September 30, 2022

Good Riddance, Ian!...

I watched current Florida weather coverage on my iPad as I made bread yesterday. Seeing all the damage, loss, and water had me in tears most of the day. I know all these sw Florida cities that we so hard hit from the hurricane, and my heart ached for everyone in the path of this most devastating storm.

I know some of my quilting friends live in mobile home parks, and I can only imagine just how bad it was for them. I'm praying no one was hurt. I don't want to make phone calls when they all have so much to do now - whether it's for themselves or to help others, but I do wonder how each of my friends has come through this event.

I now know that there's flooding in our old neighborhood, but I don't know how well our previous home fared this time. I'm hoping to find out that the folks who purchased it from us are alright. I can't even imagine how the people who suffered losses are feeling right now. I'll continue to pray for everyone.

After I finished baking bread mid-afternoon, I turned my attention to my embroidery. I made some good headway, but didn't come close to finishing her yet. We'll see how much I can accomplish today.

September 29, 2022

Wednesday Needle Dancing...

Between taking care of my new feline charge, and running out for a much needed haircut, I didn't stitch as much as I'd originally planned. Even so, I did make a little more progress on this little lady. 

I think she's shaping up nicely, and I found that I don't need to stitch as furiously as originally thought. My actual deadline is closer to the end of October, but I'm going to try to complete this piece in the next week to ten days. My next surgery is October 12th, so I'd really like to have it completed by then.

I have bread baking on my agenda for today, but I'll be stitching during my proofing segments. I'd like. to finish her body today or tomorrow. Then, I'll be able to go into the weekend with the branch and other embellishments on my list.

I also have eight jalapeƱo plants with peppers ready to harvest. That means there's a Cowboy Candy canning session in the near future, too. Truthfully, there are days where I stand in the middle of my bedroom wondering just what I should do next. I think it's a joyfully frustrating dilemma, don't you? 

I'm blessed that I'm able to do all these things, so I'm not complaining in the least. I just have to set priorities, make lists, and then check off my tasks one at a time. I can say that I sleep like a log at the end of every day. 

I've made my usual start-the-day decision...breakfast and coffee, and then I'll be about my daily tasks. I hope you have something fun planned today.

Before I close, I'd like to take a minute to mention Florida, where many friends and music family members are facing this day without power, and perhaps homes that have been devastated by Hurricane Ian. The eye of the storm made landfall exactly where Hurricane Charlie landed in 2004. I was there with the dogs while Handsome was back here in Wisconsin. I well-remember how I felt experiencing my first of four hurricanes that year.

Charlie created havoc in Charlotte County that year. We lived in Sarasota County, near the county line shared with Charlotte County. Post-Charlie, homes had blue tarps covering damaged roofs for months or longer. We didn't go into Port Charlotte (only a few miles away) for six weeks, because we couldn't bear to see the hardships caused by the storm. 

People came together. Restaurants who'd lost power, cooked all their food on grills and handed it out free to people who'd lost everything. We were also without power for a time, pulling buckets of water from our pond to be able to flush toilets. Drinking bottled water and cooking the food that was in our freezer on our grill, just like the restaurants. Thankfully, we had privacy from all the undeveloped land around us, so when it continued raining, we could use that opportunity to shower outside.

Ian was worse. The eye of the hurricane was three times the size of Charlie, and was much slower, causing much more damage to the landscape. Worse (if it could be worse) is that - I repeat - it took a second shot at those areas which had only fully recovered from the last assault. Seeing the television coverage from our farm on high ground, I found myself close to tears.

Our prayers are with all of the people in harm's way. We contacted many prior to the storm, and we'll be in touch with them again to see if there's anything we can do to help. There in for hard days ahead. Please pray for them.

September 28, 2022

Hobo Quilts...

I thought you might like to know more about the Hobo Quilts book I have. Debra G. Henninger is the author, and it's a book brimful of designs and delightful stories. I've had it for a while, but have yet to start making blocks from it. I first wrote about this book HERE in 2011.

This is her design for the "Kind-Hearted (Woman) Lady" in her book. She refers to hobos as the "Knights of the Road", and there's a short tale to go with each block, along with photos from those bygone days. There are 55 blocks in the book, as well as patterns for assembling the blocks you create.

Here's the story she included for her "Kind-Hearted Lady" block. The hobos would simply draw the symbols on the gate posts or fences as a signal to other travelers whether or not the inhabitant of the house were friend or foe. There were symbols like "Bad Tempered Owner", "Catch Trolley Here", and "Doctor, No Charge". Whether or not I ever make any of the blocks, it's a unique look into our history. You might find it as interesting as I did.

September 27, 2022

Tuesdays With Tag - Another Squatter...

 Hi Everybody!

Well, it appears we have yet another short-term resident here at the farmhouse. Yep. He's already got a name, too. Meet Trevor.

Yesterday mornin' Mom went out to feed Claudette and Crystal, when she heard a new meow. She turned around to see the girls hissin' and spittin' and growlin' at this cat. He's skinny, and so hungry that he trotted right past the tag team to their food. Mom had an extra can of wet food in her hands, so she put it down for him. He was ravenously hungry. 

The girls wanted to clean his clock, so Mom intervened to avoid feline fisticuffs. She also noticed that he had a nasty wound on his back end, and wondered just what sort of creature had hurt him. She fed the girls their own food, and sprung into action. She ran out to the barn and got the cat carrier, and as soon as he took a break from the chow, she covered him with a towel (she didn't want to get scratched or worse if he didn't like her plan), and he just cuddled into her. She placed him, and the remainin' food into the carrier with plans to take him to the rescue so a vet could see him. (They didn't open until noon.)

She covered the carrier with a blanket to warm him up, and the little guy drifted right off to sleep. At noon, she put him in her Explorer and drove to town. She found out there was "no room at the inn", but they did scan him to see if he had a chip (no), and checked out his wound. Our shelter friend said it was already healin' well, but we could swab some Neosporin™ on it to help it along.

Mom headed back home, and as long as she had her fingers in the carrier door, Trevor leaned on them, and went back to sleep. Even bein' in a car didn't bother him! She made a bunch of calls and sent messages to see if anyone would love to be a new cat mom, but no luck yesterday. She put up a post on FB and has her fingers crossed. 

When they got back home, she pulled in the garage and he was still sleepin' so she just left him there. We think he was havin' the first safe sleep he'd had in some time. 

About an hour later, Mom went back to her car, opened the carrier and Trevor came out, crawled on her lap, started purrin' and went right back to sleep. She stayed there with him for almost three hours. He ate some more, and she gave him water, too.

She put him in the carrier and took him to the barn. When she showed him the litter box, he used it, and crawled right back into the carrier. Last night he slept in the back hallway in his carrier, and Mom will keep tryin' to find a forever home for him.

The lady at the shelter said she should be able to take him in two weeks from now, and he's scheduled for nooterin', rabies shot and a good goin' over. Then he can be adopted out. Truthfully, though...Mom would like to find someone herself who will take him in and give him a forever, lovin' home. We think he deserves that much. He's so dang sweet. I'm mean, look at that face!

This is a hobo sign for a kind-hearted woman. Mom used to have a sign like this, but gave it to a dear friend decades ago. She'd really like one to put on the front porch, but it seems that the cats already know it and are spreadin' the word. We all think we're pretty lucky to be sharin' her with the less fortunate, and we're not givin' up on findin' that home for Trevor.

I'll see you again in seven. 'til then... 
"Been There, Chewed That!"

September 26, 2022

Fingers Crossed…


Here’s hoping the afternoon service call gets us back on internet. Posting updates from my cell phone is more than inconvenient. I also apologize for not responding to your comments, and I promise I’ll catch up and respond soon. 

I’m continuing to work on my cardinals, having added padding to the female’s tummy to give her more dimension. All the wool will be covered with stitching, so she’ll be nicely rounded when all is said and done.

I’m not quite as far along as I’d hoped to be at this point. Handsome has been under the weather, and took a trip to the ER on Friday for diagnosis and supportive care. He was away from home two nights, but he’s back at the farmhouse where I can give him lots of TLC. 

I’m hoping things will be back to normal this week. Let’s see. Here’s my wish list: 1) Internet back up, 2) Handsome back to 100%, 3) Make significant progress on my cardinals, and  4) Get my quilt entry in to Primitive Gatherings before the weekend. I think that’s all achievable. 

Tag will be back tomorrow. I’ll be back Wednesday, planning to show you a completed female cardinal! Off to get breakfast and that morning cuppa java now. Toodles!


September 25, 2022

September 24, 2022

Still Stitching…


I’m still without internet, so I’m again posting from my phone. Not ideal, if you ask me. 

I started work on the female cardinal this week.

I stitched and removed threads twice before I found a combination I really loved. Once that was established, I removed the previous stitching and went to work. 

I’ll be stitching again today. I hope you’re enjoying your weekend.

Donna ❤️

September 22, 2022

Stitching and Squirrely Internet…

Don’t be surprised if you don’t see a new post for a while. We’re having internet issues at home, so I scooted out to town this morning to be able to post this. As I’m not particularly techy, fixing this may take a while. Fingers crossed it’s not too long. Don’t fret. I’ll be back asap. 

In the meantime, I finished my male cardinal (feet will be added after I do the branch), and I’ll start on the female today. 

I’ll be back asap. 
Signed, One Frustrated Blogger,

September 21, 2022

More Wedding Memories...

The bride, coming across the lawn escorted by her dad and stepdad

As requested, I'm sharing a few more photos from my nephew's wedding last weekend.
Most of them are photos of my family members. You'll notice lots of smiles and laughter.
I wish Dad would have physically been with us. He would have loved to see us all together again.
Rather than write a lot between the photos, I'm just going to caption them. Thanks for looking.

My niece entering with one of the groomsmen.

My youngest sister and her husband

My mum, stepfather and my eldest niece

Teaching my great-nephew how to hang a spoon. Thrilled to finally get it!

Handsome and I changed into jeans for the party

Each of my brother's sons and their wives. One brother's son couldn't attend.

Me with my youngest sister and my youngest brother.

My niece, enjoying a laugh with her son.

Eldest niece, Nephew Dan (Groom), niece-in-law, nephew, nephew and niece-in-law.
Missing other nieces and nephews who didn't attend.

The bride's sister and now future brother-in-law

The surprise of the evening. The bride tossed her bouquet to her only sister. When her sister turned around, her boyfriend dropped to one knee to propose. She said "yes", and a new celebration commenced. Congratulations to the newly engaged. 

Not all these photographs were mine, so I want to thank all the photographers who made this post possible. Spouses of some of my family members and their children were in attendance. I apologize that I couldn't find photographs of them among the myriad pictures I combed through. I want to mention them, too.

We'll all remember this celebration for a long time to come, and wish the newlyweds a long and happy marriage.

September 20, 2022

Tuesdays With Tag - My Weekend Guests...

Hi, Everybody!

Yes. I had guests, too. To listen to Mom talk, you'd think all the guests last weekend were here for the weddin' and to see her. Truthfully, there were two more guests of the canine persuasion. They always travel with Aunt Di and Uncle T when they're not home. (Kinda hard to feed them when they're off gallivantin'.)

This handsome example of the German Shepherd variety is Titus. He used to belong to Mom's dad. When he passed away, sister Di took him home with her. He's been with her ever since, and he really loves her and her husband, Tom. He's a big boy, and we watched each other through screen doors and camper windows, but Mom and Dad thought it best that we all stay in our own houses, to avoid any possible conflict.

He had been out in the yard a bunch, so at least I got to snuffle where he'd walked - and cover up any liquid he might have deposited - in my yard. I was a completely gracious host to both him and his housemate.

This is Zelda - pooch #2. She's a lot smaller than Titus, and she does have ears, even though she laid 'em down for this picture. She's a Heinz 57 variety, and is about 1/2 the height and length of Titus. She's taller than I am, but shorter than Bella and Carly.

For the same reason as Titus, Mom, Dad, Aunt Di and Uncle T diligently kept us apart. They said there was no need to promote drama last weekend. 

They left yesterday with their camper and the two-legged guests. By 3:30, the house was all quiet and the yard was cleared. We all took a deep breath...and missed everybody. It sure wasn't the same without them. We're hopin' we can all do it again very soon. As for me? I'm gonna take a nap.

I'll see you again in seven. 'til then... 
"Been There, Chewed That!"

September 19, 2022

A Beautiful Day To Say

…I do!
I promised photographs, and I always try to keep my word.
Here are just a few to whet your appetite. 
I have loads of them, and will be happy to show you more of the splendid day we shared.

Uncle Handsome and I stopped to greet the groom pre-ceremony to try to calm his nerves.
He was so darn cute, and couldn't wait to marry his love.


The ceremony began with my nephew, Dan walking his mama - my sister, Di - down to her seat.
Her husband is right behind her on the walk. 

The ceremony was held on the deck of this lovely farm estate.
I missed a photo of their sons before the ceremony, but each of them wore badges that said
"Ring Security"
In addition to their badges, they also wore mock Secret Service-type ear buds. 
They went all-in on the assignment. Elder carried his dad's ring, and Younger carried the bride's.

The ceremony was quite touching, and I have lots of photos before and after this moment…
The moment they sealed their vows with a kiss.

So much going on, but the bride asked me if I could "install" the bustle after the ceremony.
The old workhorse quickly answered the bell. 
With my prepared kit, I set to adding a bustle fastener to her gown.

I placed circles of stabilizer in front of and under the gown where I'd determined it should go.
My thinking was that if someone stepped on her gown, the stabilizer would protect the gown.

One circle - for the outside - had the seam binding machine sewn to it.
My process was to hold one circle under the gown, and then sew the top circle 
and ribbon would be sewn together. I did that step by hand.

The dress train was quite heavy and cumbersome. Another man named Andy, who 
came to my rescue offered to hold onto the gown while I made the installation. 
He's a good friend of Dan's, and he was so chivalrous. 

Once the sewing was complete, I brought the seam binding up to tie behind the antique brooch.
The bustle did its job until someone stepped on the back of her gown. By that, I mean that it 
didn't tear the gown. The ribbon stayed attached to the brooch, breaking away from the 
stabilizer and keeping the gown from being torn. I'm so happy my concept actually worked!

The cupcakes were delicious, by the way.

I have lots more photos of this perfect day. I snapped away during the ceremony, 
and reception. So many smiling faces! If you'd like me to share more photos, 
just leave a comment below. I wish you could have been all around me.

Remember to let me know if you'd like to see more photos.

September 18, 2022

Sunday Scripture…


Love each other with genuine affection, 
And take delight in honoring each other.
- Romans 12:10

September 17, 2022

Today's The Day...

By mid-afternoon, they'll be happily married. 
Together for over five years, with a beautiful, blended family.
Those of us who love them both think it's about time!

His boys said they'll call her "Mom" after her last name changes.
All the kids will be in their wedding ceremony, as they exchange their vows in 
front of family and friends. The day will end with a party to celebrate the happy couple.

I'll be back with photographs on Monday.

September 16, 2022

First Guests Arrive...

Our first guests arrived yesterday, much to the delight of the furry residents of Hickory Hill Farm. Tag and The Girls are always glad to see my sister, but her husband and best friend were new to them. They were both received with raucous enthusiasm.

Brenda is my sister's best friend, so I was so happy to finally meet her. Tag, Bella and Carly were glad to meet her, too. Just look at Tag. What a suck-up. He's so bloody fickle! He was all over this poor woman - although I admit, she seemed to enjoy their attention.

The kitchen will be a bustling hub of activity all day, and all the delicious creations will be dinner for the wedding party this evening, following the rehearsal. We'll help Di as we're able, to try to make things easier for her. It's definitely going to be a long, strenuous day for her, and we're sure she'll be happy when it's over. She's a great cook, so there's no worry that her food will be a huge success.

My niece and her children arrive later today. Then we'll be to full capacity around here. We can't wait! So, I'd better get busy helping. Much to do before this day is over. More updates tomorrow.

September 15, 2022

Feather Dancing...

Here's my progress so far. I've been working on the wing, but not as much as I'd hoped. This week is "Wedding Week" for our dear nephew, Dan and his fiance' Alexandria. Our house will be full, as my sister Di, her husband, and her BFF, Brenda will be staying here. My eldest niece/goddaughter and two of her three children will also be staying with us. We can't wait!

Di and her group will arrive later this morning. My niece will be here on Friday. I'll be having so much fun. There's nothing quite as wonderful to me as having loved ones close. The kitchen will be the hub of activity, as Di is making all the food for her son's rehearsal dinner. Of course, Brenda and I will be available to help.

Handsome, Brenda and I will hang out here while Di and her husband head to the rehearsal dinner on Friday. Then, late Friday night, my niece and her kiddos will roll in from Minnesota. She's working, so they won't even start driving until after she finishes for the weekend. So, I'll have lots of fun photos to share, but probably no cardinal updates until after everyone heads back home.

Anyway, I think my wing is working out the way I wanted it to. You can see I still have some felt to cover, but I'm busy trying to make the wing look feathery. My overstitching on top of the grey thread worked out well, too. Just enough showing through, but adding padding with the layers.

I'll probably get back to this on Sunday, but I'll be sharing wedding and family photos - not embroidery - for the next few days. I hope you won't mind. I'd better get busy. I still have things to do before our guests arrive.