Friday, June 29, 2012

Freddie the Naughty Squirrel

      Once upon a time there was a little squirrel named Freddie.  He was born in a tree near the Tiny Wood by Mr. and Mrs. Craig's house.  He was the only child of Mrs. Nutshell and was spoiled like some only children are

      Freddie's mother loved her little squirrel and tried to keep him close to her, but he liked to wander off.  Mrs. Nutshell told her son, "You must stay out of Mr. and Mrs. Craig's yard.  There are two fierce dogs who live there and would like nothing better than to catch a little squirrel like you."

      Freddie tried to obey his mother, but also in Mr. and Mrs. Craig's yard was a large pond where he saw them swimming on occasion.  Freddie thought it would be fun to go swimming in the pond.   Freddie liked to tease the big black and brown dogs in the yard also.  He would run back and forth along the top of the wooden fence with the dogs barking underneath him.  He thought that was so much fun.  Sometimes he did this at night and the dogs would wake up Mr. and Mrs. Craig with their barking.   "I wonder what the dogs were barking at last night?" Mr. Craig asked Mrs. Craig.

        One day when the backyard was quiet and Freddie knew the dogs were sleeping under the deck because it was a very hot day, he thought a swim in the pond would be nice.  He jumped from branch to branch and then onto the fence.   A quick jump off the fence and across the yard and splash, he was in the pond.  " Ahhh," he thought to himself as he swam around and around.  It was fun for a while but before long he became tired and wanted to get out.  Then was when he noticed the sides of the pond were steep and slippery and he couldn't get out.  Just then he noticed the big brown dog was watching him from the edge of the pond licking his lips.

          What to do, what to do?  He was getting so tired and now he was feeling waterlogged.  He began to panic.  Suddenly, Mrs. Craig appeared at the edge of the pond and noticed her dog watching something.  "It's a rat!" she thought to herself and then looked closer and saw it was a little squirrel swimming around and around looking panicked.  Now both big dogs were standing by the pond watching Freddie go around and around.  Mrs. Craig ran and got the pool skimmer and tried scooping Freddie out.  "No, no," cried Freddie and jumped off the skimmer.  Once again Mrs. Craig tried scooping him up and this time Freddie grabbed ahold of the pole and quickly she carried him up and over the dogs and over the fence into the trees.  He fell to the ground and began to run.  He was free!

           Freddie ran as fast as he could to his home in a hole in the tree.  His mother looked up from cracking nuts and cried, "Why are you so wet?"  Freddie looked sheepish and then told his mother what he had done.  "You naughty squirrel," Mrs. Nutshell said.  "It's to bed with you without your supper."

       Freddie didn't care.  He was safe at home and had escaped a horrible death by drowning or by being gobbled up by a big dog.  He curled up in his little bed and with a sigh went fast asleep and when he awoke there was a plate of nuts by his bed

      This story is true except for the made up part. Bye. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

An idea comes together

  You know those times when you get an idea in your head and you really want to do what you picture in your mind and sometimes it turns out so totally different than what you first thought?  You don't?  I'm sorry.  I have had many ideas in my lifetime.  Some of them turned out well, and some were fiascos.  Like the time I thought I could take care of all my grandchildren all at once while their parents were gone.  I had imagined this wonderful Grandmother, grandchildren time of reading books, playing games and just having fun.  I forgot I had to feed them, see that they took their baths and that I had to put the eyes in back of my head to good use because the little rascals got away from me.  There was even one throwing cherished figurines out the door onto the garage floor shattering them to bits while a pot of macaroni boiled over and kids were screaming at me and then one of the parents called and heard the chaos.  I have taken care of nine children all at once and I never had this experience.  Maybe I am too soft on my grandchildren, but they are so darn cute and they're mine.  Anyway, this is not at all what I planned to blog about today.  See how my ideas can wander off into Neverland sometimes?

   I have always loved British things and the way some Brits decorate their homes.  I love reading blogs from Great Britain and because I am British in my heart, I decided I wanted a shabby chic room that looked sort of British.  Cozy, but functional.  A room I would love to be in while I did my handiwork.  We had to replace some windows in our family room this spring so I decided now was a good time to do some redecorating.

  First I made some pillow with old handkerchiefs and embroidered one of them.

   I took a little wrought iron table with a glass top I had been using outdoors and had a wooden crate that I set on top and now I have a coffee table.

  Brought in an old green chair we got at an antique store a while back. Sewed some curtains, and see that little footstool there???

   We bought this little brown hen stool years ago at Target and it has served its purpose well, but it just didn't look like it belonged in my new/old room.  So I took some fabric and sewed and sewed and quilted and quilted and sewed some more and came up with this.......

   And the top looks like this........

  Then put our phone in a little chair.  Don't know why, just did.

    Used David's button lamp as an accent.   What is an accent anyway?

  Bonnie snoozed in my shop while I was doing all this sewing.  It is so hot outdoors I brought both my outdoor dogs inside today.  Bonnie loves my chair and didn't move a muscle all afternoon.

   " Why are you keeping me inside, Mom?  Am I being punished?"   "No, Belle, it;s 102 degrees today and you don't need to be outside in that."   "What's 102 degrees?"  "Hotter than your paws would like sweetie."   And now for your viewing pleasure something I found in the pool yesterday.

  Is this a mole or a vole?   I never can figure out the difference.  This one met his waterloo in the pool.  Didn't know moles or voles walked across cement.  Keep cool the next few days and pray for rain for us drought ridden midwesterners.  Bye.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Full Week

  The last couple of weeks have been so busy.  Not the busy that is unpleasant, but the busy that is fun and joyful.  When I have days or weeks like that, I grab them with gusto, because you never know when life will hand you lemons. I grab life with both hands and hold on tight because each day is precious and I don't want to look back and say I let life pass me by. 

   Here are a few of the things that were happening this week.  I finally got this quilt pinned so I could tie it. 

  Finally started my Spring cleaning two days before summer began.
 I scrubbed our wood floors on my hands and knees with Murphy's Oil Soap.  If anyone can tell me a better way to deep clean wood floors, I would love to hear it.  I'm too old for this!!!

  Went on a quilt shop hop with some friends.  David drove.  He learned when women get together we get a little rowdy sometimes.  Had so much fun and bought so much fabric that I "really" needed.

  Laughed so hard with these two.  If a merry heart is good medicine, I got an extra large dose this week.  We went to seven quilt shops in two days, ate some good food, found alot of new projects to do and drove David crazy.  Good times.

  Isn't this the cutest house?   One of the quilt shops uses it for classes.  The quilt shop is the brick building nextdoor.  Would love to live here so I could just go out one door and into another and get my fabric.

  Saw the cutest chicken house and got out to look it over.  Yes, David and I are going to raise chickens starting next Spring.  I have been wanting to do it for a while.  Going out and gathering fresh eggs in the morning and cooking them for breakfast sounds so wonderful.  Growing up on the farm we always had fresh eggs to eat and bake with.  This was the perfect little house.  David said he could build one.  Another project.  We barely get one done and we are on to the next. 

   Had a gaggle of kids here on Saturday swimming and eating.  We had a jumping in the pool contest.  The one with the most original and entertaining jump won.  They had to make the judges, me and that little boy with the drumstick, laugh to get higher points.  It was so much fun.  I love seeing kids having a good time and enjoying each others' company.

   It was an amazing week.  This week starts with a dental appointment.  Bye.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Old magazines and no, I'm not a hoarder

  After the business of last week with the grandkids here and nothing being done but playing, cooking, feeding, swimming, playing games, swimming some more, playing games again, going caving, etc., etc., I am enjoying the quiet here right now.  David is working today, so I have the whole house to myself.  Bliss. 

  I love to putter.  Does anyone putter anymore or even have the time to putter in this hectic world we live in?  I love having absolutely no where to go(I did have a doctor's check-up this morning, but I was in and out by 8:30) and no plans to work on a project, plant something or any real work.  Well, I will be sweeping the rugs and washing the kitchen floors, but not right now. 

  I am rearranging our family room which will now be officially called my sewing room as this is where I handquilt my quilts or lay them out for pinning.  I have a big wooden chest which use to be a toy chest where I now keep old magazines.  Remember when magazines were worth keeping?  There are still a few out there, but very few.  I started saving Country Living magazines in the seventies.  I also took Country Home.  They both defined my home decorating for many years.  My love of antiques began while reading these magazines.  I needed to move the chest so I had to take all the magazines out and of course I got side-tracked looking at them.

   I am going through the magazines right now, but none will be thrown away because I threw away all the ones I didn't want a long time ago.

  This is my stacks of Christmas magazines.  I love looking through them and seeing all the country decorations and how country decorating makes everything look so cozy.

  This is a some of my magazines.  Don't judge me.  I know you collect something you can't make yourself get rid of.  I don't collect much except magazines, quilts, fabric, old hankies. old American flags and snow globes.   You can still walk easily through my house and there are no mouse feces laying around or dead animals lying under a stack of something.  I really need order and cleanliness and with all I have, my house does not look cluttered.  Really.  Just don't come right now because I am organizing it right now and it is a little cluttered right now. 

  Remember Mary Englebreit's Home Companion? I was sad when they stopped publishing it.  Probably got too expensive since she always included one of her prints good enough to be framed and a whole page of paper dolls.  I have all the paper dolls from all her magazines I got.  They are too cute to cut up.   I was going to give them to my granddaughter when she was little, but I just could not get rid of them.  It was a truly lovely magazine and I hope she will start it up again.

  This is the only copy of Good Housekeeping I've kept solely because it has Diana on the cover and a story about her inside.  My love of Diana and all things royal is a blog in itself.  Despite the fact I think she was not a very good princess in the long run, she captivated the world with her beauty and style and she did become a humanitarian and probably would have done great things if she had lived.  If Charles had really loved her, I think her life would have been much happier.  But I am off subject again. Sorry.

  This is the magazine that started me on my quest for antiques and decorating my home country.  The October 1979 Better Homes and Gardens.  A young couple about the age I was then had decorated their home with found things and antiques and I just fell in love.  If I could meet them I would tell them they were my inspiration all those years ago.  I wish Better Homes and Gardens would do a follow up story on them. 

  Another magazine I loved was Country Home.  Their Christmas issues were always so wonderful. Is
 it still being published?   I stopped taking it when it became more ads and glitzy city homes than true country homes.   I miss it.

  I  have taken Country Living for years, but I stopped not long ago because they, too, have so many ads and things about the environment and pets.  I don't take a decorating magazine to read about those things.  It used to be all pictures of country homes and decorating.  There was a woman, Jo Northrup who wrote an article for the magazine called Simple Country Pleasures, kind of like Gladys Tabor use to write.  She has passed away, but I loved reading her articles about country things like her baskets, antiques, walking with her dogs, going on picnics, things like that.

   Now my two favorite magazines are Midwest Living and Southern Living. We actually went and stayed at a B & B featured in Midwest Living.  They both have delicious recipes, especially Southern Living.  This month there is a Whoopie Pie Cake.  Oh my.   Plan to make that one.  What do you collect?  Bye.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fun Times

    Grandma's camp has ended for 2012 and this is what happened........

  There were kids aplenty.....

   There were dogs and swimming.....

     There was painting.........


        and graffiti on an old cellar wall.

    There were super heroes.....

     There was hijinks in the backseat.....

  There was a patient Grandpa......

    There was an angry goose.......

  and a little green frog......

       There was caving, candle dipping, more swimming, cake baking, Uno dominoes, Dizzioes, taking walks, and then when it was over there was......

  in Grandma and Grandpa land.  Bye.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I can't help it

  I didn't start this blog in order to write about my flowers, but sometimes I just have to.  Right now my garden is beautiful.  You know the song, "June is Busting out all over," from the musical State Fair?  Well, it certainly is doing that in my yard.  I went around the yard yesterday snapping some pictures of all the different flowers and here they are.

Really love this yarrow.  It is a deep pink and salmon color. 

   Just planted this delphineum.  I got it at a local grocery store where I have purchased some of my best plants.  Last time I went there I had more flowers in my cart than food. 

  This echinacea is called "Tiki Torch."  How appropriate.

 How'd you get into my blog about flowers, Sweet Pea?  Oh, you think you are the prettiest flower in my garden?  Okay, if you say so.  Here are my rules for gardening.

 1.  Buy only what you love.

2.  Plant alot of flowers as closely as possible.

3.  Mulch, mulch, mulch.

4.  Water often.

5.  Try to keep dogs from digging out all the flowers.  Hear that, Belle and Bonnie?

 6. Sit back and enjoy.

  If a Master gardener came into my garden he or she would probably have a heart attack because I don't follow any real rules of gardening.  I don't amend my soil, I don't deadhead like I should, and sometimes except for watering and a little fertilizer once in a while, my flowers are left to their own devices.  So far, my flowers have done really well.  The only flower I have never had any luck with is astilbe.  And last year practically all my hydrangeas died because I wasn't here to water them for five weeks when we went to Alaska. 

  Except for this beautiful hydrangea in the middle of my front yard.  It has so many blooms on it this year.   I have many more flowers I haven't mentioned here.  Many are just getting ready to bloom.  July will be busting out all over too.  So go dig a hole and put a flower in it.  It will make you feel so good.  Bye.

Friday, June 1, 2012

God save the queen and finishing construction

I have always been interested in all things British.  This weekend Queen Elizabeth celebrates her sixtieth year as queen.  Her jubilee has Great Britain all ready to party and I wish I could be there.  I think Queen Elizabeth has been a very gracious queen.  Like all mothers, she has had her ups and downs with her children and has had to keep a stiff upper lip through many trials. 

  I have watched her family through the years.  My mother took several magazines and every time there was a story about the royal family I read it with interest.  When Diana and Charles got married, I got up in the wee hours of the morning to watch it live.  I watched with sadness the deterioration of their marriage and the tragic loss of Diana's life in a car accident. 

  Things have been looking up for the royal family in the past few years.  It seems Charles' brother Edward found a lovely wife and they are happily married.  Then Prince William and Kate Middleton got engaged and had a lovely wedding that I watched with happiness.  It seems they are quite smitten with each other and I hope for a long, happy marriage for them.

  In celebration of the jubilee I made a union jack quilt.  Next to the United States flag I think the union jack is one of the prettiest flags of any country.

  There are six blocks, each of them different.  Here are a couple of them.

  I also made a union jack potholder since I was on a roll.

  Then while I was at it and because I really loved the fabrics, I made another purse.

  This is the front.   I had this material that had roses and writings about roses on it.

    This is the back.

  This is the inside.

  These are my toes.  Oh, you didn't want to see them?  Sorry.

   I forgot to tell you when I was writing about our window replacements that the contractor's name is Claude Wright Junior.  He does remodels, paints, and other contruction jobs.  Don't call Claude Wright. That's his father and he only builds houses.  Anyway,  he and his crew did a great job replacing three of our windows.  Now my work is cut out for me.  We have to paint the outside trim, the woodwork, the walls in the family room and the ceiling.  I guess that will keep me out of trouble for a few days. 

  So pour youself a cup of tea and raise it to the queen and celebrate jubilee weekend.  Cheerio.