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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Looking Backwards

 I love this outdoor kitchen area we made for our great granddaughter, she loves it too!

Ahhh, the joy of childhood!

 I've been retired for a year now, and it's taken me this long to figure it out...sort of. I miss work and have been volunteering two days a week at my school, but it doesn't take the place of a job I loved. I think I'm beginning to feel like I'm coming out of the fog I've been in. In 2019 we visited the Christmas Inn in Pigeon Forge, NC and have all agreed it's one of our favorite places. My daughter and I have reservations in February for another visit. Can't wait! We got a new dog in 2019 and she has been quite a trial. She's much bigger than we were expecting and so full of "puppyness" that our days generally consist of us running around trying to stop her from destroying things and making a mess. We also became the owner or a beautiful Maine Coon cat. I love our animals, but gosh, I sure hope there are no more in my future!!! Here's to a great 2020!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Fall Arrived


Autumn!  How I love Autumn. Cool, misty mornings. Leaves that glow when the light is just right. Gusty winds that bring down a flurry of leaves. The  garden going to sleep, looking perfect in it's leaf-strewn blanket. It took it a while to feel like fall, but now it's wonderful in every way.

I'm out for Thanksgiving break. I plan our Thanksgiving dinner down to the minute. I draw pictures of my stove and record what goes where and when. Time lists and food lists and temperature lists. Diagrams and a slew of stained and tattered recipe cards and recordings of previous years notes. And yet, the final moments are spastic and frantic and midway through the meal it is always, "Good grief, I forgot_____"... Always. This year it was gravy! Thankfully, our smoked turkey and ham were so moist and tender that the forgotten gravy wasn't missed too much. I made a devils food cake, which was always my request to mom on my birthday. My husband and children had never had one (which I didn't realize). I cheated and used canned icing. They fell in love with the cake. Now I wish I had gone to the trouble to make the 7 minute icing. It makes the cake so much better. Looks like there will be another one in the near future.

Have you seen or read the book Mouse Mansion? It's a children's book. That last picture is of a few of  the mansion rooms. It's incredible. There's a cute little story about two of the mouse children.  I'm now planning my own mouse mansion, but much smaller. My little one will love it.

The Mouse Mansion by [Schaapman, Karina]

Thursday, June 21, 2018

We had no spring. No lovely, cool days. We jumped straight to summer....AUGUST summer. It's been awful - some think my complaining about it has been worse than the heat, how uncharitable! I hate hot weather. It's why I started gardening - just so I would have something in the summer that I liked. Nothing to do but roll with it, but oh how I'm dreaming of fall!

School is out and I'm being lazy. One energetic day I made a strawberry shortcake. It was so delicious that I figured that alone will counter-act the laziness.  I was planning on making it for Father's Day but it didn't happen. However,  I did make my wonderful Don brunswick stew, which he loves (I think it's disgusting looking, can't even convince myself to try it).

I hope you have been enjoying your Spring. It looks like many in the country are experiencing the hot weather. We'll commiserate together!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Snow and Cold and Sun

 I made this same quilt a few months ago for my niece.

Hello! And how are you doing this frosty day? This week we were blanketed with at least 3 inches of fluffy, beautiful,snow.  Schools were closed for three days and the streets were so icy that a curfew was actually issued.  Three days of cozy fires, family all around me and a big pot of chili to get us through. These are just the very best days! Our weather has been crazy this fall and winter - summer temperatures lasted well into November, then in early December -  BAM! Winter arrived with ferocious abandon! We have rarely been above freezing (surprising for us), had many low's in the teens, and a big, beautiful snow fall in early December. I am one happy camper!

Do you sew? I do...  ahem, perhaps I should say I play at sewing. Seriously, I've been sewing for 35 years. I've made clothes, and crafts and I especially love making quilts. I'm just finishing up one for my daughter. This small lap quilt cost not only the fabric, but every needle I put in my machine. But hey, it only took me 4 brand new needles to realize I needed to remove the safety pins at the edge of the quilt. And , somewhere deep in my sewing machine is a dull needle that I was replacing with a new one (four). It slipped out of my fingers when I was changing it out and fell straight through the little hole. Once I made a pair of pants that ended up looking like the one's MC  Hammer wore. When I modeled them for Don, he rolled on the floor laughing. I made a beautiful maternity dress once. While sitting at my desk at work  I was admiring how pretty the wrong side of the fabric was....then I realized I had sewn the dress with the wrong side out. Geesh! Maybe I should take up paint-by-numbers!

Anyhoo - I'm going to be sewing the binding on the quilt and tying it today. The snow is mostly gone and things are getting back to normal around here. Work Monday, all these days off has made me think of retiring. I promised by boss I would work 2 more years (after this school year),  but I'm really looking forward to it.

That last picture is of a huge animal paw print in the snow. I can't imagine what made it. As far as I know the largest animal we have is deer and it doesn't look like one of their prints. Kind of freaky.

Keep warm and enjoy your day.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

January Doings

 Bluebird of happiness...except kitty isn't happy.

Happy New Year! Can you still say that even though January is half over? January, the quiet month. Oh how I love January. Pearl gray skies, bare limbs swaying, hundreds of little chirpy visitors, cozy fires.

 It takes me a while to get back into the groove after the  holidays. So much stuff that needs to find a home, so many flat spaces (tops of every flat piece of furniture) mounded with who knows what. Whee, no wonder I was feeling so tired, ha.  Now I have a 3 day weekend and am humming along quite nicely with my to-do list.

I've been thinking a lot about my daddy. He passed away in September. He was fun and funny. He made up all these "Weir" secret activities. We had a Weir Shuffle (walking and making a rhythm with your heels, we had a Weir Handshake (I'd have to kill you if I showed it to you, lol). There was a Weir Hand-capade where you made a certain rhythm with slapping the tops of your hands then your legs, over and over. We had a Weir Song (Don't Ya Just Know It When we were older we sang this at every get together. It was even sung at my niece's  wedding reception, all us Weirs singing off key as loud as we could. Poignantly, it's the last thing we did at daddy's memorial wake, a tender and loud memory. All of us singing with tears clouding our vision. Lovely, lovely memories.

I hope January is being good to you! We're having wonderful, sustained cold weather. My garden is sooooo happy, and so am I!