Friday, December 26, 2014

Family Hearts

Family is a precious thing.  Sometimes during "real life stuff" I can forget that and I imagine if you are truthful, so can you.  Our day to day and other's day to day stuff can get in the way, however, I want to share with you a sweet story about friends and family and just some little things that make them so sweet to me.

It starts with my vintage stain glass  window hanging.  I purchased it for $45.00 at a local auction and was very excited.  Sometimes the excite wears on you when you find that it is, yes old, but with problems also.  It had some weak sides and also a few small cracks in some of the outer panels.  It also had a bend in the bottom, which I found would make for trouble.   But, this determined country woman was going to find this piece a way to hang in my master bedroom window, right where I pictured it the day I purchased it.

The local and very capable framing place had done work for me for years, framing my paintings and paintings and drawings others had given me.  Therefore, this was my first and best shot at getting my stained glass piece ready to "rock and roll" in my window.  However, Dorothy took a good look at it, and also saw it's beauty, but she saw more of it's troubles, and with a breathe in, said to me, what I never expected to hear...."I cannot work on this piece".  She pointed out it was fragile and with the bend, she could see breaking it when she would try to put a frame around it.  Then we both had a wonderful idea....take it to our local stain glass artist and friend to us both, Bonnie.  I just took it home for a bit to rethink.

A few weeks later I took the piece and carefully placed it into the trunk of my car and off to Bonnie's I went, with my husband also in tow.  Bonnie was outside on this cold day, bringing pecan seedling trees into her basement from her greenhouse which she was not going to heat over the winter.  After she finished with her 100 trees with the help of her granddaughter, she took a good look at my wonderful stain glass.  As Bonnie is a very exceptional and a bit eccentric person, and very talented, she saw the hope for the piece.  I told her my thought of just making a base for it and leaning it on the wall with a light behind.  Bonnie said, "No way, this piece needs to be in a window to be happy.  You want your stain glass happy so it can make you happy also.  That is what it is all about and why I make it."  She told me that I was the rescuer of this wonderful piece and now I needed to make sure to place it where it would bring joy and happiness to others and itself to be fully appreciated.  

In having my daughter and daughter in love and granddaughter over one evening to play games, I told them this sweet story of my "to be happy" stained glass.  I enjoyed sharing it and then went on with life.

Later I decided to take the piece to Hobby Lobby and the wonderful young lady there also admired this stain glass and said she would try to frame it and we talked and measured and planned and picked out a frame pattern and also hangers.  Weeks later she called me with pick up and said it did not break and she was happy with it.  When I picked it up, I told her the "happy" story also and she smiled and agreed and said that she was glad to be a small part of it all.

My husband and I carefully worked on putting chains on the hangers and hooks in the window frame so we could hang the piece.  I must report that it looks beautiful, and "happy" in the bedroom window and also is bringing me joy.  

And then on Christmas night as family gathered to share a meal and fellowship and gifts, I opened a small bag from my youngest granddaughter, Alorah, and she had purchased for me a small free standing stained glass floral piece with tea candles to place behind it.  She simply stated, you can set it on your writing desk in the bedroom under your "happy piece" and it can, in some small way, make you and the other piece happy.  This twelve year old did not just give me a gift of the present, but a gift of enjoying my life "happenings" and stories that I share with her.  I am blessed to have such interesting and interested family and friends.  

My vintage stain glass piece has found a good home and I do report that as of this day it is happy that I rescued it.  

Friday, December 19, 2014


Tea time in many parts of the world is very much a ritual and also special time to visit.  It also is very relaxing for a "tea time for one" in this part of the world....rural northeast Missouri.  I am trying to use my tea pot collection this winter and also switching off on my many tea cups.  Some are from family and friends, and many are from auctions, but because I have bid and purchased them, they are special memories of my "adoption" .

Each time I sit down with steeping tea and my empty tea cup awaiting a new adventure, I cannot help but wonder about the many places and stories these dear pots and cups could tell.  Some may be wonderful, and more may be a challenge.  I do know at my home, as their adopted parent, they are cared for and resting plentifully  until they are picked to share some tea with me.  

The big treat the past few days as been that I am using Downton Abbey Tea which I purchased while in town a few days ago.  I am an avid Downton Abbey fan, even working on a hexagon English Paper Piecing quilt with Downton Abbey fabric.  There are a number of flavors and only for a season, and they say, when gone, they are gone.  Hoping they will come out with more.  I purchased a breakfast tea, hearty and strong to start the day, and on the can is stories of getting ready for a foxhunt.  Now I thought very appropriate for me as my dear friend Daisy Mae is a foxhound.   The other tea purchased is a Christmas Spice, very light and tasty.  I have to admit that this tea time of one becomes two if I leave my cup for a few minutes low enough  for Daisy Mae Foxhound.  She seems to like the sweetness and spices.  I am glad I usually only pour a half cup at a time so it stays warm.  And it really is okay to share with her, as she is my "bestest" friend ever.

There is also humor in some of my tea times with these vintage items I use.  Just this morning, sitting here at the computer, tea cup on one side of the desk and tea pot (from England)  on the other side when I see liquid on the top of the desk....running from this pot.  Apparently it has a leak.  As I did not want to get off the computer and did want to enjoy my tea time, I switched the tea cup saucer to place it under the tea pot.  As I checked it, I just poured my tea from the pot and also some from the saucer.  To note, this specific pot will have to sit out TEA TIME FOR ONE, or two or three.  But for today, she is a pretty pot and I will enjoy.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Being a Country Girl

Sixty Six years ago, I was born to parents who lived a country life.  We lived in rural central Wisconsin.  My mother worked hard as a stay at home mother while my dad worked hard as a factory worker and then a truck driver.  The both worked hard all the time at home also.  Our play, my brother and I, was helping them work when they were working, and working some when they were not, doing our chores, and then much fun and simple play.

Playtime, well, consisted of biking, but mostly playing with our animals, walks in the woods and fun playing in the creeks and pond.  We did some fishing.  Our wintertime fun was snowshoeing, ice skating, and making snow forts.  Sometimes our mother would come out and help us make an iglo, yes, with a top and door.  We also made snow horses and would ride and ride for hours, out west, on the plains, in the woods, wherever our minds would take us on our pretend travels. Always indoor play was sewing, drawing, playing with clay, and jacks and games.  

Country life was work, family and simple pleasures, which still remain to be good pleasures.  I learned to knit when I was 12, and now at 66, am still an avid knitter, having even taught 4 H classes and adult classes in my home.  Currently I belong to a knitting group that meets once a week, just knitting, exchanging conversation, caring about each other's lives and checking out their projects and them checking out my each other lots of ideas.  We share our fondness of knitting, but just as quilting bees did years ago, we also share our stories and laughter and concerns, and even some tears.

Other things I learned as a country girl growing up, was that I knew in my heart of hearts that I wanted to live in the country.  Sometimes I had to live in the city, but still keep my country spirit, with plants, walks, going to parks and trips to the country.  I would decorate country and think "country life".  It really does sustain a person if they have to live in the city.  

I have lived in the mountains, on the plains, in the woods, just on the edge of small towns, and people saying..."You know Katie, she lives in the last house before you leave town, the one with the large garden, many flowers and all the trees".  That was me, and people would like to come visit and I would share garden produce, a boutique of flowers or some seeds.  We would also tell stories and visit about the weather, politics, school stuff or church gatherings.

It seems through my years, I have, of course, gotten older, but things are not so much different.  I have trees, flowers, large garden, a pond, and a creek, and farm crops, and animals.  I have taught my children and grandchildren to enjoy it all.  We have walked together and I currently walk with my Daisy Mae Foxhound, enjoying the outdoors and the country life.  If you live in the city, or if you don't, and are a country girl, come visit and walk with me in my rural Missouri.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


The year of 2014 is coming to a close and it seems unbelievable to  me.  So many things and so much time, but it passes faster then I can believe, especially each year I get older.  Now at 66, and enjoying life, retirement, and rural living, and glamping, of course with my Daisy Mae, I still get amazed when I don't seem to get everything accomplished I want to.  So, this is a time of year to make a list and check it twice.

My lists are full throughout the year, but at the end of the year, the last month of the year, I cannot help but think what I did accomplish.  Think about it for your life, and when you do, you may decide to sit down for a coffee or tea break because it may amaze you.

I would list right on the top that I was able to go glamping a total of twelve times this  camping season in rural Missouri, with each time staying three to four days.  That total of days is amazing, and I have the pictures, journal entries, and memories to prove it.

Another thing on my list is gardens, two good sized gardens, flowerbeds, and a personal orchard, all productive.  I did not plant a fall garden this year but encourage you to try it sometime as it is interesting and productive way to  extend the growing season.  I do, however, have one nice large tomato plant in a pot in my study and it is green, pretty and is blooming....tomatoes indoors in the winter will be a treat.

My quilting projects and knitting projects have gone well.  I was able again to share hats with the local hospital for newborns.  I also sent hats, scarfs and mittens off to a Native American group I have sponsored in Utah for many years now.  We glampers and rural girls have many talents and online you can find lots of charities that can use your talents or produce from those talents.

My usually array of books have gone past my eyes and many were passed on to friends and family.  Reading opens my mind and takes me to visit other people's lives, encouraging me in mine.  I am so thankful to Mrs. Kopreck, in Wisconsin, who, in a one room school house (yes) taught me to read.  

Family, friends, church family, and neighborhood and community always play a role in my life.  Each year I am pleased to recall the many great family and friends I have.  Today I got a nice message from a long time friend of 24 years, and one who I have known for 41 years.  Facebook has given me new and interesting friends, some new and some long time friends.  I find it healthy to have different ages, generations, genders, etc. of people in my list of friends.  People can make life so full and interesting.  Maybe I will even get some of them out to glamp next year.  Well, maybe just for a hotdog roast would seem more realistic, but, hey, 2015 is coming and a new year may bring some surprises with thing for sure.....this rural woman is going to "glamp on".