Friday, June 22, 2007


I should be packing. The Teel Family Reunion convenes in Townsend TN next week - we'll be leaving Monday AM and return Sat, Lord willing. But I'm not packing. I'm not cleaning or washing. I'm sewing. Go figure.

Well, Wayne's Aunt Margaret has been passing along bags of fabric long stored in some forgotten closet corner. Some, was unusable, even for piecing, but some looked like play clothes to me. So I've been making a few jumpers, nighties and play pants for my "little" granddaughters. They're not so little any more, but still can get by on smaller yardage and aren't at all picky about Grandmother's stitching. This is a lot more fun than washing, packing or cleaning. So today I will do the wash and finish one last jumper; tomorrow I clean up the Barn a little; packing can wait 'til Sunday.

A dear friend's mother had three girls - she always said "you can't sew and keep house." Sew....the girls were assigned to keep up with her threads and cook, clean and do the dishes. Sounds like a where are my girls anyway? Probably cleaning, washing and packing...they're better people than I am.

Monday, June 18, 2007


I have a week to get ready...set...go.

Every other year, the Teel clan merges - usually at some state park - for a reunion week. It gets harder to find as spot as the family expands and it's a lot of work for those who organize it. This year we handed the planning over to the second generation - they appear to be far more capable.

Maybe I don't know where to start because I've already started. A little box is packed with recently sewn items for some of the grandkids. Today DSIL will call and we'll make notes for buying breakfast groceries. This time we'll share a cabin with our Niagara Falls travelers and a dear friend from this area. I'm getting excited!

We will sorely miss our youngest and his family. Try as we may, it happens at times that one or another of us can't make it. And the older those grandchildren get; the more complicated working out schedules becomes - unlike former times when families lived in a near circle, on adjacent farms. Togetherness is a challenge. I'm thankful for computers that link us nicely...but a cyber hug / smile is not quite the same. Tangible warmth lasts longer.

We'll head for Townsend TN next Monday. Maybe by then my bags will be packed and I'll be ready to go.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


The morning wakes in gentleness -
Thin mist between the treetops on the ridges;
The birds begin their anthem to the dawn;
I watch the layers melt and peel,
Light breaking slowly o'er the hill
And shifting grey to tints of verdant summer.

How many times upon the morn
Amid the symphony of dawn
Have I awakened blanketed in wonder?
The Lord is near - His finger moves
To paint the scene with shades of Heav'nly beauty.

So then, my soul begins to stir
To shout with joy, to sing with love
To bow in awe, to wait with faith
And, breathless, see His goodness.

A sacred dawn; a sacred day
Hallowed by sacrifice and ressurection.
Awake! Awake! Break forth in songs
Of gratitude and praise for His redemption!

Hold to the Hand that holds the night,
The day, the sun, the moon - the Light
Reflected by the rays on yon hill rising
That Light will guide, will wash in peace
The heart that seeks His righteousness surely as His Power has come
To gild the dawn with glory.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Yesterday's country lunch and company were a fine thing. Another couple - dear friends from OH - came over as well. We had a lovely visit!

Today I was ready for some sit-down amusement, so I carted out the scrapbooking/card making supplies DS shared with me when I was in MD last month. It had been long enough for me to forget about most of her little goodies, so I had some fun playing around with them. I can see where the cards could get more and more involved. . . No doubt I'll mess up a few of these when I get around to writing inside. Perhaps I will print/paste message sheets inside when something other than just a note card is in order. We'll see. Seven seemed fair progress, quite easy/enjoyable and were considerably faster than postcard making. [BTW, DS - the stencils worked nicely with fearthered colored pencil strokes, a little heavier where I wanted shading.]

Joyce and Janet, sisters among yesterday's company, were interested in the postcards. I think Janet does many crafts and was excited to see something that hadn't come to her neck of the woods yet. Went ahead and passed along the little postcard "kit" DS made for a quilting guild session she taught on postcards. But, I forgot to warn Janet about how addictive it is. As an aside, I'm amazed at how much zip and sparkle a few layers of sheer ribbon adds to the postcards - but the ribbon won't take as much heat, so last stages of heat'n'bond need more care so that sparkle doesn't fizzle. (Ask me how I know...sigh)

I've been mailing more of my fabric postcards of late and with a few paper greeting cards out of the chute I am imagining card store days are over. That's just as well, as we get out of the boonies less and less often. That must be a good thing, seeing as how it takes as long to clean up the mailbag mess as it does to make the cards.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Time for changes...just little ones.

It will be a nice, busy day. Dear friends are coming for a late lunch. Plans are for a veggie plate - new kale and wilted lettuce from the garden, creamed corn from the freezer, creamed tomatoes w/macaroni from the canning shelf and mashed potatoes (creamy, we hope) and a fruit salad. Sounds a little starchy, but maybe the greens will balance it out. And maybe I'll salad some eggs for protein. [When the kids were small, I didn't like to use the phrase "deviled" so we call them salad eggs.]

So, if company is coming, what am I doing here? I'm posting just because I can. In short order, with the new DSL hookup. No more waiting 5-10 minutes to share a picture or look at one. Sweet! And instantI spell-checking - even sweeter! We've had DSL for two days and DH/I haven't fought over it once...yet. I see new addictions coming on. He had such fun watching all the space shuttle videos last night. I guess we're out of the boonies now. The best part is an open phone line. But quick or no, this will not sweep the floor or make a fruit salad (two quiet chores while DH finished his nighty-nap). Poke a fork in me...I'm done.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


..was born on this day. What a blessing for us all!

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

God did it, but the experiment is a success. For long years DH has been interested in grafting...and this spring he finally tried his hand at it. It was funny watching him, knife or pruners in one hand and the Stark how-to booklet in the other. I think he was a bit surprised to see one graft bloom (a golden delicious grafted on to a red delicious) and now hold five apples.

Almost as surprised as I was to find I could use the photo site to put the picture on here. Thanks for the hint, sis.

Several other grafts look quite healthy and may have fruit next season. Next month he'll try doing some bud grafts. One thing I love about DH - he's always interested in learning new things!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Mom used to pick mixed greens in the spring. It was our 'spring tonic.' She knew plantain, cress, dandylion, poke and a host of other edibles. As with a lot of things, I wish I could remember; or had paid closer attention. Of the lot we now know, we prefer poke greens best when it can be found. Never understood why some folks call that 'poke salad' - when we parboil the poke sprouts thrice before serving them hot with a touch of vinegar. Maybe it's the vinegar. Whatever you call it, it's very tasty! Of course poke must be picked early, just the first tender sprigs...later and larger is poisonous.

DS sent DH 24 asparagus plants a few years back and that lovely crop along with wilted fresh garden lettuce and green onions have constituted our tonic this spring. Yum! Yum! DH opined at noon that we need to eat more lettuce, to which I replied, "Well, do you want it for breakfast...we're already serving it for lunch and supper?" He just smiled his twinkley-eye smile and kept munching like a little rabbit.

When the weeds all grow together, I know it's getting on to summer. Any mixed greens are a sight for the eye. Ivy and periwinkle co-exist on the other side of the stairs. The snow on the mountain does better here than some places as it is protected from direct sun. I may as well like it, because once established it isn't going anywhere. I don't even mind that sprig of poison ivy...since it's out of reach. This photo was taken a few weeks back and now the hosta hoop around a near dogwood tree is completing the green theme. The beautiful blooms of spring are about gone; but summer in restive shades of green is still a fine thing to behold.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Shhh!!...don't tell ...

Every quilt has a story….

This one began with a swatch of fabric pilfered (with generous permission) from twin Patsy’s quilt stash. I was quite taken with the maple leaf design and the blue shades with metallic gold outline. The blues (not as green as the look in the closeup) became the focal point for grandson Jon’s graduation quilt. Almost made a career out of this quilt! Began my search for blending fabrics two years ago; and Nina, with her good eye for color, was great help finding pieces here and there. When Nina found the dragonfly print it was a sealed deal and with graduation in sight, I finally buckled down to the job. Nina also supplied the pattern [“Magic” Itza Lulu Designs] I’m happy with the outcome, though I don’t see myself repeating this pattern. Maybe it was my mood, but it seemed almost more challenge than fun…though clearly it would be tempting to try it with more contrast in the colors.

Back to the quilt…Jon is fond of dark blue shades and mentioned once that he liked dragonflies. The ‘flies keep the quilt from being too somber, maybe. Besides, even a very serious young man needs a little whimsy in his life. Nina did her usual fine job of quilting – I love the way her freehand designs pick up the motion of the quilt and fabrics. She even quilted a big dragonfly in the upper corner…I predict it will take Jonathan about 5 seconds to spot that. There are two leftover squares and some binding with which to make a couple of potholders...Jon is a first-class oatmeal cookie baker, you see.

The quilt is titled “Woodlands Moonlight” – most of the fabrics feature leaves or branches in midnight shades. Jonathan loves rambling the woods. When he visits here he’ll tie his boots and head for the hills for a spell every day. I’m reminded of Lew Wetzel (sans vengeance) black hair, long strides off to explore the woods. Jon would scarcely credit my saying so, but he really strikes a romantic picture!

All grandchildren are special. I admire Jonathan most for being a devout Christian, a very hard worker and a deep thinker, serious student. I also enjoy tremendously his ready humor.

That is the beginning of this quilt’s story. The best of the story, as we all know, is in the use of the quilt when it is completed and how those loving stitches bind us together. I have on my dresser a heart shaped piece of one of Mom’s quilts surround by this quote:

Families are like quilts
Lives pieced together
Stitched with smiles and tears
Colored with memories
And bound with love