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.

Friday, June 02, 2006


Little corners take a lot of work – especially when you turn the whole Barn upside down to establish them. We have already established the fact that it takes me three days to do a three-hour task. Well, this little task should have been done in a day and I’m on day five and counting. SIGH.

Starting was simple enough and quite exciting. GF refinished the chest and dresser of our old bedroom suite. That meant stripping two facades down to the original veneer. This furniture was purchased from Montgomery Ward in 1956, by DSIL Eva when the family moved to town after GF’s father died. It had a light finish then, I suppose to cover the different woods used. It is extremely well built, all solid wood construction, and I like the varied hues the woods lend as well as the new antique bronze paint on the original hardware. Now think putrid 70’s green antiquing, which was how I lived with it for way too long, and you’ll appreciate my being enamored with the new look!

I’m even more enamored with legitimate storage. We moved to the Barn in 1999, and have been “camping” sans closets or drawers lo these 6-1/2 years (but who’s counting). DSIL Eva said I never complained, but I had to admit that I just didn’t complain “to the whole world”. GF will recall that often of late I have whined about being tired of living out of clothes baskets. I know I am but a pilgrim and sojourner in this land, but enough is enough. No complaints now, I promise! No more clothes baskets either…except for laundry. Ah, life is good and getting better!

The aftermath of adding furniture to the limited floor plan of the Barn is a dilemma of enormous proportion. Isobel can clear a sewing area in an evening…it has taken me all week and I can barely see the light at the end of the tunnel. Guess what we had in here was a tunnel of junk – stacks and stacks and stacks. And you have to live with GF to know a stack when you see one. Not that I can’t make towers on my own…mine just don’t seem to stay around to gather as much dust as his do. Too much stuff!!! But we’re making progress. There are three small stacks of papers on the stove that are GF’s sorting chore. If it were winter I would suggest they go IN the stove. There are about six more stacks of STUFF TO GO in the middle of the living area. At least half of that is trash or Goodwill and the rest will go downstairs…once I redo my storage shelves/clothes rack/bins down there to make room. Let’s calculate getting that done by say…the year 2999. One consolation is that we’ve been cleaning as we go so when it's over it will be least for a little while.

As for the quilt top on the bed, I definitely think it should get another border and become my summer bedspread, don’t you?