Monday, May 26, 2008


Nines sent me in this direction []. It was a great idea. She knows I'm always on the scout for a bit of something different for a handout. What fun and how easy these little tea wallets were! And the gift box of fabric remnants cheered up the process and outcome considerably.

Your plaid watermelon print is never going to fade into the sunset, Nines. But it's so happy and feels so good my hands just reach for it automatically. Shank buttons worked best for these wallets; but if I make another round, it may be iron-on Velcro and a 2 x 4 sewn and turned tab…with or without a decorative button. I did put a note to that effect on my directions, else I would forget.

No travel for us on this holiday weekend. But we do hope to go to Gilmer County mid-week. DSis is coming from MD for some uncle visiting, and I want to take advantage of having her in the same neck of the woods. Need to think "uncle Cookies," too. Early summer in Gilmer County is always like going home…

And it's time to cut hay – if the rain will stay at bay long enough for the meadows to dry out. One of my very favorite WV countryside memories is the hillsides and meadows (in WV most meadows are partly hilly) dotted with haystacks. The haystacks gave way to hay bales (square) and now are usually round (like giant shredded wheat). Well, the cows probably don't care what shape it's in, just so they can get to it.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Sometimes one big mess begets another, you know. While still in crumb gear I went looking for a card to send someone special, and found my stash quite low. Time to replenish and iron-ons were my first impulse. I robbed from my postcard supply of fabrics already lined with heat-n-bond and the first thing I knew I was crumb bound on paper. A little mulberry paper for texture and a bit of lace or ribbon, buttons here and there – it was all very easy. Somewhere along the line I decided to try matching some of the cards by ironing fabric on their envelope. There it is – coordinated cardware. I did learn the hard way to be sure the flap was turned up & out on the envelope before ironing onto the front – otherwise that sucker seals shut and isn't a bit useful. (And this happened with a dry iron – I wouldn't have been surprised if steam had that effect.)

So it has been Play May around here. But I have done a thing or two between my games. Made a pumpkin pie this morning – don't know whether I was hungry for pumpkin pie or just wanted an excuse to have the oven on an hour or so to heat up the kitchen. It's not nearly cool enough for a fire, just needed a warm spot somewhere in the Barn. The garden is in except for corn and green beans. We staked the tomatoes/peppers yesterday. I can say WE, because I held a few of the poles semi-vertical as they were being driven in by sledgehammer. You know, you really have to trust your buddy to hold your hand under his sledge. His 'stakes' are recycled electrical conduit, (more tacky than earthy looking; but they'll soon be hidden by greenery.) My theory is that when you're going to the garden for a fresh tomato, you rarely take time to inspect or philosophize about stakes.

The yellow rose of Indiana is bloomin' its little heart out. So sweet!




Thursday, May 15, 2008



Now they tell me. I have 200 4-inch blocks in my crumb box and decide to check out Bonnie's site for setting options. There I discover her method for dealing with those overwhelming crusts and crumbs. Just a basket full at a time! I have been running through crumbs for a couple weeks now and it was getting difficult to scoop out enough space on the table for DH's meals. Kept needing to add one more of this or that color, this or that hue; so it was downstairs to haul up a few more possibles. First thing you know there was a mountain of possibilities and I couldn't see the trees for the forest.

So…taking good advice to heart, I sorted through all the scraps on the table – two-inch slips and real crumbs in a basket; two-inch strips in one bag (yes, I confess, I invaded the 2-inch strip box for wanted variety) and larger squares, rectangles in another. An hour or so later, I have a single basket of bona-fide crumbs and a new start of smaller (if not itty-bitty) slips and slivers for more squares. Now those squares already cut that showcase only 3-4 fabrics are staying in the mix. But now perhaps it will look like I've done less cheating in the process.

Speaking of crumbs…I had cornbread crumbled in buttermilk for lunch. When I was a child, we often had cornbread with sweet milk for Sunday supper. That's still one of my take-me-home favorites. Several friends have mentioned cornbread and buttermilk, so I've been wanting to try that for a while now – was just waiting to think about it and have reasonably fresh buttermilk at the same time. It was every bit as good, maybe even a schooch better! Shocking, I know. So this will serve as notice that, although I may be tardy about instructions, I am NOT YET too old to learn new tricks…at any table function.

Monday, May 12, 2008

GREEN, GREEN, IT'S GREEN THEY SAY...on the far side of the hill...

If my camera were working I'd take a green, green green photo of the evening. We've had rain - mostly gentle, but lots of it - every day since Wednesday or Thursday of last week. The spring greens are looking pretty summery, with the biggest contrast seen on the new shoots of pine!

Our supper green was sauteed asparagus...YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM. I could eat my weight in fresh asparagus. I even find myself munching the 'tough' ends that snap off raw as I prepare to cook the rest. Thank you DS!!! (She sent DH the plants.)

DH lit a fire in the wood stove. No it's not THAT cold, but under 70 feels chilly when you're over 60 and it's this damp. We had a power outage, which fried the freezer compressor yesterday. A very small casualty of weather, considering other calamities here and abroad. We moved all the corn to the refrigerator freezer; and most of the venison, I think. Let DH take command of the transfers, since he knows what food stuffs are more valuable to him. Perhaps this will be "enforced" downsizing. We could manage without that freezer - and not miss it at all 'til the corn comes in.

I'm still playing with crumbs between household chorelets. [It's hard to scrounge up a full-sized chore some days...changing a bed, doing a couple loads of laundry -- naw, grandma Oe wouldn't call that work!] The 4-inch squares are adding up; but I'm not stopping to count them...I might find out I need to stop if I do that. But you can only twist crusts in so many directions, so I'm sure their days are numbered.

Don't think Grandma Oe would call piecing crumbs work either, but I'm sure as rain that she would approve.

Friday, May 09, 2008


You know, the part left over that nobody wants.You might even call them crumb orphans.

Well to me they look like another scrappy quilt. I can't find my direction color wise. I'll just keep making them and then divide them by zones. I'm really liking the blocks with brown in them.

But if they are all combined we'll just have eclectic crusts. Hmmm.....

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Every day has it's treasures. Many times the smallest are the most precious. The picture is of DH's tiniest sister. She's always been tiniest. (I couldn't choose the sweetest if my life depended on it...and I'm too wise to try.) We went to visit an Aunt today, who had this photograph in one of her MANY envelopes of hidden treasure. I asked to borrow it so that I might make a copy for DH and she graciously agreed.

Something about youth...this sister has retained. The size, the blue eyes, the caring spirit, the inner beauty, the sincerity, the intensity? Leaves one to ponder. But something in the picture, taken not too long before I met her for the first time, brought back a treasure to be enjoyed today ... and through a good many tomorrows.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


My current computer project is compiling a set of verses for a new volume of poetry (authored by a dear friend of the family). I had the honor of illustrating the first volume, published circa 1989; and this will be no less a work of love. Though new illustrations have yet to be discussed, it's only natural to want to extend those latent possibilities...

But first, the verses must be scanned and made 'computer ready' for the printer. Beginning that process has been surprising. Some new gear has made the scanning process so much quicker and easier. I feed 10-12 sheets at a time through the magic HP machine and begin minor corrections and formatting changes, forthwith. Yes, I'm very thankful the author -- who hunts and pecks and has an unerring eye for grammatical perfection -- supplied the originals to start.

Another surprise comes with the substance. I've read these lines betimes - yet they are fresh and timeless. That, to me, is the defining quality of good poetry. When you read it every time, like the first time and still catch your breath or find chills running down you know it's a winner. Of course it also helps that the writer is, indeed, our kindred spirit.

For example ...


When my body suffers pain,
My heart reflects the same refrain
And I wonder how much more
The flesh can stand;
My eyes behold a special tree,
That rugged one on Calvary
With the nails in the feet
And in each hand.

When the surgeons intervene
With their septic scalpel keen
And the blood seeps out to
Stain a bandage white;
I see a jagged, dirty spear
Then I watch the blood appear,
I see souls released from
Darkness into light.

When by cares and burdens great
I seem a prisoner of Fate
And I find no remedy for
Grief and tears;
I hear a prayer of agony
Coming from Gethsemane
And I know a loving Father
Sees and hears.

When the trail is rough and slow
And the cause I do not know,
When the skies seem overcast
And always gray;
God is watching and He knows
Every kind of wind that blows
And the footprints of the Lamb
Will lead the way.

PJC 10/13/91

I rest my case...

Monday, May 05, 2008 it...or NOT

This sweet shrub is one of those May flowers you may choose to love at a distance. Like Lily of the valley or prolific lilacs. Nothing is sweeter than a lily of the valley...but they have a very powerful scent.

Must be a sign of old age...I'm leaving more and more blooms outdoors. Maybe my inside space is just too limited for wafting perfumes and asthma both in the same space. I love the blooms no less..from afar, that's all.

DH's DB is visiting this week. They do well at entertaining each other. It's Monday. They cut up a tree and stacked the firewood - a birch whose fresh bark smelled surprisingly like TEABERRY of all things. Yummy smell that! Then they went down and removed a long standing church sign. This one was set in concrete QUITE LITERALLLY and a big job to dig up and haul away. DBIL said it took every tool they had to get it down. Stolie built things to last in the 60's. There was still a dab of daylight when they returned home, so they burned a brush pile for their evening entertainment. Makes one wonder what will be afoot tomorrow. Whatever it is, those legs above their foots are going to be sore before they start!

But it was a perfect spring day. It could be made more perfect -- with an evening whip-poor-will call. With that I'll know it's really May. I did hear two cardinals singing in unison today, one just a nano second behind the other. Nice duet.