God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
& all of Christmas, which is Christ.
--Wilda English

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vegetable Oil & Wood Don't Mix

I know I already made one lengthy post this morning but I just have to make another one.

Back in January on one of those online yard sale sites on Facebook someone posted that they had a large old trencher bowl for sale in perfect condition.  She was offering it at a good price.  She did not post a photo but said you could see the bowl if you looked at her Facebook photos.  I went through all her Facebook photos & saw only 1 picture of 1 trencher bowl & it was breathtaking.  The wood was a rich brown color & it shone like the sun.  I saw no cracks, no chips, etc.  I immediately wrote to her & said I was interested in it.  I also asked her what I thought was probably a dumb questions ... is the trencher you are selling the one you have pictured in the photo with the green trunk?  When she responded she didn't answer my question so I figured she thought it was dumb too since again that's the only photo she had in her albums of a trencher.  

Apparently I was the first person who actually said "I want the trencher" & so it was mine.  The thing is, she was living in the mountains of West Virginia & I was living here in central Kentucky.  I checked on Mapquest & found it would be about a 6 hour drive from here to her house.  In January.  Through the mountains.  And back again.  I thought "no problem" ... especially since she mentioned that she was downsizing & getting rid of a lot of other primitive things.  I was giddy fantasizing about the van load of wonderful prims I would be bringing home.

John insisted on coming with me & driving which of course was fine.  We got up early & drove the 6 hours to her home which was way back in the country & rather difficult to get to but we made it on time.  I knocked at the door.  No answer.  Cars were in the driveway & I could hear voices inside.  I knocked again ... no answer.  I then tried the door which was unlocked.  I opened it a crack & called out "hello?"  Then a little girl came to the door to let me in.

As I walked from the entryway through the kitchen & into the dining/family room I was in awe of all the wonderful prims this woman had & wondering just which ones she wanted to part with!  She came to greet me & we talked for a while & then she said "Here's your trencher!"  I looked at it & my heart sank.  I thought "that's not the trencher I saw in the picture."  It was not a rich brown color at all.  It did not shine like the sun.  It was, in fact, pretty beat up.  However, I didn't make waves.  I figured (1) if I walk out of this house without a trencher after driving all the way here & back to get it John won't be happy, & (2) she has all these other wonderful prims that she won't sell to me if I make a fuss.  Turns out she didn't have much to sell at all.  All the wonderful things I saw she was keeping.  What she was parting with was a few old jars (nothing special), some old candy tins (not prim), a couple old kitchen utensils, & a broken trunk.  She acted as though they were special treasures.  Talk about disappointment.  

She was going on & on about how she could've sold 10 of these trenchers if she had them.  She told me to take good care of it by rubbing it down with vegetable oil every couple months.

I decided I was happy to have the trencher anyway, beat up or not.  I posted a photo of it on the Country Sampler forum & mentioned her instructions to wipe it down with vegetable oil.  I immediately got a comment to my post saying no-no-no!  Don't use vegetable oil!  It builds up on the wood & isn't good for it at all.  This person told me to scrub the trencher with a good dish soap (like Dawn) to remove as much of the vegetable oil as possible, put the trencher in the sun to dry thoroughly, & then rub it down with mineral oil.

Here it is, 5 months later, & today I decided (while the landscapers are here) to scrub the trencher.  I literally scrubbed it over & over & over again with rough sponges, hot water & Dawn.  I even used an old hairbrush to scrub away at it.  The sponges were turning black time & time again.  The hairbrush was chipping away at the oil build up.  It was disgusting.  I scrubbed away for 2 hours & just couldn't scrub anymore even though my sponges & drying rags were still turning black in some places.  I will go at it again another day.  It reminded me of scrubbing the kitchen cabinets when we moved into this house.  The woman who lived here literally did not clean anything for the entire 2-1/2 years she lived here.  I ended up having to use a single edge razor blade to scrape the grease off all the cabinets in order to wash them down.  Can't do that with the trencher   : (

So the moral of the story is (1) Don't buy something if it's not what you were led to believe it was ... even if you drive 6 hours there to get it & 6 hours back home again, & (2) Never, ever, ever wipe down wood with vegetable oil.

Lots of Photos of Monday's Goodies

As promised, here are photos of the goodies I brought home on Monday.  Please forgive my photography ... sometimes it works but sometimes it doesn't   : (

The first store I visited was the big junk shop over in the next town.  I didn't find anything I hoped to find there but I did find some things of interest.  These first 3 photos show an old oak chair I bought to use with my treadle sewing machine.  I had been using a dining table chair so the table looked rather odd without it   : )   Please take a look at the second & third photos & tell me if you've ever seen a chair with this type of metalwork.  There were 2 of these chairs at the store & both had this same metalwork.  It wasn't added afterward to shore up the chair because as you see in the third photo the outer corners of the legs have one of these metal pieces coming through it from the bottom of the chair, corner to corner, & then it's sort of bent down to follow the lines of the corner.  The big screw in the center of the metalwork looks as if it was used to tighten & pull this corner metalwork in toward the center.  ???    




These are the other goodies I bought at the junk store ... a grey graniteware pan, an old sifter which I am planning to use in a crafting project, & an old child's snow shovel.  The cobalt glass canisters are a birthday gift for my favorite aunt   : )



Next I went to the local peddlers mall.  I found quite a few things there.  I don't know why but I thought this little crate with bird houses in it would look cute hanging on the porch someplace.    


I really liked this little prim fence & thought it would look nice maybe somewhere in the foundation garden or even in my butterfly garden.


I've been looking for a nice big enamel wash basin to hang in my bathroom.  This one would've been perfect except the bottom side is really in bad shape.  I decided to get it anyway to use outside as a planter.  There's another old sifter for an intended craft project, a nice little crock, a cookie cutter, 2 small gray graniteware bowls for craft projects, & hooray!  A watering can!  Someone (sorry, I can't remember who) just posted a bunch of photos the other day of all her watering cans & I jokingly commented that I have been looking for them & haven't found any & now I know why ... she's bought them all!  Well, she didn't get this one ... lol!


I really thought this picture was nice.  It reads "Happy moments ... priase God.  Difficult moments ... seek God.  Quiet moments ... worship God.  Painful moments ... trust God.  Every moment ... thank God."  I thought it was such a nice picture & such a beautiful sentiment.  The print is by Donna Atkins.  Just what I needed ... another picture.  You'll see why in a bit   : )


This little stitchery picture will be a Christmas gift for Ruthie ... my best friend from high school.  She & I have kept in touch all these years.  


And this following photo is a bit of a break to explain why I stated above that the Donna Atkins print was just what I needed ... another picture.  This is a corner in my bedroom.  I have at least 2 dozen pictures there (& a calender holder) ... some of which have been there since we moved in & others that have been added to it.  It's not like we don't have the wall space.  We do.  It's just that we haven't settled in.  Some of them are seasonal though.  I'll cut myself some slack on those   : )    


My last stop was one of our local primitive shops, Muddy Creek.  Actually I'd say it is the local primitive shop.  The others are actually more country than prim.  I'm sorry about the blurriness of this first photo but as you can see I bought yes, another picture ... lol!     


These items were really neat.  The stitchery on the left reads "Remember me" on the top but it got cut off in the photo.  Next is an old child's metal cake pan with a blackened beeswax "cake" inside.  I fell in love with the old scoop made out to be like a little shelf with the prim black cat & mini gourd on it.  The pipberry ring I bought to put around the candle I showed you all the other day.  Unfortunately it hides about half the candle ... lol!  If I use it for that purpose I'll have to put something under the candle to raise it a bit   : )


I'm really a sucker for trees.  I walked in the door & saw this primitive patriotic tree & asked "is this for sale?"   Becky, the owner, said "you want the whole tree?" & I said "yes" so she gave me a good price   : )   Unfortunately on the way home it got a bit roughed up so I took it all apart & re-did it.  I'll leave it up for the rest of the summer.  Now I'm thinking I'll have to make or find me a fall tree   : )


I was really excited to see this old push mower!!!  The Americana banner was hanging on it & I figured I'd take that too ... something to decorate the mower for the season   : )

    
And that's it!  I hope you enjoyed the pictures & don't think I was "bragging."  Someone posted a while back that they had someone email them or comment on one of their posts saying something like how this person posts photos of their home & their things expecting people to give their approval or something like that.  I never look at someone sharing photos like that!  We are all excited when someone goes on a shopping trip & gets some goodies, right?  It's fun to see the goodies others have found.  I hope you agree   : )

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Weight Loss Update #6

Before I post anything else, I want to thank everyone who made such kind comments about my quilts.  I really appreciate them   : )

I'm barely making this post under the wire!  Seems one Wednesday passes & another one is here before I know it.  I can't believe I've been starving myself eating a healthy diet (with very limited choices) for 6 weeks already!  I dropped 3-1/2 pounds this past week.  I must admit that once in a while I feel kind of tired of eating the same stuff all the time.  I don't really crave anything in particular but I sure wish I could eat some of my favorite things.  Nothing "crazy" like chips or cakes or pies or candy or ice cream ... just wonderfully delicious things like cheese, rice, Italian food,  perogies, meatloaf, a sandwich, etc.  I tell myself to be patient ... it's not like I can never eat these things again but sometimes the end of this diet seems awfully far away.

On Monday I mentioned maybe going to this huge junk place over in the next town.  I did.  John really didn't feel like going out so I was on my own.  I decided to not only go there but to check out the local peddlers mall & my favorite prim shop as well.  First I went & picked up my revised bifocals.  As soon as I put them on I told the owner of the shop that I couldn't see very well at all.  Once again I'm having that bowing effect when I look at the computer or try to read a book.  I can't really see much of anything clearly out of them.  I feel like I'm looking through someone else's glasses.  They are worse than the first pair I had!  The owner said to wear them for a week ... I should get used to them by then.  I've tried  wearing them for 2 days now but something has got to be terribly wrong here.  I mean, I should see something clearly, shouldn't I?  She's telling me I'll probably have to bend my head at different angles to look at different things or move my glasses up & down my nose to find good angles when I view different things. I told her I would wear them for a week but if I didn't see an improvement I was bringing them back to exchange them for a pair of readers.  She said that she would give me readers if I couldn't wear them after a week.  Anyway, I did go to those shops & found some goodies!  I'll post some photos tomorrow.  I also found out at the last shop I visited that there were several other shops I could've checked out near the first one I had visited so I'm planning to make a trip to those in the not-too-distant future   : )

John & I had to go to Louisville today & when we came home there was a message on the answering machine from the landscaper saying he & his guys will be here tomorrow morning to edge, plant, put down some mulch, & then they'll have to come back with more mulch at another time.  I asked what happened to pretreating the soil like he had mentioned doing & he said that it would take too long to do that.  He was also supposed to replace our bad dirt with some good topsoil.  From the way it sounds they're going to come here, edge the beds, then dig holes & plant things amongst the grass & weeds & then pack mulch around everything.  When he mulched around our trees & bushes he said that he didn't have to remove the grass & weeds around them because covering it with the mulch would make it die.  I wonder what I've gotten myself into here.  I'm also wondering what he's planning to plant!  I know we talked about certain bushes for out front but in back there's going to be a perennial garden & we have no idea which perennials we want to plant.  Hopefully he isn't just bringing a bunch from his nursery to put there.  Tomorrow should be an interesting day.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday's Display Chain - Quilts - Anything Quilts

Misi's display chain today focuses on quilts ... anything quilts.

My love affair with quilts began when I was a child.  No one in my family made quilts & I am guessing that my love for them came from seeing them in picture books.  To me a quilt represents love, comfort, & home.

I made my first quilt in 1990 when we were living in Tennessee.  I went to a quilt shop in a small town & saw that they were offering a beginners quilting class.  I immediately signed up & picked my fabrics ... a horrid 90's color palate of white, pink, & blue calico.  I remember the ladies at the store were busy with another customer that day.  I assume she was "somebody" because they couldn't do enough to help her out.  Finally one of them came over to me & grudgingly took my bolts of fabric, cut the necessary yardage & signed me up for the class.  On the first day of class I sat at a table in a small room. There were about a dozen of us in the class each with our own little table.  The instructor then taught us how to make templates from cardboard, trace around them, & cut them out.  She then said it was time to sew them together.  I expected her to lead us to another room filled with sewing machines for our use, but as I looked around the room I saw all the other ladies threading their needles & beginning to stitch their pieces by hand!  Hand piecing!  Hand piecing a queen size sampler quilt!  Everyone got a good laugh when they found out I thought we were using machines.  The instructor said "A quilt isn't a quilt unless it's hand pieced."  I didn't agree with that but I had paid my money so went about hand piecing my top.  I missed the last 2 classes because I ended up in the hospital with a blood clot in my leg but I did finish my quilt top.  I had not realized the class did not follow through with actually quilting the quilt ... just making the top.  I didn't like the way the top turned out (really hated those colors together) so I held onto the top for a few years & then sold it to someone for $90.  She eventually sent it away to have it machine quilted & was quite happy with it.

I never took another quilt class but I did amass a great many books & watched a lot of quilting shows on TV so basically learned to piece a quilt on a machine on my own. I've made quite a few over the years & I hope you will enjoy looking at the photos.

This quilt is the first one I made by machine. The pattern is called Mock Log Cabin.  I hand quilted it.  It is made from all the fabrics my husband bought me one Christmas.  First you will see a picture of me with all the fabrics, then a picture of the finished quilt   : )


  
The following quilt is the quilt I now have on my bed.  I was always fascinated with "the old days" & loved old feedsacks.  This quilt is made with a sampling of the feedsacks I have collected over the years.  The top side is made from 6" squares, no two alike, & the back side is made from various feedsack pieces sewn together. It is machine quilted with a Baptist Fan pattern which was a popular pattern used in the 1930s.  



I really fell in love with the 30s & so made quite a few quilts using 1930s reproduction fabrics.  The following photo shows one of my 30s sampler quilts.  Each block is quilted differently.  This quilt was made using blocks from an online block exchange.  


Here is a quilt top which was also made using blocks from an online block exchange. I only pieced together the top ... then got a new bed & discovered the finished quilt was going to be too small so I took it all apart & have yet to put it all back together.  I need to make a few more blocks to add to it to enlarge the size a bit. 


The following quilt pattern is called Jacob's Ladder.  I made this quilt as a gift for my cousin.  It is hand quilted.  


This next quilt was a Christmas gift for my brother.  The pattern is called Rail Fence & I used patriotic fabrics because he likes the history of our country.  It was machine quilted.  


This is the last quilt top I made although this photo was taken before I sewed the blocks together.  The pattern is called Friendship Star.  I made it to use on my bed here in this house but I am having trouble finding just the right border fabric for it. 


I have made a lot of baby quilts & other quilts over the years but unfortunately don't have any photos of them.  I also have about 7 or 8 quilts packed away that are just about finished ... I only need to add the binding to them.

I did not make the following quilt ... it was a gift to me.  My mother passed away 6 years ago & afterward my father became very ill & we thought we were going to lose him too. My brother & I went to Florida to take care of him & we were there for 2 months. Thankfully he regained his strength & went on to live another 3 years.  When I came back home after those 2 months I found a package waiting for me & it was this quilt. My friends in the online quilt group made the blocks & sent them to my dear friend (the one I mentioned in Sunday's post who has muscular dystrophy) who sewed them together & had the quilt finished for me.


I've also made other quilted items over the years.  The following pictures are of some Christmas wallhangings I made a few years ago.



  
And finally here are the quilted Christmas stockings I made for me & John.  John's is on the left, mine is on the right.


I really enjoy quilts & quilting.  Like I said, to me a quilt represents love, comfort, & home.  

God bless you if you've made it this far through my post ... lol!  I hope you enjoyed the photos.  Be sure to check out the Tuesday Display Chain post on Misi's blog ... 1890s Gable House Musings ... so you can visit other bloggers who have shared their quilts as well   : ) 

Monday, June 27, 2011

God Does Not Want Me To Mow

Apparently God does not want me to mow.  I was all set to go on Friday but the winds were so strong that it made it impossible for me to do the mowing because the clippings would've been blowing back at me most of the time.  On Saturday I got on my mowing clothes, revved up my iPod & went out to the garage to get on the mower & found it had a flat tire.  Who knew how difficult it would be to figure out how to fix it.  By the time we searched the manual (no help at all), called the extended protection plan line (no help), called the Husqvarna help line (not open on weekends), called Lowes (no idea what to do but they would try to find out & yes, they did sell replacement tires), then went to Lowes to buy a new tire & get second-hand information on how to remove & replace the blown one, then came back home, & then sat for I don't know how long trying to follow their directions which were not as cut & dried as they sounded & resulted in 2 more phone calls to the store & quite a gash in John's finger ... it was too late to start mowing so we did some planting & weeding instead.  Yesterday morning I woke up at 6 a.m. to lightning, thunder, & quite a downpour so that ended any chance of mowing ... & this morning I'm sitting here reading the blogs that I follow & suddenly I could barely see the end of the driveway because the rain was pouring down so hard.  It has stopped now but I can hear thunder approaching.  Okay Lord ... I'll hold off on the mowing & go clean the upstairs bathroom instead   : )

I am somewhat proud of myself.  As I have mentioned, probably too many times, my husband & I were not sure when we moved here that we were going to stay & therefore we have a lot (A LOT) of moving boxes still packed & stuck here & there waiting for us to make a decision.  The thought was "why unpack them & then turn around & have to pack them again?"  The move here was so excruciatingly painful in so many ways that there is still a part of me that can not/will not say "we have decided to stay."  We haven't really made that decision but I kind of think the decision is being made for us?  I'm sort of thinking that we may as well settle in & make ourselves at home & then if 6 months from now we decide to move then so be it.  This thought just came to me within the past 2 months or so & therefore I kind of don't know what to do with it ... lol!  Anyway, I was doing some more decluttering of my craft room upstairs yesterday in preparation for the treadmill to be set up.  I took some unwanted/unnecessary things out to the garage (which sort of looks like Fibber McGee's closet even though I spent a couple days cleaning it last month) & then went to the hall closet where I have boxes of heaven knows what stored although I knew exactly what the 3 tall skinny boxes held.  Two of them held hearth brooms (which I bought to place near the fireplace in our next house ... always looking ahead, that's me) & the other held a candle thing that I bought 2-1/2 years ago when we were looking around to move to what turned out to be this house.  I opened the 2 boxes that held the hearth brooms & of course it was like Christmas since I had forgotten what they looked like ... & it was especially exciting because one of them held 2 brooms!  I had totally forgotten that I had purchased a whisk broom along with one of the hearth brooms!  Then I opened the box with the candle thing.  It has a metal hanging thing (the way I describe stuff is awe-inspiring, isn't it ... lol!) that you hang over a cupboard door & then you place this hand painted grubby battery operated candle on it.  Well, I don't have any cupboard doors to hang it on so I have kind of balanced it on the side of my kitchen cabinets which doesn't really look all that great but I had to put it somewhere.  It probably needs some kind of pipberry thingie for the candle to sit on & I probably need to either move it to another area or get that little shutter off the wall that is next to it.  What do you think?  (Please overlook the mess that is visible here & there.)



Baby steps I guess   : )

It's stopped raining now.  Maybe this is it & the ground will dry up enough to do some more planting later.  I really don't feel like going upstairs to clean that bathroom but it won't take very long ... & then maybe I'll talk myself into going to this huge junk place that is over in the next town, not too far from here.  I've only been there once before but it's like 2 or 3 huge buildings all together filled with old beat up rusty stuff.  Be still my heart ... lol!  Just what I need to do ... go out & bring home more stuff to try to find a place for   : )   If I go & get anything, I'll post about it here   : )

Have a wonderful blessed day!  Thanks for stopping by ... I always appreciate your visits & comments   : )

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Morning

"A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit dries up the bones."
Proverbs 17:22

I decided to share the above Bible quote today for 2 reasons.  First, it ties in with my blog friend Trace's decision to choose joy, & second, the doctor I visited last Tuesday made it a point to talk about it.  He was explaining to me how our attitude toward things can literally make us sick.  I am going to try to explain this as he did.  Apparently a lot of our illnesses have a connection to our blood.  Where are our blood cells made?  In our bones!  If the Bible tells us that a broken spirit (bitterness, hatred, anger, self-pity, etc) dries up the bones, then it certainly affects our blood & therefore illness will enter our lives.  Now I know you can't point at a child & say they have an incurable illness because of their bitterness & self-pity, but when a person is older & they are stricken with some sort of disease, they have 2 choices.  They can become bitter & angry, focus on "why me," & spend whatever time they have left on this earth making themselves & everyone around them miserable ... or they can choose to have a positive attitude finding joy in the things they can do & the people around them.

I have a very dear friend who has muscular dystrophy.  She was diagnosed with this disease at the age of 13 & was told that she wouldn't live past the age of 21.  At first she had a hard time dealing with this as she found her body not being able to do the things that other girls her age were doing ... but after a while she decided that she could either be miserable & chase everyone away from her, or she could choose to be happy & take advantage of as many possibilities as she could.  When she turned 21, her doctors told her "well, you won't live past 30."  When she turned 30, they said "you won't live past 40."  Today she is 58.  The dystrophy has robbed her of being able to do many things & has brought other complications with it ... congestive heart failure, Raynaud's disease, thyroid problems, & joint pains, just to name a few.  When I met her she could drive but needed to use a cane to get around.  Eventually she needed a wheelchair if she was going to be out & about for very long.  Then she needed to stay in the wheelchair all the time.  She cannot turn herself in bed.  She cannot even get out of bed.  She has a machine built into the ceiling of her bedroom which hooks around her chest & sort of drags her across the room to her wheelchair in the mornings.  She needs help with just about everything she does.  Right now the disease has progressed to the point where she cannot raise her arms more than a few inches above her waist.  She is housebound for the most part.  I do not know how I would handle these things if they were happening to me but my friend never complains.  She sews, paints beautifully, makes handmade lace, grows orchids, & has a degree in entomology.  She said once that she had the choice to either be bitter about having this disease & make everyone around her so miserable that they wouldn't want to be around her & she would end up bitter & alone, or she could choose to find joy where she could.  She chose joy.      

Sometimes when I find myself complaining about something, I will think of my friend & it's like an immediate wake-up call.  I can get out of my bed in the morning by myself ... no machine or help needed.  I can walk out into the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea.  I can wash my own dishes.  I can do my own laundry.  I can clean my own house.  I can weed my own garden.  I can drive myself anywhere I want to go.  I can shop & carry home my purchases.  I can decorate my Christmas tree.  

There is always something in our lives to be thankful for ... always something in which we can find joy.  There is a poem I memorized as a teenager because it made such an impact on me.  The title of the poem is Desiderata.  One of the last lines in the poem is "With all its sham, drudgery, & broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world."  It is.  We just need to choose a good attitude.  We need to choose joy.   

Saturday, June 25, 2011

How Do I Find "Specialty Blogs?"

I am wondering if it is possible to key in something somewhere that I'm interested in & have a list of blogs centering around that particular interest be displayed?  I would love to find some blog friends who enjoy making items from beeswax, other wax crafts, making braided rugs from wool, etc.

Since I didn't get out to mow yesterday I will be doing it today.  Whereas yesterday we had major winds that prevented me from mowing it looks as though there isn't a bit of wind at all today.  Not good for the heat factor but good for mowing.  Perhaps the landscapers will show up today & do some work.  I hope so.  They are taking their good old time doing anything.  How long has it been now since I contracted with them to do this work?  Seems like it's been at least 2 weeks.  The foundation hasn't even been touched.  One of them came one day & put some mulch around about 2/3 of our trees & bushes & needs to come back to finish the rest.  On another day he came & moved a small Japanese maple to the back of our property & in its place planted a blue spruce.  That's been the extent of it.  I must say that I'm getting a bit annoyed, especially since we have those huge willow bushes that are starting to overgrow their second repotting.  If the landscapers don't show up this weekend I'll have to call on Monday & see what's going on.  They had informed me that after they edge the beds around the foundation they will need to pretreat them & then wait 10 days until they can plant anything in them.  At the rate they are going it will be October before it all gets done!

Last night I worked some more upstairs trying to make a space for the treadmill & trying to put boxes & things in a semblance of order.  It feels like a losing game.  I need a LOT of space for the treadmill so it pretty much overshadows the entire room.  This is the room that is supposed to be my craft room.  I had envisioned building cabinets along one side of the wall, having a table in the center for me to work on ... a nice primitive space.  Alas, that's not going to happen.  There's nowhere else to put the treadmill so I'm stuck.  As I moved boxes & tried to find more space in closets to put things it really saddened me.  I've mentioned before that when we moved into this house things were so bad that we wanted to sell it & leave right away.  We have never "settled in" because the thought has always been that we are going to leave.  Now we aren't so sure.  I've never unpacked a lot of moving boxes, most of which have my crafting things, prim decor, etc.  I picked up a box to move last night that was not sealed & saw it was something I bought months ago ... actually several things like prim ditty bags filled with Sweet Annie, prim wax-dipped battery candles, prim dolls, cupboard tucks, etc.  How sad to have them hiding in boxes but such is life right now.

I'm sorry ... this is really bordering on a downer post, isn't it!  Sorry ... my ponderings have run amuck ... lol!  JOY!  Gotta remember my blog friend Trace's quest for JOY!  Okay ... what JOY can I find in all this stuff I've been rambling on about?  I guess that would be that come October I should have a pretty nice looking foundation ... lol!  And one of these days I will experience an overload of JOY when I get to unpack all these boxes & find all the goodies that are inside of them   : )              

I wish you a very blessed day filled with accomplishment &, of course, JOY!  Thanks so much for stopping by ... I always appreciate your visits   : )  

Friday, June 24, 2011

Anyone Interested In An Old Walking Wheel?

I have this old walking wheel & really have no room for it.  It's from the mid to late 1800s.  It's not in the best condition ... the wood is dry & faded & there is a bit of cracking/splitting in some places, the front (back?) leg needs a little shim to make it stay put (I have the shim), & there is a part missing (I believe it's the spindle).  I live in central Kentucky so you'd have to come get it ... but I am planning to make a little jaunt to Indiana in another week or two & will be heading to Pennsylvania sometime in September I think so I could always deliver it or meet you somewhere if you live in one of those places or along the way.

I never put it together when I brought it home last year but I took a photo anyway so you'd have an idea what it looks like.  I never bothered to put on the front (back?) leg but you can see it there on the right windowsill   : )


Just send me an email if you are interested at all   : )

I never got any mowing accomplished today ... too much wind ... but John & I did water all the plants & I was very dismayed to see how the weeds are growing like, well, weeds!  Gotta get out there & take care of them before they overrun everything!  Will probably start mowing tomorrow.  

While watering I did get to see something really special.  Remember the photo I posted last week of the eggs in the nest?  I went ahead & peeked in again today & this is what I found ...

  
You can't see clearly but there are 5 sleeping baby birds no doubt dreaming of mama or papa coming to feed them.  How wonderful to see something like this!  

The Joke's On Me

I woke up this morning to a very cloudy sky.  It certainly looked as though the rain was going to start pouring down at any moment.  I was thinking to myself "Oh boy ... another lazy day!"  (I know ... shame on me ... lol!)  However, after getting up, making myself a cup of Hot Cinnamon Sunset tea, & sitting down at the computer to check Weather.com, I got the "bad news" that it's just going to be cloudy today ... no chance of rain in sight ... so it looks like I'll be taking care of the mowing instead of lazing around daydreaming about all the things I'd like to do but doing nothing   : )   I really don't mind mowing.  It's nice to be out on the mower all by myself ... just looking at the sky & the clouds & all the things growing here & there, watching the birds swoop down to the newly mown areas to see what goodies have been unearthed for them to eat ... marveling at the work of God's hands.  It's a good time to think & to pray.  I just wanted to be lazy today ... lol!


Yesterday I had a follow-up with one of the doctors in Lexington where I'm thinking of transferring my care.  As I've mentioned before, I need to find 2 doctors because none of the doctors there seem to take care of everything that my doctor in Knoxville took care of for me.  This doctor I saw yesterday was beyond nice ... one of those doctors who actually sit & listen to what you tell them & don't make you feel like "hurry up ... I've got other patients waiting for me."  I could see he had great compassion for his patients & he was extremely knowledgeable in his field.  The icing on the cake was that he is a Christian & actually prayed for me before my examination!  However, there was a little bit of a problem when I told him it took my doctor in Knoxville 2 years to finally get me to the point where I was feeling better on this particular therapy & he indicated that this therapy was a bit too much & he felt like it needed to be lessened quite a bit.  He is also very expensive & his care plan consists of paying for a year's worth of care up front or breaking it up over a period of 12 months.  Those 2 things just aren't sitting too well with me.  I've written an email to the patient advocate asking her for some additional information but I also will be meeting with a third doctor in the near future (my final option) to see if that will work out any better for me. 

I was emailing with my blog friend Jen yesterday & she mentioned gourds & it jogged my memory ... I had always wanted to grow miniature gourds to dry & paint as Christmas ornaments!  No surprise ... I immediately started Googling miniature gourd seeds & ordered some to plant along the back fence.  By the time we get done planting things along that fence you won't see the fence anymore ... lol!  Anyway, I bought miniature birdhouse gourd seeds which will be great to dry for ornaments & then I also bought something called miniature Chinese edible gourds which actually look like small orange pumpkins.  How great will they be dried & used for fall decorating!!!  I'm thinking I'm probably getting a late start planting them but it stays warm here into October so there shouldn't be much of a problem.  

Well, I need to stop stalling & get on my mowing clothes.  I hope you will all have a wonderful day!  And to those of you who get to have a lazy day, hooray for you ... lol!   

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Giveaway at BitterSweetAndPrim

Heather over at BitterSweetAndPrim is having a surprise giveaway which ends on July 14th!


Heather has a fun blog to visit & she also has a selling blog that is a definite must see ... The Keeping Room.    

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Weight Loss Update #5 - & Catching Up

I'm getting a late start on my blog today.  John & I had to run a few errands this morning & time just got away from me.

I am pleased to report that my weight loss amounted to 5 pounds this past week!  What's even more surprising to me is I am completing week #5 of my diet today!  I thought it was week #6!  In total thus far I have lost 30-1/2 pounds!  Once again I don't really look any different but my clothes are looser (not so loose that I have to go down a size though) & I feel better.  I had to laugh while standing in the checkout line at Walmart this morning.  You know how they have those tabloid papers on display as you stand in line.  The headlines are sure good for a laugh sometimes.  Anyway, I actually reached over & took one of the magazines out of the display because it showed a picture of a celebrity wearing a bikini & the caption read "(celebrity's name) Sheds 30 Pounds!"  I showed it to John & said "Look at this!  I've lost 30 pounds & I don't look like this!"  He very thoughtfully said "Oh honey, you know how they airbrush the photos in those magazines!"  Yep ... he's a keeper   : )

I've been spending the past couple days cleaning the house & straightening it up a bit.  I also did some planting & yard work yesterday for a few hours because the predicted rain passed us by.  It doesn't look like much but I did get my other 3 bittersweets planted so I now have a group of 5 ...

      
Not a very good photo but you get the idea.  I planted them along the fence that separates the front of our land, which is cleared, from the back of our land which grows wild & can be harvested for hay.  We really ought to look into getting some cows or something back there.  I kind of feel like it's a shame to let all that land go to waste.  I also planted a hollyhock ...

  
Sad, sad picture of a sad, sad hollyhock that has been waiting for planting for much too long.  I hope it survives.  I bought some small hollyhock plants when we first moved here but they didn't make it.  I want to grow some hollyhocks because they were my dad's favorite flower.  My mother told me that once but it is a mystery to me why she never planted any.  She had a huge garden ... a few of them actually ... with all kinds of flowers but no hollyhocks.  This ... & hopefully a few others to follow some day ... will be in memory of my dad   : )   I planted it along the same fence as the bittersweets.  

Someone mentioned my bifocals the other day & it jogged my memory that I hadn't updated anyone on them!  I wore them all the first day & half the second day.  After experiencing what I can only imagine would be what people see when they are on some kind of hallucinogenic drug, I took them back to where I bought them.  The gal who sold them to me did some measurements & guess what ... they were off a couple millimeters here & there!  She said "No wonder things are bowing for you!!!"  I am now awaiting a new pair with the promise that I will be able to wear them.  Thankfully I didn't toss away my old readers!

I need to do some more straightening up upstairs.  Remember the treadmill?  It's still in pieces.  I read the assembly instructions & thought "no way."  I saw a phone number to call if you wanted to hire someone to come put it together for you.  Sounded like money well spent to me.  I am awaiting a call from whoever this person will be to schedule a time for them to come to do the assembly.  It's actually a good thing since (1) they will supposedly know what they're doing, & (2) if something goes wrong with it, it's their fault, not mine.  The company said the person's assembly work is guaranteed.

Dinner is going to be a bit late tonight.  I decided doing my blog post took priority ... lol!  Thanks for stopping by to visit!         

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday's Display Chain - Personal Pride

This is my first time joining in on the display chain although I always check out the postings when Misi does one of these   : )

This one & only photo I am sharing was taken of me & my husband back in November 2008.


What am I proud of???  I am proud of the fact that I am still here & functioning!

In 2009 we moved into our current home.  It was a nightmare from the start.  Our real estate agent brought her husband along on all our viewings.  They both professed themselves to be good Christians & acted like they were our friends.  Her husband was a contractor.  Every time we viewed a home he would point out things & say how they were done below his standards.  He stated that he was a "perfectionist" who used only the highest quality of materials & when he built a home or remodeled one.  They even took us to their own home, which they said he built, to show us the great work he did.  Based on spending time with them, seeing their own home, & the fact that they were Christians, we hired him to do some remodeling work in this home when we purchased it.  We stayed in Tennessee while the work was being done & only saw it the day we moved in.  I won't go into details but we ended up paying him $20,000 for what turned out to be absolutely horrible workmanship.  I had other contractors come to give us an estimate of what it will cost to fix the damage he caused.  It will cost a lot.  I've gone to 3 attorneys, the BBB, & the state attorney general's office.  No one can make him pay for what he did to us.  

From that first day we moved in I fell into a deep depression which lasted for a total of 20 months.  The fact that this man got away with what he did to us haunted my every waking moment.  I lost interest in all the things I always enjoyed.  I was depressed all the time.  I was miserable when I woke up in the morning because I had to face another day, & I looked forward to when it would be time to go to bed again so I could escape the reality of my life for a few hours.  I didn't want to go anywhere or do anything.  I even tried counseling but that was a waste of time.  What finally turned me around was a candlemaking forum acquaintance.  This poor woman had suffered from depression in the past & when I mentioned I was depressed she was very sympathetic & asked me to talk with her about it.  After hearing my story, she pointed out that I & my house were victims of this man & that I needed to stop letting him victimize us again & again & again.  I had never looked at it like that before.  It really helped me to start conquering my depression!

Here it is just 3 months later & I do not have depression hanging over me 24 hours a day!  I am working out in the yard, gardening, losing weight, exercising, collecting things, studying gemology, learning German, planning craft projects, thinking about making a selling blog, thinking about ways to make this house a home, & good grief ... I'm even considering staying here instead of moving away!  I'm smiling for Pete's sake!  I see the good in life!  Dare I say it ... I am happy!

I have many, many things to be thankful for ... my salvation, my health, my abilities, my possessions, a roof over my head, food to eat, good friends, & family members who love me, not the least of which is my wonderful husband of 35 years ... my high school sweetheart who I met 43 years ago.  He grows dearer to me every day.  These are all wonderful blessings which I lost sight of because of depression.  Overcoming that depression is my source of personal pride   : )

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Morning

"To everything there is a season ...."
Ecclesiastes 3:1

The quote I chose for today has a special meaning to me.  When I was 28, John & I were living in Florida in our first home.  Our daughter Kati was 2-1/2 at the time.  I was a stay-at home mom & making ends meet was tough.  My days consisted of taking care of Kati & the house.  This one particular summer my 18-year-old niece decided to come for a visit for 2 weeks.  Every day she went to the beach, went shopping, met kids her own age & went to parties in the evenings, etc.  Meanwhile there I was sitting at home with Kati, taking care of her & worrying about the mortgage & all the other bills.  I was feeling somewhat sorry for myself & also somewhat jealous I guess.  I had a very good friend back then who was 10 years older than I was.  I mentioned to her how I was feeling & her response was "Remember Shirlee, to everything there is a season."  She went on to explain that not so long ago I had been 18 & it was me who was going fun places & doing fun things without any responsibilities to worry about.  I was now in a new season ... making a home & taking care of my family.  I had my season of being 18 ... it was now my niece's turn to have that season.  What my friend said really made an impression on me.  She was right!  It was light a light bulb went on in my mind & it really turned my thinking around.  Over the years there have been times that I have needed to remind myself "to everything there is a season."  Not quite in the same way as back then but it really helps to remember these words from time to time.  Many seasons are behind me but there are still many seasons ahead.  I'm sure these words will serve me in the future as well   : )    

Yesterday I woke up to rain & storms & was able to get a few much needed things done inside the house.  Wouldn't you know it ... woke up this morning to more rain & storms.  In fact, we had quite a downpour!  I'm sure the plants are loving this.  It's been so very dry here.  Looks like I'll be getting a few more inside things taken care of today.  Unfortunately there are so many of them that it's hard to choose which one to do first!  A friend (I wish I could remember who she was!) said to me not long ago "Instead of sitting & trying to decide what to do, just pick 1 thing & start doing it!"  That is what I did yesterday.  I got some dusting done & swapped out my meager spring decor & replaced it with some meager summer decor.  My decor really isn't all that meager ... it's just that, as I've mentioned before, we have been struggling with "should we stay here or should we leave" & so I still have things packed in moving boxes from 2 years ago.  I know I've got some pretty neat stuff, not that I can actually remember it all, but it's all packed away until we decide what we're doing.  Here are some photos of the few things I did get to do.  The first one is the top of my pie safe.  I added a more summery doll & the Americana sewing drawer I purchased on Etsy last year.

      
Unfortunately I still have Billy Jacobs' Spring Fever print on the wall there.  I thought I had a summer picture to swap it out with but I don't.  It will have to do until I find one   : )   The next few photos are of my dry sink.




The same Etsy artist painted the breadboard here & the sewing drawer on the pie safe.  The last I heard from her she was taking a break from painting but I hope she starts doing it again because she really has a great talent!  That little heart-shaped pillow was made for me by a dear friend in Italy.  It says "Love and Blessing for this special home."  Thank you again Laura ... I love it   : )   

I decided to give you a closer look at the dolls on top of the dry sink.  Three of these dolls were made by Trudy Honeycutt who some of you may know from Crows in the Attic Primitives.  She has a blog with links to her Etsy shop & sources for her patterns (click here) & also sells her things on Simply Primitives & Lemon Poppy Seeds.  I just love her dolls!  The little one in the plaid dress wearing a bonnet ... unfortunately I cannot remember who made that one   : (  She was an Etsy purchase quite some time ago.  



Next is a picture of my hutch.  You will probably think "I don't see any Americana decorating here."  That's true but it was pretty much covered with papers & dust so I'm proud to have it clutter free ... for a while at least   : )   I always declutter stuff & think it will stay that way but it never does   : )   


You will notice that I have a few pieces of Polish pottery.  Not prim decor, I know, but a couple years ago my husband was working in Germany & I got to be there with him for a while.  We took a bus tour to Poland where I bought most of these pieces.  My maternal grandparents came to this country from Poland so I wanted to see their homeland.  Having this pottery sort of makes me feel connected to my roots.  

Finally here is one last picture.  It's not a very good picture but do you recognize these wool apples???


They were made by my good blog friend Trace.  She had a giveaway a while back for 5 of these apples.  I really hoped I would win it.  I didn't, but I knew that I was going to try to get some for myself anyway   : )   After the winner was announced I contacted Trace & asked if I could buy some & she said yes ... & here they are   : )   My scale is not in a very decorative spot right now but don't the apples look wonderful in the little pan?  If you haven't visited Trace's blog, you really should pay her a visit (click here).  She's a delightful person with a really enjoyable blog   : )

Well, surprisingly it's not time for bed ... lol!  Seems like I've been writing this post all day!  If you've made it this far, I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my home & that you will have a truly blessed day!  

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Giveaway at The Primitive Hutch

Robin at The Primitive Hutch is giving away a beautiful handmade doll, a Blue MooN begiNNiNgs Design, to celebrate her 1-year blog anniversary which was on the 16th & also her birthday which was on the 17th!  Congratulations & best wishes Robin!!!  

  
The deadline is July 1st so hurry over to pay a visit & become a follower of her delightful blog   : ) 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Giveaway at Thistle House Primitives

Terri at Thistle House Primitives is having her first giveaway & it's a wonderful patriotic penny rug!  I really admire people who can make penny rugs.  I'm a total washout at it.  Head on over to visit her blog & to enter to win this fabulous penny rug ... but hurry!  The giveaway closes at midnight, June 18   : )

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Butterfly Garden - Almost Done!

Worked hard on the butterfly garden today.  I can't say I'm totally pleased with it yet.  I really don't like how the zinnias look there.  My plan is to remove them, put them in a smaller garden near the walkway, & replace them with a perennial ... a Black-Eyed Susan perhaps?





There are 2 bee balms, a lavender, 4 liatris, 4 delphiniums, 2 tritomas, 2 yarrows, 2 coneflowers, & a "mystery plant" there on the right side.  If anyone knows what it is, please clue me in.  The foilage is purple & green, there are small pink flowers, & it is quite bushy.  Butterflies love it of course   : )

I also took "before" pictures of our foundation but I will save them for another day.  We went to the nursery this morning to talk with the landscaper & pick out some plants.  We will be getting some sort of grass that has pink blooms, holly, globe wintergreen boxwood, silver frost butterfly bushes, some kind of tall sort of bamboo-looking things, & 2 or 3 hydrangeas.  There are probably some others but I can't think of them right now.  Of course we've already got those huge willow bushes we bought about a month ago & had to transplant into larger pots.  Actually had to transplant one again today because it's growing so quickly.  I found out something about those willows ... in the springtime they get yellow catkins on them, then in the summer the foliage is variegated green & white & by summer's end turns a bit pink.  In the winter the wood stems turn bright red.  And to think I was just happy to have the variegated leaves ... lol!  I also got to finally pick out a Christmas tree.  I have been wanting to plant a blue spruce here ever since we moved in.  Christmas lights you know   : )   I forget what this one is called but it was shaped very nicely without any bare spots.  Hard to find them like that!

While taking pictures I decided to check out one of our smoke trees.  I've noticed a bird flying in & out of it on occasion.  Sure enough there's a nest in there ... & look what's inside!

    
Aren't those eggs just so pretty?  The nest is very close to the top of the tree, not very well covered by leaves or anything.  I just had to move 1 branch aside to take the picture.  I always wonder what the poor birds do when there is a heavy rain & their nests are exposed like that.

The landscaper's assistant came this afternoon & put mulch around almost all our trees & bushes already planted.  He didn't realize how many we had ... lol!  He will be back tomorrow to finish the others & the landscaper is also planning to come here to edge the planting beds & pretreat them.  He said we then have to wait 10 days before it will be safe to dig the beds & plant things.  John & I had to dig up some things to get them out of the way.  All my iris plants were along the side of the front porch.  I need to find a new home for them.  I was thinking of putting a raised bed somewhere in the yard.  We also dug up 4 lilac bushes that should be ashamed to call themselves lilacs.  No flowers ... just green leaves.  They were in front of a concrete wall next to the driveway.  We will put them somewhere we can't see them.

I guess I've rambled on long enough in this post ... lol!  Tomorrow I'm off to Lexington ... again ... to get a lab test done.  On the way home I'll be stopping at the place where I got my bifocals to tell them exactly what I think of them.  Hopefully they can figure out what is wrong.  It's been a busy day & I can't believe it's after 9 p.m. already!  I think I'll sleep well tonight.  I hope all of you will too   : )