Glad To See Friday

A sweet prim stitch that hangs in my kitchen – words to remember!

What a long week this has been. I’m glad to finally see the weekend. It started out so sad. Such a tragic accident to occur in our community. (See previous post). Joe was out of town from Sunday through Tuesday night. Then Wednesday afternoon he and I headed to Ames to stay the night. His brother had surgery for prostrate cancer yesterday morning. Joe wanted to be there to support Tom so we stayed the night so that we could be at the hospital by 5:30 a.m. The surgery went great and it looks like they were able to get all the cancer. What a blessing. Although the circumstances were not so fun it was nice to spend some one on one time with Joe Wednesday evening then with all of his siblings and some of their spouses yesterday at the hospital. Tom isn’t married but his girlfriend was there too. We enjoyed some reminiscing and I think she enjoyed hearing the siblings talking. They haven’t been dating for very long so I think she got to learn some things about the family throughout the day! She seems like a very nice person and you can see that she cares for Tom.

A springy wreath to welcome us home after a long day away.

It was a long day and so nice when we got home to run over to Dad and Mom’s to pick up Drew (they kept him overnight for us while we were gone) and have a warm, home cooked meal there. Eric headed over too so we got to enjoy more family time there. There’s nothing better than being with family eating a home cooked meal after being gone overnight and eating junk food all day. Family time all day and then family time in the evening. Precious.

A spot of green in a dreary landscape. Spring is here!

I think the weather this week has made everything just a tad harder to deal with. I’m beginning to wonder if we will ever see the sun. It’s been cold, wet, windy, and just downright miserable all week. Looking at the forecast it doesn’t look like things are going to improve anytime soon. But, things are sprouting up out of the ground despite the weather and the grass is getting greener by the day so we do know Spring is here and one of these days I’m sure we’ll be donning those sunglasses and short sleeves. At least we have something to look forward to! Before you know it, everyone will be complaining of it being too hot and these dreary cold days will be long forgotten! So, I’ll just light another candle, keep my slippers on and stay inside as much as I can. Cuddle under a blanket with Drew when he’ll let me and enjoy each day as it comes!

Pierre is getting a little too brave around a burning candle.

Did anybody see Trace Adkins on the Today Show today? I’m glad I was able to tune in. I have always liked Trace Adkins but now that I know his drummer personally – I enjoy seeing him perform live! The drummer, John Richardson, is from my hometown! His mom and my mom are good friends and we spent Saturday morning coffee at each other’s houses when we were growing up. I can still see the play room in their neat old farmhouse – it was so much fun to visit. He and his brother Tom and me and my sister Beth. Nobody deserves the honor of being the drummer for such a well known singer more than Johnny! He’s worked hard and followed his dream and it’s great to see him living it now!

Lots of Tears Today

It’s been a sad day for our little community today. Two brothers, both in high school, ran a stop sign and hit a semi. The semi driver was also from our community. They were quite a few miles away from town, the boys heading to an appointment in a neighboring town when it happened. Tragically, one of the boys and the semi driver was killed. The other boy is in the hospital. This is always a such tragic thing to have happen and in such a small community it affects so many people. The parents of the two boys were both school teachers in our community, the father was also a coach at the high school. They both now work for the AEA. The semi driver had lived his whole life here, raised two children and has grandchildren living here. It is such a sad loss for both families. My Eric called me from the school this morning when he found out and was in tears. It was so hard to not go to the school to just hold him. But they had counselors and the Ministerial Alliance there to help the students and the teachers get through this. The community will rally around both families to help them all through this terrible time. That’s what communities do. We all know God has a plan for these two – we just have to trust in him to see us through this.

Rainy Days

Drew eating his afternoon snack in the rain.

It’s been overcast and rainy the past three days here in southeast Iowa. But the birds sure are singing so we know spring is here! It’s a typical Iowa spring. It’s chilly and damp and there’s not much that can be done outside. Drew’s first soccer practice was canceled. Yesterday we decided to go to Des Moines to the camper show being held at the state fair grounds rather than sit around the house. My dad and mom went with us and we met up with some friends from Clear Lake.

Its perfect candle burning weather – this one is called Snickerdoodle – yum!

None of us are looking to buy a camper but we always have fun looking. We look at all the different choices and go home still loving the one we have. That’s a good thing!

 Today is another overcast, drizzly, chilly day – one of those lazy sit around the house days. It’s nice to have one once in awhile. Joe had to leave to go north for work this morning – as much as he hates leaving on a Sunday, he doesn’t mind so much when he’s headed to Clear Lake – to work for the next couple of days with a good friend who works for the same company.  They have fun together even if it is work. Eric is home all day which is a treat for me. I feel like I hardly get to see him anymore. So the boys and I are being bums this afternoon and enjoying our time together! (Of course Eric has basketball going on TV – but that’s okay – I’ll survive!)


Quiet Days

After such a busy weekend it’s nice to have a quiet week. We haven’t done much of anything this week. Joe has been busy with work. The boys are gone to school every day and I’ve been getting the house back in order. It never fails, when we have busy days the house becomes a mess. Laundry and picking up – that’s my week so far and that’s fine with me. Drew starts soccer tomorrow night, prom and birthdays next month and graduation in May. Busy days ahead. I need to enjoy these quiet peaceful days as they will be few and far between in the coming months.

Busy Days

Wow – the last three days went by like a blur. Friday was a fun day. My mom and I spent the day in Kalona with my daughter Abby as she lives there. She was off work for spring break. We visited the antiques stores and specialty stores and went out to lunch. It was the first time we’ve ever done that and it was so much fun. No pictures were taken of course. We’re not a picture taking bunch. Kalona is such a fun little town to explore. It’s an Amish town. You see horses and buggies everywhere and lots of fun little shops. Our first stop was the Amish bakery. Lots of yummy pastries and fun things to see. Then a little shopping and lunch at the family restaurant and more shopping. We didn’t buy much. I picked up a little yellow vase and a potted plant. We just enjoyed the day with each other. Hopefully we can do this more often.

Looks like a serious discussion going on here.
Two ornery boys.

Then Saturday Joe and I took a bunch of stuff to Goodwill. It felt so good to get so many things out of the house. Just the beginning of clearing things out and trying to simplify. Grocery shopping while we were out and then back to Kalona to babysit our grandson Braxton so Jeremy and Abby could go out for supper. He’s such a sweet little boy and he and Uncle Drew have so much fun playing together. I can see they are going to be quite the pair when they get older as they are buddies already. We could have our hands full!

Coco enjoying the sun

Then Sunday was spent in the timber at dad and mom’s cutting down trees and splitting wood. It was a beautiful day – a nice cool breeze and sunshine. A perfect day to be outside and working. The timber is my happy place. I spent hours and hours down there when I was growing up. Wandering around, exploring the creek, sitting quietly for hours watching the squirrels and the fox play, picking wild raspberries, riding my horse, Cherokee. It was heaven for me. Now I hardly ever pass up a chance to spend time down there. We have wiener roasts down there and just take the mule down and ride around and spend time cutting down the trees that have died. It’s a great place for Drew too – he loves to spend time exploring and playing as did all the kids as they were growing up and they still do when they can.

Standing back while Joe cuts down a tree. Mom will hate this picture but I love it – this is how I will always remember them when we’re down in the timber.
Some of the wood we got split.
Pretty little woodpecker.
And the chainsaw is stuck – time for a wedge.
Time for lunch!
Wicked thorns.
Drew taking a nap on an old log.

A busy, busy weekend. Very little time was spent at home. But a lot of time was spent with family. There’s nothing better.

Keep Saved . . .

Keep saved the memories of your ancestors. – Family record sampler

I love this quote – and the fact that it comes from an old sampler makes it mean even more! (Not a good picture but I didn’t want a picture of me in the photo!) One way that I keep saved the memories of my ancestors. My great-grandma’s dressing table. Dresser scarves stitched by my grandma. The glass powder container was my mother-in-law’s and a cigarette case that belonged to my grandfather. And a couple of pictures of my mom when she was little. I love keeping saved the memories of my ancestors by decorating my house with their possessions. These possessions mean so much more to me than anything new I could buy in a store!


I realized the other day that Pierre is getting fat and lazy! He still runs around and wreaks havoc once in awhile but he’s spending more of his time sleeping. He likes it here on the couch in the mornings (when Drew isn’t around!) and then gravitates to Drew’s bed in the afternoons. He likes to curl up in blankets if he can. He comes to life though when Drew is around – he will lie in wait for him and then attack. The life of a cat!

I love my tea mat. I even found Grandma Ward’s teapot to sit beside it. I love this teapot and need to keep it out on display more. I have so many things of hers and I love to keep them out around the house to remind me of her.

My new stitch is Harvest of Plenty by Tammy Black of Scattered Seed Samplers. After getting started on it I remembered why I had put this one in my someday pile. I love the design, the fabric, the colors and I love anything with an alphabet. But the alphabet on this is stitched one over one and I find that so challenging. My eyes just don’t work like they used to and it can be a struggle to stitch something so tiny. But I love the way it looks and I’m up for a challenge so I will keep plugging along. When I get it finished I will have a beautiful sampler ready to display this fall!

Winter Wonderland


We woke up to a white world this morning. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen snow on the ground and it’s so pretty. I love how it changes how everything looks and how hushed everything is. It reminds me of a blanket – soft and inviting. I remember in years past the huge snowstorms we used to get. Being snowed in for days, losing electricity, blizzard like conditions. We don’t get snows like that anymore. But with that being said, we also don’t get the ice storms we used to get either. I never liked the ice storms. Ice is scary! I’m sure we’ll see those kinds of storms again. Everything seems to cycle. This snowfall won’t stay long – not this time of the year and that’s okay. It’s time for spring to arrive now. I’m ready for warmer weather and to see everything come alive again.

Unfortunately we got just enough snow that my mom and I have to cancel our plans for today. My aunt is going through some health problems right now and we were going to take her out for lunch today and have a nice visit before she has some tests done later in the week. She lives a few miles away, in a remote area, and the roads to get there are not in the best shape due to the weather. I was really looking forward to visiting with her but we’ll just have to try again for next week. Something to look forward to!

I bet dad’s timber looks pretty right now all dressed up in the snow!


Time In The Timber

We spent some time in the timber yesterday. It was a beautiful day so Joe decided to head over and chop some wood. Dad had one dead tree down on the bottom he wanted taken down and hauled away before spring. Once it starts raining and the creek over flows its banks they won’t be able to get back there again anytime soon. Mom, Drew and I headed down for a little while to check out the progress. We didn’t stay long – it was just too cold! But it was nice to be outside and getting some fresh air for a little while anyway.

Heading for the bottom. It’s a good thing Dad knows which trees are dead and which aren’t – you can’t always tell this time of year.
Coco keeping an eye on the progress.
These old thorn trees are wicked.
I’m always amazed at how they know where to cut to get the tree to fall where they want it to.

Joe is back down there again today. Drew and I stayed home. I made a homemade strawberry pie and we’ll have a nice warm supper waiting for him when he gets home. According to the weather we may be in for some snow tonight and in the morning 4″ – 7″ is predicted for our area. That’s okay with me. I love the snow and in March you can enjoy it knowing it won’t be here forever as spring is on it’s way!


Sweet prim bunny mounted on an antique oil can and little Easter cupboard tuck – both made by me years ago.

The kids didn’t have school today due to parent teacher conferences. A good day to run to Walmart. We don’t go very often but once in awhile there’s just something I need and Walmart is the place to go. I like going on a week day too – there’s a lot less shoppers around! Another reason I like to go to Walmart – I get the boys in the van with me and it’s a great place to connect! I’ve driven to Oskaloosa or Ottumwa many times throughout the years for a “necessary” trip to Walmart or Fareway to get one or the other of the kids to open up and talk. There’s just something about being alone in a vehicle with a nice long drive ahead of us to get them to connect. I’m not sure what it is. Maybe because I’m driving and so can’t really look at them. Or there’s nothing else to do and no distractions to speak of. Whatever it is, it works. I let Eric sleep in a little then got him up and away we went. A quick trip for chia seeds – definitely something that can’t be bought in town. Drew put his headphones on and watched The Land Before Time and Eric and I had a nice conversation. It was nice to connect with him. He’s 18 and it seems like he’s never home anymore. I miss talking to him. I learned a lot – what his plans are for prom. What’s going on with some of his friends. How he feels about President Trump and the state of our country. He’s a smart kid with very definite opinions of his own. I miss spending time with him! And we got home and he was off – heading to Iowa City with friends. I cherish the times I’ve had in the van with my kids and connecting with them!

Beautiful fresh eggs from the farm!

When we got home I discovered the neighbor had dropped off some eggs. They have chickens and I love to see them out in their pasture. Once in awhile they cross the road and wander around our yard. They are so pretty and they are fun to watch. I love fresh eggs. There’s nothing better and there’s no comparison to store bought eggs. One thing I miss about working for the city – there was a local Amish man that made his rounds on Fridays selling eggs. I so appreciate Colleen dropping off these eggs today. I’ll have to do something for her – maybe drop off a couple crochet dishcloths to show my appreciation!

These strawberries are the reason for needing to get chia seeds. The high school Student Council sold these and Eric brought some home. We had some for supper last night – they were so good – and I’m going to try making Crock Pot Sugar-Free Strawberry Chia Jam. It sounds good and easy. I sure hope it works! Then a strawberry pie to use up the remaining strawberries. I’m hoping to plant some strawberries this year. There’s nothing better than fresh strawberries straight from the garden – unless it’s tomatoes of course!