Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sometimes Change Requires Sacrifices

The change that I speak of, is the color I am using in my decorating. I have gone through the peach stage, which I was in, what seems like, forever. It became a thing with Pop,telling everyone that if something was peach, I would buy it.That did seem to be true for many years.I even had those ruffly curtains made for my home,back when they were the IN thing.That was many years ago, when we were still living the original, single wide mobile home that was on the property when Pop purchased the land in 1978.

Pictured here is Pop,on the far left,his daughter,Carmen,Jerry Hackleback,a good friend of Pop's who has since passed on, and the boy Carmen was engaged to for five years, but ended up breaking up with.

Nevertheless, I had been in the mauve stage,until lately. Now I am in the cranberry/green stage.That brings me to the resaon for this post. I have these two little crocheted rugs that I adore. Of all the rugs I have made over the years, I have given them all away,but these two.

They have served me well, but now I have decided to crochet myself one in cranberry. The only piece of fabric I could find,without purchasing  a piece,was a cranberry flat sheet which was part of a set of bed linens.I have so many bed linens, it did not hurt so bad to use it,so I have ripped it up into narrow strips and am making my new rug. I can't wait to see the finished product.

I know I will adore it just as much, if not more than my two other favorites.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pop Cooks Christmas Breakfast

I definitely want to mention that Pop cooked our Christmas breakfast and even invited a few neighbors to join us. He is such a ham. He loves to show off his talents whenever possible. He use to cook breakfast quite often, years ago. Mostly when the kids were home, and we had the younger daughter for the weekend.He would cook the whole nine yards when he cooked for them. Biscuits, gravy,eggs, bacon, ham,or sausage. And if we had country ham, he would make Red-Eye Gravy like he made for our Christmas breakfast this year.

His cousin,Rusty, from Steamboat,Colorado,sent us a Country Ham for Christmas this year, so he wanted to show off his talents in the cooking department once more. I think he did that mainly because his daughter was commenting just the night before that her husband is an excellent helpmate when it comes to cooking, but she didn't think I had any help from Dad in that area any more.That really gets to him when folks think he doesn't help me. He takes care of the Man-Chores around the property, but I usually end up working right along side of him,but for some reason, household chores,in his mind, are for women only.He had a decent reputation for keeping the household running smoothly when he was divorced, but once I came into the picture, all of his abilities to do household chores went out the window.But he still likes to tell me HOW to do many things in the house,as if to say I am not doing it right.

He did an excellent job with the Christmas breakfast. I did a little more decorating of the tables while he did his thing with the meal. A couple of neighbors and their grown son came by to share our meal. They had their Christmas the night before,as did we, with the kids, so Christmas day is open and free for us to go and do as we please.Sometimes we have a big meal of our own, but with the kids being grown and married now, we usually go to one of their homes for our big meal.

We had had a nice family meal at our home for several family members a few days before Christmas. I was a little sick with a "bug" of some sort, so I got Mom to come by and help me. I suffered through it, but I sure didn't feel like entertaining company. I kept myself medicated enough to get the meal all prepared and the evening didn't turn out so bad.We had 3 people invited to begin with, but Pop being the party animal he is, he called 2 other couples to join in the meal. Only one of the 2 extra couples came,but still it was a bit much to prepare for that many, with me being sick. We, women are a different breed though. We can get things done somehow, even if we are sick as a dog,and would rather be in bed.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Waste Not! Want Not!

Waste Not! Want Not! is a good motto,  anytime of the year.This particular motto comes to my mind every Christmas Season, although it should be practiced daily. I feel if you teach your little ones from the get go, they will carry this motto with them, throughout their lifetime.Of course, there is always the exception to the rule.Those who will not.

So many children are bored to tears when and if they do not have a computer game of some kind in their hands,every minute,or some one tending to their every beck and call. It saddens me to see such children, and I am so sorry to say that my two Grandchildren and growing up to be in this very category. My only prayer is that they grow out of it,and soon.Nothing saddens me more than being around a person who is constantly complaining they are bored,when there is so much to do in this great big glorious world we live in.Most women of my day and age,can tell you that they can see something to do, every minute of every day. It may not always be what you want to do, but we can still see that it is there waiting for someone to do it.Then there are the things we see daily, that we would love to do, if only we had the time.

This particular craft is one of those projects that I love to do when I have time.So many times in a day, I run across some tiny little thing that is really good for nothing at all, but simply too pretty to throw away. I end of putting it in a box somewhere,usually among lots of similar items I have stumbled across in the past. Then one day, when I have a few minutes, I get out my handy dandy glue gun and go to work. I make these tiny arrangements that can be used for different occasions. Christmas time is a wonderful time to use up a lot of these tiny jewels.As you can see here, I have a tiny assortment of items, but stored away in boxes somewhere are thousands of other similar tidbits just waiting to be assembled and used.Making name tags at Christmastime is a good way to move lots of tiny bits and pieces out of the house. I wonder lots of times,after giving a gift, with my special tags on them, if they throw out the tags. That gives me a pain in my stomach to think anyone would toss out something so pretty,but it happens. Not everyone saves everything,like I do,thank goodness,but hopefully, they will pass it on to someone else on a gift or the like.
Wallah! My tag.There are so many variations one could come up with. I love assembling these tags from all the remnants that have fallen to the bottom of the Christmas decoration storage boxes. You know the bits and pieces that have fallen off and end up in the bottom of the box after you have set out all of the decorations for the season.Isn't it great to come up with something so pretty and useful from nothing. Now all I need to do is punch my hole and add a ribbon and my names to the tags and it's on it's way(out of my house).

I ended up giving one little tag,neatly labeled and tied to a red dish cloth, to a childhood friend the other night at the viewing of her Mother, at the funeral home.It was so pretty on the red cloth.Even her husband commented on it. Linda said it was so pretty, she was tempted to wear it as a corsage.That made me feel so good that they liked it.
Today is Monday, the 26th, and I have decided to complete this post that I started last week.

 I spoke to Mom early this morning. She was feeling poorly, so since I felt she had caught the "bug" from me, I felt I needed to go and spend the day with her. I arrived to find she had only slept crooked and was aching more than usual. She puttered around and worked out the kinks, while I busied myself making a few more of the cute little tags to be attached to the dish cloths I had made for her to hand out to her close friends. Mom has always tried to make handmade gifts herself  for her friends, but she is no longer able to do so. Since I had accumulated several of my little dish cloths I had been making, I decided to donate them to her to use as her gifts. We borrowed the neighbor's glue gun, since I had not planned ahead to make the tags.It just happened on the spur of the moment.I managed to complete several and even delivered a few of them for her. It really cheered her up that I had come to spend the day.She seems to get more depressed each day, and we are seeing signs of dementia more and more.We must watch her more closely than usual nowadays, and her neighbors and church friends keep a close watch on her for us,too. Today,when she complained about being such a burden to everyone, I told her it takes a whole community to help care for an aging parent,kinda like it takes a village to raise a child.It makes them feel good, too, to know they are helping watch out for her.One never knows when it might be you, needing help with your parent or loved one.
Happy Holidays to all of my Blogger friends.

Friday, December 23, 2011

33 years today

Look what I found awaiting me on my return home from spending time with Mom today.

I have been a bit sick with the "bug" that's making it's way around the family, so we had decided we wouldn't do anything special for our anniversary today. At least that was the plan when I left to take Mom home.

 We had a Christmas meal of sorts yesterday evening,with several family members attending, so I had gone to get Mom to come and be with us(and help me since I was poorly).Pop had made the plan, before I realized I had the bug. I only hope I didn't pass the "bug" on the them.We were up early, although that is normal for Mom,and by early, I mean 1-2:00 am.She took her pain meds and ate a snack,we talked awhile, then we went to the living room where it was more comfortable, and fell asleep again.Thank Heavens for that, because with me being sick on top of having no sleep, I was feeling pretty rough.We both,took our regular regimen of supplements and started cooking for the big meal.You'd have thought we were feeding Fort Knox.I have never seen so much food for 8 people, but I wanted to have a nice meal, since I don't get to entertain that much anymore.

The meal went really well,even though I could not taste a thing. I wasn't even sure the food would be fit to eat,since everything I sampled tasted alike.Everyone bragged on the meal being really good, but what else did I expect them to say. They were to polite to have said anything else. I packed up several small containers of the left overs to send home with Mom, and we ate some of them when we were ready for lunch, and it all tasted fine, so I guess it was my taste buds that were messed up by the "bug".That was a relief to know it all tasted as I had planned.I was really nervous about even serving the meal to company since it all tasted the same to me while I was preparing it.I hated to call the meal off,after Pop had planned it, and was so excited about having them all over. It's never a good idea to cook for company while you're sick, but in this case, all went well,and everyone seemed to enjoy their evening.Hopefully, I'll be over this "bug"by Christmas day, but then some of the other family members may have it by then. Carmen and Leah have it now,too. Rhonda just got over it.It's been rough for a few days, but I guess we'll all get through it.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Good Day to Bake A Cake

I don't do much baking any more,for several reasons. Pop has sugar, the ingredients are too expensive, and we sure don't need the extra calories. But today, I was craving a good old pound cake. Especially if I could get it to turn out like a dear friend of mine use to make. She has passed on now, many years ago, and I don't remember her recipe, but I thought I'd try one time to cook up something as close to her recipe as I could.

After I made it, I think I remember her using French Vanilla instant pudding in it, which I had forgotten.I do remember that her gas oven cooked much slower than our more modern ovens, so I turned my oven down to 300 degrees.Hers took an entire hour,so I set my timer for 1 hour. I mixed my box of yellow cake mix,2 eggs,8 ounces of cream cheese and about 1/4 stick of butter. That was as close as I could remember.I probably should have used the pudding mix and 1 more egg. I'll try that next time.

I remember her cake having the cream cheese marbled throughout the cake when it was sliced.The cake, when sliced, was nearly as firm as cheese.The icing was a mere powdered sugar and milk glaze.The cake was heavenly. I could eat a whole cake by myself.

My cake was a bit more crumbly than hers, but it did have a bit of marbling throughout. That was from mixing it with a fork instead an electric mixer.That seems to be the key to getting the marbling effect, which I loved.That is what made it so special to me.

I'll not give up on geting it a bit closer to Ma's recipe,even though the cake I made today is delicious. I only hope company drops in to help eat it,although I'm sure I don't really need any help.If my brother,Jr., were close I could share it with him,since it is his birthday today.Happy Birthday, Jr.

Decorating for Pennies.

 This is my quilt that I have been working on so much lately. I still have a little more to do to it, but I can wait until after the holidays to finish it. I do enjoy looking at it, as my sister,Vicki, said I would. That's why I have placed it in the living room,for now.I already see things I want to do differently with my next quilt, and I may make a few changes on this one, if time allows.I feel I am gradually learning more and more about this quilting thing as I go along.It does truly get in your blood.

 I found this set of Salt and Perrer shakers when Mom and I were spending a couple of days together this week. I couldn't resist buying them.They may have been $1.00 or so. I use a lot of cranberry, so they go good with my other furnishings.
I found these two pillows for $1.00 each. They match my rugs and curtains pretty close.The good thing about them is not only that they were cheap, there were two other pillow covers on the pillows inside. One set was a quilted set of pillow covers which I have washed and will use as a starting point on a new quilt.They are beautiful quilted covers,too.Navy and cranberry.

I have many more things to tell about, but the funeral home calls. Another friend has left us.We will be visiting with family for a few minutes this afternoon, then off to Leah's belated Birthday Party. She turned 11 on the 15th, but she,too, had to attend the funeral of her father's last living Aunt, in Ohio this week.This Christmas will be a sad one for many of our friends and family.Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Let It Snow!

There'll be Snowflakes at my house for Christmas, regardless of what the weatherman says.

I ran across a red and white spread which I had crocheted many years ago, and stuck it in a drawer,never to be finished or used,so I decided to ravel it out and make something useful from the materials.I had been making dish cloths of yarn, and needed a few more red ones since they are so cheery and bright for the Holidays.That's when I stumbled across the unfinished spread.As I was unraveling the white, I found that I had used something other than yarn.It seems that I had used a stretchy fabric that holds a bed pad snug to the mattress.I had cut it into real narrow strips, and it worked up like yarn. Nevertheless, I unraveled it, and and proceeded to make a few Snowflake Coasters. What a neat idea. Now that is something that will definitely get used on a daily basis this winter. This is one example of a neat idea that produced a usable product from reclaimed materials. Now that's my kind of project.

My Mother's Daughter

It has no rhyme nor reason...just a nice warm and cozy quilt.
You'd have to see some of my mother's quilting to know what I mean.We are not quilters per se' like my sister Vicki, of My Favorite Things, or my Grandmother, who has long since passed on. Now they are what I consider quilters.They don't use a sewing machine for anything,when they quilt. It is all done on their fingers, and it is picture perfect in every aspect of the quilt they are making.That type of quilting is considered a dying art. Nowadays, with all of the modern machines and quilting tools, folks are making some amazingly fabulous quilts,but the time consuming finger work seems to have been lost, for the most part.I'm sure there are still a few die hard quilters left in the world, that choose to quilt the old way, and their works of art are the true jewels,if you are lucky enough to find one and then afford to purchase it.

My Mother and myself, are quilters of a different sort. We make quilts to use up fabric, and to have a nice warm quilt for sleeping or maybe,just snuggling up in front of the TV,or simply for giving as a gift.It's just a nice gesture to give a small child, or anyone for that matter, a quaint or primitive type little quilt to call their own.Quaint or primitive being the optimum word here.Quaint or primitive are, in my opinion, very similar.They are made in an old time fashion. Design and color coordination was never given a thought, for most. Things were made out of necessity.No buying and matching fabric to make an specific pattern.You just used up whatever you had and could spare.

As I get older, I see why and how my Mother has come to love bright colors. I started on this little experimental quilt, with the intention of using up an old blanket(for batting) and lots of my remnants of pretty fabric.That's my way of downsizing or clearing out clutter. My clutter, for the most part,is my supplies for my crafts.We won't mention all the extra dishes, books, and knick-knacks.No let's not go there.That'll be another post for another day.

I started out with the plan to sew one piece at a time, onto this old blanket. I got around 3 sides, and it was shaping up so nicely, I decided it wasn't going together fast enough,so now I am sewing a strip of fabric pieces together,adding a divider strip,then attaching it to the blanket. I felt I needed a divider strip since the blocks were randomly placed and not perfectly aligned.That was mine and Mom's reasoning anyway. It's turning out to be prettier and more appealing to me, than I had ever imagined.  I am enjoying the making of this simple quilt tremendously.I was using up a lavender sheet that I no longer needed,for the strips, and it set the quilt off so well, I did go and purchase a yard of similar fabric to finish the remainder of the quilt.I am so glad that I did. It is turning out wonderfully.I hope to finish it this winter, and if all goes well, I will post more about it later.

I am learning more and more from my quilting adventures and endeavors. It seems I learn a new and better way to do or even not to do something, each time I work on my quilt. Maybe that's how good quilters get to be so good. Practice makes perfect. Maybe, if I keep at it, I can be as good a quilter as my Sister,Vicki,and Grandmother.And as good a quilter as my six year old Grandson,thinks I am.Remember, in one of my post, I had written how John said,"Meemaw,You sure are a good quilter."Yes, John,with a little more practice,hopefully, one day, I will be a good quilter.

Thanks for the Wonderful Accolades.

Vicki, the Thanks go to you for the wonderful piece you posted regarding our frugal and talented family.I have never been able to figure out why our family is as it is in that respect. We have many problems in our lineage, but we have lots of talented individuals in so many different fields,too.Our family could never afford all the expensive education as some families experienced, but we were talented and gifted beyond belief in so many other ways.We have all been a hard working bunch, and I know Mom gets a lot of credit for pushing us the way she did, although at times we felt she pushed too much, too hard, and too long. I think to this day, that is why I detest laziness. We were never allowed to be lazy.We had to be doing something beneficial, every minute of the day.At least, it seemed that way at the time. Many times, I think Mom had such a harsh upbringing, that she felt we deserved no better.Not the typical way of thinking, but that's the way it seemed to me as a child.It seemed as though she lived by the philosophy,"Don't make the road ahead easier for your children,but instead, prepare them for the rough road ahead."I know that is a good philosophy, but how did she know just how rough the road would be? She was evidently preparing us for a hell of a rough road ahead.And I guess that is why we are all the tough, strong,and hard working individuals that we are today.

Being a hardworking farm family meant there was never enough money at the end of the month.Dad did operate a bulldozer for many years, and made a wonderful name for himself doing so,all over the county.A name that makes me proud to say "That was my Daddy". He was a well known and respected figure in his lifetime. I hear he was a rowdy youngster, and did some things that were not exactly up to par, in the eyes of many, in his youth,(and possibly in his older years,too) but who hasn't.He made a decent living for his family and seen to it that we always had a home that was our own.That was worth a lot. In my lifetime, I have seen many families who had to move from pillar to post to keep a roof over their heads,because the landlords kicked them out for non payment of rent.That never ever happened to our family.We may have had a leaky roof at times, and no indoor plumbing, or water, but we were warm and well fed the entire time.Sometimes I think living as we did, is part of what made us stronger. We were not lavished with everything we ever wanted.Children nowadays don't know when a holiday arrives. They have been allowed any and everything they could possibly want, by their parents.Young parents of this generation never had it rough, so they have no concept themselves, as to the damage they are doing to their offspring.It is my opinion that a constant supply of unnecessary material things,lavished upon a child,does not help them to become a well adjusted,solid,dependable,and desirable person for the trials they will face in the future.

I have received so many kind words in my life time for the fact that I am a hard worker and a desirable help mate for any life partner. I have heard the same words used in regards to my siblings.Those are wonderful words to hear, but sad that folks feel the need to express that to you.So many people have been through multiple marriages,etc., only to find, their partner has no knowledge of how to function in a grown up life situation. They were never taught the basics of a human existence and how they were to function and interact with a helpmate, in their grown up lives.There were some aspects of our raising that were not the most accepted and approved way of dealing with problems,but we survived and are an extra strong bunch of people for it.I hope, that we, as grown ups today, can only analyze our upbringing and learn from the mistakes of our parents,in order to mold our children into individuals,as well prepared, if not more so,for their future.Raising a child or a family is a hard job, and there are no manuals.Some have tried,only to be proven wrong,so we're on our own, to get the job done to the best of our knowledge and abilities.It truly does "take a village to raise a child".A sound,solid and productive child anyway.Not one who will grow up and depend on the government for their entire life.Someone, somewhere is picking up the tab.

Friday, December 2, 2011

"My Whatever Jars"

I posted on one of my other blogs today.