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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Spring has Arrived When . . .

What is a true sign of spring arriving?
Among other things, it is . . . 

Yard Sales - - I love yard sales!

Great Nike jacket, picture frames and vintage hankies

Fiesta! Yay. $1 each. I'm not sure about the colors, though. I think the bowls are Heather, but I'm not sure. I compared them to the colors online, but still am a little confused. Just know that among all of my Fiestaware, I don't have either of these colors.

Peonies - - -

Lovely, colorful, fragrant peonies.
How do you pronounce it - peo knees or pie knees?

snowball bushes
blueberries growing 

 blackberries blooming

grapes growing 

What is a sure sign of spring in your area?
Do you like yard sales? Collect Fiesta? 
And how do you pronounce peonies? 

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Colors of Spring have Arrived in the Hills of WV

We had a mild winter and after a few frosts, that the early buds had to dodge, Spring is here.

The dandelions and violets have arrived and are decorating my yard with their yellow and purple hues. As we drive the country roads, the redbuds and dogwoods brighten the landscape and the Sweet Williams decorate the woodland floors.

This old fella is hiding among the vinca. I believe this is vinca major. It doesn't die out in the winter and in early spring their beautiful purple flowers arrive. But, watch out! They can take over. I just pulled out a ton of these, you couldn't even see the hostas growing among them. But don't worry they keep growing back.

I have four bleeding hearts. This one got stunted a little from the cold weather, but this beautiful, delicate flower is now taking off. 

I have two lilac bushes - a purple and a white one. I love the scent that flows with the breeze and tickles my nose when I stroll through our yard.

I love watching these little creatures grow. They are so amazing!

Here is a field of ferns growing down by our building.

Hostas, hostas, everywhere!

It won't be long until my poppies, peonies, snowball bush and irises burst into color.

And check out my sidebar. I am tickled pink with the blurb Homer Hickam wrote about my new MG book, Duck and Cover.

What is bringing color to your yard?


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Pi Day and a Recipe!

Today is Pi Day. Yes, I spelled that right. This month for my kid's column in Two-Lane Livin' I wrote about how you could enjoy celebrating Pi Day. For some of you who are mathematically challenged, like me, read on.

Enjoying Pi Day 

     Q. What do you call a number that cannot keep still? A.  A roamin’ numeral.

     March is here and spring is peeking around the corner. By the time you read this, we will know if it came in like a lion or a lamb. I am hoping it came in like a lion.

     March 14 is Pi Day. It is a day to celebrate Pi, which is to make a long number short, 3.14. If you did not want to make it short, the number goes on forever. I found a web page on the computer that had one million digits of Pi listed.

     The diameter of a circle is the distance from edge to edge, measuring straight through the center. The circumference of a circle is the distance around it.

     Pi is the number you get if you divide the circumference of any circle by its diameter. The answer is always the same; no matter how big or small the circle.

     Another fun fact is if you multiply the diameter of a circle by 3.14, you will get its circumference. You can also determine the diameter of a shape, such as a tree, by measuring the circumference and dividing by 3.14.

          Some fun things to do on Pi Day would be to measure the circumference of many circular things, such as CDs, plates, Frisbees, pizzas, pies, cakes, pancakes, etc., and then measure their diameter. When you divide the circumference by the diameter, you will get the same answer every time, which would be 3.14 or Pi.

     Some other fun things to do on Pi Day are to hold memorization contests to see who can memorize the most digits of Pi. If you would rather write, you could hold a pi-writing contest. Set a three-minute timer and see how many words you can write that start with the letters pi. I tried it and I only came up with thirty. I bet you can beat me. Ready. Set. Go!

     Write 3.14 on a piece of paper and hold it up to a mirror. What does the reflection spell?

     Check with your local library and see if they have the following children’s books about math: Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi, Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone and Sir Cumference and the Viking’s Map, to name a few.

     But one of my favorite and delicious ideas to celebrate Pi Day is to eat pie. You can eat fruit pies, nut pies, pizza pies or potpies.

     Here is a favorite pie recipe of mine. Be sure and measure its circumference and diameter before you eat it. I bet I know what your answer will be.


½ cup sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons melted butter

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 cup hickory nuts

Mix ingredients and pour into piecrust.

Bake approximately 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Hope you enjoyed finding out all about Pi. And if you have some hickory nuts, try the recipe. If you don't have any, you could substitute pecans for the hickory nuts.

 And...drum roll please. If you notice on my sidebar, my MG book, Duck and Cover is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Click on over and read about it. If you like to read middle grade books (I do) or know a child in your family who you think would enjoy reading it, feel free to order one. I think you will enjoy reading about Teddy and his friends.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Feeding the Wildlife

My son crafted a few squirrel feeders in December.

We kept one and he gave away two as gifts.

These are very well put together feeders. But, do the squirrels appreciate it?

Maybe we should ask him?

He seems content to watch as the birds eat the corn meant for him.

Do you have a squirrel feeder?
If you do, is your squirrel confused, too?

Monday, December 26, 2016

'Tis the Day after Christmas

I was going to do a re-post of my day after Christmas blog of 2009.
But things sure have changed around here since then.

My husband was still working in 2009. He is now retired. My dad was still alive and we had family over for Christmas. How I miss those times. I love being with family during the holidays. This year it was just my husband and I and two of my boys. And we enjoyed temperatures in the 50s.  In 2009 there were patches of snow on the ground.

Times do change. Here is a portion of my post of seven years ago, which includes a poem I wrote --

Charley worked day shift this week and had to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so we opened our presents on Christmas Eve night. He works 12 hour shifts and went to bed around midnight and got up at 3am to go out to work on Christmas Day. So we are tired and not doing much of anything today.

My son and his wife, my sister and brother in law and my dad came out on Christmas Eve. We had a nice dinner and a good visit with each other.

'Tis the day after Christmas
And all through the house
Not a creature is stirring
Not even my spouse.

The papers are strewn
All around the floor
The boxes are stacked
Up against the door.

The house is a mess
Don't know where to start.
To haul off this stuff,
We'll need a big cart.

I think I'll sit down
And rest my tired feet.
It'll be a while
'til my home is neat.

I hope everyone had a very nice Christmas!

Do any of you have your house straightened up yet?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Small Town - Colorful Fall Decorations

Our small town of Ripley, WV gets into the fall and Halloween spirit this time of year when local organizations decorate the lamp posts.

Yesterday I took a few pictures along the streets of Ripley. I didn't get pics of all of them, but I took enough to get you into the spirit of the season, too.

This little fella sits on one of the side streets.

This scared ghost is near the steps of our courthouse.

I like this one. Looks like a witch had a bad day. In the background you can see one of the little libraries which are located throughout Jackson County.

Are you in the fall spirit now after walking around town with me?

I hope so.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Displaying Vintage Ads

I love vintage ads. I think some of them look like works of art.

I have an old book that I bought at a thrift store a few years ago. It is filled with original Life Magazines from 1938. It isn't in very good shape. A lot of the pages are torn, but it only cost twenty-five cents, so I grabbed it.

It was just sitting on a shelf and not being appreciated. So I cut out some of the ads and framed them.

I love Coke  memorabilia.

I think this is an ad for Coke and International Trucks - two ads in one! I love the yellow - it just pops right out at you.

I hung these two Coke ones up in my dining room.

Here are a few of the other ads I cut from the book. 

I thought this might be cute hung in a baby's room :o)
Another Coke ad
 Apparently, RC Cola held a weekly contest back in the 1930s.
Nice Prize!

Car Ads

 Some ads were funny - the Colgate ad about bad breath and
the Fels-Naptha Soap ad. 

This isn't the first time I've framed ads or pictures from books. 

I  write stories for kids. These are pages from old children's books. The books were in very bad condition. I would never cut pages out of a good book! I think these would look nice hung up in a young child's room.

Have you ever framed magazine or book art?
If not, keep an eye out for old books or magazines.
Try it - I think you will like it.


Monday, October 3, 2016

Nature's Weather Predictors

We’ve had a very hot September where I live. I think it hit 90 degrees almost every day. Yesterday I saw an all-black woolly worm. 

That got me to thinking. Who do you put your belief in – the weatherman or nature’s weather predictors?

There are weather predictors and weather folklore. Here are a few I have come across from the internet and from friends and relatives.

Of course, there is the wooly worm. The larger the light brown band, the milder the winter.

“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor take warning.”

Frogs – They say frogs croak louder and longer when bad weather is on the horizon.

Cattle – They say when cows begin to swat flies and lie down in the fields, a storm is coming.

“Wind from the south brings rain in its mouth”

Crickets – If you count the number of times a cricket chirps in 14 seconds, add 40 and you will get an estimate of the air temperature. 

Pine Cones – When air is dry, pine cones open up and their scales stand out to allow their seeds to be picked up and blown by the wind.  (When I craft with pine cones, I always heat them in a low temp oven – in addition to killing bugs, it opens up the pine cone)

Bees – if you don’t see many bees around, a rain is coming. They sense the humidity in the air and stay home.

Fish – Fish tend to be more active before a storm.

“When ladybugs swarm, expect a day that’s warm.” 

A hazy ring around the sun or moon in summer is a sign that the weather pattern is in for a change – usually bringing rain.

“Clear moon, frost soon.” (Yep, I agree with this one. A clear, windless spring night, usually means we will have a frost.)

Moon – When the moon’s perigee and the full moon occur on the same day, watch for terrible storms. 

Fogs – For every fog in August there will be a snowfall in winter. (We had a lot of fogs in August)

A green Christmas, a white Easter.

Squirrels - A tough winter is ahead if a squirrel’s tail is bushy.

Have you heard of these?
Do you have some of your own to add to the list?