Tuesday, May 22, 2012

There is Euphoria....and without any pills of any kind.

What brings out "The Best You"? Do you have those days when you feel great, but you just can't pin point the reason?There must be something going on in your life or in your immediate surroundings that triggers this state of euphoria you are feeling.I tried to investigate,in my case today, what it might be. Let me see.

(1) I took a bath with Terry's good smelling soap.I should learn which fragrance, but I had a few small pieces and I put them all together in a wash mitt.(That could be the key.)

(2) I washed and styled my hair,which is rare.I usually let it go al a natural.(But I do feel better when I fix it nice.)

(3) I dressed in red, which I hardly ever do.(Certain colors do get one motivated.)

(4) I'm playing some of my favorite music while I work.

(That definitely gets my blood a pumping.)

(5) I made the rounds, feeding the chickens, picking up bits and pieces around the yard,that didn't belong.(Fresh air does wonders.)

(6) The temperature and humidity outside is ideal.

(I am convinced that plays a big part in how I feel.)

(7) The yard is all mowed and looks real nice. No worries about mowing just now.

(8) I cooked salmon cakes for our midday snack. They are simple,nutritious,and oh,so good.No bread needed.Now worries about cooking for several more hours.

(9) I made the beds,which I don't always do.Pop says no one sees them but us(most usually).So we won't fret if I don't make them on a daily basis,but let's not tell Mom.

(10) I've had a little more time to do a little sorting of my craft supplies and I even worked on a few projects without worrying about what I should be doing instead.

Now, amidst all of these variables,why do YOU think I am having such a super great day?Any ideas or thoughts?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

When the Cat's Away.....

the mice will play.

When Pop's away, I tend to get involved in a project I have wanted to get done, but just couldn't get to. I do have a lot of my Mother's genes, and she has built and/or moved entire walls in the various houses where they have lived, but I don't go to that extreme.This project was a simple one that involved only wallpaper. I wonder if he'll even notice that it looks any different. Probably not.
It wasn't a major task, but the counter tops look so drab, I thought it might perk them up a bit. The color of the counter tops was not the color of my choosing, but we got our cabinet through Pop's ex-boss from the cabinet factory where he worked for twenty years, and of course, he got us a real deal, so when his wife got the colors confused for the counter tops,what could we say. They offered to make it right, but that would have cost them $500. out of their pocket, so we decided to live with it.

Now, I have gottem myself in the mood to paint. Hmmm!What color shall I paint the rest of the Big Room? I'll need to study on that a bit.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Poor People Have Poor Ways....

my fabric mats of all kinds
Yes!Another one of Pop's sayings.

As I awoke, early this morning, as I do on many mornings, I was thinking of a project I wanted to undertake today or one day soon.I do that a lot. I get so excited about a thought that comes into my head at 2,3 or 4 a.m. in the morning, I want to jump right up and get to it. Sometimes I do, and then sometimes I talk myself out of it, for at least another hour or two,but usually, if I don't jump up and get to it right then, the thought will fade and I'll push it aside for another day.Usually, at that time of the morning, it has to be a quiet project, so as not to awaken Pop.That alone, narrows the possibilities as to the task I can undertake. No power tools at that time of the morning.That leaves painting, sewing,decoupage,working with paper projects,etc.There are so many possibilities,but I have to be in the mood for any given project.

The project I was thinking of doing is what prompted me to use the title I have used, and to change the first song or two, on my play list.

Growing up in a large farm family, we had little money to spend on luxuries.And by luxuries, I mean anything that was not useful in some manner. If we ran out of anything, and we could substitute something else,in any way, shape, or form,we did. I suppose a lot of families did much of that,too.Thus the phrase:Use it up.wear it out,make it do,do without.
So many folks are using that slogan nowadays,but back when I was younger, it was a true way of life.

As I was researching the Use it up saying,I found a blog by that very name.Use it up,Wear it out,Make it do,Do Without. I may add it to my list of following, just to see how they are doing things today.

The project in my head this morning involved tea towels.Neither my Mother nor I, have every wasted very much money on pretty tea towels.however, I have,on occasion, picked up a nice new pretty set for a special function, such as a holiday, but those cases are rare. For the most part, I use whatever old rag that is available,usually a worn out garment. Sometimes it turns out to be not so absorbent and doesn't work well for a tea towel.Those particular towels are the subject in my post today.I have a few pretty fabric towels which I have made just because the fabric was pretty,but found out later, it was not a good fabric for drying dishes.Those are the towels I woke up this morning,thinking about. I like to make what I call mug rugs. You know when you are drinking coffee,tea,hot chocolate,etc., and you hate the sound of the mug hitting the table, especially if others are still sleeping.Or maybe you are drinking iced tea or cola, and the glass is sweating, leaving a puddle every time you set it down.Those are some of the times I like to use my mug rugs.Then there are some who use them for holding their snack, so as not to dirty up more dishes.  They can be used as hot pads to set under hot bowls when placing them on the table.Or a hot pad to retrieve a hot pan of cookies from the oven. They are so useful in so many ways.I especially enjoy making the little mug rugs, because I am trying to narrow down my tea towel supply.I choose the towels that are not so pretty any longer, and incorporate them in my new pads, for batting.Pop has a few nice blankets which he bought at the flea market for camping. They are not snugly and soft,and do not lie down against your body to keep you nice and warm, so I would love to use them for my batting, but Pop has laid down the law.Do not use HIS blankets for crafting purposes of any kind. He knows I have done that in the past.No matter. The way I am going about making my little mug rugs is working just fine.It is a peaceful,calming project which I can use to calm my nerves,when necessary.I find pleasure in making them.I am not spending money on fabric or batting of any kind,and I now have lots of pretty,usable rugs,which I can use for myself, or pass along as gifts.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I'm So Embarrassed

my latest sign

my latest sign plus the two cats
Well, Vicki. I guess you didn't see my last sign. I never got back to posting it.Sorry! I have been working with those wretched computer people for several day lately, and I am still not satisfied with the final outcome. Maybe it will resolve itself soon. With the worries over Mom and her present state of mind lately, plus the computer biz, my chest feels as though it might explode. I had to spend a day mowing to relieve some of the stress.

Yes, I'm embarrassed, but it's my house and like Pop always says,"If someone comes to our home and don't like the way we live, and we owe them, we will pay them and they can go home."I think that's a little harsh, but we love our pets, and we hardly ever use the dining room table, so we don't care if the cats choose to sleep there.

I wanted to show off my new sign.I love the white signs best, and the pink roses are also a favorite of mine.So I have put the two together in a few cases and like the finished product. I hope to make many more similar sign during the up-coming, long hot days of Summer.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

"Never Judge a Man......

...until you've walked a mile in his shoes." I think that's the phrase,anyway. This phrase came to my mind when I think of all the negative comments directed toward Birdwatching. If you have never done it,don't judge. I was never what you would call an avid birdwatcher, but since I have retired and have more time for such things, I am now a Birdwatcher.I have Purple Martins,Bluebirds,Chickadees,Sparrows,Robins,Goldfinches,Cardinals,
Blue jays,House Wrens,Mockingbirds,Red Headed Woodpeckers,and then there's the dreaded Starling.(and probably others I have not yet learned to identify)

I have a few young Martins who do not follow the ways of the older ones.I read about their habits, and these young ones,in many cases, definitely do not conform.The younger generation seems to want to do their own thing.Who would have dreamed of such a thing.

This is a small bird house which was originally hanging on my porch for the Bluebirds and House Wrens.Well, guess who took up with the little house. Yes, one of the young Martins.It didn't take Lucky long to learn of it's presence. He was trying to catch the bird for his lunch.I had to move the little house away from the porch,yet close enough,to where the Martins could find it and continue on with their nesting process.With the help of the old CB antenna and a roll of grass string, I was able to get it up and away from Lucky's reach,but close enough for the birds to find it and continue on,as they did. This morning we saw one of the young Martins swoop down and pick up a bit of a turkey feather which Lily had destroyed in her play. It was rather large, but the bird managed to get it into the birdhouse to line her nest for the young ones, soon to be arriving.I have an old feather mattress which I need to discard, but haven't found the heart, so I opened it and brought out a handful of goose down feathers, spread them on the yard, and watched as the young birds swooped down continuously, to gather them up.
Martins hardly ever lite on the ground, so this bird is in flight and hardly visible, but to the right of the feathers, you can get a glimpse of it, swooping up another feather.Now if this isn't fascinating to watch, what is. That's why I say,"If you haven't watched birds,don't criticize others who do."

Saturday, May 5, 2012

To Grandmother's House We Go

Even if it's only in our minds.It's hard to see in the picture, and I'm sure Grandma and Granddaddy lived in many other houses in their lifetime, but the little four room house is the only house us kids remember as their home.It was very small, but always spic and span clean and fresh. Many of the memories of their home was of the windows and doors always being opened, throughout the house, the white curtains blowing in the breeze. It seemed there was always a breeze blowing through the little house. They had lots of trees in the yard. That was probably part of the reason,but then again, kids can find someplace to hang out where it's cool most anytime, whereas grownups would just have to endure it and go on with life.Especially since air conditioning was out of the question back then.
And then there was the smell of Cashmere Soap throughout the house.Grandma had a little granite top table that sat just inside the back door, which held the granite drinking water bucket and dipper,the granite wash pan for dirty hands, and the dish for the soap.The old pump,which us kids got such pleasure from using,was just outside the door,off the edge of the porch.On the wall, above the table, was a small medicine cabinet, where I remember one of my Uncles washing up and splashing on lots of the good smelling stuff he always wore when he cleaned up to go anywhere.Funny how you remember certain things.

A lot of the things I keep around me today, are because I remember Grandma having similar things in her house.She didn't have room for too many collectibles, but she had a few.I remember a little glass rectangular bowl with a lid in which she kept those soft peppermint sticks.I have a bowl like that,tucked away somewhere, because of that memory.I try to keep candy sitting around in pretty containers just because Grandma did, but I have been blessed with two grandchildren who are very picky about what kind of candy they will eat,whereas,we, myself and my brothers and sisters, got so little candy,we loved any kind.I remember her always wearing an apron. I don't, but I like to keep one hanging there to remember her doing so.She had lots of doilies. I guess that's where I got my love for them.And plants.Grandma loved her flowers,as do I.She always kept her teaspoons in a little cup in the cupboard. She must have had a lot of coffee drinkers, like I do at my house. That'll cause you to think of short cuts for everything.Oh, yes.I don't want to forget the smell of tea brewing on the stove, in that tiny granite pan,that was only used for that purpose. She said aluminum would make it bitter.And then there was the smell of the old meat house where they would keep their ham and bacon slabs while they were curing, and lots of jars of apples kept in sulphur water.It is really hard to imagine there could be so many memories from such a small place.It's so small, and changed today, you can hardly believe all went on there that did.

These are just a few of my memories, but I am sure I will be reliving many more as I document my Journey.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

This is for Leontien

Leontien, I am not that computer savvy, so I hope you will understand why I was not able to post my flowers and hugs in the proper manner.I hope you enjoy some of my flowers I am sending to you in this way.

These are just a few of the flowers from my garden. I hope you enjoy them.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tea Anyone?

tea cup and saucer
I decided to crochet a few more of the little friendship baskets, but after I finished the first part of the first basket, dipped it in fabric stiffener, and let it dry, I decided I might attempt a cup and saucer. I have seen all kinds of different things crocheted,and starched stiff, but had never tried any of them myself. As a matter of fact, I have found a precious little crocheted Teddy Bear, that I hope to tackle one day,but today, I will settle for the tea cup set.This is my first one, but I hope to make several more sets in various colors.I remember my Grandmother making doilies for folks and starching them stiff, and I also, remember her words to me."If you ever learn to make these things for others,I will come back and haunt you." it seems after  their doilies were soiled, they would wash them, then bring them back to Grandma for her to stiffen them once again.These doilies were the kind with the many, many ruffles.Grandma would wrestle with those things, trying to get the ruffles to stand up,just right, in order for them to stiffen that way. To the best of my memory, I think she used clothes pins to prop the ruffles up and open in the position she wanted them to be, and she used sugar water to make them stiff. I don't think they had the stiffeners we use today.I have no plan of going that far with these little sets.If I make very many, I may include a note with my tea cup sets, with "Do it yourself"instructions on how to clean and restiffen them.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tin Cans

tin cans
Pop was born in 1938 and although I have known many folks in my lifetime, who were born before that, I have had more opportunities to listen to his many stories of "how it was back then".One story he tells is how he was a grown boy, before he ever knew his grandparents to bring store bought cans of foods into their home.Ninety five percent of what they ate, was raised right there on the farm. If it wasn't, they just didn't eat it.

That concept is hard to imagine,even for me, and I was born ten years later. With nine kids to feed,Mom did can every morsel she could get her hands on, but you knew by the Bob White syrup jars, that we had eaten a lot of store bought syrup over the years.I think the peanut butter came in a bucket, or we would have used a lot of their containers for preserving foods,too.Every nook and cranny in the old farm house was filled with boxes of canned goods.Mostly, I remember pumpkin,squash,green beans,tomatoes, apples,and pickles.And possibly,some kraut.We did buy some things in tin cans, but not a lot.
Nowadays, cans of foods,from the grocery store, is the norm, for many folks.It is much easier to open a few tin cans than to raise a garden each year, but then there are many folks who don't have the luxury of having a place to grow a garden.Then there's the price of fresh produce which is outrageous at the groceries or markets.I suppose there are many other reasons why folks buy their foods in tins cans today.

As for myself, I do buy more foods in cans than I like to admit.I don't worry so much about filling up the landfills with my garbage,because I do recycle ninety percent of the packaging that comes through my door. But there are other things that should concern us more, when it comes to eating foods from the grocery stores. that are packaged in cans.Truthfully, we should be more concerned about any prepackaged foods that are coming in our homes.

But even though I feel this way, I do use foods canned in tin cans, as well as in other type containers, but I like to utilize the container whenever possible.We use coffee that comes in half gallon plastic resealable containers, and they can be found all around our property. They are so handy for so many purposes.I don't like to buy foods in jars that do not use a regular size canning rim and lid, although I, too, am guilty of doing that on occasion.I have a friend who buys a lot of those pricey sauces that use regular rims and lids, and she saves them for me. They are a good size for us to can our vegetables in for a family of two.The recycling place I use, has stopped taking glass, so I will need to be more selective from now on, as to the kind of glass containers that I bring into the house.

My topic today is on tin cans because I have been incorporating my love for fabric, and my desire to make something simple,but pretty and useful.Thus, I have been decoupaging a few cans with my pretty remnants of fabric.I am enjoying this project to no end,and it is a very calming activity. I can sit with Pop after dinner,while we watch his Western Movies, and cover a can a night. I have high hopes of making many more pretty covered cans for use as catch alls or pencil holders,etc. Who knows. Some may even end up in my little gift bags.