Saturday, February 25, 2006

Out of Mothballs

Tracey asked for it...that's my only excuse for putting you through this. It's likely a longer reading than she anticipated. I wrote this in my mid-twenties, so that means it's been in mothballs over forty years. I'm surprised I could put my fingers on a copy so readily, but had I not been able to I'd be staring a gentle Aunt Luanne reprimand straight in the face. So, here it is, Tracey.

The Priceless Heritage

A house of white adorned with bright green trim,
In front, a mailbox held by Uncle Sam –
The mere beginning of a picture grand
That lives in childhood memories…in a land
Of lost enchantment, where each day would bring
The joy of life enhanced by simple things.

The floorboards covered with linoleum,
The scent of oilcloth about the kitchen,
A homemade bench (for twins an honored seat),
Some molasses and cold biscuits for a treat,
The cubbyhole where has been laid to rest
A spinningwheel from generations past
(Like many other items in this place,
Its story told, it stays to leave a trace
Of pleasures gone, but not forgotten.) Then
A shelf of books re-read time and again,
The phonograph so old it must be wound
To play "Blue Danube" in uneven sound,
A somewhat lumpy bed on tick of straw,
Old-fashioned meals so pleasant to recall,
Poor sad-eyed Mike, a big red china dog,
A trip up to the barn to feed the hogs
Or milk the cows or see some fluffy chicks,
A whittled clown who on two poles did tricks,
The racket of the pump when drawing water,
The chug and clatter of the “Puddle Jumper.”

Yet far above the sights and smells and sounds,
My memory's deepest treasure can be found
In thoughts of those who've made this house their home.
And should I chance a million miles to roam,
I'll still remember them, their way of life:
Uncluttered--always warm and free from strife.
I'll not forget the ring of Grandma's laughter,
Grandpa's prayers that end in humble whisper,
His foot tapping in time to favorite hymns,
How, magically, he carved a wooden chain.
The way that Grandma combs her long blond hair,
The hours she spent in her worn rocking chair,
Her aprons of bright print with square bib pinned,
The tales of yester-year that have no end.

And clearly in my mind will always be
This picture unsurpassed (would all could see
Its blessedness): how this dear couple would
On every Sunday morn walk down the road
To worship God and thus exemplify
The never failing truth that rules their lives:
­Their deeply rooted faith in the Creator,
Their constant love and their hope for the future.

My mother told me that when Grandma Oe first read this she said in her simple way, "I didn't know Peni was so smart." That might seem like a back-handed compliment to some, but it's cherished, humbling praise in my book, believe me! More about country compliments another time....

Our Florida Girls

Look at those brown eyes…don’t they just make you wanna dance? Audrey, the younger, shows her dear, sweet nature. Laurie, the mama, looks cheerfully skeptical. Either that or she's up to something... Hmm…

The girls are so far outnumbered by boys in this family, that I can’t resist sharing an enchanting photo (thanks, Alan) of the minority. If any one in GA is listening, I’d be pleased to give my GA girls equal billing with a new snapshot. Hint. Hint. Hint.

As for introducing these beauties, don’t think the outside's a cover-up. As GF is prone to quote, ‘pretty is as pretty does,’ and these two are filled to the brim with prettiness. Spoken like a true M/GM, but still true. Right, Aunt Luanne?


Not a day passes without thoughts of the Miller homestead. Surely that is true for most of my Miller relatives. Is it just about family or did these folks put the same indelible imprint on all their acquaintances…I wonder?

Whatever the case, the imprint I carry is something to treasure -perhaps more so as I get older and tend to be more nostalgic. Long ago I tried to capture it in a poem that I entitled “The Priceless Heritage” and that is indeed what it remains.

It must be a misnomer to call the farm a homestead. I have no idea how Grover Cleveland Miller came to own that little farm. His brother settled just around the bend on another farm. In those days, in Shock, WV, everyone farmed. Perhaps everyone worked hard at being self-sufficient; but it seemed to me Grandma and Grandpa Miller were more so than most.

Grandpa Grover was a carver of wood and stone. Isobel wrote of his wood chain (in; I’ve alluded to table legs and hickory chairs and many a family cemetery marker bears his inscription. He was the neighbor to call upon if you needed anything fixed. He loved life, family and horehound candy. When his wife was in the hospital in Charleston he wrote her often with local news and addressed those letters, “Dear Mrs. Miller.” [I’ve come to appreciate the affection in that as my DH often calls me Mrs. Teel these days.] And he loved music. I don’t remember his fiddle playing, but others do. And still, when I dream of him, he’s singing hymns.

Grandma Oe had her own love of life. I dream of her laughter. Her apron bibs didn’t have straps, but were pinned with large safety pins at the top corners. She was a natural, platinum blond – maybe some Norse genes in there somewhere. When I was young (under ten, surely), she would let me brush her hair – it hung past her hips as she sat in the strait back chair and she’d sit patiently and let me fiddle with it a long time. The only time I ever thought she lost even a little patience with me was when the cow escaped the fence and I was too much of a scared city youngin’ to help shoo it back in. Even then, she said not a cross word.

…that reminds me of an aspect I cherish so about the Miller household. It was always clean and neat. It smelled like biscuits, boiled potatoes and oil cloth. There were many interesting nooks and crannies—the dark attic space on the winding stairway that housed the old spinning wheel, the cabinet between kitchen and dining room that had doors on both sides, a double bench where the twins sat at the end of the table and other furniture that Grandma layered with a new coat of paint most every spring (a couple of those items turned out to be wormy chestnut…sigh). Ah, yes, I remember it well. But most of all I recall – that I cannot recall ever hearing a harsh word spoken in that house.

Priceless, indeed, such a heritage!

Friday, February 24, 2006


Life is full of them, isn’t it? For instance:

  • Denim works best when it’s nearly worn out. I have a dress – a surprise “just because” gift from DSIL June – that is getting rather thread bare. It was a great casual Wednesday night Bible study dress for years, but in it’s faded glory I find that when I want to really plow into housework or a busy day that worn out dress makes me feel like working harder. And it’s the holey but not righteous jeans that kids hide to keep them from being tossed in the trash by the launderer.
  • The exercise that wears you out gets you goin’. Give it half an hour or so -- once you get your breath back you’re ready to take on the world.
  • It’s about the old sunflower seeds on the pantry shelf. My first thought was to toss them to the birds. But, instead I put them in some whole wheat rolls. The rolls flopped, so guess who’s getting the sunflower seeds AND the roll crumbs?
  • Twice in one month you may decide to knock off early and take your shower at 5 p.m. instead of 8-9; and those will be the days that Cousin Gene drops by to check on the sick. He probably thinks I live in my night clothes.
  • The postal service will announce a hike in postage rates the day after you buy a roll of 100 stamps.
  • After 28 tiers of skirt ruffles, you figure out the better way to gather and attach them…I must have been my Mom’s slowest learner.
  • For Isobel – iron-ease. Thanks to advances in textile mills, this little sister can make ruffles out of permanent-press fabrics and never know the agony her big sister once endured. Also, my ruffles are for everyday use and wrinkle standards are considerably lower than they were in the 50’s.
  • You can travel the world for 60 years and then retire 6-7 miles (as the crow flies) from your birthplace and work with the church you first knew.

The picture is for Nina...her Papa and DB David when she was 5-days old. Taken in Clendenin - the church DF first knew as a child.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


....who's got the ruffles?

These skirts certainly have a few. What fun! They are for Evabeth and Rebekah - and if they like them they should thank Aunt Isobel and Miss Nancy. Aunt Isobel supplied the serger (without which I would never have begun them) and her friend Nancy's handed down fabric - yards and yards - supplied the needed inspiration.

I often wonder how much inspiration is born of necessity and invention? The fabric crates from Nancy have several 4 - 6 yard pieces and it takes 4-6 yards to start thinking about ruffles. I call these prairie skirts because they're for my prairie girls. I have one started for their prairie Mama too, in homespun plaid. It's such an easy job on the serger that they might all ship out together before week's end.

Not much exciting happening on the home front this week and today's weather isn't exactly inspiring. I'm sleeping better than Nines, but am restless and easily distracted as I wait upon tomorrow's news for Evie. I just flit from one partial chore to another with only ruffles to show for my small helter-skelter efforts. The Barn is littered to and fro with ruffle supplies - yardage and lace on every spare surface. No sense putting it up while I'm on a roll.
I did try chopped apples/walnuts/raisins in Nina's 'no recipe' rolls yesterday. That was a success...but they still needed a touch more salt. That's an improvement, however, because so far I've made two batches with, forgetfully, no salt at all. Flat cat taste. Blah. GF says that sometimes happens when brides cook. :)
So, there are the skirts, Nina. You're right about stitched gifts...there is something of your heart in every stitch. Now the serger put a lot of stitches in the gathers and attachment of those ruffles, so you can tell the girls the're kept together with millions of GM kisses!!!
Goes not my heart with you tomorrow.....

Thursday, February 16, 2006


WHOO-HOO? Is that it? Whoo-hoo! This might be whoo-hoo-hoo when the last border materializes. I'm thinkin' hot pink batik, aren't you, Nina? It's very girly - Eva and Boo would approve.

What a quick procedure this quilt is. It isn't large, of course, but it is quick and easy. I just might have to try it again sometime. My cast-off half sqares came out 2-3/4" instead of 3" - they might have made 3, but splitting the difference to stretch it that far was given over to clear lines and crisp diagonals. I thought that little zig-zag strip of half-squares might make an interesting border (in the boneyard?).

Nor was I able to web the rows together as per the 'quiltville' instructions. The instructions were clear, but my old noggin just couldn't wind that bobbin. I did my usual - marked the horizontal sashing/square rows "A-F", and the block/vertical sashing rows "1-5" and managed well enough.

Confession time: Before I had the last little border pressed, I was looking through that carboard box for new possibilities. But I did put up the sewing machine until next week - after all it's only 2+ days away. ;>) Expect the serger should come out and play with it next time out, so maybe those big boxes of garment fabric will beckon.

So little time...and so many stitches.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


I saw the most interesting thing the other day. We had light snow on the ground and I noticed paths running along the bank. At first I thought they might be game trails that held a little more snow, but no, some were much too wide. With a closer look, it figured to be snow shadows. The afternoon sun had hit the bank and melted most of the snow...except for the shaded areas where it was cooler. And there they were - white shadows of trunks and branches of the big oak. And stripes of similar angle for each trunk/pole on that bank. I don't recall ever seeing that before.

DH had a conversation going on the way to church Sunday. Where do people come up with all these crazy weather notions? Well, I don't know; but they've been around a while. The Jews knew some form of "red skies in the morning - sailors take warning; red skies at night - sailors delight," because our Lord spoke of that principle in His teachings. But DH is not one to rely on signs and superstitions. (His brow raises when Aunt Margaret starts talking about 'planting in the signs.') So, says he as his opining ended with: "If the wooly worm sees his shadow, WATCH OUT, you're in for a double whammy!

(For a no-nonsense fella, he's a an awful lot of fun!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Blame, in this instance, is spelled C-R-E-D-I-T. It would take all day and more words than I know to give her all of that she’s due. But if I start the story, maybe others in the family chain will embellish it for me.

Oe Minney Miller lived in rural WV on what we now might call a ‘homestead’ farm. A simple life, to be sure, but this grand lady was anything but simple. She and her family and neighbors worked so hard and loved and lived so well with little of this world’s goods, but plenty of faith and industry to make it through.

Not surprisingly. Grandma Oe was a very utilitarian sort. She lived in an era and circumstance where waste was more than impractical, it was immoral. I no longer save any fabric less than 2” wide (except for the -1” strips that I tuck in a drawer for gift tying). GM Oe used every quarter inch of everything - feedsacks, cast-offs and not-so-worn sections of outgrown clothing. Even so, her quilts are wonderfully artistic. Much of her quilting was done in pre-depression days, but with 14 children growing up on a self-supporting farm one had to be frugal and inventive…certainly not wasteful.

Like Nines, I never met a quilt I didn’t find some good in to appreciate. Even if it’s ugly, it will supply warmth and comfort. (It pays to look at people that way, too.) That must have been a part of Oe’s philosophy as well. If it can’t be as pretty as you’d like, it can at least be useful.

Before you ask - yes, Oe was her real name. Oe Minney. She named her girls Minnie, Jessie (my mother), Carrie and Luanne (nicknamed Annie). Some of the boy’s names were even more inventive: Marvin Gale, Orbert and Obert (twins), Hurley Bon, Corley and Arlyn Bly. I’m wondering if Grandpa (Grover Cleveland Miller) named Uncle David?

GM Oe made 52 biscuits every morning. Can you imagine? Not only were they needed for a hearty farm-work breakfast, they also went in school lunches. In season, fried green tomatoes were added on the biscuit sandwiches. And if you haven’t had a fried green tomato on biscuit sandwich, you missed something.

The next time my writing takes this trail I’ll put down some of my dear memories of the “Miller homestead.” And did you notice that the backdrop in the turn of the century photo of Grandma is a quilt or comforter of some kind?

Monday, February 13, 2006


I hear she has an interest in this wedding picture. My, my, were we ever that young?
A dear friend found the wedding shot among some old slides and designed a 42nd anniversary card around it. Wasn't that thoughtful? I was in the hospital when it came in the mail. Wayne opened it at home, then brought it to me saying I'd think it the prettiest card anyone ever sent me. He was so right. I cried and cried ... until he was sure the nurses would come running to see what caused my little heart monitor to run haywire. It was good excitement.
Those seemingly small surprises can be so sweet - mean so much! We might remember that when we are tempted to think any kindness too small to bother.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

So it comes down to this, does it?

Yes, it does. This is now the sum-total of my quilting stash. (And at that, the top container and the box on the floor were donated by Nina just a couple of weeks ago.) Well, I do have one more small storage box with orphans in it; but I don’t usually count orphans as stash, do you?

Those boxes were setting there after the “bower” cleanup and I just had to laugh and take a picture. Rumor has it that some folks have hidden stashes in drawers and closets – unbeknownst to their DH even. I’m too old to be jealous….but I can still sigh. Sigh sigh ...

Truly, I’m neither bragging nor complaining. There’s no way I can finish off this assortment in the quilting time left this "season." And the supply could be replenished if need be. There’s plenty around here to keep me busy. . . even without indulging in obsessions. . .er, ah, . . .hobbies, likely. But that wouldn't be any fun, now would it!

We haven't gotten the big snow storm that was predicted today. It snowed all day - hard - but the temperature hovered around 34-35, so it didn't add up. WV doesn't see much severe weather, but we always wish for snow at Teelside. Why, I don't know. Probably because we are retired and don't have to get out in it. Or maybe it just eases our consciences about huddling inside around the fire.

My huddling was over the sewing machine today, still. [Nina must be rubbing off on me. Her daddy always says I get my best traits from our daughters.] The pineapple blossom quilt I started yesterday was finished up to the last two triangles on twenty squares by this evening. That little project skirts by so quickly, it's hard to tear away from it. When I can lay it out together, I'll decide whether to sash or make 10 more squares to make it large enough.

BY THE WAY, I did not say that was all the fabric I have. So happens there are four large boxes of other material hanging around downstairs – mostly passed along by friends/family that know I sew – but it is not suitable for quilting, so it doesn’t count. Like your hidden stashes….I’ll get to that…..someday. Maybe even sooner than I think!

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Work on the easy quilt is over. “Beccie’s Bower” is in full bloom. Started Saturday – finished Thursday…not even in my wildest imagination could I hope to do one in a day. Well, maybe baby sized -- barely. This one is a good twin size and would work on a double in a pinch, if you didn’t expect it to act like a bedspread.

My Mom and GM Oe made quilts that barely hung over the edge of the bed. Mattresses were smaller in those days. And fabric was scarce, garnered from any number of sources, but almost never from a retailer. And what’s that old saying about “when you point your finger at someone, three are pointing back to YOU.” That fits (even while pointing with affection), because I readily admit that every piece in the blocks of this quilt was scrap – begged, borrowed, cast off or ‘stolen’ (with permission) from other projects. It might be genetic.

DH had a big hand in finishing this one. He liked the purple tones and chose the fabric for the header/footer. Seeing it assembled he commented that it would look better with the lilac all around. But, dear, I answer sweetly, the reason “we” added the header/footer was to make it rectangular. Lilac on all four sides would keep it square. Oh. He isn’t the ‘drag it on the floor and cuddle on the couch with it’ sort; he’s the ‘let it entertain me when I’m in sick in bed’ variety. Thence, it needed to be oblong not square. But I did assure him that the header/footer will look a lot better when Nina does her whimsical free-hand quilting on it – even if I did get it a bit too wide. She’ll just have a wider palette on which work her magic.

Instead of singing “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” I’m singing “don’t it make my blue quilt purple.” But I like the purple, too. Must have gone to my brain, though -the silk flowers were chosen for a spring cemetery bouquet and look at that color! Pretty together, but don’t expect me to shroud the monument in the new quilt top just because it matches. I’m not quite that quilt-crazy yet.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

NOT an automatic...

I'm thinking about revising my profile....and have decided autobiographies do not come automatically or even naturally. Well, if someone else were writing them they may not be so bad...duh. And like Anne, in one of my favoirte movies, if you'd only let me tell you what I imagine about myself it would be a lot more interesting.

I do suppose one ought to stop and think about what's important; prioritize. But no matter how you turn it, self-vision is slanted in favor of the mirror. No visions here....we'll just have to let time do the telling. But don't give up on me too soon -- 60+ years and I'm still a work in progress. Thankfully God isn't through working on me yet, either.

I do have some interesting little facts in my history.

  • I'm next to youngest of five siblings. Talent runs rampant in the others of us! I'll share some examples soon.
  • I have a great twin sister. Growing up, she had gorgeous red hair and I was the brunette who got the freckles. The older we get the more we resemble each other...and I'm glad because she is a very nice person. (Her hubby is a hand quilter and quite exceptionally good at it!) [Like the song says, your bones come back to haunt you -- I used to tease Patsy about being 10 minutes older than she can gloat all she wants about being the youngest!]
  • My sweetheart has been hanging around as long as I can remember. We married in 1963 and neither of us cares much to recall not being a pair. For those who might wonder, GF and GM will henceforth be Grandfather and Grandmother (which is how we refer to each other in beloved company.)
  • We have four beautiful children who married four beautiful people and began filling our hearts with 17 beautiful grandchildren. The 25 of them mean the world to us.
  • Writing has been a frequent occupation in my life, but has been crowded out for a while. I hope this proves to be some of that pleasure revisited. (Shades of The Family Album? ? ?...thank you Nina.)

There - I don't think I imagined any of that, so I'll quit for this session. If I go on any longer this blog will grow moss like those rocks up there.

Thanks for the cheerful, kind words of welcome. I'm glad to be stringing along.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Something Easy....

Just waited on the table until the only thing my conscience will would let me do was sew it out of the way. It was Saturday, I was feeling just a little heavy of chest and wanted to take it the pink/lilac/blue strips promised at least a little something accomplished with minimal effort.
The strips were batched and numbered, so all I had to do was walk my little fingers from one stack to the next. I piddled with them off and on all day. At 8:30 p.m., I lacked only three strips on the 36 blocks. BUT there were no shut-in cookies made. [I did stop then and make the communion bread, if that counts for anything.]
We had a couple inches of snow outside today, but no trouble driving to church. This afternoon seemed a good time to finish off the squares, which I did. My favorite fabric in the blocks is a navy blue floral that I pilfered from Beccie (oldest son David's wife). If it's not too ugly when assembled, I may name it "Beccie's Bower." If it is too ugly we'll "blame it on OE." (Another story.)
My sister Karen had a good friend whose mother loved sewing. (She gave Karen a hand-pieced and hand-quilted Lone Star Quilt now in Nina's keeping.) This mother once told Karen that if you sewed on Sunday the devil would make you remove every stitch with your nose in the hereafter. Hmmm.....
No shut-in cookies and sewing on Sunday. Must be time for me to invest in some knee-pads!


Guess the Shakers said it best....'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free..."

I've come 'round to what I knew first in many ways. A simple country life. That may be different in WV than most places - at least all true mountaineers think so. Here I am living in a Barn (never home to animals, though, sorry) that is smaller than either house I knew as a child. But there are some similarities -- this country living means room to roam, nearby woods, wildflowers, bird watching, a swing in the oak, summer gardens, a little canning, simple menus, no TV, -- time for simple pleasures and self-amusement.

Unlike my childhood and early married days, I no longer use a wringer washer. (But I can tell you it was a quicker way to conquer that chore.) And I don't hang wash out to dry - because I can't figure where to place the lines away from avian flight patterns. So, I'm thankful for some "modren" conveniences and know my mother & grandmothers would think my Barn luxurious in many ways. We do have an outhouse - but thanks to recent acquisition of municipal water and good supply, need not depend on using it for emergencies any more. [Certain visitors are glad for that, I assure you!]
One-room living, cozy with wood heat and oil lamplight when the electricity goes out (which it's prone to do here). It helps that I really like my roommate, too.
Yet there are some things I miss about my former life in suburbia...
  • Our children!
  • Pulling out the good china for a festive Christmas breakfast
  • Crafting/painting/sewing on a long, tall countertop
  • Lots of Sunday company
  • Writing lesson plans and teaching Bible classes
  • Laundering clothes on the same floor level
  • Viewing the world -- wonderful WV -- through a big picture window.

Would I go back, even if it were possible? Back to children.......without grandchildren......I don't think so!

So here we are living in what a dear friend calls our "idyllic existence." Tis a gift to be simple....and a gift to be wrapped up in contentment, too.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Makin' New Bones

I couldn't wait to try the pineapple pattern! How simple! Never have I made such easy points or had so much fun with half-squares. And then couldn't resist trying it in reverse - lights / mediums with dark squares. It's not as striking...but I do have a lot of light 2" strips in my box. Something else -- that log cabin project is going to seem really boring after this.

So far most all my bones are those melancholy colors. By that I mean the left overs from my "Melancholy Mama" quilt. It was made with Contrary Wife pattern but I've been trying 42 years to avoid being that, so I gave the jewel tones a more fitting name...or is that fitful name?

BUT, sooner or later you have to quit playing with skeletons and start stringing some bones together. My sewing table is also dining, writing table and I've had it a mess all week. [The table is nearly as old as I am and I've eaten on it as long as I can remember. Grandpa Miller turned the legs and my dad made the top out of left-over oak flooring. The top is uneven but DH cut a plywood underlayment for the cutting board.] One-room living tends breed tolerance for multi-tasking clutter, at least.

I'll compensate for the mess by sewing a few rows on the blue cabin before I put the machine up and get on to weekend cookie duties. I'll try to save a FEW for GF and ship the rest to the local shut-ins. A newer recipe would be good. As my Mom used to say, I'm "fed up" with choc chip, oatmeal and peanutbutter. Marie might be, too.

Speaking of bones...after bending over that table/cutting board all week, my back's ready for some new ones!

Thursday, February 02, 2006


My DH's mother always said you can't spoil a good kid. She had seven good kids, but I got the best one!

See - Nina came bearing gifts. No surprise. I may not be very good, 'cause she spoils me rotten. A lovely scarf, LOTS of new quilt stuff, videos, candles, etc., etc., etc. The salad is there because she knows I do love fancy greens and we're still eating on her supply. Not pictured is a nice burgundy sweater and a new pair of jeans. Am I bragging yet? Oh, dear...what's a spoiled rotten mother to do!!! Well, anyone who has read more than 2-3 of her blogs knows that she's a dear, kind daughter and if you haven't already done so you can add devoted and generous to that list. How blessed we are to have her!!!!

P.S. - Sudoku is not a total waste of time, Nina. It's a pretty good way to wait out the process of uploading pictures after all.


With a fire going in the stove that's a natural option.

Just how many 2" strips can a person utilize, anyway? I'm beginning to sort my stash of strips - made from fabrics that have outlived their grace, probably. I've extracted beige / brown / gold / burgundy / black strips for a log cabin [title: Winter Woods Cabin?]; and enough pink / lavender / rose / navy for another. The idea of a bargello from the latter didn't sit as easy as a cabin, especially afer a trial shape-up. So, two log cabins it will be. That ought to clear cabin fever for quite a while. But I have a suspicion I will still have some 2" left overs. Cookie crumbs eventually disappear, but 2" stock is here to stay...sigh.

That's my discipline project. I don't have to stitch it all or stitch at all; I can just put it somewhere handy to work on when the need for something easy comes along. Once in order, I'll be free to look at something more challenging when time and energy level are at something from my new Eleanor Burns Egg Money book.

....a few hours later.

Does any sewing project settle in without a spin around? I wonder... The lilac/blue is on it's way and the cabin in the woods may yet turn out to be bargello.

The picture above is my first log cabin quilt. It was a desperate effort to rid myself of all the red hand-me-downs in my stash and I expected it to be ten kinds of ugly. In the end, I rather liked it -- enough to subtitle it "A Cabin for Oe." Oe is my GM - and she always liked to add a touch of red, or a lot of red to any quilt she made. (More about that dear lady at a later date.) It's now in Nina's to-do stack.

I don't quilt - I just piece and let my DD's do the hard part.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


...isn't all it's cracked up to be, you know.

There's a Barn full of peace and quiet now. It took less than two hours to reclaim the premises...Nina had picked up and straightened, so all we did was launder the throw rugs and mop the floor. But you know, I'd much rather have wall to wall belongings and a little grit on the floor -- together with the angels that go with them. Give me the scatter and Abe's kisses, please! And you'd be surprised how well you can sleep with wall to wall grandchildren. They risk being stepped on, but were wise enough to remember GF and GM need midnight paths to the bathroom - and were considerate of our needs in every way. You couldn't ask for sweeter visitors.

And didn't those kids have fun!!! The weather was unseasonably mild - it made for mud, but it also meant grapevine swinging, forts in the woods, some pellet wars in hilly terrain, bycicle riding and even a bit of creek wading in tall boots. You can imagine how that ended - one slip and Eva was soaked through with boots full of water. Never fails, but kids have to try it and what kind of grouch would refuse them that option?
What's more, this cook even got to be lazy. Bill insisted on a no-work menu, but I don't think anyone went hungry. I began to think I couldn't fill Evabeth up, maybe her new medicine improves her appetite. Bless her dear sweet heart. Without thinking it through I sabatoged both myself and Nina with cookies and goodies, but having our little binge, maybe we can hit the strait and narrow this month. It's hard to be a GM and not bake cookies - we may have to invest in an iron clad safe and give only the GC the key/combination. [And I promise I'll remember NOT to repeat my indulgence when Ben comes for a visit.]
GF said he enjoyed Pride/Prejudice, Nina. You might not guess it to look at him, but he truly is a hopeless romantic at heart. If you're gonna be that cute, you need to be romantic, don't you think? Altogether we had a lot of down time in easy company.
And now that it's over, it's on to other making some use out of the vintage fabrics and "Egg Money" quilting book Nina brought me.
The Barn is TOO, TOO quiet...but the story still has a good ending.