Saturday, December 23, 2006


Some while back I offered to put the prairie points on DS Isobel's king-size quilt. As I recall she had cut a few and I whisked them up with the rest of the fabric and brought them home to await Nines' quilting completion. I don't remember when I got the quilt from Nines, but that's been a while, too.

Well, I was waiting for matching border fabric for binding, which DS sent in my christmas box, so no more excuses. I was procrastinating a little (procrastination is one of my flaws, sigh) - but with reason. Upon receipt of the binding fabric, I set out to press the cut squares. All this time, in the back of my mind I wondered..."how ever will I get these things attached evenly?" And then, "how ever will I manage this monster on the floor as I pin them unevenly." Mind you, I wasn't sorry I offered, but you know how it is. Sometimes those sincere offers turn into bigger jobs than you first visualize.

Can you tell? Nines I'm in the throws of holiday denial. Surely I have time to finish off this quilt before I start baking.

All that worry for nothing. Those little points went down in perfect precision first time!! I BET SHE KNEW. Isobel probably figured out the dimensions and knew it would take 4-inch squares before she finished the top. Not only that, the king-size quilt spread quite nicely on my queen-size bed with the 'quilt vault' footer. THANK YOU DB-ANDY! When I got to the third side, I even figured out I could sit in Grandpa Millers oak chair and pin away without as much as the tiniest bend in my spine. (I must have gotten the slow genes in this mix.)

The moral of the story is, "Don't put it might be a whole lot easier than you think [especially with the help of clever siblings]." Now go try and tell that to a dyed in the wool procrastinator!

NOTE: The picture won't tell, but the quilt piecing and applique on the apples is admirable. Nines quilted inside each apple with a different pattern. My favorite is the corner one, swirled with the worm poking out its little nose. How clever!

Thursday, December 14, 2006


It’s one of those little jobs that talks to you in your sleep. You can’t put it down. A low black ink cartridge keeps me from printing out DDIL’s wedding pictures, so I started at the other end of wedding memories. A full tray of photos are follow the leader(s).

DD-Laurie was the first to wed in May 1986. Always a ‘do it myself’ kid, she ran the full gamut for her wedding. Designed and made her gown, the bridesmaids’ dresses, the flower girl’s dress and even the ring bearer’s suit. She also designed, baked and decorated her wedding cake. She did let me do the flowers (though I’m sure she’d have done as well or better). A bit Victorian; all white - everything. It was a very crisp, fresh wedding.

The local paper ran a piece on Laurie’s gown. I started my scrapbooking from that photo shoot. And there are loads and loads of pictures taken at the wedding to choose from when I move on to color – another day, depending on how my dreams progress. Right now I’m looking at family and friends in those pictures and remembering that first of wedding days was on a Sunday afternoon - Mother’s Day. Whew, were we tired!

And of course, I simply had to include photos of the flower girl (then and now), because she was married just last month and DD Laurie designed and made her (another) white wedding dress for the occasion. As Nines would say, “How cool is that!”

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


My project for this month is to get a few wedding pictures out of old cling-style albums into safer storage. The plan is to make scrapbook pages for each of our children from a few of the best wedding shots, and catalog the rest. Since I had no pictures of youngest DS Craig's wedding, request was made and quickly filled by DDIL Lisa.

This picture came by e-mail today. Looking at it fills my heart with wonder. The toddlers in this shot are now 19 and soon 18; and the rest of us have a lot more white hair, too. [And, in case you're wondering, Nines looks a bit peaked, because she's in premature labor...poor baby.] Oh, but I think we're ALL beautiful!

What a sweet host of memories a single photo can evoke. And aren't all pictures like that? I sometimes wonder if I would have any memory at all were it not for snapshots to prompt it. And pictures definitely fill out stored memories. I know there are photos that bring back my own childhood in ways long since lost otherwise.

So I guess I'll hang onto these timeless treasures. You know what they say, "In case of fire, grab the picture albums!" And thank you, Lisa're a treasure!

Friday, December 08, 2006

For Nines - DS's back yard / herb garden ... NOT related to post :)
A friend of ours coined the phrase ‘medical revolving doors,’ noting that once primary doctor’s care considered a condition, it’s doors revolved – between all known cohorts – until everyone got a stab at you. The friend called it sharing the bounty … tongue in cheek, maybe sharing more fee than wisdom.

I have my toe in that revolving door again. Yesterday, my D-twin-S wrote about my visit to the hospital for tests, “Sorry you had to be in the land of barbarians.” DS is an RN (the best I’ve ever seen) and knows whereof she humorously speaks truth. This time the doors revolved in a comedy of confusion, too.

The doctor, who was seeing drop-ins in family physician’s stead, told me I could just ‘drop in’ the imaging center anytime for kidney/bladder x-rays. When I called to be sure (Rule # 1: Never trust a doctor under 30, no matter how pleasant) I was told in answer to my questions about the procedure that (1) the dye is the same as is used in cardiac cath’s; (2) test must be pre-scheduled; (3) patient’s with dye allergy must have the procedure done at a hospital instead of imaging center; and (4) there is a 24-hour prep for the test. I was given the phone number for scheduling at the hospital and that call led to further discoveries: the ordering Dr. would have to supply Rx for pre-dosage steroids, a 24-hour (colonoscopy type – ugh) prep-kit as well as an order for bloodwork 48+hrs post test. More phone calls and another trip to pharmacy so that I myself could do the prep, take the pills (prednisone and benedryl), stop the pills (diabetes drugs) and have the bloodwork a few days after the test to see if my kidneys can tolerate resuming the diabetes meds. And of course pay the bills. . . which always goes unmentioned.

As sometimes happens, the prep was worse than the test. Sorry guys, but colon cleansing is barbaric! The steroids make me wired - I slept maybe 2 hours before night between that and tummy rumbles. But, the Benedryl helped me rest some during the test - which ran a 2-hour course, trying to lie still on a cold steel table. I noted that the equipment might have been around when DS David had his first kidney x-rays in 1969. On the bright side, the dye-needle went in with one poke instead of the usual 3-4 and only a moderate amount of subsurface probing; and that probing nurse brought blankets – heated ones!.

A few hours after returning home from my exciting adventure, my flesh started crawling. Yep, a look in the mirror found swollen eyes, red neck and drew the obvious conclusion that the pre-dose steroid needed a boost. More phone calls and another trip to pharmacy took another five hours. Let's just call this little dance the Barbarian Shuffle. By this time I’m saying, BEAM ME UP SCOTTY, I want Bones’ hand held scanner and 30-second diagnosis!!!

Lame humor aside, the results were good…no major problems, just a few more revolving doors.

Further, for those of you who are/know good health care providers, I truly do appreciate modern medical science and am grateful to have had first hand experience with life-saving intervention. I thank God for those who with insight, dedication and compassion serve needing patients…for such care makes the rest of the land of barbarians bearable.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Luxury's Lap

Does this not look like resort living?

We traveled to Florida for Thanksgiving holidays, spending a few days on either coast. First, DH's family (except DBIL Paul) met in Ormond Beach Sunday-Thursday. This included the typical rounds of easy company, shopping at St. Augustine outlet mall, dinners together at DSIL Eva's and a holiday feast at DSIL June/Bob, for which DD Laurie/family joined us. The weather was at first quite cool - we left fruit and excess food on the screened porch 'refrigerator' - but warmed as the week went on. All of our family gatherings seem to gather around food, and T-day just magnifies the proportion. What would T-Day be without dressing, smoked turkey, ham, onion pie, Laurie's fresh cranberry salad and desserts [many of which have evolved into low-fat/sugar versions]. I still vote with the kid who said she liked the bread the turkey ate best, though.

We hitched a ride back over to the gulf coast for a few days with DD Laurie where we were put up in luxurious style. The pic is a corner scene from the guest, make that suite. We rattled around in that suite in total privacy - an area about the size of our living quarters here at Teelside. There's a big ole recliner beside the brass bed and GF took up station there. We hitched a cold/respiratory virus on the east coast; my round was quite mild; his was anything but mild. For the duration of our stay the poor baby reclined with remote in hand. Fox News with a little CSI/Law and Order kept him reasonably distracted from misery. The programs were reruns, but since we've lived sans TV since 1999, that was not an issue.

Beside sneaking in LOTS of extra affection between kids/grandkids, I had the first-in-a-lifetime joy of attending a namesake's wedding. How sweet! Penijean and Brian were married on the Gulf beach - a warm and casually beautiful affair. The weather was perfect and in my sentimental state I could but believe that heaven was smiling on this precious pair.

Such lovely experiences lead me to wish I could be everywhere at once. We have such a wonderful circle in which to bounce around!!! But it's good to be home, too.
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Saturday, November 18, 2006


It has been a week for reflection. This time last year Wayne was entrenched in CICU, facing a second open heart surgery in less than eight hours. The cardiologist’s nurse assistant was standing in a far dim corner with tears streaming down her face – trying to be unseen. The cardiologist was agitated, the surgeon sober … there wasn’t a lot of hope floating around.

Still there was love enough and faith enough to fill that space and stretch across the miles into eternity. God answered prayers – ours and yours. So here we are a year later, especially given to thanksgiving for time and memories that might not have been.

None among my friends and family would think of giving thanks but once a year, I’m sure. Still, it seems to me that along side our prayer list, we should keep a thank You list – lest we become presumptuous, ungrateful children. Our blessings are indeed countless.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!
Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
Remember His marvelous works which He has done,
His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth…

PSALM 105:1-5 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Yesterday was (late) (o.k., very late) fall cleaning day. I had been pondering since October’s knee surgery how to begin that little task. Our household has been running pretty much on a lick and a promise for several months now. You know - a lick at the dishes and a promise to mop after I sweep sometime soon. Even I can tolerate only so much dust and clutter, so the time was at hand.

But where to start? A list of course. And then I took the arbitrary notion to start out with a pain pill instead of waiting for a miserable end. My daddy always said there was more than one way to skin a cat. (Wherever did that expression come from?) To my way of thinking, my day needed a little help and it turned out not to be overindulgent, after all. The list had very few check-offs at my giving out point; but clean windows, curtain and rug washing along with regular tasks was a real good start. Today, cleaning the tea shelves, bathroom and computer corner seemed a breeze – without medical assistance. Still have to sweep/mop the floors tomorrow – the paper trail to/from the computer took too long to rid/file today – but that looks quite doable from here. So my skinny cat took three days and a lortab boost, but she’s sleek and trim and ready to relax, snuggle up in. A little cleaning can surely lift a spirit.

For a sit down job after cleaning the computer space I ripped some CD’s onto my hard drive. Now I won’t have to shuffle between Brightman, Beatles and Beethoven CD’s on the single player – just think of all the time I’ll save for leisurely pursuits. And this blogging spot is much more inviting.

There’s more than one way to keep a ripening apple on a skinny tree limb, too, as the photo will attest. GF engineered 5-gallon bucket supports which, like those resewn seams, “ain’t pretty, but it’ll hold.”
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Monday, November 13, 2006


I've had a couple of little fun projects under foot the last while. First I serged together several utility aprons in adult and children sizes. Then a host of tea napkins. Imagine a white-headed granny with sprouting French twist huddled over the serger...rzzzz-click -click, rzzzz-click -click, rzzzz-click -click, rzzz-rzzz-z-z-z-z-snip...four sides, pausing to turn each corner then cutting the thread at the end. Fourteen sets of napkins (only four per set, plus 15-16 scrappy extras) - that's way over 50 knots to tie as GF sat getting his nightly Western novel fix. At least I was a bit better at turning those corners when I finished than when I began. Some of the napkins got a little lace trim and some didn't need it.

In each instance, I piled aprons/napkins into an envelope and whisked them off to never never land about as quickly as they were done. I didn't even press the napkins - for shame! No pictures for show and tell, either. Maybe the Indiana organizer will think to share a snapshot or two. . . while she's sitting around eating sugar-free bon bons and drinking de-caf tea. *Snicker.*

We had a fun weekend with DGS- Josiah. He called to ask his GF if he could "sleep over today." GF answered, "We don't sleep during the day." We drug him to Pomeroy OH for visitation with friends, evening church services and then back for a late bedtime - for which we were all ready. We did sleep over until after 8 o-clock this morning too. Josiah was quite impressed with GF's smoked venison roast and Bambi jerky. And GF about talked his leg off as they made outdoor rounds today...which, if you know Josiah, you know is something of a role reversal.

About now I just hope the hurried trip to the post office sent today's parcel through the gate to Indiana and not one akin to the pictured Teelside "gate to nowhere." Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 09, 2006


The subtle rainbow of fabrics were quite a find. Together with the one sent off to Nines for her own use, I grabbed up backing for eight quilt tops in one fell swoop....for a bargain price of under $10 per quilt. Whoever heard of such a thing? I had one more quilt to match, but didn't find what I wanted so resisted. Ironically, the one I didn't match was the first one I pieced. All these pretty pieces, except the browns on the corner, will be stashed away for future delivery to In where their mates await completion. Their mates aren't anxious or lonely...I'm sure they're keeping each other happy company as they wait contendedly in that workshop of wonder.

But perhaps I should consider storing my future quilt tops here for a while, lest the added numbers get burdensome. I have my fun putting them together and fully trust the hands that store them for quilting whenever. I truly don't care if they don't get done in my lifetime...I know they won't end up in a yard sale or thrift shop. But one really shouldn't over tax a dear daughter, should one.
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Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Nines was right - it took two pounds of rice to fill this big fat hen. But isn't she just so cute! She'll be laden down with pins in no time, so no, I do not think she is too big or too fat. Besides she has enough heft to hold down pattern pieces sans pins and GF's mail when the doors are left open.

You'll recognize the blocks from the gorgeous quilt Nines made for Abel. I loved the unusual colors in that quilt and the star in the corner, didn't you?

And as Abel lives in my heart, it's only fair and I'm very pleased to give him his own place at my (sewing) table.
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Thursday, October 26, 2006


I’m starting with these slates because they are my ONLY claim to productivity in weeks. No sewing, no writing (you knew that); and very little cooking for shut-ins or residents, housekeeping, etc. We have traveled a bit, but I’m slow about recording that as well.

Back to the slates – they are part of a craft project which I took to Nines this week. They represent but two and a half days labor – with lots of breaks. It was slow starting, which happens when you haven’t held a paintbrush forever, but progressed at decent speed. I was hurrying at the end and it shows; but that’s the way crafts sometimes go so I won’t point out the hurry flaws. Nina was pleased, so that’s all that matters.

We took a couple days out to deliver the slates, some
extra/empty canning jars and some downstairs junk to Indiana. It was a good visit as always. GF could not be content to let Nines and I go Chinese alone, so he and I had a lovely ‘day out’ with just Nines (who can make anyone’s day extraordinary, as you know). We went by the nursing home for a brief visit with Bill’s mom, by the used book store to add to GF’s Z Grey and L’Amour collection and then on to lunch. It was a joy to watch GF relish the oriental buffet. Less home cooking builds an appetite for flavorful food and he does enjoy hot and spicy – any genre.

Other October Accounting: The first of the month found us at Niagara Falls – the Canadian side. We spent a few days there with GF’s DS/BIL, June/Bob. It was a great trip and we needed the full three days in Ontario to soak in the grandeur of the falls and surroundings. On the way back south we stopped for a brief visit with DB, Andy. I liked that as much as the falls. The second week of October found me at ambulatory surgery for one-day knee
repair. They trimmed a frayed radial meniscus, found some of arthritis beginning and sent me on my way quickly. By now, I’ve almost healed from the procedure externally, but still have to baby the knee for a little while.

It’s bow hunting season here at home. GF went out the first time this morning and again this afternoon. His forays into the woods will make a little space for me to apply all that Nines taught me about postcard making and probably dig into a little apron serging and seasonal quilt piecing. At the moment, I need to get some clothes out of the dryer and finish making those rye rolls. Yep, things may be returning to normal…or as close to normal as probable around here.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Wayne discovered the magical kingdom that is Pocahontas County when his ‘blood brother’ moved to Seebert and invited him for a summer visit. In taking the 3-4 hour Greyhound bus trip from Charleston to Hillsboro the adventure was on! The boys camped on an island in the Greebrier River, fished off the cat rock, caught and sold bait for extra cash, and roamed the countryside – including frequent hikes across the low-water bridge into Watoga State Park territory. They were Tom and Huck building memories to last a lifetime.
Watoga was the one topic GF was not ever shy about discussing. Our dating phone calls were limited to 20 minutes and his teenage escapades there with Tom were an easy, frequent way to fill his side of the conversation. Stood to reason that Pocahontas County would be his first choice for vacations as an adult; and his first real vacation – apart from family visitations – was our honeymoon. Yep, Watoga State Park – no other consideration. We stayed in Cabin #32, a tiny, rustic one-room suite secluded behind a fence of rhododendron at the far end of Pine Run. We arrived about 1:30 a.m. to find the porch light on and the key in the door. (Such innocent times – last week keys were picked up in a sealed envelope at the office bulletin board, but that would still be too risky for most city life.)
I’ve now lost track of how many times we’ve stayed at Watoga. We’ve shared the park with friends and family on several vacations; one time we stayed two weeks (one with our children and another with the Wayne’s whole family); three of our children honeymooned there as well. So, yes, the Park has claimed a fair chunk of family history. We’re back to going it alone most of the time lately, but we’re never alone. We clearly see our children’s footprints (as toddlers, teens and twenties) on cabin porches, in the picnic area and along the trails. A screen door banging revives scenes of bologna sandwich lunches, evening popcorn and songfests. We meet familiar spirits in the morning fog that hangs on the lake, across the many footbridges, up on the lookout towers and along the wooded pathways.
Watoga cabins were built in the 30’s as a CCC project. No two are alike and they are marvels of craftsmanship. Renovations – the necessary bane of time – including new kitchen appliances, showers and furniture change the complexion somewhat. They’ve kept as many of the wormy chestnut tables as possible, the new curtains are nice, the queen-sized beds are an improvement, but the new seating is a bust. (When bones get old one gets whiny about uncomfortable seating, I guess – save me an old rocking chair, please.)
Changes notwithstanding, Watoga is ever enchanting. Every year as September approaches the wood smoke wafting down the hollows calls us back. As we pull into the park entrance we take the five-mile course through the tunnel of trees edged with laurel and crisscrossed by a rocky waterway, breathe deeply of the mountain air, sigh our souls’ renewal and let the world roll off out shoulders. We soak it all up – be it for a few hours or a few days – then with kindred sigh and misty eyes we drive back through that same tunnel thanking the Lord for yet another sweet honeymoon.
Love to go - hate to leave - keep the magic tucked inside ... 'til next time.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Once upon a time - long, long ago…

…on a Sunday morning I decided to drop back a few pews and join a young woman (9 years my senior) who took warm and friendly interest in me. Little did I realize that when I sat down beside Eva I was usurping her younger brother’s customary seat. This brother was extremely shy, but somehow gathered enough courage to keep his spot on the pew by sitting next to me.

The rest, as they say, is history – I was 15, he was 16 and we’ve been sharing a pew (from there to Florida, to Pennsylvania and back to West Virginia) ever since. Three and a half years after that simple beginning, on September 2, 1963, we walked down the aisle between those first pews as bride and groom.

A few years ago, at a 50th anniversary party, Wayne asked my Uncle Corley what he most remembered about his and Aunt Justine’s garden wedding. Uncle Corley looking far away with misty eyes and sweet smile, said simply, “It was a great day!” My sentiments exactly! It hardly seems possible that Wayne and I have been married 43 years…and I can barely recall a time when I was not his wife. Our life has been so blessed and I thank God daily for our “happily ever after” romance.

With fiendish glee, Wayne tells our “how we met” story as if I were the spider than sat down beside her to lure him into my web. Truth is I did not know (or dream) that he usually sat there. But I now believe that my notion to sit by Eva and Wayne’s nerve to sit by me were, indeed, Providential – God knew I needed him!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I want YOU!!!

[The mother I cherish in memory]

Recently reading about DS-Ian clinging to Sarah, crying, “I want YOU!” as she was leaving him at kindergarten nearly broke my heart. What a heart wrenching saga. I’m fairly certain it was harder on Sarah than Ian, but Ian might not think so now.

When our DS-David was five he spent over a week in the hospital for major kidney surgery. How well I remember leaving him alone in that hospital room when visiting hours were over each day. (Hospitals had "no parents” rules in those days…shudder.) He was so good and brave, but it broke my heart to leave him. I still cry when I think of that.

Though partings are a part of life – hopefully a part of better things ahead – they can in the meantime be pretty painful.

On the other hand, it occurs to me that little Ian’s appeal truly touches a mother’s very nature. For as long as a mother lives this tender thread will abide within her: a mother will always want to be needed and need to be wanted ... because her nature is to nurture.

So, it matters not your age or hers, should you have/make opportunity today to show your mother that you cherish her motherhood, it would be a good thing. In fact, it would be a VERY good thing.

Am I preaching again? No, just nudging, if you're in the market for a nudge.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Does that title make you inwardly sigh or groan? I can see where it might. I’ve done a few waiting room stints in my time – most of them in medical facilities. Not fun.

Still a part of the waiting room syndrome is dear to me – opportunities to show love and concern, to be supportive of others’ needs, to share a burden, to pray together…or to be on the receiving end of all such goodness.

Of all the lessons found in waiting rooms, this is the dearest to my heart: learning to wait upon the Lord. We live such busy, rushed lives. But when life hangs in the balance we wait and know that God controls the minutes, the hours, the outcome. What heavenly comfort. The Psalmist said it best:

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits
And in His word I do hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning –
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning. (Ps. 130:5-6)

The context here is forgiveness/redemption, but is not the loving-kindness of our Lord our salvation in every dilemma? We want answers now, if not yesterday; we borrow trouble. We need not be in such a hurry. We need not be anxious. The answers and tomorrow are in the Lord’s hands. Surely we can wait on Him – and learn patience, praise, trust and comfort in the waiting.

Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!


Thursday, August 03, 2006


I'm fiddling around with a new camera program which has a 'blog this' tag for photos. If it works it will be a real time saver.

Couldn't resist this shot of a happy quilting retreat. Don't they look like they're having fun?

They might even wish they were back there again...SIGH
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Saturday, July 29, 2006


I generally compose off-line and paste, but at 6:00 AM, there's not much danger of tying up phone lines against incoming calls. The birds are twittering, it's a foggy FALL morning here in WV. Seems to me the harbingers of autumn come earlier all the time. Or maybe I only got around to noticing them on September school mornings when I was younger.

I has been a one cobbler blackberry, one peach. If you think the topping looks sparse on the cobbler, you're right. GF likes more berries than top, but I went a little too far this time - first time in 43 years he's said, "I need more bread." There are more blackberries for jam, but the peaches (one new dwarf tree) are all gone. The peach cobbler was good, but I do believe I'd rather have my fruit raw with juice running down to my elbows. More flavor and less guilt, too.

I finally got that Bible cover made. While the serger was out I also finished the edges on a few Hospice bibs. They're all shapes, sizes and colors; serged edges and velcro (new iron on fabric fusion type) fasteners; some with stray fabric, a few with Martha Stewart 'everyday' tea towels. The dish towels were brown/blue striped and I thought they might do well for male patients. Of course terry would work best, but I didn't have terry. So, as Nines says, it is what it is.

Also whipped up a few aprons for Nines. Didn't take a picture - just whisked them off in the mail before she ruined yet another shirt:) Besides I won't want a picture if they don't fit.

Friend Steph is taking me out for birthday lunch tomorrow. I really like eating out on Sundays.Today's cooking may be proportioned to share with Miss Marie tomorrow, since they never get to eat out - unless you count bring-in chicken or pizza. [Wonder if we can appreciate how closed in and lonely being a shut-in could be?] Might need to try that first cookie recipe from mama koch, though I don't see how it could beat the soft ginger!

Time to think about breakfast and sort some laundry....

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Everything I touch today seems to have the kiss of catastrophe upon it, so in final desperation I’ll try to blog a bit. That makes no sense, but I’m doing it anyway. Just to be perverse. Now you know where Nines gets it.

The little jar lights were hung on the balcony for the recent campers. DD Laurie couldn’t resist them, and when you add the flasher they look a little like lightning bugs in the jars. Really CUTE! I left them on until all the kids were safely home. I suppose I ought to take them down someday, but my heart doesn’t want to yet.

Erstwhile chores have taken FOREVER or been put on hold for sundry reasons:

  • broke another serger needle and can’t find the new package I know I bought recently
  • found that the fabric chosen for the Bible cover had a distinct smoke scent when I pressed it – off to the washer for it and other dark pieces of the same genre – (just cannot send a preacher a gift laden with tobacco smoke, you know)
  • miscalculated the book cover size, marked the horizontal for vertical, and why can’t I divide 9-5/8 by 2, today; so need to start over with basting lines
  • took three tries to print out a simple birthday card – I’ve given up on HP photo pgm, just let me lay it out with Word in a manual fashion. (Of course you know it’s a conspiracy of the printer/paper company – they want you to mess up those $1-per sheets and feel dumb about it; and Works is in on it too– they can’t identify an envelope size in simple inch increments a-tall)
  • the last of very few peaches from our ‘orchard’ need to brown bag it another 24-hrs…not that I’d risk making the sole peach cobbler of the season today…no, not today

Tomorrow’s trip to Charleston will feature a hundred stops – maybe that will make up for not accomplishing much today. Perhaps I’ll just put some warm socks on my cold tootsies, prop my feet and make a few tomorrow lists. There’s always hope for tomorrow…

Monday, July 24, 2006


I can't remember a summer without garden critters to adorn the kitchen window or stove. A potato that looks like a hippo, a squash riding piggy- back or this cute cuke who turned out to be not an ugly duckling after all.
We've gone from extremely hot and humid to lovely cool nights and pretty clear days here. Last week was green bean canning, applesauce and applebutter making time. I have a container of sauce in the freezer for making applebutter with Splenda one of these days. Any hints?
GF gave in (to Nines, mainly) and made an appt with the cardiologist. He had a pretty good week last week. Isn't that the way it goes - the symptoms always lessen after you call the doctor. He was extra tired yesterday, but I think he's worried about all the family worry and has promised himself he won't complain. Not that he ever did much of that, and not that I'm not a bit sceptical still :o)
Don't you just love it when you look down and your plate and everything on it is fresh from the garden? Yesterday - poor man's stew, green beans, beets, squash and cukes. And blackberry cobbler for evening dessert. Corn and tomatoes were missing, but should be ripe in a week or two.
[The cobbler was fair, but I'm thinking those thornless wonders make better jam than anything else.] The plan is to get out the serger I'm not to be tied to the keyboard for long. Besides, it's coffee time.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


I tried to post this pic with the last post, to no avail. Formatting this sight is an exercise in patience which usually leaves me thinking I have none.

R1: Joseph, Caleb, Timothy, Craig, Bill, Doy
R2: Caitlin, Hannah, Audrey, Beccie, David
Middle: Laurie
R3: Wayne, Peni, Paul, Philip, Nina, Daniel, Lucas
R4 Jacob, Josiah, John, Ben, Lisa, Jonathan
Front: Evabeth, Abraham, Rebekah

We had huge rain and another flooding last night. GF is out doing his survey.

Today is cookie day - the butter softens as we speak. Miss Marie must be feeling neglected by now. I think it will be oatmeal and lemon to make up for absence.

I'm thankful for a cold. At least the loss of appetite makes getting back on track with eating pretty easy. Proof that even misery has it's up side. Hope you're feeling better, Nines

Friday, July 14, 2006

Left Overs -- The Tip of the Teel-berg

THESE SHELVES ARE THE ANSWER TO DAVID'S QUESTION: Is there anything I can do for you, Mom? [I'm on the fast track to becoming the shelf lady, but aren't they lovely?] Leftovers that are meant to last...

There are always leftovers when the visit over the river and through the woods ends. Grandfather just left for the Post Office with a box of leftovers bound for Springport IN. We’ve been adding things since Tuesday evening, the box is full and I’m certain there will be yet a few trailers. That’s just the way it is. (We still had a bucket of toys, etc., from the summer camp of 2004). Some things to keep, some things to send back and some things to never-never-land (a.k.a. garbage or Goodwill).

Thanks to great planning (on the girls part, not mine) there is relatively little left over food. This can be either frozen or shared, including the mustard – we had lots of mustard. Breakfast for us this morning was cereal with blueberries and strawberries – glad they were left! The leftover bread would make a BIG pan of dressing, but it might just go to the birds.

The sweetest leftovers are memories:

  • 26 “guests” singing with us in worship at Clendenin – nothing could be more rewarding than having all of your children and grandchildren under one roof serving the Lord. As Aunt Luanne would say, “my heart leaps up.”!
  • Sermons by Doy (God’s Grace – which compels a sense of responsibility and gratitude) and David (The Power of the Mind – “a check up from the neck up” / “no stinkin’ thinkin’) and song leading by Luke, Joseph and Josiah
  • After dinner devotions with Wayne, Bill, Doy and Craig in turn for the days everyone was here. Subjects: Above All - Please God, Be Gentle, Reverencing the Lord’s Name and Being Close to God, respectively
  • Setting up the Moyer camper – Grandfather supervised (with level as well as the Teel “bubble in his head”) as the three Moyer men did most of the grunt work
  • Nina’s three youngest napping on the floor
  • All the children under 10 playing with large Lego set – a family tradition
  • Small, medium and large mud puppies in the creek
  • Grandchildren handing off firewood for stacking (after splitting and hauling it from the woods)
  • Smiles - especially handsome grandsons and lovely granddaughters
  • Timothy and Philip playing in the rain
  • Tin can lights along a path to the tents and a string of canning jar lights on the balcony to light the way home (thank you Laurie)
  • Midnight meadow madness, sponsored mainly by Uncles and nephews – feet covered with chiggers were tell-take signs of the culprits
  • David at the barn door - appearing first in the morning, for coffee making and his Bible reading
  • Ben’s bravery – with all those sticks and needles- and mending the ear on his diabetic bear
  • Having the Moyers at the Miller Reunion
  • Having Laurie to keep me on track – she did an admirable job at an impossible task
  • Hugs, hugs and more hugs
  • All those earnest prayers
  • Banana ice cream – David and Craig made it happen
  • Tea shelves - David and Craig made them happen, too
  • Bill being Bill (Phil 1:3)
  • Beautiful Children and Grandchildren – every single one of them

Let God be praised for safe passage, safe so-journey and precious memories! Our hearts are full to overflowing.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


I have a thousand memories of two weeks of Teelside camp outs. This is one of the sweetest. A lot of work, a lot of fun - it hardly seems possible that they've all pulled out today. But it is possible. I know because my bones feel like rubber and my brain is mush. Just think what condition I'd be in if our guys and gals hadn't done all the work! They did work hard. And they did play hard. And they did sleep little. But that's what cousin times are all about. Perhaps I have beaten Nina to the draw with the picture of Abe and Eva napping, but you can see how difficult it would be NOT to share it.
There'll be more stories and pictures -- when my bones and brain return.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Reunions and To-Do Lists

‘Tis the season - for Family Reunions and To-Do Lists. I’ve always been a fan of lists. I once read that the way to become successful is to list every day the 5 most important tasks at hand and accomplish them in order. Completing only one most important task a day leads to success. I suppose more than one would make you even more successful. Lists are very helpful; and these days they are absolutely essential for me. But, I pride myself on the fact that I do not yet have ‘brush your teeth” on my list.

As for success, I have quite a dilemma. I have no less than 35 things on my list and only 2 - 8 days left to accomplish them - actually, only one day until the Moyers arrive and two days before the Miller Reunion. On the bright side, there is now just ONE list on ONE side of the paper…and it even has a FEW checked off items. Aww - you’re right, it’s just plain hopeless. Guess, as usual, I’ll rely on the ‘kids’ to save the day and maybe my sanity (presuming the latter is possible, sigh).

My mother’s family holds a reunion in Flatwoods WV each year the first Saturday in July. I missed last year, so list or no list I can’t back out. What to take, what to take? About have menu items pared to size (except for GF’s last minute suggestion), and there’s a small assortment of things in the box for the auction. I’m so glad Laurie and Audrey will be here to help me pull it together.

Week after this we have sweet expectations of all the children and grandchildren (26 + us) coming to camp in the meadow. We’ve done it before, only this time we have municipal water (plenty) and no need for the outhouse, which has to be an improvement. Such wonderful memories we build! GF has a few big muscle jobs on hand (to make the guys feel manly and useful), but we hope to get a lot of play in as well. I can hardly wait - one reason I can’t get my lists done is I’m too excited to stay on task! Of course GF is already praying for everyone’s safe delivery and a wonderful time together.

Tomorrow is grocery shopping day, but that list is quite short thanks to Laurie’s mode of operandi. On paper it looks like I will only help cook one meal. Is that possible? Maybe so. We do plan to keep it simple.

So I must confess if my list is daunting it is largely because I have procrastinated doing household chores and my mind is out to pasture with Bob the Bull. Oh Well! Enough is enough. I must quit listing before I fall flat on my nose and go practice rinsing dishes REAL WELL, for Laurie will be here very soon… Hurry home safely, all my honeys!

Sorry David, but that lovely lettuce is all but gone. How about cabbage?

Monday, June 19, 2006


This is it, Nina. Your Papa made the frame out of wood from the barn. How cool is that! It is a memory, not a masterpiece; but it's just for you with lots of love from both of us.

I know you and Sarah are getting excited about your birthday trip...neither one of you will be worth two cents this week :)

We've had a few showers here today...soft soakers so to speak. And needed. I've done a few household chores...laundry and such. When I get the bed changed, I may get out serger and sewing machine and whip up a few Wonder Wallets. I have about 20 cut, pressed and ready to assembly line. Bought some new style Velcro...iron-on for fabric, which will be nice if it works. Want to give a few wallets for gifts and to take a few to the Miller Auction. We shall see... Feel my sugar drooping, so I'd better go have a swack. V-8 works when it's just drooping, not dropping.


Meet my dear friend Frances…isn't she beautiful! I’ve been thinking of her a lot and usually when I think ‘way hard’ about her I hear from her in some way. Today, I hit the jackpot – a nice letter, two quilting books for my new shelf and a photo of every single family member. WOW! Wonderful material for new scrapbook pages!!!

Love is Eternal - hardly an original thought, but I have been thinking for the last several days of the astonishing truth of the matter. Love, be it pure, true, lovely -- of God, -- is as changeless as its Source. Sometimes it comes through friends and family, and can be held closely even in absence. And always it is nice to receive tangible evidence of such.

Certainly kinship with the Fultz’s, Fran and Donald and their family, has been a gift to us. Sad, that times and circumstances create distance, but I have only to see her signature on a page or look at the pictures of her grandchildren to know the chord is alive and near. That is joy! As friend Johnny Felker used to say, “It kinda makes you want to go to heaven,” for though relationships are meant for here, the love that sustains them is a presence of the spirit that may be retained, held close in heart -- forever.

Thank you Fran for sending me your dear heart!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Well. maybe not all of them. The corn row picture is posted for Nines who was wondering how GF could hoe between corn without chopping it down. As I told her, you have to finger weed between it when it is small and later pile up dirt to smother weeds and support the stalks. GF's folks always planted their corn in hills, 4-5 seeds to a hill, thinned to three. But GF likes rows. Nina, tell the boys NOT to add rocks like they see here in GF's garden. We've hauled off tons of rocks from that area...and still think they are sprouting up from China. Thankfully, IN soil is soft and sandy - but grass will be a big contender for that newly tilled cornfield. Hoe and weed, hoe and weed...not as much fun as a shovel, but it'll make real men of 'em just the same.
The little fawn got separated from its mama and wandered in the creek over an hour. It was afraid of the bramble barrier and its mama was afraid to come rescue it with us watching. We ended up scaring them both - in opposite directions, but presume they eventually were reunited.
The other "roses" are among my favorite sights. If I didn't like to eat it, I would still like to grow cabbage for the beauty of it. Mammoth green roses - lovely! I would like to get a photo after a rain when the water droplets stand as if on waxed leaves, but it's dry this week. Maybe later. Otherwise we're having perfect June weather. Cool nights. Warm days. Fireflys and whippoorwills after dark. And pretty creeping roses.
The barn painting progresses...maybe I should take another shot before I mess it up. Like most of my creative processes, I am enamored with it about 2/3 - 3/4 through, but am likely to be less content with the end product. Don't recall one ever being totally happy with one in the end; but that's what practice is for, right? Better get back to it, 'cause I need lots of practice.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Can you accept a skeleton for a present. My hope is it will flesh out alright by the time you're here to pick it up. ... Meanwhile, I'll be thinking very special thoughts of very special YOU as I work on it today.

I always think - on your birthday - of how pleasant my pregnancy with you was. Maybe feeling so good was an indication of the joy of daughter who would so bless us! How ironic is it that the one thing I did most during that pregnancy was bake yeast breads?

I do love you heaps and heaps and hope your day is just wonderful.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


There’s been a lot of shakin’ and movin’ inside and outside around here this week. Getting furniture puts a spin on the whole one-room living range. Getting rid of junk is an endless job, but I think we’ve accomplished at least 90% of that upstairs chore finally. But between chores we just had to take time out for the Lord’s special diversions…rainbows and painted clouds and a filling moon. So Awesome.

I have this narrow minded thing about the word awesome. Has it become a popular adjective that may lose its meaning with overuse? I tend to think ‘awesome’ should be reserved for the Lord or His direct providence. His creation is certainly awesome – everything about it. His mercy, His might. Think me picky – and I’ll admit to being – but when I use the word I want the Lord to get the glory. So, no, my new lipstick is not awesome…but it is pretty. ‘Nuff preachin’.

Now, meet my second little corner! GF spent most of the week working on bookshelves, and didn’t he “do good”? I had in mind metal supports with rough lumber boards on top. No way with GF at the helm. These shelves were rough sawn poplar, but when he was through planing, shaping, finishing and fastening they became absolutely elegant! Poplar is one of my favorite woods – it has such nice colors in it! The books now resting on them were all in boxes on the floor….no wonder this room looks so much larger. Boxes and baskets were taking up half the floor! I'm turning into a very happy camper.

In fact, I’m so grateful I started cleaning out my kitchen cabinets. Though it’s difficult to maintain, even with just the two of us, I do like things neat and tidy. Really gets my creative juices going, if you know what I mean.