Friday, March 27, 2015

What Goes Here?

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

OVERTIRED

When I've worked overlong on a project, restlessness sets in. I become anxious for the work to be finished. That's the point where I find myself, today. 

Dolls be done!

I'm like Robert Frost in his poem After Apple Picking:

For I have had too much
Of apple-picking; I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.

The dolls are almost finished. The dresses are a little longer than planned, and the faces were marked too low. The tracing marks had to be scrubbed clean, taking most of  an afternoon. Now, they're ready for the second placement of mouth, eyes and nose. Then on to shoes, snaps and hair.

Yes, I have had too much
Of doll making; I am overtired
Of making dolls I myself desired. 


Again, like Robert Frost:

But I am done with apple picking, now

I long to be done with doll making, now, and move on to other projects - projects which will certainly become overlong and make me overtired because I have had way too much, way too apple picking much of them.


 


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February the First

On this first day of February, it's raining and a bit windy in the valley. Our temperature is supposed to climb to 62 - spring like and unusual for this time of year.  

The backyard was already soggy - it will be more so, now. There was a time, maybe three years ago, that we had so much rain, over an extended period of time, that water bubbled up out of the ground in the backyard. So far, this year, there is no bubbling, but you can sink in almost to your shoe tops.

Being an inside day, today will be a good day for dolls.  I'm a doll maker of sorts. I'll use fleece for the body, instead of muslin, to make a more huggable doll for a child. A light pink or cream might be good colors to use for the body. I'll try both, and we'll see which color I like best.

The dolls will be based on the character in my children's book "Morning Moon". They'll be taken to Tamarack in Beckley to be juried into the Tamarack of West Virginia system. That's the trick - they have to be accepted/approved, because Tamarack only takes the very best. So, we will see what happens when I travel that way at the end of February. Morning Moon is already being sold there, and the doll will be sold along with it.

So, though I've been up and stirring for quite awhile, I'm starting the productive part of my day a tad late. It's almost lunch time, and I'm still full of breakfast. I really must get busy - the day is waiting, and there won't be another like it.

(There hasn't been a post here for a long time, and this page is out of date. I'll work on that as time allows.)




 




 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

EASTER SUNDAY 2011

78

For I remember it is Easter morn,
And life and love and peace are all new born. 

Alice Freeman Palmer

73

Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life. 

S.D. Gordon

99

Where man sees but withered leaves, God sees sweet flowers growing.

Albert Laighton

B

Easter Bells

Edna Dean Proctor

I think of the garden after the rain;
And hope to my heart comes singing,
At morn the cherry-blooms will be white,
And the Easter bells be ringing!

16

Easter

 Joyce Kilmer

The air is like a butterfly
With frail blue wings.
The happy earth looks at the sky
And sings.

104

Easter Morning

Edna Dean Proctor

The fasts are done; the Aves said;
The moon has filled her horn
And in the solemn night I watch
Before the Easter morn.
So pure, so still the starry heaven,
So hushed the brooding air,
I could hear the sweep of an angel's wings
If one should earthward fare.

100

Earth with heaven above rejoices...

 Charles Kingsley

See the land, her Easter keeping,
Rises as her Maker rose.
Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,
Burst at last from winter snows.

20
 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Stuff a Doll - Watch a Movie

Little Gal likes to dance around with her dolls. Some time ago, a seller on Ebay put up for sell a pattern for a "dance with me" type doll. I won the auction and put the pattern away to be used when the right time came. The right time has come.

Today, I'm stuffing a "Dance With Me Doll", that's as tall as I am, and watching a movie. The movie is from 1949, a film noir. I love the forties movies and film noir. This one is "D.O.A" - about a man searching for who killed him. No, he's not a ghost! It's in the Public Domain and you can watch it here:


http://www.archive.org/details/doa_1949

Little Gal will get her doll for Easter, and I will enjoy some movies from a time when movies were still good.


To catch up:
The Eaglet in Shepherdstown didn't survive, but there has been some new activity at the nest in the past few days. Maybe there will be a new family on the nest in the near future.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Crocus Blooming & Other Things


Brave they are, the crocus,
popping their heads above ground
at the first warm whisper of spring
only to be cloaked by a late winter snow.


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The husband of a friend is a builder. He builds birdhouses and bird feeders. I now own two of his bird feeders and one birdhouse. Will I mount them on a post or hang them from a tree? I'm still thinking about that.


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It began it's life a few years ago. Over seven years ago, in fact -- probably eight. Meant for Little Gal as a baby quilt, it was never finished.
Other quilts made for Little Gal, back all those years ago,were quilted on the sewing machine.
Not this one!
For some reason this quilt and I couldn't see eye to eye. Although lines were drawn to follow with the needle, they kept shifting -- or was that the sewing machine jumping from one side to the other as we moved along.
No, I think that was me, pulling the quilt this way and that, trying to keep it on the straight and narrow. 


Finally, it was quitsville. I was fit to be tied, and that is exactly what happened to this quilt. 
Can you see the little threads? That's button thread.The thinking was that it would make a stronger quilt. The thinking, now is, "Will the knots will hold in a wash."
This thing is going to get finished, then given a splish splash in the washer.  Whether the knots are secure should be known, right away 
Likely, this quilt would still be hanging on the hanger it was hung on, back in 2003, if it wasn't needed, now.
The front, with it's angels flying, isn't the desired side to the quilt, though. It's the back. 
The back is covered with the cutest little smiling moons and blue and yellow stars. Just perfect for the purpose it's being completed for. 
What it will be used for will have to wait for another post. 
To be continued.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

MORNING STAR AND OTHER THINGS

February is merely as long as is needed to pass the time until March.
Dr. J. R. Stockton
 
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Peering through the back door window, nothing but darkness could be seen above the old garage, now a garden room. Venus, my early morning friend, had forsaken me. In hiding, behind clouds that surely must be there, her absence portended a dreary, sunless Sunday.

Now early afternoon, the sky is cloudy and gray - no blue skies smiling at me (I didn't know this was an Irving Berlin song), no sun coming over the mountain.

My thinking is lyric haunted today. So, Venus (my girl friends and I played this record till it was worn out and couldn't be played anymore), if you will, please send a little sun to give a thrill.
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February, when the days of winter seem endless 
and no amount of wistful recollecting can bring back
any air of summer.
  Shirley Jackson,  Raising Demons

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 THERE'S AN EGG! 
The Eagle Cam in Shepherdstown, WV, has been an important internet stop for the past several days, ever since a friend sent the link. A male and female eagle have been preparing their nest, high above ground, for their young.
 
This morning there was a lone, white egg in the nest. Now, there are two - tomorrow, three? 

This is the time of year that the eagles lay their eggs - I didn't know that till a few days ago. Some interesting observation is ahead while the eggs are being kept warm and protected.

Here is the link if you're curious and would like to watch:



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There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you ..... 
In spring, summer and fall people sort of
have an open season on each other; 
only in the winter, in the country, 
can you have longer, quiet stretches
when you can savor belonging to yourself.
 
Ruth Stout

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The goal was a book a week. I'm behind - way behind! Father Tim and all the inhabitants of Mitford wait patiently between the pages till A Light in the Window is picked up again and opened for reading. This week the goal is to finish the present year in Mitford and start eavesdropping on what Father Tim and the other residents of Mitford are doing in These High Green Hills. The title snags my interest - high green hills surround me.

Another Christmas has passed in Mitford and Father Tim is preparing his Easter sermon. On his mind is the offer from his elderly, wealthy parishioner to send Dooley away to school. Also on his mind is Cynthia, still away in New York. Their relationship is getting closer to being a permanent one.

His thoughts turn, too, to the wealthy widow who is getting more and more brazen in her overtures to him. Father Tim would like to nip it in the bud once and for all, but she dangles thousands of dollars for the local childrens' home as a bribe to woo him and keep him roped in. The next pages should reveal how Father Tim escapes the noose.
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 There seems to be so much more winter than we need this year.
   Kathleen Norris

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When it was still covering the ground and still falling from the sky, it seemed the snow had always been here and would ever be here. But, today, it's almost gone. Only patches remain here and there. On the higher mountains, the story is different. Topped in white, they stand in contrast to the brown spread beneath them.
Snow will come again. It's only February, and winter still has a hold on the valley. 

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Loud are the thunder drums 
in the tents of the mountains.
Oh, long, long
Have we eaten chia seeds
and dried deer's flesh of the summer killing.
We are tired of our huts
and the smoky smell of our clothing.
We are sick with the desire for the sun
And the grass on the mountain.
  
Paiute Late Winter Song





Sunday, January 30, 2011

Getting Snowed and Other Things

"Bare branches of each tree
on this chilly January morn
look so cold so forlorn.
Gray skies dip ever so low
left from yesterday's dusting of snow.
Yet in the heart of each tree
waiting for each who wait to see
new life as warm sun and breeze will blow,
like magic, unlock springs sap to flow,
buds, new leaves, then blooms will grow."

 
Nelda Hartmann
January Morn
 
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Pitter pattering to the backdoor window, the first act of almost every day, a happy sky greeted me through the darkness of the early hour. A bright, morning star hung slightly above the deeply pitched roof of the garden room, (so-called), shining huge and bright in the darkness. Other stars lit the sky, giving hope that the sun might shine on the valley again today.

But, hopes and dreams quite often die. The morning grew older, and that sunny day wish went unfulfilled. Out front, where the evergreens grow, gray sky hovered above the white birch, threatening to add new snow to old snow. And the weatherman said it would be so.

As winters go (and this one can go as soon as possible), we've been snowed by heaps and mounds many times before. In our minds, though, each winter seems worse than any other. But, there is no time lapsing winter, unless you're painting it:


Update: No snow today and the sun appeared through the clouds. Temp climbed into the low forties! Good things come to those who wait.
 
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MOTH, man of the house, has decided that now is the time to strip the paint from the stairs, taking them to the oak wood that's been hidden, probably since the house was built. Being this house was built in the 1930s, that means many, many layers of paint. 

(In the process it was discovered that the walls were once painted a vintage(?) green. I've seen almost that same green painted on other items from that era - chairs, tables, cupboards, chests. A popular color to use in your home way back then or maybe just a good buy? MOTH thinks there might have been fewer color choices back in the good ole days.) 

Back to where we left off, paint stripper was the first assault on the stairs - and to anyone who happened to be in the vicinity (me). This removed a lot of the old paint but not enough to reveal the oak as oak should look. 


Next came the heat gun. Did you know heat guns aren't soundless? When in operation they sound like an electric mixer. But when the mixer is being used there might be the scent of cinnamon or vanilla, or at least chocolate. With the heat gun, there is a light odor of something burning - not altogether disgusting, but you know you won't be snacking on cake or muffins later in the day. 

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When I no longer thrill to the first snow of the season, I'll know I'm growing old.

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In his mature years, Father Tim is finding romance to be a confusing road. Cynthia was quite upset when she thought he was philandering with the wealthy widow. Off she went to New York to work on her book without an explanation or a goodbye. Now, the tables have turned. 

After receiving a curt, sarcastic (Cynthia is good at this) note from her because a lette he had written to her was too business like (not lovey dovey), Father Tim rings her on the phone to patch it up. A man answers. 

"Cynthia is getting dressed," he tells Father Tim.

This sends Father Tim into a tailspin. She wasn't sitting alone in that apartment in New York City, working her little heart out to get her book ready for publishing, as he had imagined her.

But, he talks himself out of his funk and calls her again. After beating around the bush, Cynthia wants him to get to the point. 

So, he asks who the man was who answered the phone when he had called her before. Not liking his tone, Cynthia hangs up on him.

Father Tim might have a tiger by the tail.

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This is the tail end of January in the valley. 

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"The shortest day has passed, 
and whatever nastiness of weather 
we may look forward to 
in January and February,
at least we notice that the days 
are getting longer.  
Minute by minute they lengthen out.  
It takes some weeks before
we become aware of the change.  
It is imperceptible even as the 
growth of a child, 
as you watch it day by day,
until the moment comes when 
with a start of delighted surprise 
we realize that we can stay 
out of doors in a twilight lasting 
for another quarter 
of a precious hour."

  Vita Sackville-West
 
 

Friday, January 21, 2011

More Snow in the Valley and Other Things

snowfall
The First Snowfall 
 
James Russell Lowell

  THE SNOW had begun in the gloaming,
  And busily all the night
  Had been heaping field and highway
  With a silence deep and white.
  Every pine and fir and hemlock
  Wore ermine too dear for an earl,
  And the poorest twig on the elm-tree
  Was ridged inch deep with pearl.
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Snow fell during the night, covering snow that had already snowed during other snowfalls. By mid morning, snow was still snowing. 
 
Snow reports were calling for scattered snow into early Saturday morning, but that might have been a folly forecast. 
There are now blue sky and sunshine where snow had recently been. January has been a month of snowfalls in the valley.  
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“Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough.”
Earl Wilson
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Often (most of the time), when I've devoted time to sewing something for Little Gal - dress, pajamas, nightgown, etc. - she tries it on and doesn't want to take it off. Her very first Grandma made dress was a pink, sleeveless, summer type when she was about two. She refused to take it off and insisted on sleeping in it that night.
Picture 328
 At seven years old, she hasn't changed her ways. After unwrapping her green, fleece Grandma made pajamas on Christmas Eve, she put them on and was still wearing them the day after Christmas when she went to visit other relatives several miles away. She let her mother wash them, only to put them back on again.
Picture 480 
Last week, Little Gal’s mother and I made a fleece blanket, nightgown and robe for a little friend of Little Gal’s who had had surgery at Johns Hopkins in Maryland. Little Friend will miss the rest of the school year while she recovers.
535

Little Gal’s mother had to laugh after visiting her on her third day back home. She was wearing her new nightgown, and her mother said she wouldn’t take it off. Little girls are very much the same.


 
 
 
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“Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.”
Jeff Valdez
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A Light in the Window – Jan Karon – Book #2 in the Mitford Series
 
light
Father Tim is back home in Mitford, and his life has become quite interesting. A wealthy widow is pursuing him, giving him the big whang-do, and construction has begun on Hope House, a place for the elderly to live in comfort and with good care, paid for by another lady of wealth. This lady of wealth has just discovered that she had a sister she never knew about and now has a niece that she’s given all her mother’s old hats to. 
 
There are several interesting characters in the Mitford books. Emma, Father Tim’s nosey secretary, who uses terms like “peedaddle” and “whang-do”; Puny, his bossy housekeeper, who gives him a lot of sass; and Homeless, a man living in a one room shack, who Father Tim finds he can trust and confide in. Many other likable eccentrics populate the mountain town of Mitford.
 
After a misunderstanding (the well-to-do widow woman created a problem), Father Tim and Cynthia are now a couple. When making up, he finally gave her the lip kiss I was looking for in the first book, At Home in Mitford. To his surprise, at sixty-one, Father Tim finds himself going steady. But the wealthy widow hasn’t given up - Father Tim will have to stay on his toes.
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“Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, "I'm going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that's tough. I am going to snow anyway."”
Maya Angelou
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Another week has gone by in the valley.
 
UP THE VALLEY 041