Wednesday, October 27, 2021

181st I Like Thursday Post

 Welcome to my 181st I Like Thursday post.  Each week a handful of bloggers create a post sharing things that they like or love throughout the previous week.  Perhaps a recipe, pattern. TV show, movie, book, perhaps just the beauty of a day or an item.  Thank you LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color, for encouraging us to cast aside feelings of sadness, despair, loneliness, anger, frustration or hurt and throw some positivity back into the universe.  

I won't lie it has been a tough week.  But when life gives you lemons you make lemonade.  Tuesday was one of those sparkly autumn days.  The sun was shining, the world is bathed in gold, yellow and orange, and even though the wind was blowing and it was chilly it made your heart smile.  My daughter always laughs at my plants.  I keep heliotrope which smells like vanilla.

Hyssop which smells like licorice.


Citronella plants that smell lemony to keep away the mosquitoes.

The mums that I purchased a couple of years ago and that have been kicking around on my porch looking all sad and dead were planted a couple of months ago and they are blooming.

Finally the pineapple sage has bloomed.  I love the red flowers. And yes if you bruise the leaves they smell like pineapple!

To stay on the plant tangent I loved these pots full of plants at work.

Aren't these fun with the pumpkins, mummy and Frankenstein's monster pots?  Or the little bronze looking pumpkin?

Then there are the sugar skulls full of tiny roses.  

I got some squishy mail this past week, just a wool applique kit, but I really loved the mailer that it arrived in!

I have been working at catching up on the SAL that I have been doing with a friend on Facebook.

Senior Moments

Card trick 1
Card Trick 2

Flower Power. 

I think I am only 4 blocks behind now instead of 7.  

I am sure I have mentioned the Autumn Jubilee at the blog From My Carolina Home, one facet was a book recommendation called First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen.  I was intrigued but noticed that was actually book two, the first book was called Garden Spells.  One of the county libraries had the book so I requested it, and I will admit that I could not put it down.  I think I read it in about a day, even with work!

Being a Waverly is not a good thing in the small town of Bascom, North Carolina.  Claire lives in the family home with a garden surrounded by a tall fence, and purportedly an apple tree that if you eat the fruit will tell you the future.  When her younger sister Sydney returns with a small child there are huge life changes. Claire and Sydney struggle to heal their past-- Claire's resentment of her mother Lorelei for providing a home for Sydney which turned into a resentment of Sydney.  Sydney's resentment of their grandmother Mary who seems to love Claire more than her and share the Waverly secrets. Throw in Aunt Evenelle who just seems to know when a certain person needs a certain item, and you find a sweet tale full of love, healing and a little magic.

First Frost is the 2nd book in the Waverly Family.   This is the book which was recommended in the Autumn Jubilee post.

Claire is married to Tyler a college art teacher that she met in the first book and they have a daughter Mariah--who doesn't seem to have any Waverly magic.  Claire is no longer catering, but putting her Waverly touch on candy.  Sydney is married to Henry and she has bought the hair salon.  Sydney's Waverly gift seems to be able to do anyone's hair and it come out spectacular.  Bay, Sydney's  daughter is a 15 year old and it seems headed into the same mistakes that Sydney made which caused her to leave Bascom years before.  They are all waiting for 1st frost when the apple tree finally blossoms and things settle down.  At that time the Waverly family heaves a big sigh and life becomes normal, well as normal as can be for them.  

Since it is just a few days before Halloween I have some more enchanting books.

A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison.  Alexandra Daniels left Bellamy Bay 20 years ago after the tragic death of her mother.  Her father has forbidden her to have any contact with her aunts and cousins all that time.  Alex accepts an invitation to visit and help in the family business, an herbal apothecary.  

Rumors swirl around the apothecary shop and her aunts which Alexandra ignores until a local is found poisoned and her aunt Lidia is accused of murder.  Alexandra uncovers forbidden affairs, family rivalries, and the truth about her ancestry.  

Caught Dead HandedTails, You Lose and Look Both Ways by Carol Perry are books one, two and three in the Witch City Mysteries.  Salem, Massachusetts is associated with witches, but it is also the former home of Lee Barret.  Lee has returned home to live with her aunt Ibby after the death of Lee's  husband an up and coming Nascar driver.  Lee takes a job at the local television station hosting a call in psychic/late night horror movie show reluctantly.  When Lee starts seeing events in an obsidian ball it appears that Arial Constellation the previous host of the late night TV show was murdered, and Lee is determined to get to the bottom of it. 

Tails, You Lose.   After losing her job as the TV psychic, Lee accepts a job as an instructor at the Tabitha Trumbull Academy of Arts also known as the Tabby.  When the  school's handyman turns up dead under seemingly inexplicable circumstances on Christmas Night, Lee's clairvoyant talents begin to re-emerge.  Lee and her students uncover lots of secrets about the Tabby a former department store, as well as tunnels and secret, including fan mail to FDR while filming a documentary about the former Trumbull Department Store.

Look Both Ways, it is summer and Lee is looking for something to do, so she accepts the job as the property master for a handful of plays being performed at the Tabby during break.  Lee can kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.  She can refurnish her newly renovated apartment which was burned in the previous books, as well as look for the necessary items for the plays.  Lee discovers a bureau with hidden compartments, just like the one she lost in the fire.  But when the antique store owner is discovered dead after Lee takes delivery, Lee questions what was the killer looking for, and did it have to do with things she has discovered in the secret compartments in the bureaus she just purchased. 

 Ghouls of Engagment and Sledding Away with Murder are books 20, and 21 in the Wendy Meadow's Sweetfern Harbor Mysteries.  

A mysterious guest, rumors of a haunting, and a Halloween-themed murder which will leave you scratching your head.

One of the guests shows up dead in the middle of a sledding contest Brenda is baffled.   Will this murder become a cold case?
Pumpkins and Poltergeist by Nyx Halliwell is book one in the reluctant Medium series. 

Ava's aunt Willa summons her home, but when Ava arrives, Willa is dead, back by the stream at the rear of the property.  Convinced that Willa's death is no accident Ava decides to investigate, but she is thwarted by her gift and a very angry poltergeist.  

Hounds, Harvest and Homicide is book two in Carolyn Ridder Aspenson's Pooch Party mysteries.  

Missy Kingston brings her pooch party program to the annual gala fundraiser for the local women's shelter, she doesn't expect to find a dead body.  Especially the body of the most prominent financial contributor.  

Have a fabulously spooky Halloween!

Thanks for stopping by, now head over to LeeAnna's and check out the other I Like Thursday posts!

Sunday, October 24, 2021

When It's Time

 I don't write many posts anymore with work, the house, I don't have much free time to sew, let alone quilt.  But I keep amassing fabric, patterns, and projects in hopes that someday life would change and slow down.  I have been writing this blog for almost 8 years now and in the past 10 years I have had some huge life changes.

I met the love of my life in August of 2011, my little family of 2 grandsons and youngest daughter moved in with him in a huge empty, old farmhouse which had been built by his great, great grandfather in 1861.  Jeff had purchased the house when it was put on the market by the state of Michigan when his great grandmother had been taken into care by social services, I think the sale date I have seen on the paperwork was in the early 1990's. 

I don't know if many people believe, but I think places can be infused with emotion, good and bad.  This house when we first moved in with Jeff always felt sad.  The kids and I filled it with light, laughter and love and the great aunt stated before she passed away that once we moved in the whole spirit of the house and property changed, from even when she was a little girl, growing up and getting old.  That it felt warm, happy, and infused with love and joy. 

In 2013 Jeff and I were married.

Grandson #3 Finn was born.

I was enjoying my happily ever after.  I quilted, blogged, gardened, canned, loved spending time with my husband and family.  Jeff's great aunt and uncle lived in a house on a small piece of property next door and since they were getting up there in years we had a lot of care for their house and property.

We got chickens.

Soon the care of the great aunt and uncle became full time for me.  Cooking, cleaning, doctor's appointments- me running to their house and spending many hours a day.  The great uncle started falling and the of course that meant an assessment of his condition.  We were told by family services they could no longer live alone, they needed 24 hour care.  They could not afford a full time caregiver, nor did they want to be in a home....they had always depended on an agreement with family for care, but when it was time, no one wanted to step up and fulfill that agreement, so Jeff and I took it on with the understanding that we would care for them, and when they passed I would have their home and property.  The only option which would work was to move them into our house.  So a 30 day reno, adding a bedroom to the ground floor, re- configuring the kitchen,  putting a shower in the basement and building a ramp we moved them in.  While it was still a full time job for me cooking, cleaning, doctors, laundry, showers, physical therapy, shopping, picking up prescriptions, but it was much easier in a way.  The uncle was in his 90's and very frail when I started caring for him, so it was only a matter of time, and he passed in February of 2017.  

Never in my life would I expect 28 days later my life would be shattered.  On March 8,  2017 Jeff was killed in an auto accident on his way to work, and life changed in ways that I never expected.  People who were family turned, the great aunt stood by me steadfastly, and I felt like I was in a fog.  In 90 days the great uncle had died, Jeff was killed and the great aunt died and I was left with this house, property, as well as the great aunt and uncle's house and property.  The only saving grace was that my daughter 3 grandsons, her significant other and his daughter moved into the house which was the great aunt and uncle's and we managed to make it work. 

Somehow over the past few years we have accumulated rescue animals, mainly pigs, but a goat and chickens even.  We keep them pretty quiet, we have about 10 acres total, and all of the areas where there are animals, there is a fence with a green privacy screen all the way around.  

The area where we live is really starting to grow, in the past year at least 8 new houses have been built just on our road alone within 1 mile.  The main road North/South is zoned commercial and a couple of trucking companies have moved in and there are two huge warehouse which are being built too.  Our road is constantly busy and people whip in and out of my driveway all the time to turn around. 

And the other problem.....  One of the neighbors is constantly coming onto my property and mowing trees down which I would prefer to let live and grow since there is a field I have allowed to go back to natural woodland.  We get hate mail, unsigned, and postmarked at a major mailing facility.  There is an neig hborhood across the road from us, and we have been told by many of them that the neighbors near us are constantly bad mouthing us and our animals.  One of the kids wanted a playhouse/hangout during COVID so they could get away and work on their schoolwork. It was built on the 1 acre lot between the houses,  and is considered temporary since it is not on a foundation, nor does it exceed the 500 square foot limit before needing a building permit-- someone complained.  The building was 6 inches in front of the front line of the house, and the blight enforcement officer arrived.  Easy fix, we attached a chain and pulled it back 5 feet.  Now they are complaining about our animals and are referencing that the kids per their township rules cannot have anything but 1 cat, and 1 dog.  The easy fix would be to move the pigs and chickens to my property which is much larger, but the kids are done.  The negative is just too much.

Once upon a time Jeff talked about wanting to move away.  I was surprised, but he had decided that it was time. He really loved the west coast, the mountains, rivers, it was just that we had responsibilities, but once those were finished we were going to move somewhere. I loved this house, I loved being with him and I was content but now it is time to start another chapter.  How long to finish writing this chapter remains to be seen, but the kids are actively looking to move to Missouri within the next 6 months.  They want me to move with them. I don't know if I want to live in Missouri.  In fact I don't have an idea of where I want to live exactly.  

I do have some ideas.  I know I need to live on some land away from a big city, I need a couple of acres--I like quiet and solitude--not the race track my 2 lane road has became.  I would like a garden, and flowers.   Some of it will be dependent upon how much I get for my homes and land.  My daughter says perhaps I should buy a truck and travel trailer and explore, using her home as a base until I decide what I want to do.  If the property they buy is large enough I could build a small mother in law house, and a quilt barn.  So many possibilities.  

But for now it is time to assess.  What to keep, what to sell, what to throw away. Start packing and look forward to whatever comes next and embrace the change. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

180th I Like Thursday Post

 Welcome to my 180th I Like Thursday post.  Thank you LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color for encouraging a handful of bloggers to find and share things that we like/love, or are thankful for during the week.  

I am thankful for this last blast of nice weather.  The days have been in the mid 60's to the low 70's but nights have been getting chilly.  The lantana is having one last bright blast.

There are some more fun pumpkins at work.  I like these!

I like this little ghost, it is called Hell's Messenger.  I will admit it has been a challenge.  There were no batteries included, nor any indication of what size.  I discovered they were the little button type batteries.  The light in the lantern though batteries wouldn't fit in any way.  So simple fix, just replace that tea light with another.

I managed to get all the applique done and the borders on the boo table runner.

I really liked the fabrics that I chose for this piece.  

Every year Carole, at From My Carolina Home has an Autumn Jubliee.  There is a quilt along for a table topper, embroidery, wool, decorating, and even some recipes and book suggestions.  I won a fabric bundle from Art Gallery Fabrics.  The line is called Grid and is by Katarina Roccella.

I love the look books that the different fabric manufacturers put out with different quilts.  There was a very neat one made with this fabric line.  

I think my wanderlust is kicking up.  I like to travel in the fall, less people, cooler, and I love fall foliage.  I am jealous when I see people traveling and enjoy some leaf peeping.  My books for the week have been the Campers & Criminals Cozy Mysteries by Tonya Kappes.  Who wouldn't want to visit Normal Kentucky and Daniel Boone National Park?  Mae West owner and proprietor of Happy Trails Campground, even with the murders?



Deadly Summer Nights by Vicki Delany takes place in the Catskills at a resort during the heyday of the Summer camps when families would escape the summers to the mountains.  Good food, entertainment, swimming, hiking, and canoeing were a daily ritual at these resort.  Elizabeth Grady attempts to keep Haggerman's Catskill Resort afloat, among rumors of communists and a murder. 
Or how about a visit to Cajun Country with Plantation Shudders and Body on the Bayou by Ellen Byron.  Meet Maggie Crozat that helps her family run Crozat Plantation B & B.  Each book seems to have old south secrets that play large parts in the murder. 

Now head over to LeeAnna's at Not Afraid of Color and check out the other I Like Thursday posts.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

179 I Like Thursday Posts

 I don't know but while I was typing 179 I like Thursday Posts for some reason it came out with the tune of 99 bottles of beer on the wall.  Silly I know.  Thanks to LeeAnna for encouraging us to find things that we like/love and share each week.  Some weeks it is hard, some weeks we are so very busy, and some weeks it is easy!

This week was easy.  I haven't worked as many hours, there is a new lady who started working.  While I stick around a little past the end of my shift to help her get going, I am not working 11-12 hour days!  Which means I feel much more rested and calm.  Perhaps it is why the silly song was in my mind today.  

I like the very moderate fall we have been having.  We had a few very cool days, to the point that we turned the furnace on, they fell so quickly.  But then we were warm again and while we don't need the A/C the days and nights have been very pleasant.  So nice in fact that at 9 am this morning there was sun, the temp was about 65 and I was outside working.

I love how the shag bark hickory almost sparkles in the early morning sunshine.

The leaves are just starting to change a wee bit.  This year they are kind of yellow, but there have been years that it has been brilliant orange.  

People keep mentioning about how pine, fir and spruce trees have a lot of cones this year.  Even my spruce tree which is almost dead is full of cones, but the prairie fire crab apple is just full.

The pineapple sage finally started to bloom.

I have been taking down the pool this fall, and I spied this tiny orange feather.

Here is a picture of a screw head for a size reference.

The Middle grandson and I managed to get the pool completely torn apart today and ready to store for the winter tomorrow.  

Last week on Monday the grand daughter and oldest grandson who live next door announced they wanted to go to the homecoming dance and needed clothes.  With the crazy schedules we work I was the only adult that had time to take them shopping.  Between a resale shop, goodwill, and Kohl's we managed to find everything that was needed in less than 3 hours and we spent less than $150 total.  

Gabriella and Xander----Gabe is hiding behind the tree.  He was bummed that even though he is only 15 months younger than Xander he wasn't old enough for the dance yet. 

Xander in his Goodwill suit.  I thought we did a pretty good job.  It is nice to see this kids smiling and having fun and working on a new normal.  

I saw this and thought for those of us dog owners that it was funny.

I have done a little sewing.  I finished up 3 blocks for the SAL that I have been participating.

I read several books this week, but there were just a few that I really enjoyed. 

Murder with Peacocks by Donna Andrews.  I have noticed while some of these books were written a score of years ago they have been updated to reflect a more current time, like talking about using the internet, google, etc.  Meg Langslow has returned home for the summer since somehow she has ended up being the maid of honor for 3 weddings.  Meg's best friend's wedding is first up and she hasn't even chosen a wedding dress, Meg's sister in law to be with all of her demands, and her mother with even more demands.  When Meg's future step father's sister- in -law from his deceased wife goes missing, Meg decides there is a lot around home that is not quite right.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book it made me laugh out loud several times.  I am looking forward to reading the 2nd book in the series. 

 Desolation Mountain by William Kent Kreuger is the 17th book in the Cork O'Connor series.  Cork and his son work at unraveling the mystery behind the plane crash of a senator, and the disappearances of the people who were first responders.  

Every Crooked Nanny by Kathy Hogan Trocheck.  Callahan Garrity has traded in her badge as an Atlanta Police officer for a broom and is running a cleaning service.  When called to clean a house, only to discover the woman who owns it is a former sorority sister, Callahan can't wait to finish.  But when she is hired to locate a missing nanny by that same sorority sister and they discover the missing nanny in a department store fur vault, dead Callahan is up to her elbows in mystery.  

I also picked up the first book in the sister Fidelma series by Peter Tremayne--Absolution by Murder.  Sister Fidelma is attending the Whitby synod of 644 when an Abbess Etian is discovered murdered in her cell.  Fidelma is tasked with finding the murder while the attendees determine the fate of Christendom in the British Isles.  Do they follow the teachings of Rome, or the teachings of Celtic church.

Thanks for stopping by, and please head over to LeeAnna's at Not Afraid of Color to check out the other I Like Thursday posts.