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Tuesday, May 19, 2020



This is the theme for 2020. At this time we are in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic that is world wide. There are many rules, among them are keeping at least 6 feet apart, stay at home, wear medical type masks, no large events and many things cancelled. Stores and restaurants have been closed (but that restriction is cancelled and some are starting to reopen.) About 20% unemployment in the country due to all the closings.

It is a dreary story so I am not going to dwell on it. I am doing well. I have not gone anywhere. Period. Yesterday I did go to the clinic to get my finger pricked for a protime test, but it was curbside service. The nurse came out to my van in full safety gear to do the test. My blood is at the right thinness so I can wait a month to have it done again.

I do not have a face mask since I don't plan to go anywhere, but I think I will have to break down and get one in case I do need to go somewhere. The masks are hard to find as most places are sold out. Many are sewing their own masks and I might have to resort to that.

My two Bible study ladies check up on me now and then. One offers to get groceries for me when she goes shopping for herself and her mother, and I order a lot more shelf stable groceries online. I am pretty well stocked up on those things now, it is just fresh stuff my friend has to get for me. Both gals will bring me a meal now and then and that is always a treat as I get tired of what I usually eat every day.

I don't mind the seclusion as it just seems an extension of my usual winter hibernation. I have plenty to keep me busy and no chance of boredom for me. I am working on a new afghan for the next church auction.

I can't seem to get my mind on blogging, however, so I apologize for so few posts. Maybe I can get back on track soon.

Until next time . . . . .

Thursday, February 13, 2020


Update: This afghan and pillow sold for $350 plus $500 in donations at the church auction!

This is a totally different type of pattern than I have done before. It was fun to make.

 If you look at four squares together you should be able to see a light circle, plus the diamond shape in the individual squares. The pillow colors are reversed for contrast, which worked out well as I had just enough black to finish both.

I haven't found out what it sold for yet, so will update later.

I have started another afghan that I hope to donate next year. It might take me all year to make it! It is done in fine yarn and size 5 knitting needles, so there are lots and lots of stitches to be made. It is a good thing it is done in strips as I am doing a lot of correcting mistakes because I counted wrong.

Until next time. . . . .

Thursday, January 23, 2020


Imagine my surprise when I was checking out an online idea post about hiding trash cans and one of those ideas is below.

 Here is the one I did several years ago.

The tables look almost identical in design. Mine looks to be wider.

And here I thought my idea was original. Maybe the person that did the white one saw it on my blog? Anyway, I came up with the idea myself and didn't copy anything.

Mine was not done to hide trash cans, but to hide the messy stuff stored under it. Well, as I look at this picture closer I did have a small trash can in there, where I put recycle things until I made a trip to the garage.

I am still using the table but in my new house I don't need to hide anything so the curtain is in a drawer.

I currently have the wooden decoy duck on the top of the table. The stuffed duck is still there but the rest is gone and there is a book next to it. The pillow is on the couch. I am too lazy to get up and take a new picture. 😸

Until next time . . . . . 

Monday, November 4, 2019


I have had ideas about house redecorating and remodeling ever since I was a young teenager. The pictures above are some I found on the internet, but sure wish I had a kitchen like the after picture!

I grew up in an old farmhouse without indoor plumbing, which means we did not have a bathroom. We either had to use the outhouse, or a chamber pot in the closet in the winter. But that also  meant the pot had to be emptied into the outhouse when full. My bedroom was upstairs and it wasn't fun negotiating the steps without spilling. Ugh!

I had an idea how we could add a bathroom, but Dad would not consider it. Now, I realize it would have been a major project and not an easy nor inexpensive one. It was also something that Dad couldn't do and he didn't hire work done. Our funds were limited as well. But I could sure dream.

The house had two open porches, one on the front and one on the back. There was one bedroom downstairs and had two long windows, one that opened toward the back porch. I wanted Dad to enclose that porch, which we rarely used, and put a door where the window was. That would have been so nice.

Other than going outside to get to that porch, there was a door in the living room, which was also rarely used. That porch was a nice size for a bathroom, too. But the floor of the porch was cement and not convenient for installing the necessary drains for the toilet and tub or shower. And since there was no plumbing in the house at all, and water would have to be piped from the cistern, and then there is the need for a water heater which I didn't even think about until now. So I can see why Dad nixed the idea. Oh, but I wanted running water and a real bathroom! All of Mom and Dad's siblings had homes with indoor plumbing, didn't think it fair that we didn't.

I was allowed to decorate my own bedroom. I picked out the wallpaper and color scheme. I don't recall picking out any curtains for the double window. Back in the 1959's wood orange crates were available and free, so I painted two white and stood them on end, then sewed covers out of checked gingham, which opened at the front so whatever I put in them was covered but easily accessible.

I learned how to hang wallpaper by helping Mom when I was old enough. All walls in those old houses were wallpapered and every fews years, new paper was needed. I also learned how to paint and refinish furniture by helping Mom.

My decorating skills are not something I could make money at, but I do come up with some pretty nice ideas that is called shabby chic today. Since we didn't have a lot of spare money, we used what we already had, like the orange crates, and we did all the work ourselves.

When we were looking at houses to buy over the years, I could picture things I would change if we moved there. I know some people can't see the possibilities when looking at homes, and will nix a home that didn't suit them as it was currently, and so missed out on some very nice homes.

One house we bought right after it was built, and all walls were white with no interesting features, so I had a blank canvas to work with, and I had lots of ideas in my head. There was a short wall between the living room and kitchen. At one end was an opening the size of a normal door, and at the other end it was at least two doors wide. I found some wallpaper that looked like white bricks and close to real. Then we added a dark stained 1x8" board at the top of the wall to simulate a rafter that was beginning to be popular at the time - early 1970's. It made a nice feature wall in the room, plus it was inexpensive.

At that same house I wallpapered one wall in each bedroom, and the top half of the bathroom walls, without help, I might add. There were three bedrooms and we had three kids so the girls had to share one room. They were not big rooms but adequate. But the girls were five years apart and didn't get along so well, so I pictured a bedroom in the lower level (tri-level house) for our son.

That was a fairly easy job. That level was one big L shaped room with a bathroom and laundry room. The area on the wall with bath and laundry was a nice size for a bedroom, and only needed one wall and a door, and my husband could do that. I found a drawer unit and space at the top for hanging clothes that we put on the new wall. Boys don't have many clothes that hang, right? He was about 10 years old at that time. We added a counter top and shelves on the wall above it that he could use as a desk. Then the girls finally had their own rooms. The large room on that level was a family room.

Decorating on a shoe string budget can be fun!

'til next time . . . .

Wednesday, October 30, 2019


The favorite conversation, at least in this area, is the weather. Go into a store or office and at least one person working there will ask what the weather is like out there as a conversation starter.

We talk about how hot it is, how cold it is, how windy it is, the rain, the snow, if it is foggy, and the list goes on. Often it is more of a complaint and shared misery of being uncomfortable. Weather is important in this area as farmers need certain weather for their crops. This has been a year of extended extreme cold last winter, a cold and wet late spring and neighboring towns were flooded three times! My town does not flood but many people had water in their basements, and sump pumps ran all summer. The farmers couldn't get crops planted on time because the fields were too muddy to get machinery in there without getting stuck, and the ground temperature wasn't warm enough. Either that meant what did get planted might not sprout, or we have a hard frost after the plants start to come up and they are frozen, so fields have to be replanted, and that is expensive for the farmers. This year the length of the growing period before maturity was too short for the crops to produce well, so everyone was praying for a late and warm fall. Now at the end of October, the hope is that snow will not come too soon since harvesting is behind. If we get too much snow too soon, the corn may end up staying in the field all winter.

Snow? We had our first snow before October 15th! It wasn't a lot, but enough for the houses to have white roofs, and a few patches on the lawns for a brief time. At the same time North Dakota was having a blizzard! Since then we have had some very chilly days, extremely windy days, some summer like days and pretty, sunny days with hardly any wind. Normally October is a month that is one of the least windy months, but not this year.

Last week we had a bit of everything, and a very busy week for me. Monday was extremely windy and wet, and I was very happy I didn't have to go anywhere. I spent quite a bit of time working on getting our Friday morning Bible study lesson prepared.

Tuesday was windy but not like it was the day before. At 10:00 I had to be in Sioux Center to get a routine bone density scan. The report says I am normal so I don't have brittle bones and that is good news. From there I made a stop at Walmart to pick up several needed items and fill in some grocery gaps, and got home a little after 12.

At 1:00 my van was picked up to have an oil change, check up for winter, and replace a right turn signal bulb. Later in the afternoon the station owner called and said the turn signal seemed to have a wiring problem after the bulb was replaced and they didn't have time to investigate, so they would pick the van up the next morning. Awhile later he called back and said the man that brought the van back said the light was working, so we cancelled the morning appointment. I am so thankful for that as it could have been expensive.

At 2:00 my niece came to give me a haircut and we visited until 3:30 when she had to get home in time to give another lady a haircut. Barb has a beauty shop in her home, plus owns a downtown shop in a neighboring town, so she is busy. I am so thankful she is willing to come to my house because they have steps to get into the house and I can't do steps without having railings on both sides.

Then I was finally able to relax and take a nap before supper and watching my favorite tv shows.

Wednesday I had to be in Sioux Falls before 2:00 for a six month checkup with my oncologist. Everything looked normal, as usual, and made the appointment for the next six month, and last (yippee!) visit in April. Then it will have been 5 years since I had a hysterectomy for cancer, and I will be considered cancer free. That is not to say I will never have cancer in other areas but it all looks good for now.

The weather on Wednesday was dreary, but not windy. We were getting light rain at home when I left at noon, but by the time I was half way to Sioux Falls it was just a very light mist. I could count the period size drops on the windshield, just enough to keep things damp. You would have to stand outside a long time to really get wet. The 100 mile round trip went well and I was happy to be home again around 4:30.

Thursday was a nice day and temps close to 70 degrees. I didn't have to go anywhere but I did have to bake a banana cake as the ripe bananas had to be used or soon tossed. I also wanted to give some of the cake to the two gals who come for Bible study on Friday morning. Mmmm, that cake is good!

Friday was a beautiful day with hardly a cloud in the sky, and a nice day to drive in the country. Bible study was 5:45 to 7 am. At 10:30 I had to go to the clinic here in town to have my finger pricked to check how thin my blood was. The number was within the limit so back again in one month. From there I went to Orange City to renew my driver's license. I had originally thought I would do that this week, but after looking at the weather forecast for this week, I thought I needed to get it done before.

Back to the weather, this week is going to be much colder and chances of snow a couple of days. It is not supposed to be much snow but it might stick around longer and I didn't want to take a chance that roads could get icy, so the trip was made Friday and now I can put license renewal out of my mind. It has become time to get the winter coat out again. So far we had been able to just do sweatshirts or light jackets. No one is ready for winter but here it comes, regardless. I don't need to be anywhere this week.

All my medical appointments seem to fall in one week and that can be a good thing. Last week was unusually busy for me and I am not used to that. Some of you will think it wasn't that busy, and for you it probably wasn't, but it does wear me out.

'til next time. . . .

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


I love the fall colors and was afraid we wouldn't get them this year. It seemed, when the trees should be changing, the leaves were still green, but a dried up looking green and the leaves curling up. They were not pretty but they weren't falling either.

Finally, early last week they seemed to turn colors overnight, and they were all dressed in brilliant hues of yellow, gold, and reds. Since it took so long, I guess they outdid themselves. Unfortunately, right after they turned we had some extremely windy days and blew many leaves down, and the colors soon faded. Now, some trees are bare already, and some trees are still green. Raking begins, and will continue, probably until covered with snow. Bah, humbug!

Sunday, October 27, 2019


Halloween is almost here! It is hard to believe we are so far into the year. Christmas is just 2 months away so it is time to start planning for that, especially if you make some of your gifts.

I don't do anything for Halloween anymore, but when I did, we never had the type of parties that I see being done on tv now. This morning I have some cooking shows on and they are focusing on Halloween, Trisha Yearwood for one. She is hilarious on all her shows and she really went all out for Halloween and made some goulish party food. A couple other shows did something similar but the food didn't sound that appetizing to me, and required ingredients I have never hear of and not sure I would find them in the stores here. It just looks like a lot of putzy work and more than I want to do. Of the shows I watched, I liked to food that Trisha did the most. Check them out if you have a chance.

 Here is a hat to make if your kids (or you) want to be a minion. My granddaughter wanted this awhile back so found the pattern and made it for her. She is 15 now and doubt she will go trick or treating anymore.
Here is an idea if you are thinking of putting on a party. Looks like a big, ugly spider in the coffee. I think it is a whole star anise but it has been awhile since I found this so am not sure. I'm real helpful, aren't I? I know you can find a lot of ideas on the internet so I am not going to go any further with this. If I were to post some I want to make them myself first and give an opinion rather than just share someone else's work.

'til next time . . . . . .