it so I can gain my balance again. It also has rings attached I can lift to strengthen my arms and upper body strength which I have none.  Right now I’m doing good to do twenty arm curls.

I’m not making any promises to myself or anyone else, but I’ve got it in my mind that I will exercise and maybe get back to walking a little each day and seeing if I can remove the Humpty from my Dumpty.  David never says anything about my weight. Never has for which I am eternally grateful, because who needs a husband who tells you you are fat?   It would be like me telling him he’s getting bald.  Men don’t like to hear that, either.  But David wouldn’t say anything anyway because he’s kind and loves me.

I wish I could say I will challenge myself and tell anyone reading this how I am doing, but I’m not going to do that. Nor am I going to have a before or after photo should I succeed.  But if I do happen to lose a few pounds in the coming months, I will tell you.  If all is quiet suffice it to say, I’m a complete failure at this.

I’ve bought so many exercise machines in the past.  I still use my exercise bike and I have the Cardioglide which you stand upon and swing your legs forward and backward. I love that. I have had other things that have gone by the wayside. I even had that contraption you hung yourself upside down on, but it scared me and I sold it to a guy at a garage sale I had.  Now I kind of wish I still had it. I need to stretch this body out a little longer.

If you are struggling to lose some weight, join the party.  It’s a pretty big one from what I can tell when I go out in public.  Not a whole lot of stringbeans out there.  We are a rather rounded bunch of people, we Americans.  McDonald’s has not been good to us!  Not that I eat at McDonald’s that often. Maybe once in the past year.  I find myself looking at people and thinking to myself, “Am I that fat?”  I probably am or fatter, but I tell myself, “Naaah.”

I never thought I’d talk about my weight here where anyone can read it, but hey, what’s the secret.  People can see me.  I know I’m not in tiptop shape. Not even tip shape.  But there is hope and hope springs eternal and it is Spring and Summer is coming….

Here’s to exercise and the strength to do it!  Bye.

 

Marching Through Another Month

I feel like a broken record saying how fast each year goes, but 2021 is going fast.  We hardly had New Year’s and then Valentine’s Day and here we are in the middle of March already.

The days are full for two people who don’t go many places.  David and I are kept busy here on our little half acre with the puppies and the chickens and our hobbies and the upkeep on our old house.   I can say I have never been happier.  The past few days I have been mindlessly sewing two inch squares together from all the squares I have cut while making different quilts. I have a box full of them. I always knew that one day I would make a quilt from these squares.  I find it rather calming to sew them together as I listen to talk radio. The pile of blocks keeps getting higher and higher.

I have this quilt pinned together and ready to be quilted.  I absolutely loved sewing these little blocks. So much so that I made another quilt just like it in Christmas colors.

I put bird blocks in the center instead of a medallion like the pattern called for.

And I have this perfectly lovely material I found at an antique mall that will be the backing.  I will show this quilt in more detail later.

I’ve had my snowman quilt out for the Winter, but it’s time to put it away.

I made this quilt when we had a store and I sewed quilts from the quilt books we sold.

My snow people have been keeping warm on the dining room table.  But they will be put away soon.

We did have one good snow.  I was hoping for a blizzard like we had in 1978 when our children were small and David was in the National Guard and went out to rescue people who were stuck in their homes without food or heat.  At one house I remember him telling me they were burning their furniture in their fireplace to keep warm!    My children and I were snug as bugs in our home with plenty of food because I have always kept food stocked for an emergency and we hardly ever run out of anything.

But we didn’t have a blizzard and the snow lasted for only a few days and now the temperatures are up in the sixties so Spring cannot be far.

We had second Christmas with our son and his girlfriend and her son.

I made the son a quilt like all the others. Now everyone has at least one quilt I have made.

Our son had the virus which is why they didn’t come at Christmas, but that’s okay. I love having a second chance to have a second Christmas!

I became another year older.  I can remember as a girl talking with my friends, back in the sixties, about how old we would be in the year 2000 and we thought that fifty was old.  Well, we have all passed that and are even older.   I have lost several friends in the past few years. Yes, we are not getting any younger.

David took a week off to celebrate my birthday. We went out to eat a few times and he gave me these…

Such beautiful roses.

I always love getting cards. People don’t send them like they use to.  I still send cards to people because I think it’s just the extra thought that makes it special. Last year I sent a card and some money to a friend and he told me it made him feel like a kid again opening a birthday card and getting money.  That made me happy.  We all need to be treated like kids once in a while because we all are really just children in older bodies.    I like to think everyone has a kid inside just waiting to burst out.

I had a very happy, uneventful birthday which was fine with me. I told David I didn’t want cake and ice cream because with this quarantine I know I have gained weight and so I didn’t need to add any more!  It did seem strange not having a cake, but it was better that I didn’t have one.

Flower catalogs have been arriving almost daily, but these are the two I am ordering from this year.  Select seeds are very good and I had a nice display of zinnias last year.  I am looking forward to planting seeds and flowers soon.  But I won’t be planting anything in our back yard this year. Our two Lab puppies have made it  look like a junk yard dog lives back there. They have dug up some of my flower beds and they drag whole logs off the woodpile into the yard and chew on them.  I really think they are actually woodchucks, not dogs.  But I have always said the back yard belongs to the dogs and I can’t complain. They will grow out of all this behavior and next year I can resume planting there again.  Lucy and Sugar have grown so much. They were spayed last week and are doing well.  I thought for a short blip that I would like to raise some puppies, but I then decided it would be way too much work for us.  So Lucy and Sugar won’t be mothers, but they are the best dogs we have ever had except for Mollie and all the rest. All my dogs have been the best dogs.

I found this magazine a while back and it’s very interesting.  I have a special place  where I create and love it. The women featured here have some of the most beautiful studios.  My studio has a man and dogs tramping through it, so it’s not always the neatest place, but it’s mine and I have lots of room to work so I’m not complaining.

Well, I’ve rambled on long enough. I hope your year has been going well.  Our governor is talking about lifting the mask mandate, halleluhah, something I have not complied to very well as I think it’s unhealthy to breath the air through a mask.  Of course I have worn a mask when it was required.   So soon, I can go maskless with abandon.  Isn’t it strange how we all adapted so quickly to wearing masks without really knowing if they worked or not?  I hope I never see another mask in my lifetime.  Unless it’s a Halloween mask.

Here’s to March.  May it go out like a lamb. Bye.

The Death of a Great Man

I’m going to talk about Rush Limbaugh today. People either loved him or hated him. Kind of like President Trump.  I always wonder about people who hate others so easily, but that’s another blog for another day.   Hate comes easy for some people, I know.  But today there is not going to be any hate here.

Years ago David and I started a little vacuum cleaner and sewing machine repair store.  We sold sewing machines and vacuum cleaners and David did the repairs on ones brought to our store.  I was the only one in the store all day as David worked for the National Guard during the day and was only in the store at night after I went home.   Some days seemed pretty long so I started listening to talk radio.  I listened to Mike McConnell on WLW out of Cincinnati.  He was a really good talk show host and was very interesting. But one day, he was talking about sports, something which didn’t interest me at all, so I started searching through the channels to see if I could find something else to listen to.  Suddenly, I heard this man talking on our local radio station and he was saying things that I believed in.  He had a very compelling voice and made me think  of an elder professor giving a lecture.   He was also very funny and played great music.  That man was Rush Limbaugh.  Sorry to Mike McConnell, but I started to listen to Rush every day.  At that time there were Rush rooms at businesses where people could go and listen to Rush.  My store became a Rush room.  Our customers had to listen to him whether they wanted to or not. No one ever complained  and I’m pretty sure if they did I would have not turned Rush off.

At that time in the eighties, Rush wrote books and did Rush to excellence tours all over the country to packed auditoriums.   I bought his first book and was surprised at how he looked because I had this distinguished older man in my mind, and there he was a chubby, younger man.

I listened to Rush in our store for ten years. After we closed the store, I listened to him at home.  He got me through some years in our nation’s history when things weren’t going so well. The Clinton years were horrible and if not for Rush’s sense of humor and fun parodies, I would have been been upset all the time.  But he showed us the humor in all the things that were happening.  I listened to him after 911.  He calmed his listeners when it seemed that nothing would be right again.  He got me through the Obama years. I always believed Obama was the worst president we have ever had.  Then President Trump was elected and all was right with the world and our country blossomed into what it was meant to be.  Both President Trump and Rush wanted our country to be the best it could be and we were for four years.  Then Rush made a tragic announcement. He had stage 4 lung cancer.  He hadn’t smoked for years, but cancer got him.  He kept on talking through his treatments and when he couldn’t be there he had some excellent people to replace him, Mark Stein and Todd Herman being two of them.  At the State of the Union, President Trump gave Rush the Medal of Freedom. A very high honor. Those watching saw Nancy Pelosi make a fool of herself behind Trump, going so far as to tear up his speech after he was done. Very sorry to see such a tantrum.  Then the 2020 election came.   Sadly, people’s hate ruled out any thought and we got not the president Biden.  Not sure he’s legal, but he’s in the White House now. And our country is bleeding again.  So sad. I wished that Rush would get us through the next four horrible years, but it was not to be. This week when I turned on my radio I heard a woman’s voice and wondered who it was taking over for Rush that day, but it was his wife announcing that Rush had died. How hard that must have been for her.  Millions of people cried that day.

I can’t imagine not hearing Rush’s voice on the radio any more. He was the voice of reason in a very chaotic and angry time. People are so angry all the time now it seems.  And the hate. It was hard to understand how people could hold so much hate inside themselves for two men.  I don’t know who will fill his space, but I hope it will be somebody with the same love of our country that Rush had.  He truly felt like we lived in the best country on earth.  A beacon to other people.  So many people want to come here, legally and illegally.  Rush and President Trump both knew the treasure we have here in the United States. They talked about it every day.

Now they will run reruns of Rush’s shows for a time, but one day his voice will not be heard.  Good-bye, Rush.  You were and are a treasure that is gone too soon. Rest in Peace.  One day, I hope to hear your voice again.

 

Living Through the Decades

I’ve been around a while. I was born smack dab in the middle of the Twentieth Century. A very eventful century to be sure.  One that has a lot of memorable newsworthy events in it. We went from the horse and buggy to the space rocket in that century.  We watched Davy Crockett, The Mickey Mouse Club and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.  We went from having milk and bread delivered to big box stores that carried everything.  We had our feet measured before we tried on shoes, sometime our feet were even X-rayed beforehand.  Now, no one helps you with your shoes.  Gas went from 21 cents a gallon to over two dollars a gallon and during the Obama administration in the 21st century, gas almost went to five dollars a gallon.

Of course, back in the earlier part of the twentieth century salaries were much lower. When David and I got married, we were making about five thousands dollars a year.  If someone had told me we would be making what we are making now I would have told them they were talking crazy, but with inflation, salaries rose also.  Government intervention rose also which made a lot of things cost more, like college. When I went to college it cost me $130 a quarter.  I made enough waitressing to pay for my first year in college. Then government started offering “free” Pell grants and other things to “help” us and college tuition went up into the low to high thousands per year.  Don’t tell me government doesn’t cost us money in everything.

I knew people who were born in the nineteenth century. Who were alive when horses and buggies were the norm.  These same people lived through two world wars and the Great Depression.   David’s Grandmother learned how to be frugal after that and she was frugal the rest of her life.  She saved everything.  My mother also lived during the roaring twenties, through two world wars, the Great Depression and the Viet Nam war and saw the first man to walk on the moon.  David’s grandmother lived to be 93 years old. She saw a lot of change in her lifetime, some good, some not so good.  My mother and daddy were married at the very beginning of the Great Depression, but my daddy was a farmer so they never went hungry and wanted for nothing.  It certainly wasn’t easy for them, but they made it through and raised six children through the thirties and into the seventies when their last son graduated from high school.  I wish my mother had had a blog back then so I could read more about her life. When you are a kid, you don’t think about asking your parents about their lives.

Now I am the grandmother of five grandchildren.  One born in the twentieth century and the rest in the twenty-first century.  If they live long enough, they could see the twenty-second century.   When I was young, I never thought I would become this old, but I did and pretty quickly, too.  Young people think think they will be young all their lives. I remember thinking that. I also remember thinking maybe my children would not grow up. I really did think that. That I would get to keep my children little forever. Well, it doesn’t and didn’t work out that way and now they are the age I think I am or would like to be.   In all honesty, though, I would not want to have to repeat all those years again.

What will my grandchildren see in their lifetime?  I hope they don’t see their country turn into a socialist one or worse a communist one. It seems at the time we have an administration who would like nothing better than to take away our rights given to us by our Creator. I fear for my grandchildren more and more and pray every day that things will change.  Things seem all upside down. What’s wrong is called right, what’s right is called wrong. Then I wonder if that is how my parents felt, how my grandparents felt in their day about the direction the country was going.  Maybe it’s a generational thing. I just want my grandchildren to know I fought as hard as I could to keep the country our founders began way back centuries ago. Wise men wrote the Constitution and gave us the Bill of Rights and if we are a moral and good country, we may be able to keep it. At least that is what one of the founders said at the signing.

I do wonder what is in the future.  What will people be using as fuel since the powers that be want to get rid of gas and oil products.  What will people be driving at the end of this century?  Will the pandemic still be going on? It seems like it’s gone on forever. I’m to the point I don’t want to participate any longer. Throw all masks away and take my risks. The school children are getting the worse end of the deal. They are losing their childhood experiences having school every day and being with children their age.  The not the  president says he will open schools one day a week!  What good is that?  Couldn’t one catch the virus on that one day as well as on five?  It’s really confusing what we hear from government. I don’t think they know what they are doing and are throwing stuff on the wall hoping it sticks.  I really miss President Trump because he always had a plan and he knew what he was doing.

Yes, things have changed through the years.  Remember when you had to get up off your seat and go change the channel on your television set?  Or you had to be within a couple of feet of your phone because the cord was too short to go far?  I remember dinners around the table every evening. My mother was the best cook and you didn’t want to miss one of her meals. I’m really hoping that this pandemic has brought families closer together and they are eating at the table with each other again.  Maybe this pandemic has taught us to slow down a bit.  Maybe God thought our lives were getting too hectic and we were losing our way.  We needed to have time for one another.  I hope so. 

I won’t see another century, but I know some people who probably will.   What have you seen in your lifetime?   We all are put here at certain times for a reason or a time like this as Esther in the Bible was.  She had one job God gave her and she accomplished it.  If she hadn’t many Jews would have been killed.  Are you ready for such a time as this?  I hope I am.  I pray I am.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

Back to the Brontes

I watched a movie about the Bronte Sisters that was shown first on PBS. It is called To Walk Invisible, which is what the Bronte girls had to do when they were writing and getting their works published. They had to publish under a man’s name for a time.  I found this movie very interesting, but what I really loved seeing were the clothes.

In my previous post I talked about how people really wore colorful clothes back in the 1800’s.  I’m sure the people at PBS tried to be as historically accurate as they could be while making this movie about the Brontes.  The clothes were just beautiful. Now the Brontes were not rich by any means, but the clothes they wore were still beautiful.

I would love to see women dressed like this coming down the street. Look at the rich colors, the plaids, the florals.  The wonderful capes in such beautiful colors.

Kidskin gloves. Tight bodices.

Tiny, corseted waistlines.

Even the hats had pretty, bright ribbons and look at the floral fabric in her dress.  I have some reproduction material that almost looks like this fabric.

The Brontes were trying so hard to get their poetry and books published.  They had to pretend to be something they were not. To be invisible. It was a man’s world and women just did not do something like write a book. How silly that sounds now with all the women authors we have now. I can’t imagine what it must have been like back then to know you could write and really wanted to write, but it was discouraged at every turn. These women were so brave and ahead of their time.

But back to the clothes, here the sisters come walking down the street all dressed up in their gorgeous dresses, capes and scarves.   The actresses who played the Bronte sisters were excellent.  The sisters had to deal with their brother’s drug and alcohol abuse and he had an affair with a married woman which was quite the scandal back then.

I’m in love with this dress. If only I could go back in time for just a while and dress like this.

Not a good picture of it, but this dress looked like it was made of satin. Very dressy to be an every day dress.

I love this shawl.   And there is that floral fabric again.

I’m going to watch this again and really look at the clothes.

I may just get a pattern and some reproduction material and try making a Summer dress. I haven’t sewn clothes in a long time.

This book has been keeping me busy.

Sewing little 4 1/2 inch blocks. Seventy-two of them, plus I sewed nine extra to go in the center. The pattern calls for a center medallion, but I didn’t like it so I sewed eight flying geese blocks and one log cabin block and I will call my quilt, “Geese Around the Cabin.”

Here is the center of the quilt.

And here it is, almost done.

I still have a sawed tooth border to go around it and then a six and 1/2 inch border around that and then it will be ready to be sandwiched and quilted. I think I may quilt this one by hand. I have another one almost done with the same patterns in Christmas greens and reds.

This quilt has come together surprisingly easily and I really have enjoyed making it.  It’s going to have to be hung on a wall somewhere after it’s done.

Here’s to the Brontes and all brave girls everywhere. Bye.