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Monday, July 18, 2016

Crafting With Clothespins

On my last blog post I mentioned that I had been making clothespin wreaths.

Here is how I made them.

Supplies needed: 
Clothespins (approximately 100)
18 inch Metal wreath form
Spray paint

This is an easy craft with stunning results.
My wreath form was green. I spray-painted it the color of my choice (yellow). You can also leave it green. Then I attached my clothespins to my clothesline and spray painted them.

Let dry thoroughly.
For my project, I painted 52 blue and 48 yellow.
Attach the clothespins to the wreath form by simply clipping them on the inner three rings.

When put on properly, it will be a snug fit. No gluing is needed.

Make a bow and attach. I cut out and painted a WV for mine. I attached the bow with floral wire and glued on the WV embellishment.

Use your imagination and craft a wreath for all occasions.

I love making these and they are fairly easy to make. 
You could make them for every season - Fall, Christmas, Winter, Easter, Spring, and Summer.
Happy Crafting.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Summer's Beauty and Bounty

The last time I posted, our garden was growing and weed free.

Well, our garden is still growing, but it is not weed free. The rainy season has the weeds growing and growing.

We were lucky where we live and the terrible storms that went through West Virginia a few weeks ago, didn't effect us. Although, it did hit in neighboring counties. I want to thank a few of my blogger friends for their emails showing their concern.

Our three blueberry bushes are producing very good this summer. I have picked 26 quarts thus far and they need picked again. I put then in the freezer and we enjoy them all year. They taste so much better than store bought.

Our Rose of Sharon are showing off . . . the bees and hummingbirds love them and so do I.

and so are our butterfly bushes.

I got a hydrangea from my neighbor last year. He was cutting his down. That little bush has went crazy this year.

I have also been crafting. My cousin and I are over the craft class at our local senior citizen center. Crafting with them has put me in the mood to craft at home.

I have been making clothespin wreaths. I just love them. I made one for the Fourth of July and I have made a WVU one. I am putting the WVU one on our auction table at our family reunion this Saturday. West Virginia doesn't have a pro team, so we go all out for our university teams.

I will show you in my next post how to make them. They are so pretty . . . and easy!

Hope your summer is a nice one.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

How Does Your Garden Grow?

We have had a weird spring and, therefore, got a late start to our garden.

But it is coming along nicely now.

 We planted our beans and the rain fell. A few days later the plants popped out of the ground.

These are our tomato plants. We planted three dozen plants. We already have tomatoes the size of large marbles.
We got a late start on our sweet potatoes. 
But they are coming along.
 Our peas are taking off!

 This is one of our five rows of red potatoes.
This is not my garden. 

These are my two rows of blackberries.
I am keeping my fingers crossed. They have not did well at all the last 2-3 years. I pruned them big time this spring and they have took off! But, this doesn't mean the vines will not die on me, like they have the past few years.

What do you have growing in your garden?

Friday, May 13, 2016

They're Back!

MacArthur told the people in the Philippines, "I shall return."

Arnold, in The Terminator, said, "I'll be back."

And my pretty yellow iris's are back.

Seventeen years ago the cicadas were here and, as they promised, they are back.

These red-eyed creatures with their shrill song and long wings have taken over the land.

here are two emerging from their shell

 empty shells underneath our Catawba tree leaves

 on our neighbor's house

A couple of evenings ago when I was walking I heard them singing.

Now I will not be the only one with ringing in my ears. Everyone will hear the song of the cicada.

Oh the noise - the beautiful noise emerging in the quiet countryside.

I did a little research.

As billions of insects emerge, they can reach a density of 1.5 million cicadas an acre in some areas. They live above ground for four to six weeks. All they are interested in is screaming, singing, seeking out a mate and laying eggs in slits of small branches of trees. Females can lay up to 400 eggs each. In about six weeks the nymphs emerge, fall from the trees and burrow anywhere from six to eighteen inches into the ground where they feed for the next thirteen to seventeen years.Then . . . they'll be back.

Are they out in your area, too?


Saturday, March 26, 2016

One of the oldest furniture stores in America

Vail Furniture is still owned by the family that started the business in Ripley in October 1844.

Isaiah Vail, the great-great-grandfather of the owner, was a carpenter who made caskets and furniture.

The early business evolved into a funeral home and furniture store, not an uncommon combination in small towns where a woodworker needed more than one way to keep busy.

Vail Furniture is still in its original location, in a 12,000-square-foot, two-floor store.

When Vail started . . .
James K. Polk was running for president
West Virginia was still Virginia.
Samuel B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph, sent the first telegraph message over the first telegraph line from Washington to Baltimore. His words were, "What God hath wrought."

On our last visit to the store, they let us go for a ride on their elevator.

Customers usually walk up the steps to the second floor.

This is looking into the elevator
Here I am with my cousins ready to go up. 
I asked him if they used to move furniture on this elevator. He looked at me and said, "Coffins."
 The ropes are  pulled by strong arms.
 The gears turn and raise the elevator
 close up of gears

 swinging doors that open up to the elevator

In addition to furniture, they have  framed pictures for sale.
I love this unique picture of the US map!

And, I think this clock is very unique.

Hope you enjoyed your visit to one of the oldest furniture stores in America - if not the oldest.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Day Superstitions

 The following is a re-post from a few years ago.

 New Year's Day Superstitions

I thought I'd better get this post out today - you know just in case you want to do or not do any of these things.  (just kidding folks)

New Year's Day is full of superstitions. Many differ, depending on what part of the country you live in.

Now for us, you just have to eat cabbage on New Year's Day. There's just no getting around it. The stores in our area always put cabbage on sale this time of year. I've already bought me a big head of it. When I was growing up, Mom used to put a silver coin in it (usually a dime) and the one who spooned it out with their helping was sure to come into money that year. I really think it was just a way to get us kids to eat cabbage, though. We all wanted that dime!

Here is a link to how my husband cooks our cabbage. 

And, as far as my grandma went, you had to be a male or you weren't entering her house first on New Year's Day! They said she had her son who lived next door come to her house bright and early. I guess it didn't hurt that he was also tall, dark haired, and handsome, which is another superstition people had about the first footer.

There are lots of superstitions I found on the internet. Some of the more prevalent ones were:

Wear new clothes. This would mean receiving new garments throughout the coming year.
Avoid crying if you don't want to continue the pattern throughout the new year.
Be nice and refrain from using foul language.
Don't let money leave the house. Don't pay bills or loan money on New Year's Day. Or for that matter don't even take out the garbage or shake out a rug! This will ensure that nothing goes out of the home during the new year. Some soften this rule by saying it is okay to remove things if something is brought in first.
At midnight, all the doors must be opened to let the old year escape.
Make sure your wallets, purses and cupboards are well stocked on New Year's Day and it will bring prosperity.
Do not do the laundry on New Year's Day! It will 'wash away' or lead to a death in the family.
Pay your bills or loans before the New Year so you won't have any debt left for the New Year.
Make as much noise as possible at Midnight - you are scaring away evil spirits. Evil spirits hate loud noises, this is also why church bells are rung on wedding days.
Babies born on this day will have luck on their side.
 If a girl looks out her bedroom window upon rising and sees a man walking outside, it is said she will be married before the year is out.
And, be sure to kiss at midnight! This will ensure that those affections will continue throughout the following year.

So there you have it. Be sure and pay all your bills today, go shopping and stock up on groceries, do your laundry, put money in everyone's wallet or purse(even if it's just a few pennies), kiss the one you love at midnight, and then proceed to make a lot of noise!
Then on New Year's Day be sure and wear new clothing you received for Christmas, be nice and polite, make sure a man comes into your house first, then proceed to make a big pot of cabbage for dinner!

That shouldn't be too much to remember.
Do you have any more to add to my list?

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Excerpt from my Book - Fun Through the Seasons

For you, your children or your grand-children. Below is a small excerpt from the December Chapter of my book, Fun Through the Seasons

Hope you enjoy it and maybe do some of the activities listed below with your family. 


Celebrate an Old-Fashioned Christmas

What Christmas carol is a favorite of parents?
Silent Night!

December brings with it the first day of winter and Christmas. Soon you will be watching for the first snowflakes of the season and getting together with your family and friends.

Celebrate an old-fashioned Christmas with all its sights, sounds and smells.

Add some old-fashioned Christmas sights to your house by popping popcorn and making strands to string on your Christmas tree. Hang cookie cutters on your tree, string them across your mantle or use them as napkin rings.

Sprinkle powdered sugar on large pinecones and make a small grouping of ‘snow covered pinecone trees’ to set on a placemat and put it in the middle of your kitchen table.


Add some old-fashioned Christmas sounds to your house by hanging jingle bells on your front door and playing Christmas music on your radio or CD player. Light your fireplace and listen to the crackling of the warm fire on a frosty morning. Sing in a choir and listen for Santa calling, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.”

Add some old-fashioned Christmas smells to your house by baking sugar cookies and spicy pies, lighting cinnamon scented candles, stirring your hot cocoa with peppermint sticks, making cinnamon dough ornaments to hang on your tree and, of course, putting up a piney smelling Christmas tree.

Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip, said, “Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.”

You can visit a neighbor and present them with a plate of cookies or read a Christmas story to a younger family member or friend. Some good holiday books are:

Berenstain Bears Old Fashioned Christmas, The Polar Express, The Night Before Christmas, The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving, God Gave us Christmas, A Christmas Carol, Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus, Olivia Helps With Christmas, Snowmen at Christmas and Bear Stays up for Christmas.

The spirit of Christmas lives in your heart. Give the gift of love and friendship. Make homemade gifts; share your voice by going caroling in your neighborhood. Have a family fun night each week. Pop popcorn and watch a Christmas movie.

But, most of all, remember what Dr. Seuss said in The Grinch That Stole Christmas. He puzzled three hours till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before, “Maybe Christmas,” he thought…“doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps …means a little bit more!”

And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville they say – that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day!

This is also the time of year we make Christmas decorations and write poems about the season.

Gather your pencils and paper and write down what you like and do not like about December. Write down rhyming words and words that start with the same letter. Here are some words that come to my mind:

Icicles and shiny bicycles, white snow and warm cocoa, skates and skis, frozen ponds and frozen toes, slushy ice and Christmas mice, mittens and boots and Santa Claus suits, frigid winds and fat snowmen, sledding and sliding, red birds and red cheeks and sniffles and sneezes.

M & M Icicles

What do elves learn in school?
The elf-abet!

Tie M & M icicles on the outside of presents for decoration or place them in a pretty bowl for people to eat.

For each icicle, cut a piece of clear plastic wrap approximately 3 inches wide and 6 inches long. Place red and green M & M’s all in a row down the middle of the plastic wrap. Fold over the plastic on both sides and tie the ends with a thin colorful ribbon.