In the Willows...

In the Willows...

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I am the farmers daughter...

and that being said...even I sometimes have a hard time with the cycle of life.

Here are the pigs that dad raised this fall and two weeks ago they headed for the butcher shop.  See that tiny brown one in the back, well I named him Tater-tot, because he was so stinking cute, I could barley stand it.   I would go in the barn yelling "Tater" and he would snort and come over for a scratch.

so on Saturday night we went to pick up and pay for our half of one pig and saved out a package of the sausage to make sandwiches for dinner.   I caramelized some onions and made patties, as they started to fry and smell yummy, all of a sudden the tears rolled down my face as I realized it was "Tater"...

I told dad on Sunday, and he said he made sure I didn't get Tater, that he had taken Tater because he was smaller.  I think he was just trying to make me feel better, I am pretty sure all the pork goes together as they make the sausage.

I still love being a farmers daughter, and I love our country life...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

on the road, apple pie and bunnies...

So last week I hit the road for a few days and headed south, but not that far south, down to Lancaster, PA area to visit my Aunt Donna.   Three days of stitching and a little shopping at consignment shops for cheap cloths.  I was invited to sit in on their stitching bee group and let me tell ya, these ladies down in Lancaster, PA are talented quilters and hookers.  I had my current crazy quilting blocks with me and the compliments I received really were humbling and an honor coming from them.

As for just spending time with my Aunt, it was what I needed.  I came home feeling not so alone and very loved.

I also came home to a daughter that moved out and in to her first apartment.  Not unexpected, just happened fast.  Here today, gone tomorrow.  I am very proud of her.  I will miss our late night conversations after she would come home from her second job at Home Depot.  Joel goes to bed early and I of course stay up and stitch so Samantha and I would chat and catch up when she came home, now its just me and the cats n' dogs.

I have never been a pie baker, until this weekend.  I told mom she had to stick around because I would never be able to make the pies, she just told me to practice...and it didn't matter if I did a bad job to begin with because Joel would eat the evidence any way.  So I've practiced and I made an Apple pie, that rivaled someone (whom I shall not name)  BUT I DID IT AND THEY LOVED IT!  

My crust was light and flaky, apples were tasty just the right amount of sweet and cinnamon.

I picked up this Peter the Rabbit basket at a shop for a few bucks, isn't he so cute.. yep, got my Easter decorations out.  Love bunnies....

Then my Aunt surprised me and made me cry by giving me my grandmothers ring.  Fit like it was made just for me.  The age of the ring pre-dates my grandmother so I have a feeling it was passed on to her, I am just not sure which grandmother it came from.

I also came home with really a car load of fabric that my Aunt was cleaning out, really I mean a CAR LOAD, so I am in the process of doing some re-arranging in my sewing room.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Some cake and crazy

Nate was home from school last week, so my routine was disrupted and sewing went to the wayside for a bit.  Over the weekend, I made the cinnamon roll cake that everyone likes, some of Susan Branch's shortbread cookies (that were a hit) and lasagna was Nate's request for his final meal before heading back to school food.

 Here is the crazy part... or my latest crazy quilting block

I am doing my next piece in Hexagons, this cottage with the sheep image has been a favorite of mine and I think this block does it justice.  By now, everyone can see I have a think for sheep.

I of course had to get my little bumblebees in there somewhere.

 more sheep and I stitched my three old hens that have been doing very well despite their age and the freezing temperatures.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


I don't remember what year mom painted this.  It hangs in ARC Veterinary Clinic, where my mom used to work.  It is rather large, I believe it was an old barn door.    Joel snapped a photo of it for me when he was there yesterday with the cat.

Isn't it something, even after all these years I still find something new when I look at it.

Friday, February 13, 2015

On the...

evenings during the week when I go to visit Dad it usually leads him to reminiscing.  I enjoy it, it's my special time with him.  He tells stories about when I was little and things we did, that I don't remember.  He tells stories about his childhood and talks about his parents.

One thing I realize and relate to is how much he loved his parents and how much he misses them to this day.  I feel horrible that I did not realize until now, how deeply he has hurt all this time.  Maybe I didn't recognize it until now, with a kindred knowing.

Hearing how he truly feels about things in his life, how he loved my mom makes me even more proud that he is my Dad.

My father loved his mothers cooking, still talks about it. Her fried chicken, fried gizzards & livers, among other things, you can see in his face that he can still taste it.  He tells how when she made bread he would cut the loaf in half, slather it with butter and eat the whole thing.  He said she would get so mad.  I asked did she get really mad or just exasperated.  He said she would act mad, but she really wasn't.

 I can see, he was her favorite and I guarantee you she made an extra loaf just so he could do it to see if he could get away with it.  I know this is how I am with Nate.  I know he is going to eat me out of house and home, I act mad, but I am so flattered that he likes my cooking.

My dad said he ate so much that his father claimed it would be cheaper to board him out.  He remembered once that he ate 18 hot dogs in one setting.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

old dogs always have a story...

He still looks like a pup when he raises his ears, but alas he is not a pup anymore.  He is 15 and the white on his face gives him away.

Dougie, is Nathan's dog, we rescued him from a pound in Pennsylvania the summer before Nate started 2nd grade.  His first grade teacher that he loved had passed away toward the end of the year of school and the school had decided that this whole class would stay together and be in 2nd grade with the same teacher that had taken over their class at the end.   Which I thought was wonderful, Nate had really made some wonderful friends in that class, two that remain best friends of his today. 

So being a mom and a mom that loves dogs, I felt that a pup would take his mind off a topic that a little boy really shouldn't have to deal with and it did, he was a fun pup that loved to play fetch and keep away seemed to be his favorite, but Nate never seemed to mind.  He would chase him until they were both exhausted.  A win for me!

He ended up with the name Dougie, because Nathan's middle name is Douglas and the pound had named him Sammy, well that was not going to fly so Nate seemed it fit to name him after himself not his sister.

He spent many a year snuggled every night with his boy in bed. (until I could not trust him with accidents as he got old)

The poor old man doesn't seem to tolerate dog food anymore.  So now I need to cook for the dog.  I thought it was a passing tummy issue, but alas one day back on dog food set us back 4.

 I know there are special brands out there, but the expense of those foods is worth my time and the ingredient, rice and can chicken/roast beef (or left overs, meats) to make his tummy happy.

  I hope we can get some weight back on him, he is so thin.  Anyone walking in would think we were starving the poor dog, instead of feeding him twice a day and on the weekends when I am home I give him a mid day snack.  I am afraid to give him the usual doggie biscuits.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

See, I had this fabric and

I knew I wanted to make something for my niece Ollie with it.

But clothing has always equaled disaster with me...usually comes out looking like a lop sided sack.

I just don't have the knack.  I still don't, patterns and I just don't get along.

But I did make it through this for Ollie, with out causing harm to any humans, animals or the environment.

and by the look of the photo my sister in law sent me...She likes it.  I thought with a turtleneck and some leggings it would be adorable.