THE PHOTO IS OF OUR NEW CABIN, CONSTRUCTED IN SEPTEMBER OF 2015. IT SITS IN THE SIDE YARD OF OUR COUNTRY HOME, BUILT IN 1919. WE LIVE JUST A STONE'S THROW FROM THE QUAINT TOWN OF LIBERTY, OHIO AND ARE BLESSED WITH A BIG RED BARN WHICH IS A SAFE HAVEN FOR OUR RESCUED CATS. COUNTRY LIVING SUITS US WELL. NEIGHBORS WAVE AS THEY PASS AND WE CAN SIT ON THE PORCH IN OUR ROCKING CHAIRS AND WATCH TRACTORS, PLOWS, AND COMBINES ON THE ROADS AND IN THE FIELDS AT PLANTING AND HARVEST TIMES. THIS IS TRULY OUR HOME SWEET HOME.




Wednesday, December 7, 2016

CHRISTMAS EXPRESS

Thanksgiving has passed and I followed through with my Christmas-in-the-Cabin Home Show - held last Saturday. I'm feeling a bit relieved right now, and not yet stressed about Christmas being so close at hand. My hope is to not feel stressed at all this holiday season. I had enough of that while getting ready for our Thanksgiving family gathering. Maybe if I kept up better with dusting and de-cluttering around here, I'd not have so much do to when it's time to entertain company. Imagine that.

Thanksgiving was celebrated here on the Saturday after the "real" day, which was just fine and very enjoyable. We had some overnight guests and that was enjoyable as well. Sunday was a leisurely day spent with my niece and her daughter. When Monday came, I was ready to dig in and make final preparations for Christmas-in-the-Cabin. I wasn't expecting to take out almost everything with which I decorate, in order to only display those things I was willing to sell, but I did what was needed. It has happened during previous home shows that visitors wanted to buy the things I used for display. It never ceases to amaze me that they will ask to buy the crates on which I place my for-sale items, or want to purchase the baskets and boxes in which I display ornaments and such. When I go to a show, I assume those kinds of things are display pieces and not available for sale, unless there are price tags on them. Oh well.  

At any rate, with my spouse's help, I was able to remove the items I was not willing to sell, and replace them with all the sale-able items. While there was no crowd standing in line at the door waiting to come inside on the day of the show, there was a steady stream of visitors and neighbors who came, chatted, and made purchases. They seemed to enjoy the cookies and peanut butter fudge, the Christmas music, and the warmth of the cabin. I was generally pleased with how it went but will once again need to decide whether or not I will do this again. It's a lot of work and I never know if the fliers and posters I distribute, or the ads on social media, will be enough to let folks know I'm hosting a Christmas show in my cabin. The best thing of all, is that I now have a cozy cabin decorated for the holidays. I'll have it open it every Friday and weekend from now until Christmas. My spouse made a sign to place out by the road and if I receive visitors, that will be great. If I don't, that's ok too. What I know is this: If I saw a little cabin decorated with white lights and a sign that declared, "Christmas in the Cabin - Open Today", I'd surely want to stop,  go inside, and investigate. Maybe others will too.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WE'VE BEGUN THE SKID INTO HOLIDAY SEASON

The skid into Holiday Season seems all downhill, and it gains momentum as time passes. Why is it that the hot summer months seem so long but come Fall, it's two or three weeks, and then we're starting to think about winter? Then Thanksgiving and Christmas hit us head-on.

I did find some pumpkins and decorative gourds early this Fall and though I apparently waited too long before searching for some colorful mums for my porch, I was able to find some large pumpkins for either side of the front door. I'm happy with those. If not for expecting Thanksgiving company, I wouldn't have bothered with the extra pumpkins, but I want the porch to look Fall-ish and the nursery manager offered a deal I couldn't refuse. She said, "2 for $5" and the pumpkins came home with me.

Fall is my favorite season, with winter a close second. As is often my dilemma, I've been pondering whether to host a home show or not. I missed my self-imposed deadline for a Fall show, but it wasn't all due to procrastination. October was a busy month. I was invited to Michigan for my niece's baby shower which was held in the early part of the month. Since it's a 5-hour drive one-way, my daughter, granddaughter, and I traveled there, visited with extended family, and spent one night. It was well worth the travel time and good to see relatives and share in the excitement of the expected little one. Once home, I used the next few days catching up with laundry and sleep. I had little energy or incentive to work on a home show, especially since two days after the baby shower, I became sick and whatever "bug" I had, lasted for over two weeks. So....

The opportunity for a Fall show passed right by me, but I recently decided I could certainly host a holiday home show the first weekend in December. Though I'd rather have scheduled it earlier, Thanksgiving is upon us and I will have a houseful of company and some overnighters. That's all well and good, but it does limit the time I can spend getting ready for a show when I have a house to spruce up, clean linens to prepare, and a menu to plan and execute.

Preparing for a holiday home show shouldn't be overwhelming. I will need to finish arranging my cabin displays, put up a few decorations and white lights, and make sure my handcrafted and vintage items are priced and displayed. Those things are fun to do. A few days prior to the show, I'll make a few cookies and some peanut butter fudge for visitors to sample, but other than that, it shouldn't take too much extra planning. I have enough to offer for sale and it's not as if I haven't hosted shows before. It's rather that I procrastinate and talk myself out of doing them. I'm really very tired of changing my mind, so I'm doing it!  It will be held one day - Saturday, December 3rd - and after that, I'll concentrate on decorating the inside of my house.

CHRISTMAS IN THE CABIN at LIBERTY HOMESTEAD                                            
8593 Hemple Rd. - Germantown, Ohio 45327
Saturday, December 3, 2016 - 10am-5pm
Handcrafted Holiday Decorations and Gifts - Goose Creek Jar Candles (Made in the USA)
Vintage Tin Items, Cookie Cutters, Rolling Pins, Baskets, Cookbooks, and other Kitchen Accessories


If I have time to make a few more items, I will do that, but if I don't make another thing, I'll still have more than enough to display. My hope is to sell what's already made - or a good portion of it - then to begin again in January to create handmade items using fabrics and patterns I have on hand. Every time I think of retiring from sewing and shows, I relent. I know I still want to do this.  

I've posted my holiday day home show date to for intention's sake. Sometimes I really have to set a deadline so I will follow through. I'd rather impose a deadline than to whine later about not taking the opportunity available to me. So, here goes.....





Monday, September 19, 2016

FALL IS NEARLY HERE




Fall is my favorite time of year. There only thing I dislike about it is that it's entirely too brief. Here in southwest Ohio, Fall weather doesn't actually arrive until early October (though I think it should begin to be cooler as soon as we turn the calendars to September). 

We've endured another long hot season and my wish would be for Fall to last as long as Summer does. More often than not, after Fall arrives, we are able to enjoy about two or three weeks of beautiful weather and colorful leaves. Then somewhere around the end of October, usually at Halloween time, we experience a cold rain which knocks most of the leaves off the trees and brings chilling temperatures. Perhaps my memory is faulty, but when I was a child, it seemed to me the seasons were better defined and each year we actually had a Fall season.

At this point, after all the heat and humidity, I'll take any cooler weather that comes my way. I  realize it's not "officially" Fall yet, but this year, I'm going to be ready for it. Last weekend I traveled to Arcanum, Ohio and visited Suttons, a local grocery store. I love shopping there since they often have fresh fruits and vegetables set up in farmers-market-style outdoor bins. When I inquired, I was told the store managers purchase as much produce as they can from local farmers. I was able to chose from reasonably priced pumpkins, gourds, and Indian corn with which to decorate the cabin porch and the side porch of the house. Come on Fall......I'm ready.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

WAITING

I suppose this is an old song I sing - the waiting game. It's not about waiting in traffic or being frustrated while standing in line at the grocery store. It is about waiting until the life's road I travel is steady, smooth, and without bumps, before I do the things my mind says I want or need to do. Now, in my saner moments, I do understand how unrealistic it is to think my life should be completely free of challenges. Everyone has challenges and I'm not exempt. What I don't understand is why I think I must have a clear road ahead before I work on sewing projects or take on household tasks that will take some time. I have never fully mastered the art of making use of those snippets of time given to us throughout a day. If  I have 20 minutes between finishing cat care and fixing supper, I will most assuredly choose to play on the computer rather than sew a small project, clear the kitchen counter, or fold laundry. Sometimes I'm sure I have a skewed sense of time, since I often convince myself I cannot possible complete any single project in just a few minutes. That happens to not be factual, but it's still what I tell myself. I need to change that tape that plays in my head.  

My deepest desire is to have a full day once in awhile where I'm not responsible for anything and do not experience unwelcomed interruptions. I want to be able to do whatever projects I choose, without the need to break away for meal preparation, trips to the hardware store with my spouse, or house keeping chores. Is that asking too much? Apparently it is. I've yet to experience one of those days. I've come close, but those times I've had "free" days, something has always inserted itself into my personal time. Perhaps I'm the one who inserted it, but there it was. Whatever the reason, there always seems to be something that requires my attention when I attempt to "do my own thing".  So, what would be the solution? How will I ever succeed in securing the time I crave? A better question might be, how will I learn to more efficiently use the time I do have?

Life presents us with varied opportunities every single day. Today my spouse and a friend have gone to a county fair and I've had a bit of time to myself. I was asked to go along, but declined the invitation. What did I do with the free time this morning?  I chose to cook myself breakfast, pay some bills online, check email, visit Facebook, and work on my blog. Those were my choices, but now that I'm in the mood to work on crafting projects, it's nearly time for my spouse to return. To be clear, he does not attempt to prohibit me from sewing or crafting. I simply find it difficult to retreat to my sewing room when he is here. I was about to suggest that I don't know why, but the truth is, I do know. It's because I anticipate interruptions, and that feeling comes from experience. Perhaps I have to push through and do what I want to do, regardless of what's going on around me - within reason, that is. I won't ignore legitimate needs of my family members, friends, or pets, and I accept that there will always be some interruptions and bumps in the road. But it occurs to me I need to better budget my time and adjust to the detours along the way. As with a detour, once I return to the familiar road, I need to keep going until I reach my destination. If I can stitch a small pillow or ornament in ten minutes, I need to do that, if it's what I truly want to do. I resolve to work on that and strive to keep my waiting to a minimum. I don't want to run out of time.


Friday, July 22, 2016

CREATIVITY REVISITED

I can't count the times I've wished my desire to create with fabric or fiber would return. I've been in a slump. Though I have most anything I'd need to make items to use or to sell, fabric remains stacked on shelves or neatly folded in storage containers, and yarn has been tucked into drawers and baskets. I wish I had a good excuse as to why I haven't been creating. I've had a few very busy weeks, but I've also had time to make items, but had chosen to not do so. That changed two weeks ago.

While browsing online one day, I happened onto a cat rescue site that gave information for knitting or crocheting small cat blankets to comfort kitties waiting to be adopted. I remembered having two large plastic bags filled with yarn remnants I'd brought home from my mom's house after she died. My sisters and I had the task of clearing out our family home and my sisters did not want the yarn. Mom had used it to tuft flannel lap robes she made for homebound people and in her memory, I wanted to make something from her leftover yarn. I printed the cat blanket instructions and found those bags of yarn and located a few favorite crochet hooks. I started crocheting my first cat blanket that same night. I'm now working on my 8th one and feel more creative with each one I complete. I've also used those two full bags of remnants and have started using yarn from my "reserve" stash. 

It feels good to be back in the habit of reaching for a crochet hook and yarn when I sit down in the evening after household tasks have been finished. I'd forgotten how relaxing it is to crochet and how rewarding it is to finish a project. I plan to donate the blankets to my local animal adoption center.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

SOLITUDE

One afternoon last week, I took the long and winding country roads home after spending time in the Germantown Reserve. I needed to collect my thoughts, embrace a bit of solitude, and think about what my reactions should be to all the tragic circumstances in this nation. Though I was saddened and the tears flowed freely that day, I wasn't filled with rage or hate for anyone. I knew that wouldn't  solve one thing. I admit to having felt helpless though. I prayed for all victims of violence. I also prayed for the families of the ones who inflicted violence on unsuspecting people. Those families were victims too. They were not responsible for what their family members did, but they will carry the scars. I pondered what one individual can do about the violence in this land. The pervasive thoughts that came during moments of solitude were these: Although we can't solve all the problems in this world, we can make sure we do not contribute to them. We can promote peace where we live and work - in our families, in our cities and towns, and in our own states. We can denounce hate, racism, and violent rhetoric, whether it comes from a family member, a neighbor, a friend, or political candidate. We not only can do that, we must do that if we ever expect these violent acts to end. I don't want to feel helpless, sad, or live without hope. I happen to believe this situation is not hopeless. I believe in the spirits of love and acceptance. I believe in the spirits of peace and understanding. I believe in the resilient spirits of the American people. We've rebounded from tragedies before and we will again, but let this be a turning point, right here, right now. Let us stand for peace. Let us stand for love of our fellow human beings. Let us stand for what America is and will always be, the land in which the bell of freedom rings for ALL people.



Saturday, June 25, 2016

THINGS I WISH I KNEW

Today I traveled to West Milton, Ohio to pick up a sign I had commissioned Nancy, from The Black Crow Creations, to make. As I walked past the shops in the quaint town, I pondered the week's events and attempted to push the "cobwebs" from my mind. That's my term for those thoughts that do little besides clog my thinking and block my creativity. I wish I knew how to stop the mind-clogging from happening, but the walk was good, the weather was sunny and warm, and I succeeded in clearing my mind.

This week has been a rather sad one. Yesterday I learned the former owner of this, my old country home, had died. She loved this home and lived here for 62 years, but it had become more than she could handle. When my spouse and I met her after we had signed the contract to purchase this house, we instantly became friends. She said she was happy and relieved that someone who loved the house was going to be living here and caring for it. I wish I knew why we sometimes have to leave the things we love.


As the saying goes, "my get up and go, got up and went". That describes how I've felt lately. I'm not sure why I've lost enthusiasm for life, but perhaps in part, it's due to the negative things going on in this world and a long political election cycle. I do wish I knew how to stay informed yet not allow what I hear and read dissuade me from doing the things I've always loved doing.






                         The AMERICA sign was painted by Nancy, at Black Crow Creations.
     It's exactly what I wanted for that space. This is the back of my cabin.      

 This is one side of my cabin. I found the shutters, window, and chair at a vintage show in
Circleville, Ohio a few weeks ago. The setting will be complete as soon as I find my watering can.      

Saturday, May 21, 2016

IT'S LAID AROUND AND STAYED AROUND THIS OL' HOUSE TOO LONG

My reference is to an old song I often heard back in the 50's. The words actually are "I've laid around and stayed around this old town too long". I don't recall who sang the song, but that aside, what is it that has laid around and stayed around here? Too much STUFF.

I had the bright idea to hold a yard sale this weekend. An opportunity was offered to be part of our "Community Garage Sale Days" so I gladly signed up for it and looked forward to clearing out some things in the barn that had indeed stayed around here too long. They had stayed around our former home too long as well. Despite our vows to not do it, and against our better judgment, we moved all those things here. We essentially ran out of time to finish sorting and purging before we moved, so Spouse loaded up the truck and said we'd just store the totes in the barn until we were able to go through them. Right.....and that was over four years ago. With my daughter's encouragement and help, I looked through some of the totes last summer. Since they are not inside the house, the ones that remained untouched were most often out-of-sight-out-of-mind.

At the time I agreed to be part of the community garage sale event, I had about three weeks to get ready for it. That should have been plenty of time, but I hadn't realized I'd be working around all sorts of other things that popped up on my "agenda" during that time frame. I met with my sister twice, went to lunch with a dear friend, had a couple of appointments to keep, entertained company twice, and then there was the weekend of my nursing reunion, which I didn't want to miss. So it was a very busy three weeks. Still, Spouse and I did work to pull out things we no longer use, and in some cases, didn't even remember having. His stashes consisted of camping equipment, a few tools, books and DVDs, while mine were of the craft supply and vintage kitchen collectables variety. All in all, we had enough items to cover two long tables, two short ones, and fill numerous boxes. We thought we did well in pricing them and having them nicely arranged. So....we set up shop.

Friday brought us just a few customers, but Saturday brought us none.....as in, not one. To be sure, it WAS a very rainy and overcast day, so that might have had something to do with it, but mostly I think yard sales in the country simply aren't well attended. We really weren't really concerned about making money, though it would have been nice. We mostly wanted to let go of some things that we had formerly treasured and thought others might now enjoy using. We're not bitter nor upset about having so little business, but once again, I have sworn off holding any kind of yard or barn sale. I regret that I went back on my own word this time. It was a bit frustrating to have prepared for it then had so few people attend. Spouse even put up our craft show canopy and pegged his camping tent so people could see its actual size. Oh well, another lesson learned - I hope. If I ever share about wanting to do another yard sale....someone please smack me!

The positive things that came as a result of this boondoggle were that we will be taking most of these items to a donation center, so we have a little less clutter. I was able to have some quality time in the cabin today, reading my Country Sampler magazine, listening to soothing music, and relaxing. So it wasn't all bad.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 








Friday, May 13, 2016

SISTERS FROM OTHER MOTHERS

Last Saturday was the Riverside White Cross nursing class of 1971 reunion luncheon and I'm so glad I chose to attend. There were 34 of us present, from a class of 61. Some of us hadn't seen each other for 45 years, which is still hard to embrace. From Columbus, I moved to Dayton, Ohio immediately after graduation and only had contact with two of my former classmates through the years, and those encounters were brief. If not for Facebook, and some of our determined classmates, I doubt we would have reconnected at all. We wondered why we hadn't known of the RWC luncheons that had been held through the years, but the reason became clear when we were told Riverside Hospital had lost all of our contact information. Much of it wouldn't have been accurate anyway, due to marriages, moves, and career changes. We had to remember all those records were on paper - no computers back then.   

It was affirming to realize that almost all my former classmates had experienced feelings of insecurity and concerns about passing courses (as I did) while we were in training, but I hadn't known about that until Saturday when we were sharing and catching up on each others' lives. Each of us expressed that she'd thought she was the only one to have felt that way. I also learned that each of us who had gone home for the weekends dreaded Sunday nights when we'd be driven back to the dorm. Then it was back to the work in the hospital, classrooms, and labs. For me, Sunday night also meant donning a lab coat and walking over to the hospital to my assigned floor for the coming week. I needed to look through charts and write down my patients' medication lists. I'd then have to research any and all side effects, adverse reactions, and reasons for administration. I'd be tested during my floor experience that week. Even though it's been many years since those days, I sometimes still think of how my Sunday nights used to be spent and I recall those long study sessions. Medication lists were just the tip of the iceberg . . .

What was so uplifting about the reunion was the fact we still felt a sincere kinship to each other as we recalled our days in nursing school and were reminded of which instructors were kind and which were not. We had lived in a very strict environment - 10pm curfews, every student locked in her dorm at night, permission needed if we decided to marry before graduation, no cooking or storing food in the dorms, no hot plates, microwaves, nor refrigerators in the dorm, and many more rules than I can presently name. Those of us who shared our memories also shared that what we experienced was intense and difficult, but then, we didn't expect it would be easy. 

After all the stories were told and we were ready to part ways again, one of our classmates said, "You know, even though it was hard, when we graduated, I felt prepared", and we agreed. It WAS hard, but we did feel as if we were prepared to be Registered Nurses.
 The student nurses dorm is on the bottom left of this photo.
This is how Riverside Methodist Hospital looked in 1971.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

THE SISTERHOOD

On Tuesday, I was blessed to be able to meet one of my sisters for lunch and a nice visit. Since we live two hours from each other, we met half-way at a Bob Evans restaurant and had such a good time. After our meal, we treated ourselves to some Blueberry Bread and Cinnamon Bread to take home. The restaurant is located just 11 miles from Washington Court House, Ohio so after lunch we drove there to visit North Shore Primitives - a huge shop in a building dating back to the 1800's. It was formerly known as The Storage House and the owner shared that it had previously been used to store flour, grains, and other items in large quantities for the businesses in the area. 

Sis and I browsed for quite some time, talking and laughing, while we looked at all the wonderfully arranged items, the Spring touches, and the decorated areas - some of which were set up like actual rooms in a primitive home. One of our favorites was the tavern room that had a primitive wooden bar with stools, antique advertising signs, and some old tobacco tins, along with authentic tobacco plants, dried and hanging on sticks. Those reminded us of our Kentucky grandma's barn. Our family would visit her during the summer months and we often saw tobacco plants hanging over sticks attached to the rustic beams in the barn.  

After exploring at all the nooks and crannies in the shop, we made some selections and went to the check out area. We wished we could have stayed longer, but closing time was near and both of us felt the need to head home. I love the old wooden dough bowl I found and each of us bought a tobacco tin. Mine now resides in my cabin and I think I'll stick a little primitive bear in it. I didn't need a dough bowl nor a tobacco tin, but when I look at them and use them, I'll remember the wonderful visit my sister and I had that day. Sis is getting ready to move eight hours away, so we vowed to get together more often before she's relocated. We also hope our youngest sister will join us next time.

As we get older, we are reminded, almost daily, of how precious time is and how quickly it seems to be passing. We want to make the most of what we have left and spending time with family and friends seems the right thing to do. Enjoy your days!   































Thursday, April 28, 2016

MEMORIES OF GOOD OL' BEN

There was a conversation on Facebook the other day about the loss of Ben Franklin stores. I chimed in that I knew of only one remaining near my home, and that it was located in Arcanum, Ohio. I'd happened upon it last year, after attending an antique and primitives show not far from there. During the show, I'd asked a vendor if there were any shops nearby that might be worth my time to visit. She directed me to the Ben Franklin in Arcanum and I could barely wait to get there.

The store did not disappoint. I walked through the door and was immediately taken back to my early years of marriage when I was just beginning to sew and make things to sell. At that time, the closest Ben Franklin was in the downtown area of Miamisburg, Ohio and just 20 minutes from my home. It retained the original wood floors and wood display bins and held the sweet aroma of times past. I was devastated when the store was destroyed by fire and relieved when it was rebuilt, but the wood floors and display bins were replaced with ultra-modern updated versions. They were nice, but didn't have that old-time feel that I'd loved. Still, the store was a great place to find patterns, craft books, yarn, notions, fabric, and many other things a crafter might desire - as well as the usual toys and household goods. I don't think I ever shopped in that store without seeing someone I knew, so it was a gathering place for crafters too. The store changed ownership a few times and eventually closed, much to my chagrin. The building now houses an Ace Hardware store, but I still miss the Ben Franklin.  

After reading the thoughts of others regarding Ben Franklin stores, I decided to go to Arcanum today and visit the store I'd found last year. When I arrived, the owner greeted me and we exchanged pleasantries throughout the time I shopped. There were other customers in the store as well, and all were smiling and friendly. There's something about shopping in an old fashioned atmosphere that I find fun and relaxing. I browsed each aisle, wondering if I "needed" this or that, and checked over the rows of fabric, the button bin, and the many crafting instruction booklets. I bought one yard of Osnaburg fabric and felt good that I hadn't indulged in more. I already have more fabric than I'll probably ever use but it's still exciting to look at new prints and color selections. For some reason, Ben Franklin was having a big sale on live plants, so I bought a huge hanging basket containing the largest fern I've ever seen. The price was good and I knew exactly where I wanted to place it when I took it home. I found a few other things, paid for them, and left feeling as if I'd stepped back in time for awhile. I hope that Ben Franklin store is open and thriving for years to come.
 
 


Sunday, April 10, 2016

IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME

Yesterday I took a walk back in time, to my student nursing days at Riverside-White Cross Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. I'd recently been contacted by a former classmate who was gathering data and searching for former students in order to organize a gathering for the 45th (I can't believe it either) anniversary of graduation from nursing school. She emailed a list of those people she'd found and the summations of their lives after graduation. I read every classmate's summation and then had a good cry. Why cry? Because we were so young, straight out of high school, and had high hopes and pie-in-the-sky dreams for how we were going to help people and change the world - at least in our little corners of it, but we'd gone separate ways. Many of my classmates had lost their husbands. Some had changed professions or retired from nursing. Many had interrupted their careers to raise children, and quite a few had achieved advanced degrees and were still working but hoping to soon retire.    

We all have hopes and dreams, but then reality hits us square in the face and though some dreams are realized, many are not. I don't consider unfulfilled dreams as life failures, but rather interventions of realities like marriage, children, illnesses, crises, and family losses along the way. Many of those things cannot be avoided, but some are due to decisions we make ourselves. I wondered how my life might have been different had I been able to take an R.N. position at Riverside after graduation, as many of my classmates had. That's where I'd wanted to work, but Spouse had lived and worked in Dayton, Ohio, so after we married (just prior to my graduation) and after his Army days were over, he whisked me away from what I knew, to the place he knew. It was the way things were done back then. Women followed their husbands. Still, I do wonder how different life might have been had I lived and worked in the town where I was raised and where my family continued to reside. I would have been at a familiar hospital among people I'd known since my days as a Candy Striper.  

At the end of the classmates' summations was the list of those we had lost to death. I'm not sure why that stunned me, but it did. I know death is as much a part of life as birth, yet these were girls I'd lived with for years. We were dorm neighbors and friends. We had worked together, studied together, taken tests together, eaten meals together, laughed together, and cried together. We had supported each other when boyfriends had been sent to Viet Nam, or family members had passed, or when we were just sure we had failed important exams. During our years in nursing school, we had tragically lost two classmates - one had taken her own life there in the dorm, and the other had died in a sledding accident over Christmas break in our junior year. Those losses were jarring to all of us, but even after all these years, learning about further losses had stung. One friend had passed just a few years after graduation. I couldn't comprehend that she had done all that studying, spent all those hours working on the patient floors, worried and fretted about getting through....only to live such a short time afterward. It was more than I could process yesterday and I had a bit of a meltdown.

Today is better, and I know I can't go back or change anything from the past. I'm grateful for the time spent with those girls - now grown women - though at times I wished I had been anywhere but there in the dorms. As students, we often mused about being married, living in cozy little houses, cooking, cleaning, and washing dishes. We thought that would surely make us happier than being in a dorm or working in the hospital or studying until the wee hours. How naïve could we have been?

These are some graduation photos from one of our yearbook pages. I'm the first one on the left in the second row. How young we were.  I wonder why nurses don't wear caps anymore? We earned those!
     


 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

SPRING IS COMING - I THINK

One wouldn't know it was April here in Southwest, Ohio. Yesterday was beyond blustery. It was more like a winter day than some of the January days we had this year. The wind howled and blew things off the porch, out of the window boxes, and off the roof. The outdoor cat enclosure was not a safe haven for my furry ones so I scooped them up and insisted they go inside to safety. That was one time they didn't protest. Their play boxes had blown up against the door, making it hard to get inside the enclosure, but I needed to reach them so I found a way. Once inside the cat rooms in the barn, I turned on the heaters and made sure all cats had food, fresh water, and clean litter boxes. They didn't seem especially fearful of the banging going on outside though. In fact, some sat on the bench beneath the window, watching snowflakes fall and debris tumble. When I came back inside the house, I felt grateful for a sturdy home, a warm cozy fireplace, and a safe place for the cats to reside. Today has been much milder - the sun is shining and the wind has been less ferocious. The temperature has not risen much though, so I didn't let the cats go out into their enclosure, but will hope they can enjoy it later this week. 

I've been contemplating holding a Spring yard sale this month, but as usual, I'm hesitant to set a date for it. My hesitancy is not because I fear letting go of some things, but rather that I know how much work will be involved in sorting, pricing, and displaying the items I no longer need or want. There is also the "advertising" of the sale. Many things I've happily collected over the years now seem more of a burden then a joy, so it's time to let them go to someone else who might enjoy them. Last summer when I looked through stored totes, I re-discovered things I hadn't even remembered having, let alone storing. I labeled the totes which held items I could easily let go of, so that will be a help if I ever get the nerve to set a sale date.  

Some of the things I found were old Jello molds, vintage muffin tins, rolling pins, wooden spools and buttons, vintage sewing notions, crafting patterns, and more crafting supplies than I will ever use. I know I once had good intentions of making all sorts of items to sell, but that time has passed and now those supplies are taking up space, while someone might actually be using them and loving them as much as I once did. I will keep some of the old buttons and spools but I have more tins and patterns than I need - or ever really needed.





 

I'm sure I'll find more things to add to the list of sale items, and when I finally clean out my closets, I'll re-discover those as well. I've also decided to let go of a portion of my Pyrex collection. It was eclectic at best, since I didn't really set out to collect any certain color or style. When I'd happen upon a nice Pyrex bowl, and it was within my price range, I'd buy it then bring it home and display it with the others on my vintage pantry shelves. I'll keep those I use most often but let the others go. I also have some darling cat cookie jars that need new homes. Those have been just for display and I've never used them. As much as I like them, they need to go as well. It seems I've been able to fill up this old house pretty easily, but it's time to start downsizing - for real this time.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

DECISIONS, DECISIONS



It took longer than expected to work in the cabin putting away Christmas decorations and handcrafted items. I loved having them displayed, but it's time to think about Spring. I'd left the cabin looking like Christmas because I had friends who were interested in seeing it while it was still decorated for the holidays.....but I'd been bitten with some kind of nasty "bug" and was out of commission the whole month of January. It's probably the only time I didn't stress about not getting something done. I loved how my cabin looked all decked out for Christmas and wasn't in a hurry to change it. But ...with Spring arriving, I've done a little redecorating. I ordered a chair and ottoman which were delivered two weeks ago. What a dilemma it was though. Did I want a small loveseat or a recliner? Did I want a comfy chair or no soft seating at all? My main concern was how a chair or loveseat would fit inside the cabin. My spouse continues to insist the interior cabin space is exactly the same as I had in my other cabin, while I believe this cabin is a bit smaller. I do have a nice front porch on this one, so I'm not complaining - just stating what I feel to be factual. I have a door and two windows on one long side of the cabin, and one window on a short side, which is different from the other cabin. That one had two long walls, free of doors or windows. I'm having a difficult time arranging my tables and other furnishings to make eye-pleasing displays. I don't know why these decisions are hard for me to make. Maybe I need to stop thinking about how the "other cabin" was constructed, and simply arrange my displays to fit THIS one. 
After weeks of searching online, and in person at many furniture stores, I finally made my selection of a Queen Anne - type chair with matching ottoman. The set fits perfectly into one corner and looks nice as well. Hubby and I pulled out a large table and placed it on the opposite wall, but that didn't look right to me. So we moved it back to its original location. Then we moved the church pew to the other side of the room. I wasn't sure I wanted it there, but I'm leaving it where it is for now. What I've realized is that I bought some things for this cabin - things I found at antique malls or outdoor antique markets - before I stopped to think about how they would actually FIT into this cabin. I was so excited to finally be able to have a cabin again, that I was carried away with the idea of a new adventure. So now I have to make do with what I have and not add anything else in the way of furniture. I'm literally running out of room!
I want my cabin to be a cozy place to relax and display handcrafted items when I host home shows, but not so cluttered that it's not a fun place to be. I still have some things I want to do out there, but I think it's taking shape. I'm telling myself I can always change it if it's not working well for me.