Sunday, February 25, 2018

Lazy Sunday

Its a lazy Sunday here. We don't have many of those. Yesterday Ron worked out back getting things cleaned up. Then we went to the going away party for Ben and Megan. The big adventure starts next week.
The Hollar Homestead is here. They will be vlogging about it as they go across this great land of ours. They have quite a few vlogs about getting ready to go and selling and upgrading their house. I don't know why this always makes me think of that book A Lantern in Her Hand, by Bess Streeter Aldrich. There is a poem in the book that goes like this.

Because the road was steep and long.
and through a dark and lonely land.
God set upon my lips a song,
and put a lantern in my hand.
---Joyce Kilmer.

Here is my road and I love how it looks when its all clean. I have to change the subject before I am weeping on my keyboard. I am thankful I live here and now, and not in Abbie Deal's time. I have so many more ways to stay in touch than in the olden times when you might never see the family back home again.

March will be here next week. I had these lovely flowers growing in my flowerbed. We had wind and I  didn't want them to be beat to death so I cut them and brought them in the house. The whole house has had that sweet fragrance. I don't wear perfume, but I wish I could find something that smells this pretty in a perfume.
I thought you might like to see a bit of my hooked rabbit. I am thrilled with it. That wool I dyed last week, is just perfect and my heart sings as I work.

Isn't she wonderful? I am having so much more fun with this pattern this time. Not to mention, I can see this time around. I am so thankful to be here and not where I was three years ago.

Here are our two mulch piles that will be used for the garden. It makes me so happy to see them out here because I know how happy my garden will be with this lovely stuff.

Here is my sleeping garden.

I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It makes me so happy to see all of this clean slate sitting out
here waiting for dreams to take hold.

I found this today. Not much else is awake. We have had freezing weather now for a week, so everything has been slower about waking up. Which I am glad, with March coming in next week.

I hope your Sunday is perfect filled with all kinds of lovely things. Thank you so much for stopping by,


“All my girlhood I always planned to do something big…something constructive. It’s queer what ambitious dreams a girl has when she is young. I thought I would sing before big audiences or paint lovely pictures or write a splendid book. I always had that feeling in me of wanting to do something worth while. And just think, Laura…now I am eighty and I have not painted nor written nor sung.”

“But you’ve done lots of things, Grandma. You’ve baked bread…and pieced quilts…and taken care of your children.”

Old Abbie Deal patted the young girl’s hand. “Well…well…out of the mouths of babes. That’s just it, Laura, I’ve only baked bread and pieced quilts and taken care of children. But some women have to, don’t they?...But I’ve dreamed dreams, Laura. All the time I was cooking and patching and washing, I dreamed dreams. And I think I dreamed them into the children…and the children are carrying them out...doing all the things I wanted to and couldn’t.”
― Bess Streeter Aldrich, A Lantern in Her Hand

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Dyeing Wool For My Rabbit Rug

I put my rabbit rug on my floor stand. I sat and stared at it for a week.

 Once I had my idea for colors I knew I wanted mottled wool. I knew I have seen lovely colors but I had no idea about how to arrive at what was in my head. I found Gene Shepard's book called Prepared to Dye with a chapter on dyeing wool without using dye. Using hot water and letting the dye from other wool's be the color. Its like doing Tie Dye.

Here are my new wool colors.

I thought these colors will be good for sky and clouds.

The grass and trees and flowers.

I am going to use the browns for the rabbit and the reds will be used where ever I need it. I really liked dyeing the wool this way. I love the marbleized coloring. I can't wait to start hooking with it. If there is one thing that I love it is dyeing wool. I think I am going to keep doing dyeing this way for awhile. Last night I was showing the boys some of the old papers that I ran across from when I was a kid. Like my fitness awards. They got a kick out of that. I even showed them my old report cards. You should have heard them chortle at my C grade in art. So to say I am challenged in the creativity area of my life is a understatement.

When I was a young Mom, Kessie told me I think she was about eight or so, as I remarked " I wish I could draw, but I am just not gifted in that area." She looked at me drawing, sitting in her school desk and said, " Mom that isn't true, I am not a good artist, but I work at it all of the time. If you wanted to work at it you could be a good artist too." That day, I learned, artists are made not born. It is with everything in my life, how hard am I willing to work to become proficient? Dyeing wool is one of those things I am willing to work at as with hooking rugs or sewing. Over coming my own laziness is always my first obstacle. 

As soon as I get off the computer, I will begin hooking on my rabbit rug. Its going to be such a big project. I think the reason I like big projects is I like the challenges to see if I can do it.

I hope you have a lovely day,


 The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within.
(William C. Bryant)

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A Beautiful Morning

Oh Happy Day! Today, it will be warm. Tomorrow, the wind and cold comes back. The poor trees that got the wrong signal will be shoved back to winter. I was driving around this week and I saw little blooms on newly planted almond orchards. Our temps will be down in the 20s by next week.

But today, it feels like spring. Here is our pretty almond tree.

I knew this morning I had to walk out and take pictures just to show you because after the wind they are predicting I don't know if they will be here by Tuesday. I keep watching the other trees like a hawk, because so far so good, the other fruit trees are still asleep.

I joined another group on Face Book. I really need to stop. This one is a quilt block group that uses wool.
My first block is this.

Its called the "The Little Red Hen's Wooly Mysteries, 2018 Curiosity Quilted the Cat!" I got the pattern for the second cat yesterday. The patterns just appeal to me so much. Not to mention I love seeing how each person does the kitties just a little differently. I can handle one block a month. The best part is its free.

I also managed to finish this rug. I can't say I am wild about it, but I did finish it. It is from the book by Barbra Carroll, Woolly Fox American Folk Art Rug Hooking.

I am beginning to think I have too many projects going at any one time. Its okay though, because once it really gets warm, I don't think I will be in the house very much.

 I plan on starting my rabbit rug today. Well, that is if working outside doesn't seem like a better idea.
I hope you have a wonderful three day weekend.

Blessings to you all,

“She turned to the sunlight
    And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
    "Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

Saturday, February 10, 2018

A Happy Day

I thought I would go out and look through the weeds that are filling my flowerbeds and like digging for gold,
I found some happy surprises. That is what I love about planting bulbs. Surprises when you least expect it.
The top picture of that pink one was a surprise too. To see it fully opened already. I wonder why the purple ones smell so much sweeter than the other colors?  This morning Ron was fixing the fence out front. By this time tomorrow we should have all of the fence in place and it will look normal again. I love that plastic fencing but when people run into it, it just shatters like glass.

This was our front yard this morning. For more years than we have lived here, this was a cow pasture.
When it was a dairy, the cows with  new born calves were here. Then when I was a girl, it was my horse pasture.

It always amazes me how small that tree was then.
Who Knew?
All of the things that tree has been and the pasture too.

  In the spring, my front yard goes back to pasture. This morning there were all of these dandelions filling the yard. I thought to myself, " Oh, look the yard is filled with wishes again" Which of course made me remember when I was a little girl, and my Dad and brother had been in a accident and life was pretty scary. I went out on a Saturday morning, much like this morning, and I sat and picked and picked dandelions and I made wish after wish. First that my Dad and brother were going to be okay and that they could come home and that my brother would walk again. I wished until I couldn't find any more dandelions.
I suppose in my little kid brain I was praying. Then I found one more and do you know what I wished for? Very selfishly, since I was doing all of that wishing, I wished for a color television set. That was the biggest wish because no one in school had a color T.V. and we certainly couldn't afford one as my Dad was self employed and he couldn't work for awhile.

There was the day, when my Dad was out of the hospital, and even when my brother was released from the hospital, though paralyzed. He did walk again. You know how time seems a blur. But it seemed that it wasn't too long before we were the first people I knew of to have a color T.V. I always think back to that when I see the dandelions in the front yard. Do you know that I wanted to go out this morning and sit down and pick some dandelions and make a wish. As I stood there, I realized there isn't as single thing I would wish for today! I am thankful and happy and God continues to take care of us in more ways than I can even begin to count. It was an odd feeling, when it dawned on me. How happy I am.

The dandelions in the yard look different from the ones in the flowerbed. The ones in the yard I bet have more wishes attached.

This was my deep thoughts blog post today. I wish you the best kind of day, and I hope that all of your wishes come true as well.


I miss sunflowers!
"I like to go across to the neighbor's barn at dusk and stand inside where the cows are being milked. The air is steamy and warm from the heat of the cows, and smells of fresh milk and sweet hay. As George milks, the sound of the milk falling into the clean pail is a pleasant sound. There are always waiting kittens, and the big dog wags his way into the warmth, The kittens get a dish of warm milk, and their little tongues lap so delicately as they drink." ( The Book of Stillmeadow, February, Gladys Tabor.)

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A New Rug

I was out running errands and I thought I would stop and get pictures of the pear trees that are blooming all over town. This one even has tiny green leaves. I don't have anything else blooming here. I am glad everything is still asleep.

Three years ago I worked on this rug by Sharon Smith. I started working on it as my sight got worse and worse. I sold that rug, just because it always reminded me of loosing my sight, something I have always taken for granted. Every spring I am so sad because I don't have that rug. I have wanted to do another but not quite the same.

Sharon Smith- Mrs Rabbit.

I mentioned that to my daughter, Kessie. She said she could draw me a new pattern. I got online and found the original 19th Century  post card  that Sharon used to get her drawing. I emailed that to Kessie and then she snail mailed me this drawing.

Sorry for the fold. I love that she gave me a back ground. Then I took it down to my favorite copy store. Fed Ex. They are the nicest people in there and are always so excited to see what I bring to copy. So they enlarged it for me.

It makes me so happy to see it again. I won't sell this one this time around.

I drew it out on my linen. Now I sit and think about it and how I can hook this one. A whole new world opens up to me. Having a daughter who can draw what I want is always so nice. I know with this rug, it won't be as dark as my last one was and I plan on dyeing wool that is marbleized.

I thought I would share with you the progress I have made on His Eye is On the Sparrow, by Beth Twist.

I am on the last four pages. I have become obsessed with it. Now I try and work on it every day. This is my third year, and I think I will finish it hopefully before summer. I never thought in my wildest dreams I could ever get this far. It has helped so much to have Rose at Three Sheep Studio to be doing this at the same time, she has motivated me with her beautiful hand work so often. She has given such helpful hints that it has kept me stitching even when I hit road blocks. Like last year realizing I had twelve pages to go.

Thank you so much for stopping by today. We have a warm day today, and I am trying to work in my flowerbeds each day. When  it gets warm enough outside.

I hope you have a lovely day,

  "I remember I used to half believe and wholly play with fairies when I was a child. What heaven can be more real than to retain the spirit-world of childhood, tempered and balanced by knowledge and common-sense." The Complete Tales, by Beatrix Potter.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Now That I Am Back!

I am back after my stint in Jury Duty. More of that later. Across the road from me the pear trees are beginning to turn white. So with that ground hog who says what he says, I know why here in California we don't put to much stock in it because I first noticed those pear trees on January 30th. I couldn't believe my eyes. Blooms this early. I really don't know how I will handle another 9 month summer. I hope its just a false start.

On Monday morning, I had to be at Jury Services at 7:30. I got out of the house and drove there, past road work, and one lane roads but other than that pretty uneventful. Thinking I was smart I parked down by the walk over the train stairs.

The line was stretched down the street with people waiting to get in the building. I don't know when I have been there before when they have called so many panels of jurors. They do self check in now which is very fast. I found a chair and sat down, took out the paper that had my juror badge and realized, I left it in my car. I jumped up and went for another walk. Crossed the stairs and went to my car. Grabbed the badge and walked back. By this time there were no seats so I went outside to the area with people who smoke. It was cold, but I met a nice lady who like me couldn't find a seat. The one good thing about jury duty is meeting new people.

Before I left for jury duty I prayed that I would spend my day looking at this like an adventure. I wanted to be just where God wanted me to be, and I wanted to keep my eyes open for where God was leading.
The jury services asked for volunteers to drive out to a court house in Shafter. Its a little farming community that is a very nice little town. As a girl and we lived on my Dad's farm, Shafter was the closest town to us so I was familiar with it. I felt a tug at my heart to volunteer, but thought, is that me? or is that God. So I didn't.
About 10:00 A.M. they called people to go to Shafter and they called me. The nice thing was it was only 10:00 A.M. and they didn't need us until 1:30 so I got to go home. I was so happy I didn't have to wait out in the cold anymore and could be at home. Peter was home for lunch  ( He was taking classes and they broke for lunch)  so we fixed breakfast and had a nice morning.

Lovely Nettles.
I drove out to Shafter. Its such a nice drive. I really do love driving out into the country and seeing all of the farm land and the fields being prepared for spring. Its funny how much my heart gets happy seeing open land as far as the eye can see. The court house in Shafter is small and nice. The hard thing about jury duty is all of the sitting. We finally got called into the courtroom and I was the 18th juror called to the witness box. We have to go through all of our statics, like what my husband does and what all of the the kids do things like that. They were really odd about what the trial was about. Then they kept having to send us out of the court room while they talked about some other issue. It was strangest jury duty I have ever been on.

At 4:30 The judge says, I have to have meetings all day tomorrow so no court on Tuesday. But be back Wednesday at 9:00 A.M. for a two day trial. So I drove home so happy, I had Tuesday to do everything I normally do on Monday. I planned meals so that I could have dinner in the crock pot on the days I was going to be gone, I did all of the laundry again. I cleaned the house. Then about 2:00 jury services called and the trial had been settled out of court and I was no longer needed and my service was finished for a year. Isn't that amazing!! All I can say, was I was so glad I left it to God and I was so glad I just obeyed once in my life and He took such good care of me.

Changing topics now. I am going to hook a new chicken rug. I want my rooster in the rug to look like Poirot.
He is that little pretty guy in front with the black and white feathers. I love my roosters and I need to get rid of them because having four is a little much. I just can't decide which one as they all have such different personalities. That fluffy black and white one in the back is named Steve. He is such a micro manager its funny. He can never mind his own business. I admit I am starting to go into chick fever. I don't need any chickens. Period.

These are my smallest bantams. The rooster is named Freddy aka Kruger. The hen is named Dove. They are the most unique chickens ever. They have such cute personalities and enjoy just watching what they will do next. Elliot has worked with Freddy so much that when he sees Elliot he comes running and will ride around on Elliot's shoulder. I think these two are very trainable. They do like to be held.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I am so glad to be here right now.

I hope your day is just fantastic.


“Self-pity is the hens' besetting sin," remarked Mr. Payton. "Foolish fowl. How they came to achieve anything as perfect as the egg I do not know! I cannot fathom.”
― Elizabeth Enright, Gone-Away Lake