Friday, July 19, 2019

Fun Days

Earlier this week the Lowell Historical Museum held a day camp where the kids could choose activities including making a model of a covered bridge, making donuts and cooking eggs over a hobo fire. For my part I helped the kids with with flower pounding and writing/drawing with a quill pen.  The camp is held on the grounds of Fallasburg Village, home of a covered bridge, and where people still live in the actual historic homes.  It's a beautiful, peaceful place right on the Flat River.

 I spent most of the day before gathering flowers.  Friend Karen graciously let me strip her garden, I stopped by the roadsides for some, and took my geraniums and day lilies.  I even stopped at the local McDonald's and asked if I could have a cup full of their marigold blossoms.
 You never know what you are going to get after you've pounded a flower.  You might think that orange day lily is going to give you orange but it's more purple and yellow.  The red roses gave purple, the trumpet vine flowers gave brown.
 This was a  pale purple petunia.
 Some made a sampler of different flowers, some made pictures forming skirts, heads, hair, limbs with different parts and pieces of flowers.  The best intensity was from marigolds, geraniums, petunias, pansies.  It depends on the flower (and what I could find.) The kids were excited to see what they thought they would get was very different from what they actually DID get.

 There was also a lesson in square dancing!
 It was a little daunting at first but by the second time around they had a good handle on what to do.
 With some improvising, of course.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Happy Birthday

Since last fall Adelaide has been planning on baking and decorating her mom's birthday cake.  As luck would have it we celebrate that tomorrow and we have the girls here today so doing the project here keeps it a surprise. Perfect.

This was Adelaide's project so she did it all herself and with a little sideline guidance she made it all happen. 
 Her plan was to draw mom on the top of the cake
 and then I showed both of them how to make frosting roses.

 She did a great job and we know her mom will be surprised and happy with this.  Adelaide is puffed up with pride!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Quilt show 2019

Well, we did it again!  Sunday (June 30) the quilt exhibit I plan and organize took place during our church's annual festival.  I COULD NOT DO THIS  without the help of the legions of people involved with me.   I need quilts, this year fifty-two people gave me quilts for a total of 105. This part alone requires a LOT of telephone time. These people trusted me with their treasures, sometimes for weeks before.   PH and Friend Terry used their muscles and stamina to pack and unpack the cars and carry the quilts into the church.  Quilts are heavy, you know? And it was an almost 90 degree day.    As soon as Father left the altar after Mass we moved in.  I had help from Friends Marilyn, Jan, daughter Lisa, grands Elizabeth and Adelaide, and Aina (whose Terry was helping Bruce and George hang the balcony quilts.)   Parishoners  Carolyn, Kay, Lisa, MaryEllen, Sheila, George, Joan and I KNOW I'm missing someone in here but it's very hectic taking everything out of bags and totes and getting them into pews and if my back was turned or I was answering a question I just didn't know who all may have lent a hand in this part.  Then we strung a rope around the pews and hung "Thou Shall Not Touch the Quilts" signs on the rope (which I made myself the first year.)   In thirty minutes we were done.

When it was over, 5 hours later, many of the quilters came to pick up their quilts so packing up for us was a lot easier.  Still a lot of quilts but not what we came in with.

We knew when we got home the minute we sat down rigor mortis was going to set in.  We groaned and moaned and walked hump backed to bed where I slept for about 40 minutes for the whole night.

Monday I got in the car and returned a majority of what needed to be returned.  There are just quilts for 4 people left but this is 4th of July week and no one is home.  So I rest.

All in all, it was a beautiful display.  People come through the church so very happy as they look, ask questions, wish they could purchase and exclaim.  It's  a very happy day for sure.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Things That Start With the Letter P

Friday Friend Sally told me about a field of poppies that was very near the place PH and I were headed for dinner with friends.  How would that look, exactly, a field of poppies?
 Well, like this.  It's a huge meadow planted with poppies and it was planted to give the bees somewhere to feed.  But let me tell you, this place is serene.  There were a few people there when PH and I were there, about 8 of us total and no one spoke.  Three of us took photos and I knew no photo could do justice to how this meadow looked. Sometimes you just have to put the camera down and be in the moment. I never saw anything like this anywhere.  Thanks, Friend Sally for telling us about it.

 This is strawberry season (finally.)  I wait all year for this and on first picking day I make a pie, one just like this.  We shared that first pie with friends and sent a second down to our daughter's house where Elizabeth threatened to eat the whole thing before mom and dad even got home.  This beauty is the third pie.  PH and I make our meals during strawberry pie season out of this jewel.  It simply cannot be made with grocery store berries.  They have to be fresh picked Michigan berries and the pie needs to be made the day the berries are picked.  It's perfection on a plate.  And it's only available for a few short weeks each year.

I realized a package of perch was in the freezer so for a bit of protein I fixed the perch and dinner was perch 'n' pie.  But the perch really wasn't necessary.  The pie is enough.
Brian, I wish I could send THIS to you!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

This week (and it's only Tuesday)

Where the Crawdads Sing
This is what I'm listening to

Lethal White (A Cormoran Strike Novel)
This is what I'm reading

This is what I'm quilting

 Foyle's War, Series 2
This is what we're watching

 This is what I found at an estate sale for $2.00

This is what a quilter gifted me when I picked up her quilts yesterday

This is the growing pile of quilts for the quilt exhibit at church on June 30. 

Saturday, June 15, 2019


20 Bittersweet Quotes For When You’re Leaving A Job You Love 

 Today I found out my friend Fred died.

Fred and I have been letter friends for 52 years.  I was 16 and he was 19 years old when we first started to write to each other.  He lived in California and I live in Michigan.  I was always looking for an excuse to write something down and he was too.  I'm not sure who matched us up as pen pals, either my mother or my aunt. But that part doesn't even matter anymore.  We started to write to each other and over the years the time flew by.

Fred held me up through my high school years.  Those weren't the best years of my life.  I was always grateful that at the end of the day I could pick up a pen or sit at a typewriter and tell him about it.  He was always there and he always responded on my side and always made me feel better.  Sometimes you just need someone to listen, right?  Sometimes you just need to be the one who gets to talk.  Fred was always, always, always there for me.  Always with open ears and open heart. 

  I remember a childhood visit his family made to Michigan.  Fred's dad and my uncle Jim were brothers so we both had the same Uncle Jim but Fred and I weren't related.  That visit was so long ago I vaguely remember it happening but I do remember it did. There was a trip I made with a friend after high school.  I made an insane trip to California for just a weekend when I was maybe 20 years old and we met.  There was another trip he planned to come to Michigan a couple of years later but by then I met PH and I wasn't very welcoming so his trip here was cancelled.  You know how those things can go.  It meant we didn't writespeak for about three years.  Then I heard Fred found Lyn and I was so happy for him I wrote to him.  And we sharpened our pencils once again.

Fred loved his family, his beautiful wife and two children and now a daughter-in-law and grandson. He loved his dogs. He loved baseball, the New York Yankees specifically,  music, concerts, history, reading, writing poetry.  He documented his life experiences and memories in his poems and his family is lucky to have those now on paper.  But how else would Fred have left a trail but on paper?

Fred was a teacher and he loved it.  He was completely invested in his students and often shared with me when former students would come up to him in stores or on outings to tell him how much he meant to them.  What teacher could ask for more than that?  

Fred has been sick for a couple of years.  A year ago PH and I planned a trip to Arizona and I asked if, since we would be close geographically, could we make a visit to Fred?  He was sick and I wanted to see him.  So we did.  I am so glad we did.

I'm sitting here trying to process that a huge part of my life is gone.   One of my first thoughts was, "Who will listen to me now?"  I do have his words.  I've saved every letter and email from Fred for 52 years and I know he saved mine.  Maybe someday when that box is found at his house I will get the chance to combine them together into the life of a friendship.  

Rest, Fred.  You will be greatly missed.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Fatal Inheritance

Fatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys

      I loved this book! How’s that for a spoiler? It’s a fun mystery with no exploding cars or gory body scenes and set in the years immediately following World War II and on the French Riviera, to boot.
The setting itself is practically a character in the story. But back to the story.
     Eve Forrester is married to a boor and she is miserable. Don’t you just hate it when they think we’re stupid? Clifford thinks Eve is stupid. Her mother is a miserable woman and Eve is stuck, walking on eggshells and trying to please two miserable people. Then she gets what we all wish on stars for, a letter telling her a complete stranger left her an inheritance in the south of France. She leaves, promising to come back in a couple of days.
     Eve’s inheritance turns out to be a quarter share of a villa looking out on the Mediterranean and she is enchanted, but then, who wouldn’t be? The other three inheritors aren’t thrilled with her, thinking she is a long lost love child there to sabotage their plans to sell the villa to the first person with a checkbook so they can have their money. But Eve is determined to find out who this Guy Lester, her benefactor is, and why she never heard of him and she starts digging for answers.
      This is a mystery so we’re trying to figure out who the bad guy is and it’s not glaringly obvious. It could be several people trying to hurt her, stop her, trip her up. In the meantime she is rubbing elbows with the rich and famous and discovering she can get along just fine without that boor of a husband of hers.
     This book is a delight. But I already told you that.