Thursday, March 29, 2012

I love Spring

   I love Spring and all its beauty.  There is so much going on right now with everything busting out all over and each day bringing something new to discover.

  Spring brings out the kid in us.  Who wouldn't love to sail as high as you could on a swing up in the air so blue?    Some of us are just too big to fit on the  swings any longer!

  Even Belle has Spring fever.  This is her favorite toy right now.  She lays in the grass and holds it in her mouth waiting for Bonnie or me to try to come get it, then off she runs as fast as she can.

  Come on, try and get it.  You know you want it. Come on, come on.  What are you waiting for?

  In Spring David starts dreaming about opening the pool.  I say, just a little longer, but every year it gets opened sooner.  Maybe this weekend.  That does not mean I will be in it until the water is at least 84 degrees which is late June or July.

  Spring means cutting lilacs and bringing them inside to make the whole house smell good.  I can't get enough of these.

  Spring is hanging out the birdhouses and watching the birds raise their families.  Last year there were several bird families raised in one birdhouse throughout the summer.

  You must look quickly to see all the beauty.  It doesn't last nearly long enough and soon it will all be gone for another year. 

  Each plant has its one perfect day.  Quick, don't miss it.   The azalea is especially beautiful this year.  It's loving the warm, sunny weather.

  Spring also means work.  Laying mulch, planting gardens, weeding, raking and more.  We will put down about two hundred bags of this before the summer is over.  This pile is almost gone already.  We mulched the secret path in the Tiny Wood yesterday.

    David says "Happy Spring!"  How could anyone not be happy with the redbuds blooming so riotously?

  As Belle chews her cigar I will bid you adieu.  Bye.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Tiny Wood and other outdoor things

  It is beautiful in our neck of the woods.  Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping and bees are buzzing.  Spring has come extra early in Indiana and plants that don't usually bloom until April are at their peak right now.  When it is this nice out, I am outdoors most of the time working in the yard or garden or just sitting in the swing enjoying the warm weather.

   David put up this swing on the front porch of my shop and it has become our new favorite place to sit and watch the world go by.  My man is so wonderful.  I asked if he could put up a swing on my porch and he went to Rural King and got this one and spent most of an afternoon putting it together and hanging it for me.  I thought it would be an easy job, but what I usually think will be easy turns out to be half a day's work for David.   I appreciate him so much.  We both are enjoying this seating arrangement as we can watch the bird feeders and the traffic going by and see neighbors walking their dogs and see the flowers blooming.

  We have what I like to call the Tiny Wood which is just some trees and bushes that divide the property line between us and our neighbor.  David noticed a while back that it has a natural path running through it so I have been clearing it of brush and branches and am planning to mulch th path and plant some things along it.  This is the beginning of the path.

  Most of the path is full of limbs and branches that make it hard to walk, but this section is almost bare.

   Most of the path looks like this.  There will be alot of raking and hauling of branches which is what I told David was my idea of fun.  I have a vision for this place and it will be a fun little walk for my grandchildren when I get it done.  I plan to make little signs along the way and add potted plants for more color.  I just love to take something like this and make it into something beautiful.  Maybe a gnome will be hiding along the path somewhere.

   See this little area?  It had had a dead bush and lots of Boston ivy growing there.  Many years ago we had a tree that nothing would grow under not even grass so I planted Boston ivy.  It thrived and so I began to put it in other areas of the yard and it continued to thrive and grow and take over everything, so in the last few years I have been ripping it out and burning it so it cannot start anywhere else.  I cleaned out this area by our house this week and have planted a yellow twig dogwood bush.  I plan to add several other bushes and flowers and will mulch it all and hopefully the Boston ivy will not come back.  I'm loving how it looks already and can't wait to add more plants. 

  These are just a few of the daffodils we have in our front yard.  I am not a photographer so the picture does not do them justice, but they are so cheerful it just makes me smile to look at them.  I just ordered 90 pink daffodils that I will plant in my new little garden I am making this fall.

    With all the planting outside I can't neglect my vegetable garden.  I am planning a larger one this year.  I want to can alot of green beans and my daughter, Sara, wants to learn how to can and a friend from church wants to learn so we will be canning this summer, probably in the hottest month of the year as it usually happens.  These are a few of my tomato plants.  Did you know if you put a banana peel in the soil under your tomato plants they will grow better?  I put banana peels in these containers and I have never had tomatoes grow so fast or look so healthy so it must work.

  Mom, what are you doing out there?  You sure spend alot of time raking and digging. 

  I know, Belle, it's that time of year.  Pretty soon I will be doing alot of work in the back yard and you can help me. 

  Yes! Yes! Yes! 
   Go out today and enjoy the weather if it's warm in your neck of the woods.  Happy Spring.  Bye.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The view from my sewing machine

   When we moved into our present house 34 years ago there were cornfields and woods across the road.  We live in a small addition with older homes, sort of our own little community out here.  Then businesses started to move in across the road.  Truck maintainance businesses began and so we started having big trucks and semis running past our house.  Then the gravel pit went in and more trucks and cement trucks go by.  I hated it at first and the first time new lights were put in across the road I was not a happy camper. 

  Through the years we have learned to live with the trucks and noise and traffic.  I have met several people who work across the road and they have to make a living too, so I have learned to accept it.  We sill have our acreage and flowers and gardens and I sit out on our front porch and wave at the trucks and trains that go by.  Oh, I didn't tell you about the trains?   Let's look at my view and see.

  A few times a day a train goes by on the tracks across from our house.  I have always lived where we could hear trains.  When I was growing up we lived one mile out of town and could hear the train go through town.  Our last house sat on a high hill and a train track ran along the bottom of it, so we heard trains going by there.  There is something mournful, yet exciting at the same time about hearing a train.  There are visions of traveling to far away places.  It must be fun to be an engineer and sit up there in the big train and see all around and know you are in control of all the cars behind you.

  I wonder where all this lumber is going?  Maybe to build someone's new house.  I know I would love to have some to add another addition to our house.  A new laundry room would be nice. 

   There are prettier sights from my window like these beautilicious daffodils that are popping up all over our yard.  I have planted hundreds over the years and they are putting on quite a show now.

  I keep bird feeders filled outside my window so I can watch the birds.  Those little critters eat alot.  I have to fill these about every other day and they hold a gallon bucket of feed.  Our sparrows are rotund little birds and are happy to hang around waiting for the next feeding.

   There were eight cardinals hanging out at the feeder, but every time I tried to get a picture they would fly away.  This beauty really stands out in the bare trees. 

  I painted this little birdhouse and David hung it right outside my shop window so that I can hopefully watch a bird family move in and raise their chilluns'.  Hope the two holes don't confuse them.

  Hey, mom, see this dirty, smelly, half chewed bone?  Wanta pick it up?  Huh, huh, huh?  What you don't like dirty, smelly, half chewed bones?  What do you like?

  I like a tall cup of coffee with cream and a pumpkin chocolate chip muffin.  Yum.

  Can I have some, Mom?  No, Bonnie, dogs can't have coffee or chocolate but I love you anyway.

     I will leave you with a wonderful sign of Spring.  Bye.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

It's hip to be square

  Many moons ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was sitting around the campfire trying to keep warm, I decided I wanted to learn to knit.  Okay, maybe it was in the sixties, but to some reading this it might as well be the dinosaur age.  My mother and I took classes from a lady in town.  I learned to knit, purl, make cables, and knit in buttonholes.  I knit a cardigan sweater and was so proud of it I wore it all the time despite the fact I never sewed buttons on it.

  I proceeded to knitting more sweaters, vests, hats, baby sweaters and bonnets and booties and even clothes for my children.  I was pretty good at it.  Then I found a book for an afghan where each block had a different knitting stitch in each one.  What better way to get some experience knitting new stuff, I thought.  I began knitting blocks, one after the other.  Sadly, they were all supposed to be the same size, but I was never good at gauging my knitting stitches. Sometimes I knit loosely, and sometimes I knit tightly.  I ended up with several different sizes of blocks.

  As you can see, my blocks were not the same size.

  Some were quite gigantic.  After all the blocks were knit, they were to be crocheted around and crocheted together.  That was the catch.  I didn't know how to crochet and so the blocks sat in plastic bags in various rooms for years and years until a couple of weeks ago I brought them to David, my manly husband, who, by the way, knows how to crochet.  He taught himself years ago and crocheted baby blankets and a giant afghan, then, like me with my knitting needles, he hung up his crochet hooks and went on to other things like making a living.
  Then, one day, something crazy happened.  The blocks exploded all over David and he had no choice but to crochet his way out.  No, that didn't happen.  I threw these all over him while he patiently crochets a border around each of the blocks and crochets them together. 

  He is crocheting black, red and blue borders around each block to make them all the same size, so some have wide borders and some narrow.  This will be a sort of crazy quilt type afghan when he is finished.  Then if he isn't totally sick of it by then, he will crochet a border around the whole thing.  Eleven blocks done and thirty four more to go.  Next year, I will maybe, hopefully, or not show you a finished afghan.

   Meanwhile, Bonnie and Belle sleep on the sunwashed deck oblivious to all the excitement going on in our house.  Bye.

Monday, March 5, 2012

My birthday weekend

  Before I talk about my weekend I want to show you a picture of a new quilter with her first quilt.

   This is my friend, Shannon, who just completed her first quilt.  It is a blanket for her daughter's dog and it is so cute.

It has little owls on each block.  The material she picked was canvas and a soft fluffy minky type fabric.  Two fabrics you would not think would go together, but it turned out great.

  Shannon has already pieced another quilt top and is onto a third.  She is rapidly becoming a fabric and quilt addict.  

  Friday we started my birthday celebration by going to southern Indiana to a quilt shop I had discovered and to do some antiqueing.  Maybe not a good idea considering tornadoes were going through that area, but, thankfully, we were out of the direct route of them.  We found some really good antique stores with good prices.   I got this large white enamel pitcher for a song.  It is in almost perfect shape and will look good with a large bouquet of flowers in it.

  I found this bunny tree and I just fell in love with it.  I have a small collection of Easter bunnies and this is a nice addition.  Little bunnies, chicks and Easter eggs hang from the branches and the bunny family in the front with its basket of carrots is adorable.  I'm a sucker for cute.

  Got this vintage tablecloth at the same store and it came home to be added to my collection.  I use all my tableclothes and have them for all seasons. 

  We went to a fabric shop called Persnickety's, but I wasn't persnickety about buying fabric.  It had so many fabrics I loved and it was hard to choose.  I bought several fat quarters and a few fat eighths. 

  Mary Engelbreit always has the cutest, bright fabrics.  This one will go into a quilt I am working on right now.

  This is some wool felt I got.  I like making penny rugs and brooches out of it.

  I bought five yards of white muslim because I am always using it. 

  This fabric is going to be curtains for our family room.  We are putting in new windows and painting it this year so I thought it needed new curtains.  

    I also bought two wooden chairs and a birdhouse.  I have quite a collection of old wooden chairs.  I bring them home and fix them and stain them if needed and use them in our diningroom when we need extra chairs.   David knows when I see a chair I like it usually comes home with us.  These chairs were so cheap. I bought two! 

   We drove through heavy rains and wind coming home and heard about all the destruction in other parts of our state.  Our prayers go out to all those who were affected by the storms. 

   Yesterday, we met Sara and Jeremy and the boys at Olive Garden and had dinner.  Both my sons called to wish me a happy birthday.  It was a totally relaxing, fun birthday weekend and I look forward to next year.  Considering how quickly this birthday rolled around I will soon be writing another birthday post.  I don't think about growing older, I am trying to grow wiser and more faithful.  Somedays I do better than others.  Wishing all of you many happy birthdays to come.  Bye.