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Posts from the ‘Home and Children’ Category

A Surprise

Remodeling the farm-house has been long term project. Two of my brothers have taken on finishing up the project. They have sheet-rocked the majority of the upstairs, painted the half bath, gotten the furnace up and running with ductwork in place. I wanted the house to be mine–not my parents or my grand-parents but mine.

We added two additions–a larger master bedroom and a larger bathroom with walk-in shower on one side and on the other a lovely breakfast room with clerestory windows. There is a huge wrap-around porch and an upstairs balcony. I knew about those features. But I was promised a surprise.

And here it is!

that wood beam is wood from the grainery. There will be a brass chandelier hanging instead of that light fixture.

the room with the two windows was my old bedroom, facing north and the windmill. It will become the library with shelves on two long walls.

The room with the sloping ceiling will become my sewing room with a smaller room on the other side as the computer room and half bath.

Look at all that lovely light and space.

Flowers for Mom and Dad

My grandmother took on many jobs during her lifetime. She repaired sewing machines during the Depression, operated a canning machine for local garden produce during World War II, and mowed/maintained cemeteries in the following decades.

She would drive down to the farm and pick the three oldest up to help her mow the cemetery on Shanghai ridge. I usually had the job of trimming with the hand clippers—no weed eaters in those days.

Flowers then were the perishable variety; a few folks planted flowers in pots or urns. The cemetery was always nicely mowed for Memorial Day and the Fourth with flags placed on the veterans’ grave-sites.

Some of my friends from Louisiana have the custom of a cemetery day in which family members clean, weed, refurbish the family graves.

My dear friend Jo decorates her parents’ graves and offered to help me do the same for mine. She had a nice cache of plastic flowers from the days when cemetery workers removed the previous year’s decorations and put them in a huge pile on a back corner.

We found two nice small sprays—lilac and pink for my mother and blue/white for my dad.

The gravestone had two receptacles for flowers—-I waded through some thistles and tall weeds into the nearby corn field to pick up some corn cobs to wedge them into place.

As Dad was a farmer—that didn’t seem too out of place—a simple solution.

Tank-Mates and Forty Five Years

It hardly seems possible that I graduated from medical school forty five years ago.

It was a weekend of memories and catching up on classmates.

The first year was rigorous, filled to capacity with study, labs, lectures with the most demanding being that of Gross Anatomy.

Disecting a cadaver is not something done in a week—it took us the best part of two semesters to do so—the smell of formaldehyde forrever bringing that memory back.

We were grouped in teams of four. Three guys asked me if I had joined a group—and invited me. Sam and i dove into diseection; he became a gastroenterologist. Ashley, a medic serving in Viet Nam destined to become an ENT surgeon, and Greg who became the physician for the Olympic bicycling team were less enthusiastic.

They teased me—and admitted it was because it was so fun—. I grew up with five brothers, most of my college classes were with males–as I focused on math and science along with the engineers.

And here I am with Ashley.

Two girls, a son, and a backyard

This past weekend was a dance/gymnastic recital for three grandchildren. Unfortunately I did not get any photos of the event However, we spent a lovely afternoon with them the previous weekend.

My daughter-in-law spends a lot of time on her house and garden–their backyard was absolutely delightful–tall pine trees offering shade and lots of potted vegetables and fruit trees.

the best part of course–were the two grand-daughters.

I’m not sure why the grand-son was so tired—but isn’t he adorable?

Farewell to Teddy Bears

Sometimes it is easier to clean and organize when you are alone in your home—-or maybe it is because there is no-one to reminisce about the objects and get side-tracked. While Toby and Dora listen attentively, they do not offer verbal opinions….perhaps that is a good thing.

One of the closets had a large basket full of stuffed toys. Dusty! I had save them for grand-children—who seem to be more interested in playing outside than with stuffed critters—and it is time to dispose of them.

I’ve worked in a resale shop—-some of the items have never seen soap—I decided to wash these stuffies. Everyone came out smelling nice—except—-this poor yellow bear.

I cleaned all of this out—poor bear—he looked fine until his bath.

But then I made these two from my sister-in-law’s wedding dress remnants.

She has two grand-daughters; I sent some spools of ribbon—I am just not a good bow tie-er—thought about going to a florist shop and begging for assistance—but then thought the bows would be better tied closer to their final destination.

Sweet husband delivered them last week—to oohs and aahs—

And I still have all those other stuffies to deliver—somewhere.

Onward!

Two days ago I wrote about my frustrating interaction with health insurance—it was just the eensiest smidge of self-pity—-but it is time to move on.

I grew up in Wisconsin—our state motto—-Onward!

Our past defines who we are at the start, but does not dictate our future.

With that in mind……

I began to select fabrics for the image on that quilted piece. Contrast and scale are challenging. I decide what I think will be a good color–and then I hunt for the right scale. My fabric collection—think of it as a collection of tubes of paint…is large–and I have added very little to it in the past three or four years, choosing to work from what I have.

Here is my first pull.

Whatever I choose needs to be harmonious with the background but yet distinctive.

While I dug through piles of fabric and small strips of fabric destined for crumb quilts or string piecing, the foundations guys arrived to work on the garage.

This house is old–over a hundred years—and construction methods then were different from today.

The garage was built on a row of bricks with a concrete floor poured afterwards. The cars were not very heavy—I don’t know how much a Model T or A weighed—–but they were certainly smaller and lighter than my F250 diesel–which has never seen the inside of a garage unless it was a parking garage in Houston or at Dwayne’s getting something repaired.

They were pleased to be working in the shade for most of the day—but it was still hot.

They mixed up the cement with their bobcat in the street.

by this time, they all had their shirts off—and I know you want to see that.

Now we wait for the concrete/cement—(there is a proper term…one is the ingredient and the other the finished product).. to set.

They will be back sometime in about a week to raise the garage. Then it will be time for the roof guys to appear.

And by that time I will have completed the work on that piece I started so very long ago.

Onward doesn’t give a time frame.

Coloring My World

color My world

At last I took the time to take a full photograph. It was the 2021 Quilst Show Block of the Month destined to be the wedding quilt for my oldest grandson.

I had a lot of fun choosing some of my novelty fabrics to make the houses and buildings. The ‘pole’ positions were equally fun with penguins and snowmen–and then the Alamo and ‘home’ as west and east.

Of course there are lots of cowboys and longhorns–he is Texan!

I didn’t take a photo of the back–but it has lots of cowboy themed fabric as well.

I’ve started work on the next Block of the Month–this one is flowers in vases–and will be for the youngest grand-daughter—it has a lot of bold fabrics—to match her personality.

Egg Hunters

Wisconsin springs did not always lend themselves to outdoor egg hunts. Usually my mother hid our baskets somewhere in the living room or dining room—a very small house in retrospect. One year, though, I remember an egg hunt on the farm with eggs hidden in the dog house, under the bridal wreath bushes, in the lilacs and in the crooks of trees.

Here in Texas, we are more likely to have rain than snow but this year, the weather was absolutely perfect.

It was rather a last minute request—to have an egg hunt for two grandsons and their dad—but we went shopping on Holy Saturday—to find no plastic eggs, we chose not to boil and dye regular chicken eggs, but decided on some plastic food containers with bright red tops, some Hot Wheel cars, candy eggs and little packets of M&M’s.

Before we had dogs, we hid eggs in our backyard—but with dogs able to sniff out any food related items, the front yard was our option.

The Weir boys headed out for a walk around the block while I (designated Easter bunny sub-contractor) hid the containers—including one for the dad.

Toby stuck her nose under the gate watching—and no doubt wishing she was invited.

It took them a lot longer than I thought to find the containers—with dad being the last—and taking the longest—maybe I made it too easy for him in his younger years.

But they were all successful and pleased with their finds.

Of course I needed a group photo.

and under the gate Toby and Dora both watched patiently.

We adjourned for a very traditional Easter dinner of corn dogs and ice cream drumsticks.

Oliver fell in love with Toby—Toby now showing her age and responding with less enthusiasm was so well behaved, Oliver wanted to take her home with him.

Fortunately Grandpa said no; and once again made Oliver cry with disappointment.

Dog photo Ops and a walk

The weather was supposed to be cloudy and rainy—but it was windy with intermittent clouds looking like rain. We loaded up the dogs into Tessie and headed to Cat-Tail Marsh—via a different route than our usual—a bridge is being replaced.

Toby and Dora were very excited–they expected a trip to the dog park but we did not drive that way. Toby surveyed the road and our path, licked Glen’s ear a lot–as if to remind him that she really loved him and to not please get her lost somewhere.

Our walk around the marsh was quite pleasant–only one other car when we arrived. Lots of interesting smells and I think Toby wanted to play with one of the alligators. She refused to venture out on the pump mechanism, Dora, however, had no problem walking to the end of the pump and looking out over the water. Toby watched the gallinules, coots, grackles, and red-winged blackbirds flying—and wasn’t quite sure of her responsibility.

I tried to take photos of the two dogs—but they seemed more interested in facing away from the wind than in modeling.

I was surprised to see a white variation of the primrose—but on very close inspection it was a very light lavender.

We met two men from Germany with some serious camera equipment, talked birds for awhile. A man with his daughter noted the resident eagle had flown overhead on the southern most pond.

Home to wind howling around the house making it seem wintery—but still quite warm outside.

Soccer and an Ant House

Last weekend was absolutely gorgeous with sunny skies, a very gentle breeze—unlike the past few days, moderate temperatures—AND a soccer tournament featuring one of my grand-sons. The location was about an hour or so away–an easy drive with the first game mid-morning.

The teams seemed to be mostly still asleep during that game but after a couple of hours ‘resting’ under the canopies set up by the soccer dads, sandwiches made by a soccer mom and soccer dad, the next game was far more exciting.

Glen came prepared with a wide brimmed hat, my hat was still on the hat rack in the front hallway

Of course I tried to take photos of the action—but I need a lot more practice before I can catch the best moments. I did get a few.

And then there was the Ant House.

The soccer fields are set up to accommodate several ages of players with different sized goals. The adult goal was off to one side providing the equivalent of a play-pen for five year old siblings of the players. My youngest grandson sat there along with two other boys–busily constructing an Ant House complete with a soft grass bed and decorated with a dandelion—and they managed to capture an ant to put in the house.

Some parents brought grills and I could smell hot dogs cooking. Sitting under that canopy with the other parents was fun–sharing dried plantains, listening to music and playing corn-hole.

When the next game started there was a brief moment of panic—both teams were wearing white jerseys and one of them had to switch–to the black ones–but one player forgot his at home—another parent stepped in with a spare.

And of course there was a bit of drama—two nose bleeds–youngest grand-son and a player–both bonked on the face with a soccer ball—-both survived, player’s mom rinsed out the shirt in the girl’s bathroom full of girls changing their team jerseys. Both boys were quite nonchalant about the event once the bleeding stopped.

It was a wonderful day.