Saturday, October 30, 2010

A revealing game for me

Hello folksies!  Well, my dear daughter Sarah, has sent me this game to play.  Don't worry; I won't pass it on to you.  But to keep the little wolf from my door, I shall play along. She sent me nine questions to answer, so here goes:        
1. What is your favorite recipe?    
* I like food; I don't necessarily enjoy cooking as much as I used to but I reckon I enjoy making spaghetti sauce up the best.  A little wine makes it a miracle food.      
2. What are your hobbies?     
* I enjoy sewing, quilting, doll making, painting, crocheting, embroidery, gardening       
3. What is your favorite movie to watch when you are sick?     * Oh so many movies to choose from.  But since I was sick last week and watched a lot of old Turner Classic movies.  I would say that the Maltese Falcon would be a good one to watch.       
4 If you could be any animal, what would you be?    
* Now does this imply as a pet or animal in general?  I would say a bird.  Then I could sing and fly away wherever I wanted to.  I've always heard that Paris is lovely in the spring . . .       
5 What is your favorite book?     * 
Two books:    
* To Kill A Mockingbird     and  Rebecca     * 
6 What would you do if you won the lottery?    
* Hmmmmm.  I would take care of my family, but not to the point where they would get lazy.  I, of course, would retire, buy all the fabric I wanted - heckfire shoot!  A fabric store, perhaps.  I would get fancy sewing machines and maybe even a longarm quilter.      
  7You are in your car, where are you driving to?    
* Attempting to sing      
8 What do you love about Fall?
The cool air and the colors.     
  9 Finish the sentence: I'd like to _____.     * 
I'd like to be able to go back in time and enjoy my kids all over again. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Home Ec

 I failed Home Ec.  - sewing project in particular.   Sad fact but true.  Mrs. Hack was not pleased with me in 7th grade. I declare she had it in for me!   You see, I didn't follow her instructions on how to put in a zipper.  I had already been sewing for two years, making my own skirts and dresses with zippers and the popular pin tucks back then.  Back then, girls wore skirts and dresses to school.  No pants allowed.  I had already been taught by my mother in the art of zippering.  I tried Mrs. Hack's way but it just didn't look as good to me as the way my mother taught me.  So, when I finished my red plaid jumper, it was a big fat F.   I was almost afraid to let my folks know.  However, my mother, always the staunch seeker of what's important and what's piddling stuff, long before there were soccer moms, told me the teacher needed a broader view of sewing.  In essence, she was stoopie!  Now for my mom to call someone STOOPIE was akin to cursing.  I mean I used to get soap in my mouth back then for saying "darn it".
Not many schools offer Home Ec. any longer.  I know I am dating myself here but gosh, it was required to get out of seventh grade.  While I got a failing grade on the zipper insertion, I did learn a lot from my teacher.  I learned how to cook fresh asparagus,  use a timer - a handy dandy tool I often use when I am sitting in front of the computer - I learned or rather re learned the daily tasks of house keeping.  We were taught how to make a menu, iron, and set a table.  My mom is a great homemaker and had already schooled me in a lot of housework chores.  But I still learned recipes that I still use today.
I don't know when Home Ec fell into oblivion.  Recently,  I understand the high schools are teaching young girls how to care for a newborn.  They are assigned a doll that cries every so often for feeding, changing ~ really?  But what about how to cook for your family?  With the headlines screaming about obesity in the population, it would make sense to me to teach nutrition and how to achieve a balanced meal?

Any longer it is not thrifty to make clothes from scratch like when I was a teen.  Good fabric is expensive!  We can get cheap clothes from overseas.  Of course they won't last a season most of the time and please buy a size or two larger because once laundered, they will shrink into XXS.

I am sad for the generations that do not learn the discipline of planning out a menu and then shopping for it.  In these days of wash and wear, how many know how to iron?  Or what it is. lol?  It was always my least favorite chore, ironing my dad's work clothes, heckfire shoot! Back then we even ironed pillow slips and sheets!
On occasion I think of Mrs. Hack when I am sewing on dolls, quilts, table runners, pillows, quillows, curtains and when I am completed I often think, Not bad for a Home Ec failure.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Carolina In My Mind

I love Fall.  It is my favorite time of year.  And for many years, during the fall of the year I would get so homesick that whenever I would hear the song Carolina In My Mind I would weep. 

I have lived all over this wonderful country from the east coast to the west coast, from the north and to the south.  And in some of those states, most noteably, Florida and  California, where I lived for a good number of years, there was not a real noticeable change of seasons.  Of course, these states offer  their own captivating beauty but they weren't my home.

I missed the smell of wood burning stoves early in the morning ~ smoke that permeated the fragrant heralding of cool nights.  I missed the beauty of first frost and how good a cup of hot cocoa tastes in front of a bonfire. I missed how the stars looked from my Carolina backyard.  But most of all I missed my family.  I missed my Granny telling me to count the foggy mornings in August to find out how many snow days we would have that winter.  Or how to tell by the wooly worms if winter would be short or long depending on the width of the rings on their body.  I missed having a real reason to snuggle under a soft quilt and I missed picking my own apples to carve a doll face from.

One time, while living in Orlando, I was particularly homesick.  The kids were wee little ones.  Our house had a fireplace.  (Who in Orlando uses them, much less needs them? I reckon it's for the ambience?)  I had the kids go gather all the leaves and twigs that they could find.  We placed them in paper bags, opened the flu, cranked the AC to maximum and created our own autumn festival.  My neighbors knew I was the odd one on the street.  You know, the Mom who would throw un-birthday parties, take the neighborhood kids in the backyard on a search for shelf fungi, you know, the odd one.  And one time, when I lived in Southern California, while  pregnant with my middle child and so very homesick for anyone with a southern accent, that my ex drove me up to Big Bear area.  Now that is a mountain range!  I did get to see beautiful fall foliage and gathered the LARGEST pinecones ever. 

The first year I moved the kids back home, 17 years ago, will always be fresh in my mind.  The children had never seen leaves changing their color.  I introduced them to the sheer joy of raking up mountains of leaves and jumping in them.  We foraged for acorns and pinecones to make a wreath.  And we carved  a pumpkin for the first time.  In my memory it was the finest carved pumpkin, let me tell you Martha Stewart had nothing over the masterpiece my crew came up with!

My kids are grown now, each living in their own place.  They still love fall.  They may not enjoy raking leaves as much these days, and perhaps they view acorns littering the walkways as ankle breakers, but they still enjoy the nostalgic memory of  homecoming when a wisp of wood smoke is in the air.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I am married to an Eeyore.

Not that it’s a bad thing.  Eeyore’s are faithful friends, always glad to commiserate with you on any thing.  Especially if it’s something gloomy like the rain, a pain in your tushie, rotted veggies in your garden, squirrels in your bird feeder,
and lack of just about anything.  

  It will soon be my anniversary and so I have been thinking of what to give my Luscious man.  When we were courting, I told him, I said ~ “I don’t need a man, I need a donkey!”
To which he replied, “Where in the back forty do you want me?  I’ll click my heels up for you”.  Words of such endearment won my heart.  Over the years I have become very accustomed to his ways.  He is such a big teddy bear but I am more of a Pooh and he is more the Eeyore.  For example, these Eeyore quotes could’ve come out of Luscious Larry’s mouth:

"A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference. Or so they say."

"When you shout 'Is anybody at home?' into a rabbit hole, and a voice answers 'No!' it probably means you're not welcome."

"When someone says 'How-do-you-do," just say that you didn't."

The kids will tell you that he will always come through for them in true Eeyore fashion.
Always on time – which is his time – and will always say Luv when he says good bye.

When he leaves for work in the morning, I kiss him goodbye and have to bite back the sage words of Eeyore “Have a nice day, it’ll probably rain”.  He already knows that.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Jack, Jill, that Hill and why water is necessary

When I was a little girl I spent many a wonderful summer day with my cousin Butch.

My brother and I, along with my cousin Butch would play Cowboys and Indians, climb trees, and spend our mornings damming
up Uncle Andy's creek so we could swim and catch crawfish. Uncle Andy was our Granny's uncle.  He had been married four times, each time to a lady who had the name Mary.

That is another story in itself since Andy lived to be 99.

Our granny lived up the dirt road from Uncle Andy.  She and Poppa Coy had a log cabin, lots of fruit trees, chickens, some hogs (I loved the little piglets) and of course, a big garden patch.  There was no electricity in the cabin, no running water nor was there indoor plumbing.  She had a big two seater johnny out back. Perhaps that was where I learned my fear of spiders.

But that is another story.

We always were mindful of the bull at Uncle Andy's.  He always stood under a tree on the big hill way far up on the property. To get to the creek, we had to pass through the pasture, watching our step for cow patties with one eye and the other eye always on the bull.  One summer day, after a particularly satisfying time sliding from the big mossy rock in the middle of the creek into the cool water, we began our journey back home. Coming out of the thicket, into the pasture we surveyed our position and that of the bull. Certain that he was oblivious to us, we started trudging along, our soggy, slick clothes sticking to us - I remember how good that cold
felt on such a hot day.  The boys were always ahead of me, always trying to lose me, a tagalong interloper that was a stinking GIRL.

The bull noticed us this time.  Probably because the boys were jumping up and down, hooting and hollering all at the top of their lungs. Perhaps he was merely curious about us - in retrospect, I choose to think that.

However, when the boys saw him coming down the hill at a fairly good clip, they screamed RUN!  Looking for the bull under the tree, it registered in my brain that he was heading our way.  I began running down the hill as fast as my fat little legs could carry me.  I declare I could feel his breath snorting down my neck!  I slipped in a particularly fresh pile and lost my footing.  I rolled down the rest of the hill, much like Jack and Jill.  After I scrambled back to my feet, I saw the boys with Uncle Andy leaning against the gate post. They were laughing.  Winded, wet from the creek, stained from head to toe with grass  and fresh manure, I surely must have been a sight.  I didn't stop running until I was under the fence and standing behind Uncle Andy.
The bull was standing back under the tree.  It appears that he lost interest in us fairly quickly and trudged back up the hill to his shady spot to watch this blonde headed gal in pig tails roll through the muck all the way down that hill.

That story is still legend on the Hill.  I have put enough years behind me to find it mildly amusing these days.  Butch still finds it rather hilarious.  He took relish in sharing that particular story of my youth with Larry this past weekend.  We had need of Butch - he has a backhoe and we had a fierce break in our water line.  All weekend he and Larry dug a new trench and laid the line, finally connecting the new pipe and restoring my sanity.  Butch regaled my big man with every story that I had almost forgotten from those lazy summer days.  How nice it would be to return to those halcyon days, hiding away from the world in the dreaming tree, watching the rain walk up the road, sitting out back snapping beans with my granny once more, and never wondering how I am going to pay a $1200.00 water bill.

       my cousin Butch

 (this is an OLD post from 2007.  I am posting it because I have just finished paying off the $1200 water bill that wound up costing me $1500 with interest accrued.  Greedy rascals)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My fingers are happiest

when I am able to sit a while and sew, sculpt , create.  I have been busy making gifts - thinking Christmas, don't you know! I am slowly but surely filling up my gift closet with little sweet things that I am hopeful will delight friends and family.

 first up is a lovely summer runner using a paper pieced pattern called a spider web
 Here is a duo of pincushions.  The one on the right is made from all scraps, foundation pieced and used on the top layer of the pinnie
 ornies are always welcome.  Scandinavian woven hearts always adorn our tree with candies.  Little mittens cut from felted sweater
 here is only one of the many skillet holders and pot holders I have been making.  They have been lined with heat resistant thermal lining.

Busy day at work ahead.  Hoping that each and every one is enjoying the crisp fall mornings.  I thrive on it, just as I thrive on the chaos which surrounds my life.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Why should I be sad?

Last evening, my son in law (Jason) lost his first love, Misty.  Misty was a Sheltie of the first water.  She had no enemies, except a few squirrels she enjoyed chasing in years past.  Jason received her as a gift for his graduation from high school.  Misty knew only one true love and that was our J.  She was however, the most patient and loving creature.  Intelligent, playful, and oh so snuggable.  I loved Misty.  She was my first grand.

The past year has seen her showing her age, up until the past few weeks when she really was in her final days.  Now don't go thinking, why didn't they get her to a vet.  When the cost of a vet is higher than a medical doctor, and a pet is at the age Misty was, it didn't make sense.  So Sarah and J. kept a close eye on her, kept her as comfy as they could, knowing that the inevitable was closing in.  Last evening they came home and with much tears and sorrow, laid her to rest.  I had a hard time going to sleep, all I could see was her beautiful face and wagging tail.  I prayed for my dear son Jason.  And my daughter.  I will miss Misty for all the goodness she represented in their house.  Her waggy welcome, her sidling up unobtrusively for a gentle stroke first on her head, quickly rolling over for her belly rub.  She was a queen mother to the other four footed gang in that house.  She kept them in line and taught them the ropes.

I believe that Misty is back in rare form, roaming heaven, playing ball, getting lots of love.  I realize that some do not believe that animals will be in heaven.  But I do.  God has given these precious ones into our care for many reasons.  Protection, affection, company, healing, and I believe that if Jesus Christ is returning on a white horse, then where would that horse come from? 

Enjoy your new freedom of agelessness, Misty.  We will miss you here on earth but know that you will never be forgotten.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Can you help me out?

Hey folksies
Don't want to let October slip away without at least an update or two.  Right at the present time I am enjoying the crisp fall weather that has swept my part of the world.  Hope it remains cool - not ready for winter yet but fall is definitely my most favorite time of year.

For any of you who quilt or know quilt histories, I am on a quest.  Below is an image of an old quilt that was gifted to me some years back.  It has long been the object of my affection, not quite shabby enough to be a cutter yet, but oh so beckoning with it's loveliness.
Can any of you tell me anything about the pattern used here:

 This isn't a huge quilt; the blocks themselves are only about 14 inches squared each.  The small squares are approx. 1/2 in each. 
Such a lovely piece of history and I would love to know more of it.  Can you help?