Monday, October 14, 2019

"Do Scarecrows Sleep at Night"

I used to live in Branchville, NJ.  We went to Branchville United Methodist Church.  After we moved away the town started to have a scarecrow contest.  Everyone would dress scarecrows up and add items to make a theme for their yard.  2 ladies that live in the town, Jeanne Heinke and Agnes Rizzo decided to write a book for the children of the town called Do Scarecrows Sleep at Night.  They asked several people to paint pictures for the book and I happen to be one of them!  I was told it would be a page in the book and what the them was.  So my picture had to have Pumpkinhead Jack, 3 signing angel scarecrows and they were to be in front of the Branchville United Methodist Church at night.  Pumpkinhead Jack would also be telling them to go to the park to list to Kiss.  So I had a month or two to create this painting and send it to Jeanne for publishing in the book.  I completed it in about 4 weeks and this is the painting:

This past weekend there was a book signing for this book and it sold out!!  They are going to have more printed and I hope they sell out too!!  It was fun to be part of such a wonderful thing.  Almost all the proceeds from the book is going to be given to the Frankford Twp School.  What a worthy cause!  My 2 daughters, Megan and Jenny went to that school.  It is so wonderful that this charming town got together and created the scarecrow contest and now these 2 wonderful ladies created such a charming and wonderful book for children.  This makes my heart smile :)!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Autumn is Coming to NC!

I can feel a difference in the air lately.  Even though it is still hot and humid here, things will change soon.  Actually the weather person said this morning on the news starting tomorrow, Wednesday the weather will become cooler and less humid.  Atleast through the weekend that is.  Friday we leave and go to Megan and Ken's new house in Georgetown, SC.  I am sure it will be warmer and humid there.  That's ok, it will be good to see them and help them with the new house. 

The flowers from the spring and summer are getting tired of blooming, some of them look ragged and worn out.  The hummingbirds and bees are busy gathering pollen and especially the hummingbirds getting ready for the long flight to warmer climes!  We have this little hummingbird (female) she has almost no tail feathers.  She is the cutest, little thing.  She has to work twice as hard to fly, eat, etc.  She rests after each sip of the nectar I make in the hummingbird feeder in our yard.  The shepherd crook that holds up the feeder is her favorite place or the armillary in my cutting garden.  You can almost hear her panting as she catches her breath LOL!!  She has been visiting us for about 3 years now and each year I am amazed this little creature has made it to and from warmer climes and back again.  I will miss her when she takes her leave.

I do love this time of year!  All the rich spices, pumpkins, colors, mums, etc.  I have already put the Autumn wreath I made last year with the pheasant feathers stuck in it.  I have filled the wonderful, hand-carved wooden bowl my Dad made for me with lots of pumpkins.  I have decorated the mantel and changed out all my candles throughout the house.  I have not put any Halloween items out yet, that will be put out next month.  I can't wait to make my first Apple Crisp!  There is just something about that first bite of Apple Crisp for the season!  I also love pumpkin bread, it is so moist and so full of flavor.  I still have fresh pumpkin frozen from the pumpkins my sister, Sue grew in her garden in NW NJ.  I love home-grown pumpkins.  The pumpkins are known as milk pumpkins because they are very light in color.  They make excellent pies, breads, muffins, etc.  I always make my Great-Grandmother Sisco's pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving.  My oldest daughter, Megan loves that pie!!  She and I are always so excited Thanksgiving brings thanks, family and our pumpkin pie!  I have passed the recipe down to her and hopefully she will continue making this in her new house.

Everyone enjoy the Autumn Season and most important of all enjoy what nature shares with you.  Whether it is a colorful tree or bounty like pumpkins, gourds and squash from your or someone elses garden. 


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Hurricane Dorian

Well by now I am sure everyone is tired of hearing about Hurricane Dorian.  I certainly am.  I wanted to let everyone know we are all right though.  Mint Hill didn't have any affects from Dorian at all.  Our daughter, Megan moved during the Hurricane to Georgetown, SC.  She did have damage but everything is all right now.  Her new house was fine but she lost a few trees (one narrowly missing her husband's car)!  She did however, have all of her possessions in the garage of the new house waiting to close on the house.  The garage flooded and everything they owned got wet!  They lost 2 Queen size mattresses and box springs, 1 wardrobe, 2 cubbies, some board games, 2 pieces of artwork and 1 whole box of cookbooks.  They were very lucky they didn't lose everything!  Their closing also got postponed to today (one week after they were supposed to close). 

I am just glad they are all right and most of their possessions are all right.  You can replace thing but you cannot replace people.  I wish them all the luck in their new home!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Butterfly Time of year!

Last weekend after we got back from our vacation, I decided to take some photos of the butterflies on our butterfly bush in the backyard.  They were all so beautiful!

Here are some lovelies:

Everyone of these butterflies are beautiful in their own right!!  I’m so glad I planted the butterfly bush because it gives me hours of wonderful nature watching.  Sometimes I see the hummingbirds and hummingbird moths on the flowers of this huge bush.  The bees are always working away on the flowers too!!  

My roses are making a come back also!  You don’t need TV when you have such wonderful things right outside your door!  Enjoy and remember to stop and smell the roses along your way through life!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Lots of Things Going on Over the Past Few Months

Hello my friends,

I have to say I'm sorry I haven't posted in some time.  I love posting on my blog but lately or I should say over the past few months things have been really busy.  I am going to really work on posting more often.

I have been knitting, painting, reading, gardening, playing with the grandboys and just plain working!  There seems to be a rash of babies being born in either my family or people I know.  I started one for a former co-worker.  The pattern was beautiful but just wasn't working out, so I frogged the whole thing.  I moved on to a baby blanket for my boss.  Love this pattern and it is coming out beautifully.  I am almost done with this one.  The baby was born about 2 weeks ago, so it is a good thing I'm almost done with it.  Then I will go into high knitting mode again for another baby blanket.  My niece, Tawny is due on October 31st.  She is having a little girl.  I need to have the blanket done for her baby shower in the beginning of September!  I better get a move on!  Then my other niece, Devyn is due in January.  We are going to NJ this year for Thanksgiving, so I will be bringing it to her then.  I also have a friend, whose daughter is expecting in September beginning of October.  I really don't know if I can squeeze that blanket in. 

I have been painting alot also.  I started painting watercolors (which I have never done) in the beginning of the year.  I have been having so much fun creating painting and giving paintings.  I have even sold a few paintings!  I found Let's Make Art on FB and subscribed to it and I love it!!  Sarah Cray the owner of Let's Make Art is wonderful and talented.  I love her weekly tutorials!  Some of the weekly paintings have been a challenge but she always encourages everyone to try it because it's only paint and paper.  This is such a simple statement but oh so true! 

My gardens are still going strong even though the heat of the summer and some of our plants are near the end of their growing season.  This year our gladiolus were spectacular!!  John planted these glads about 2 years ago (he loves them and I didn't have time to put them in the ground, so he did).  The bloomed and bloomed and really added beautiful color to the gardens.  We had so much rain this spring, I really think that helped alot.  Jack and I planted our usual potatoes.  I love to see his little face when we dig them up out of the huge pot we planted them in.  He is 6 years old now and we have been doing this since he was 2!  We also plant moon vines but this year he seems to have lost interested in that adventure.  When we dig the potatoes up, I will post photos.  I love doing things like this with the grandchildren.  Mainly because I want them to remember fun things we do together but also because it is something special we can do together and hopefully they will remember and maybe pass this tradition on to their children or grandchildren.  Owen and I planted a Mr Lincoln rose.  Owen loves Abraham Lincoln, so I remembered I used to have a Mr. Lincoln rose.  Sure enough they had 1 left at the garden center and I snatched it up.  John dug the hole and Owen jumped right in to help plant it.  When he comes over he talks to it and says it needs to be strong like Abraham Lincoln was.  The mind of an 8 year old, so awesome!!

I had my 9 month oncology appoint last week and everything is the same.  My oncologist said my blookwork was really great this time.  I hope it stays that way!!  I did have a scare though in June.  I had a lump by my jaw.  I was so afraid one of my lymph nodes was acting up which would mean the Lymphoma was starting to act up.  I went to the Dr. and they said it was an infected salivary gland.  It was painful, but with strong antibiotics it cleared up for the most part. 

Well know you all know why I haven't been on here until now.  It has been a very, very busy first half of the year.  I'm hoping the second half slows down a bit!  2 weeks from now our entire family is going to Tybee Island, GA to celebrate John and my 40th wedding anniversary!!  Should be a great time and a good way to slow down.

Everyone have a wonderful day!!

Friday, March 22, 2019

Spring has finally sprung!!

It is windy today and not really warm but the sun is out and that is just perfect for me!!  I got to come home from work early (3:15), so I took a walk around the yard with Emma.  She loved the chance to run around the yard while I tossed her ball to her!  Here are some things I found on my walk:

Our new azalea out front is starting to bloom!  We had to take out another rose that got the rose mites.  I will miss the rose because it was one of my favorites but the azalea will be real pretty too.

Cute little pansies growing in the front garden.

On the way home this redbud tree started blooming.  It is so pretty!
All the pine trees here are in "bloom".  This causes alot of allergies for me.  They are pretty though!

My Chocolate Mint is waking up :)!!

This is our Carolina Jasmine out front climbing up our front porch and steps railing.  We planted it out back but not enough sun.  The front of the house has so much sun and I guess it really likes it better her.
Spearmint is waking up too!

It's hard to see but this is my Tree Peony.  It has 7 buds on it this year!!!
This little bunny is tucked in amongst some spring flowers and beautiful green moss ready for Easter!

Another view of my bunny.
I hope with the warmer weather and sunshine, there will be even more flowers coming out and other plants popping up!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Is Spring Really Coming?

Last weekend I had to go to NJ for a funeral.  When I got back to Mint Hill/Charlotte on Sunday I saw daffodils blooming in the yard.  Now if anyone has been to NJ in the winter time, you know there isn't any daffodils blooming and not for some time!  I'm so glad I live here in NC!  On Monday I was driving to work and I spotted this beautiful cherry tree blooming while I was at the stop light.

Then when I got home from work, I let Emma, our Golden Retriever out.  I fed the birds and then as I was turning around I spied a Lenten Rose blooming!!  I love this plants!  They love the cold and the colors in the blossoms are just so beautiful!

I don't know why but the photo won't flip the correct way, but you get the idea about the colors!

Then I walked around to the front of the house and that is where I saw the daffodils blooming.

Again the photo won't flip the correct way, sorry!

While I was waiting for John to come home, I opened the pattern for needlepunching I had ordered from Michelle Palmer on etsy:
Michelle has gorgeous items on her site-check it out!  I traced the pattern on to weaver's cloth I had bought and then stretched the fabric on my new frame.  I bought the weaver's cloth, needle punch and frame from The Old Tattered Flag:  I am now addicted to needle punching!  I had never done this craft before, but I watched some youtube videos and learned what I needed to know.  I love it!!  Here is what I have done so far:

This is also sideways.  I'm at work now and I probably could have turned these photos around at home, again sorry!

Lastly, last night our oldest daughter, Megan and her husband, Ken had me over for dinner.  My husband was at his guitar lessons.  I remarked how nice her swag of hearts were that she had made.  After dinner we were chatting and she takes out a bag.  She pulled out some thread and strung some hearts for me!  She is very talented and I love these hearts!!  Just in time for Valentine's Day!  I put them on my painted cupboard in the dining room.  They will look really nice when hubby and I are having our Valentine's Dinner in there tomorrow night.  We have decided not to go out because it is just too crowded and definitely rushed. 

I wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day!!  Hugs!!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Reading, Knitting and Relaxing

After a hectic 2018, I had made a promise to myself that I would slow down and relax more!  I have accomplished that so far! 

1,  My new job is much less stress (started that job 12.03.18), so that makes my days much less hurried and stressful. 

2.  I knitted a cute snowflake hat for Owen.  It turned out really well and now I'm working on one for Jack.

3.  I'm reading again.  I am almost done with the Christmas book I started in November.  I have also listened to The Bastard by John Jakes.  I am going to start listening to The Wife, which was recommended by my sister.

4.  I have started dieting and so far I have lost 4.5 lbs.!!  I walk almost every night with John after dinner and that has been very relaxing for me. 

5.  I really don't get too worked up over getting projects done by a specific time.  I work on  my projects and get them done but I don't make a specific date it has to be completed unless it is a gift.

Basically I am not going to let things bother me, or get to me like I was.  I really think it was because I had so much work to do at my last job and I was very, very stressed out.

I hope you all are having a wonderful 2019 and remember take time for yourself and relax!!  Hugs!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year Everyone and all the 2018 Books I read!

I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year!  Every New Years Day I post the list of books I read for the previous year.  This year I read more than the last:

1. Winter Solstice by Elin Hilderbrand
2. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
3. Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
4. Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
5. Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley
6. The Rooster Bar by John Grisham
7. The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley
8. Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand.
9. Rare Objects by Kathleen Tessaro.
10. Plum Crazy Tea by Laura Childs.
11. Summer at the Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan.
12. Bones of the Lost by Kathy Reichs.
13. The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand
14. By Invitation Only by Dorothea Benton Frank
15. Shot in the Dark: A Coffeehouse Mystery by Cleo Coyle
16. Becoming Belle by Nuala O'Connor
17. An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena
18. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
19. A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena
20. Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper.
21. The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews
22. Winter in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand
23. Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks
24. Past Perfect by Danielle Steel
25. Juror #3 by James Patterson and Nancy Allen
26. One Day in December by Josie Silver
27. Tony's Wife by Adriana Trigiani
28. Holiday Buzz by Cleo Coyle

I hope to read or listen to even more books in 2019!

What are you reading?