Our book club selection for April is Girl Of The Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter. Her books have stood the test of time. I still remember reading The Harvester as my first selection of her novels. My friend Nancy, who grew up in Connecticut, received a set of GSP books when she was in high school as a gift from her favorite Aunt (over 60 years ago). When Nancy told me that memory, I remember feeling like I had missed out on a good book and promptly took The Harvester home from the library to read that very night! I haven't read Girl Of The Limberlost yet, so I am looking forward to another good read.
My very favorite movie of all time is Lady & The Tramp. It has become known as The Buffy Movie at our house (in honor of my cocker spaniel). I think my grandchildren love it almost as much as I do. They know most of the words by heart. When they grow up, will they remember watching The Buffy Movie with Mimi? I sure hope so, but even if they don't remember--I will!
Today when I picked up my grandson from preschool all the kids and teachers were outside on the playground. The sun was brightly shining, but it was still chilly so I was surprised they were outside. Each of those thirteen children were busy doing something different. Some were swinging on the swings....some were rolling on the ground. The big silver slide had a line waiting to go down (the very same slide my children used to play on when they were his age). The monkey bars were full. Several children were running after each other around the perimeter of the playground. All of a sudden the teacher says "Time to get in line". The children run to get in line and sing their parting song. Then their names are called and they can go to the person collecting the child. As soon as he locates me, he is excited and calls out my name as if he hasn't seen me for days when it was actually only 2 1/2 hours earlier that I dropped him off. Oh what a sweet sweet feeling of being loved!
I love to knit dishrags! This is a story about how I became the dishrag queen. Back in the early 80's I met a woman named Norma. She was an accomplished knitter and was always knitting something. She knitted these dishrags and I very much wanted to learn how to knit them. She taught me how to make them. Since then I have made many dishrags. I always have a dishrag on a set of needles...when I'm chatting on the phone I knit. When I'm riding in the car I knit. I knitted in the waiting room through 8 hours of surgery when my Dad shattered his hip from a fall. Again, I knitted through my son's hernia surgery in the waiting room (all by myself). I knitted all the way home (with tears streaming down my face) after leaving our daughter for the first time at IU. I knitted on all the college visits thereafter-both to Bloomington and later when our son went to Purdue. I've knitted through many baseball games (go Cubbies!), softball games, basketball games, football games, and old movies. I knit when I just need to unwind if only for a few minutes. It is almost second nature to my being.
One of the best things about my dishrags is the pleasure I get from not only making them, but giving them away. They make people smile. Once you use one of these dishrags, you are spoiled for life.
Yeah! It is the weekend....today I: played domino runs and marble runs and hot wheels with a precious grandson. We shared lunch together. We went to the library together. We read some books together. He went home and so did I. Then I fixed spaghetti and shared it with my husband. Yum-o, a Friday night favorite. We are both looking forward to the weekend to unwind and do the things that are important to us. All to soon Monday will be upon us. Bring it on!!
This morning I read a quote from Jon Bon Jovi in my Guideposts magazine. It has stayed with me all day and I would like to share it.
"I can tell you this: It's passion, not pedigree, that can and will win in the end. Free yourself from comparison. Just because someone has fancy sneakers doesn't mean they can run faster."
It occurred to me that some people spend their whole life searching for something that is right in front of them and they never realize it. That is why I try to count my blessings every day and be thankful for this life I am living. Some days this is easy and some days it is almost beyond my reach. That is when I tell myself that it's not about me.
This is my dog Buffy. (Isn't she cute?) She just came back from being groomed. She loves being the center of attention and she is MY dog. Nine years ago she took the place of the last child leaving the nest. And she is my friend and my grandson's friend. And she is oh so cute. She loves puppy biscuits and would do anything to be on the receiving end of one! She can dance, play dead, sit up, and shake hands. Did I mention she is cute?
Old man winter is alive and well. I even turned the heat up a few minutes ago. My dog is trying to get close to me so she can get warm. I am trading my spring jacket in for my winter coat tomorrow. Good thing I did not pack the winter stuff away. I even heard the four letter word (snow) in the 3 day forecast. Boo! Hiss!
Last week I made a lemon pie....mind you it wasn't just any old lemon pie, but my Grandma Erma's lemon sponge pie. This pie is a perfect combination of sweet and sour and turns out every time I make it. That might be because memories of my Grandma become vivid as I enjoy making and eating this pie. But here's the thing about my Grandma - she never had a written recipe for anything - it was all in her head. It took my mom (the daughter-in-law) many "trys" before she would achieve Grandma-like clones of many of her homemade dishes. Mom told me that she would visit Grandma and hang around her kitchen while Grandma was involved in baking. Grandma would never tell her how much of anything a recipe took - it was always a little of this - a little of that. In our family many recipes were treasured and kept a secret...always a guessing game. I can remember my Dad teasing my mom that she didn't hold her mouth 'right' when something didn't turn out like Grandma made. I have my 'secrets', but if anyone asks me for a recipe I will gladly share it......well, except for Grandma Erma's Lemon Sponge Pie!!
It is my turn to make church cookies today! At our church we have a coffee and cookie time right after the service. People share their week and their life happenings over a cup of coffee/tea and cookies. So while I am sitting here at my kitchen table with my cup of tea waiting for my cookies to bake I find myself thinking about church cookies and what those words mean to me. I guess it is not so much which cookie recipe is made, but the coming together of many lives - from the very young to the very old. These people have all become precious to me through the sharing of this tradition at our church.
Today when we were running errands, we stopped by for a quick visit with the grandkids. All three of them were still in their pj's (perfect on a Saturday morning) and involved in different activities. Their smiles for us made us feel good. The little guy looked right past me to see Papa....he was so happy to see him. (I am chopped liver since he sees me all the time)! The two girls were busy playing games and quickly encouraged us to join them. All to soon it was time for us to leave, but not before we were hugged and kissed properly. It is a wonderful feeling to be loved!
"Any ideas for supper"? I asked as he was leaving for work this morning. I was hoping for another night of meatloaf although we had already had it two nights in a row. As he walked out the back door, he said, "Don't worry about supper....I will take care of it"! I smiled and answered that I would be pleasantly surprised when I came home tonight. So when I come home tonight I will be pleasantly surprised by the Pizza Hut pizza on the counter and the table set for two. How do I know it will be Pizza Hut pizza you might ask....because he is predictable and that is a very good thing indeed!!
Today I saw kids without coats or their coats hanging open flapping in the wind as they ran from the bus. I saw robins flying carefree in front of my car as I drove home. There were earthworms on the sidewalk. I discovered a seed catalog in my mailbox when I got the mail. Can it really be time to put away the winter coats for good? My calendar has this coming Sunday marked as "Spring Arrives'. I can only hope!
Clifford the big red dog came to visit me today along with my grandson. Clifford came home with my grandson's mother who attended a weekend conference. I am glad to report that Clifford did not cause any trouble or get into any trouble while keeping the little boy company. They were pretty busy. Here is a list of their activities for the morning......milk was shared from the cereal bowl and later chocolate milk during cartoons. Clifford kept warm under the blanket while Cat In The Hat was enjoyed. Clifford helped build several domino runs. Clifford supervised the hot wheels racing at untold speeds. Clifford sat on our laps while we read about some of his adventures....boy does he have some imagination to get out of trouble. Clifford also helped Mimi make some chocolate chip cookies and he taste tested the chocolate chips with my grandson!! I can hardly wait until tomorrow. Who knows....perhaps Curious George or Ducky will visit.
My one little word for 2011 is perseverance. This is the third year I have chosen OLW. When I was contemplating perseverance for my word, it kept popping up during my daily activities and so I finally decided to choose it for my OLW. So when I was working on my new 2011 BOM (block of the month) I was thinking about how many things/activities in our lives can be achieved with just a little perseverance. The top block is the 2011 BOM and it has 45 pieces and by doing one step at a time it turned into a perfect 12 1/2" square. There will be 11 more (each one different) to follow. This one is a little 'out of my box' because it is batiks and I am more of a traditional quilter. But it has beautiful blues and is a line of fabric from Timeless Treasures. The theory is you buy the first block and if you bring it back completed then the next block is free.....and so on.
The bottom block is from a Civil War BOM for 2010 (each month has a charge for the kit). This block has 60 pieces. For the month this block is from there are 2 -1 2" blocks and 2 - 18" blocks. This year long project is not finished and it is a little (ha) more complicated. I made it through April (2010) and now when I go to my sewing room I find these blocks are multiplying when I am not watching. They have taken on a life of their own and I am not kidding! Some months there were 6-8 blocks for that month. I must have been out of my mind (in a good way) when I signed up for this endeavor. This is where perseverance comes in......I hope!
Every day a war is waged just outside my kitchen window. Sometimes the war involves the demanding blue jays against any other bird that tries to eat from the feeder. At other times it is the bigger birds trying to chase the smaller birds away from the feast. The woodpeckers do a swell job of keeping non-woodpecker types away from the suet bar. But the grand prize goes to the persistent squirrels as they move in and sit directly in the trough of the feeder itself. Our son gave us an anti-squirrel feeder named The Yankee Flipper. Once my husband puts it up, we'll see who wins the war!!
Today has been a wonderful day for me..... I woke up with the love of my life. I took my dog for a short walk. We filled the bird feeders. Both our kids called just to say hi. We ate out for breakfast. I crocheted while we watched I Love Lucy reruns. I went to 'my room' and bonded with my sewing machine. (worked on my endless supply of BOM's)....block of the month blocks. Cut out the borders for my 2010 BOM. I am currently back on the couch with my feet up drinking a glass of iced tea and eating a bowl of popcorn with my dog beside me. And we still have the evening to go.......
We have a child's oak rocker in our living room. When my 19 month old granddaughter was visiting she liked sitting in this chair. While I was watching her I was reminded of another little girl that used to sit in that chair and rock. Then I thought about the grandmother that bought the chair. I never imagined how my mom must have felt over 30 years ago.....she was a new grandma purchasing a little rocking chair for her first grandchild. I am pretty sure of the emotions she must have felt as I have bought two little oak rocking chairs for my grandchildren. I was so very excited both times. Perhaps I will ask my mom how she felt. She is 80 now and I love the way she loves her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Happy memories all around!! One of my mom's favorite sayings is "what goes around, comes around." I am finding this to be true as I get older.
I have been a part of a book club since late 2007. Each month a member gets to chose the book, lead the discussion, and provide refreshments. After 3 years we have all gotten comfortable with each other. The discussions are good and often life experiences are shared. We have become close and learned things from each other. Sometimes depending on the book, the refreshments are based on what is happening in the book, or in the case of non-fiction the food might be ethnic. We are big on themes. I have read many books that I would not have read if I had a choice....which is good because it gets me 'out of my box'!
This year we have read The Soloist by Steve Lopez, Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter & Sweet by Jamie Ford, and The Seventh Unicorn by Kelly Jones. Next month will be Girl Of The Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter. May will be A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith.
This morning when I took my dog for her walk, I was pleasantly surprised to see my yellow daffodils peeking out of the cold ground. Right behind them are my delicate lavender irises coming to life. It is hard for me to believe they will be blooming a month from now, but prior experience reminds me this is certainly true.
On Sunday our 19 month old granddaughter came to visit and stay with us for a few days. (2 little feet) Along with her came the family dog, a golden retriever named Mabel. (4 little feet plus 2 little feet=6 little feet) Add to that mix my cocker spaniel named Buffy who is not at all pleased with the prospect of sharing her domain, not to mention my affections. (4 little feet plus 6 little feet=10 little feet) Then my five year old grandson arrives on the scene this morning just in time to discover (HIS) Mimi is B-U-S-Y. (2 little feet plus 10 little feet=12 little feet) I do not know who is the most jealous.....the cocker spaniel or the grandson.
Let's just say this is one tired Mimi.....bedtime will be early tonight!!
Early morning brings stinging raindrops, mud, gusting winds....fast forward to afternoon.....gigantic snowflakes that almost remind you of cotton balls melting as soon as they collide with the soaked squishy ground. Did someone mention Spring is on the way?
I am a morning person. I love the tranquility of early dawn hours....the first cup of tea...the singing of birds at my bird feeder....the sleepy cocker spaniel on my lap....a book just waiting to be cracked open and enjoyed. This is the good life!!
A few weeks ago (mid February) when I came home from work and walked out of my garage, I was surprised to see robins.....but not just a few robins. In the trees behind our house were many robins - I stopped counting after 150 and there were many more trees full of the orange breasted brown birds. And they were singing rather loudly. My husband and I watched them for awhile amazed by the quantity. Later that evening after supper I sat down to relax and read the local paper. As I scanned the front page along the side bar in a small box was an article about robins being sighted in the area rather early this year. The article went on to tell the reader if you live in Northern Indiana and are looking for a sign of spring, it would be wise to be on the lookout for turkey vultures instead of robins! I have been looking for robins in the spring for a long time and I don't think I will change that behavior anytime soon.
I love the color blue....so here are some random thoughts that are going through my mind.....my husband and I have always shared a blue bedroom (he likes blue also). We also have a blue kitchen and a steel blue sofa and love seat. My favorite piece of Fiesta ware is a bright blue. My Grandma bought me a blue zircon birthstone ring when I was in high school. My dad had the most tranquil blue eyes. I wore a blue prom dress to my prom back in 1970 accompanied by my to-be husband in a white dinner jacket. We purchased a brand new Chevy Celebrity which was midnight blue in the mid 1980's. I have a blue rocking chair (with a blue footstool). I love watching blue jays out of my kitchen window. They demand their own way and settle for nothing less. Bright blue morning glories are beautiful winding their way around my porch swing in the summer. And I will always remember the startling blue eyes of my first grandchild who has become my friend.
I am a: mother, daughter, grandmother, (better known as Mimi), aunt, niece, wife, mother-in- law, daughter-in-law, Christian, dog owner, quilt lover, tea drinker, crafter (including, but not limited to...sewing, crocheting, knitting, quilting),Director of a small library, reader, treasurer of 3 organizations, club member x 3, church member, neighbor, friend, pie maker (yes, from scratch), housekeeper (including, but not limited to: cooking with love, laundry, cleaning, ect.), Dishrag Queen (more on this later), child care giver (including, but not limited to: giver and recipient of hugs & kisses, lot of love, good times....loads of memories for our lives), and last but not least: Blogger--thanks to my daughter!!
Last night the kids had supper at our house. As my husband took the Fiesta plates out of the cupboard he asked me, "who gets which color?" I told him to ask them which color they wanted. Beside him is short stuff silently jumping up and down and shouting "I want purple!" as he is asking her older sister which color she prefers....thankfully she did not say purple. After the plates are passed around with their cheery colors of orange, green, red, yellow, blue, rust, and turquoise and we share our meal together, I cannot help but remember my little girl who absolutely loved purple and probably would have liked that plate for herself. How endearing it is to see your children all grown up doing exactly what you would have done for them when they were young.