We had a wonderful gathering of knitters yesterday at Mom and Daddy's home. Mom was our hostess with the mostest for an Easter luncheon followed by knitting. We had ten knitters plus Mom and me for a total of twelve. We had a wonderful time!
First off, Mom and Daddy's home looked wonderful!!!!! I know it is a new place in a new state but it's home through and through. Their furniture and accessories couldn't possibly fit better. And, I've always said you can tell what time of the year it is as soon as you enter their house. Yesterday was no exception! Easter and springtime was evident at every turn.
Mom did a super cute table arrangement using fresh tulips, jelly beans, and marshmallow Peeps. She served chicken salad with grapes, three-bean salad, cream cheese and chive bunny sandwiches, mandarin orange conjealed salad with a lemon topping, cheese biscuits and pumpkin muffins. Dessert was my grandmother's wonderful pound cake with lemon curd. Everything was yummmmmy!!!!!!
There was much eating, talking, and laughter! We even got a bit of knitting done, too!
I had favors for everyone - a little Lavender Mint "Hoppy Easter!" soap in an organza bag. I think they turned out cute! Perfect size for a little favor or a guest soap.
The knitters all came bearing gifts for Mom! A potted gardenia, a pot of pansies, Esther Price box of chocolates, an Easter lily, tomato jelly and maple syrup, a crocheted bookmark, and a basket full of cotton dishcloth yarn, pen, notepads, tea, cup, etc. We have such an awesome knitting group and they have definitely gathered Mom right into their fold. It doesn't hurt that she is a terrific cook!
I once again state - when you have a passion - such as knitting - you will always have friends! Just go to where they hang out and you will have a ready-made fan base. A group to support, motivate, and inspire you.
Here's a good picture of Mom and Daddy before the knitters arrived.
Love my knitting peeps!
[Note on the arrangement above - This is such an easy arrangement to make. Set a glass in a larger container. Place cut flowers and water in the glass. Fill the larger container around the glass with whatever - peppermint candies at Christmas, red hots for Valentine's Day, candy corn for Halloween, acorns for fall, red white blue stuff for the 4th of July, etc. Add whatever flowers are appropriate for the time or occasion - red roses for Valentines, carnation for July 4th, mums and branches of autumn colored leaves for fall, etc. It is easily adaptable for any occasion.]
I live in a great place! So many little towns close-by with tons of stuff to do.
This past weekend kicked off the annual Waynesville, Ohio Peep Show. Participating stores are marked with a Peep bunny or chick sign on their front doors. Once inside, visitors can view their entry.
This year, twenty-four stores participated. Mom and I went around to about ten of them Friday. Wish we could have seen them all but there wasn't enough time.
The Peep Show consists of dioramas depicting the famous marshmallow Peeps in action. I have to admit that I LOVE Peeps! Daddy loves them, too. I'm so glad that you can get them now for just about any holiday.
The creators of the Peep Show dioramas are so clever! The ideas they come up with are just so cute!
This year, my favorite was once again Forner's Woodshop. Mollie created Peepville Hatchery last year and Luigi's Peepza the year before that. All are just precious! This year, she did The Pampered Peep. The setting was a beauty salon / spa. One Peep was shown soaking her feet getting ready for her pedicure. Another was facedown getting a massage. Others were having their hair done. Please click on the pictures so you see all the details. I don't know where in the world she finds all these little things - the hair dryers, scissors, even a curling iron!
I mentioned Luigi's Peepza - one that Mollie did a previous year. Her attention to detail is what I like best.
The visitors to the Peep Show are invited to vote for the Peeples Choice. You have a ballot and simply write down which one you like best.
There were so many cute ones! I hear there was one with a Victoria's Secret theme but we didn't see that one.
Cheap John's had Peepzilla. Too cute!!!
Another diorama depicted a May Pole dance. It was so pretty and very fitting for the store it was in, The Looking Glass. I remember going to Averett College back when it was an all female college to watch them do the May Pole dance and festivities. Always loved that!
Haberdashery had a two-for-one. Patti made an arrangement using Peeps and Jelly Beans which was absolutely adorable! The entry for her store was made by one of her customers. Peep-Toed Shoes. So simple and so cute! They found the shoes at a thrift store and hot-glued Peeps onto the toes.
One of my favorites from a previous year was Peeping Tom Peep. The diorama had a Peep taking a bath and outside the bathroom window was another Peep (the Peeping Tom Peep) looking into the bathroom. So cute and clever!
Another terrific previous entry - The Village Peeple where all the Peeps were dressed up like the band, The Village People.
The Peep Show entries will be on display through Easter so get to Waynesville to see them.
Well, in keeping with the theme, here is my Easter soap. Peeps! I made Peep bunnies and chicks. I also made small bunnies - just the head and ears - and Easter eggs, too. I can't wait to shringwrap them all. Some of destined for the grandchildren's Easter baskets. Hope they like them!
Rub-a-dub-dub, ten hares in a tub!
Spring has finally come to Southwest Ohio. Along with Spring came the rains. We had torrential rains Thursday which resulted in flooding. I think more is predicted tonight. The grass is turning green and my daffodils, lilies, and irises are peeping up through the dirt wondering if it's finally safe to rise above ground.
It's also nesting time for the birds. The Red-Winged Blackbirds usually nest in our cattails but the recent rain bent them over and the water is so high in our pond that only the tops of the cattails are visible. Looks like they'll have to nest elsewhere this year or wait for the water level to recede. The Tree Swallows are back. They beat the Bluebirds to the nesting boxes. I have three nesting boxes for the Bluebirds but they are so outnumbered by the Tree Swallows that they usually get one nesting box and the Tree Swallows get the other two. This year, I'm going to put up a fourth box. I think I'm going to wait a bit so maybe the Tree Swallows won't be interested in it giving the Bluebirds a better chance.
Hope Spring has arrived in your neck of the woods. It's been a long time coming but I'm sure it will be worth the wait!
I grew up in Danville, Virginia and was raised in the Methodist church. I was there every Sunday morning unless there was some VERY good reason that I wasn't. Right there near the front on the left side. As a child, of course I didn't fully appreciate the church or my freedom to be sitting there. My mind wandered - I remember looking at those large wooden light fixtures suspended from the ceiling and and then following their paths if they were to fall. I used to draw on the cards in the backs of the pews. Yes, my mind would wander. But, I was there. Absorbing what the church had to offer me.
In my opnion, there's nothing quite like your home church. No matter how far you roam or how many churches you attend, there's always a tie that binds you to your home church.
Mount Vernon is also my mother's home church. She grew up on West Main Street in Danville and used to walk down the street to church. Mt. Vernon is situated at the point - the triangle - where Main, West Main, and South Main streets meet. Mom and Daddy were married in this church in 1950.
Well over 100 years old, Mt. Vernon's sanctuary imparts all that the definition of the word implies. Sacred place. Refuge. A place of peace. The peace that Mount Vernon's sanctuary offers hovers around you as you sit quietly. It's almost as if the interior air is alive and breathing with you. It meets you when you enter just waiting to cloak you in peace and calm.
I have yet to find a church sanctuary more beautiful or more compelling that Mt. Vernon's. The reason for this is in large part due to the extraordinary stained glass windows. They are perfectly gorgeous. To gaze up at them is just something I can't describe. Their colors. Their themes. They have such a presence in this spiritual place - this sanctuary.
Each of the windows has its own meaning associated with scripture or happenings in the Bible. In my readings trying to prepare for this post, I couldn't find dates when the windows were built/installed. I always thought they were Tiffany windows but Mom doesn't think so. I guess it doesn't matter, they couldn't be more lovely.
The current lean toward the more modern sanctuaries - while nice, I find them lacking something. Warmth, maybe. The warmth that you feel from Mt. Vernon's sanctuary literally surrounds you when you enter. My guess is that it probably has to do with the cost it would take to construct this type of building with the artistry and workmanship. I don't know but it's a shame.
The sanctuary has witnessed my life at every stage. It knew me as a baby - I was christened in this sanctuary. I took communion in this place. I was married in this church. I have mourned loved ones in this sanctuary.
An irregular church-goer in my adult life, I believe the church is still with me. I carry it inside my heart and hope that it shows in my actions and deeds on a daily basis.
Hope you enjoy these pictures. I took a picture of each of the beautiful windows and wish I could post them all. I hope that just looking at them brings you some of the peacefulness that this special sanctuary has to offer.
Happy Birthday to our younger son, Taylor! Today he turned thirty years old. How in the world did that happen!?!?? Proof that children grow up tooooo fast! Yesterday, he was so little and now he has two little ones of his own. Hope this year will be his best yet with many many more to happy years to come.
Well, my last post was February 28th. In the two weeks that have passed, a lot has happened. We've celebrated a life lost, a blessed life that continues, and a life that is pending birth.
This rose photo is of one of the beautiful roses in an arrangement at Uncle Frank's funeral. The sunset is a photo of the view of the Dan River from Uncle Frank's living room.
My Uncle Frank, Mom's brother passed away March 5th at the age of 90. He had an extraordinary life - one full of travel, family, friends, and dancing. Uncle Frank loved a party and especially loved to dance. He and Aunt Alice lived around the corner from us when I was growing up. I used to cut through their yard walking to the swimming pool. I also used to wear Aunt Alice's shoes - real shoes - as my dress-up shoes. She was petite and I was not. They fit me perfectly! No plastic dress-up shoes for me! I had the real deals. Uncle Frank lost Aunt Alice to cancer back in 2003. He was fortunate to find a companion to share his love for travel and good times with in his later years. It kept him young. Everyone should have a life so well-lived. Full of hard work, fun times, family, and friends. Godspeed Uncle Frank!
Mom celebrated her 84th birthday on March 6th. It was bittersweet with the loss of her brother the day before. She and Daddy traveled back to Danville for the funeral and were able to see many friends, attend church, meet the new owner of their house of 56 years, and see all of the family who were there for Uncle Frank's funeral. Mom's sister, Nancy, was there from Mississippi along with Nancy's daughter, Holly. Mom and Daddy had a great time and were ready to get back to Ohio last Tuesday. I'm so glad they were able to go. The packing back in late November and the move on December 1st was so frantic and rushed that little time was allowed them to enjoy their friends before they left. This trip back, while sad, was full of celebration of Uncle Frank's life well-lived and seeing friends and family.
I also made the trip to Danville for the funeral with an overnight in Richmond to see the boys and their families. It was a quick trip - to Richmond, VA on Saturday, to Danville, VA on Sunday, then back to Ohio on Monday. It was worth it. I loved seeing my cousins and their children and grandchildren.
My son, Taylor, and Rachael are doing well and Landen and Raleigh are growing like weeds. Raleigh had changed soooo much since I last saw her in November. She is now 7 months old, is crawling up a storm, and cutting two front bottom teeth. She's a happy happy girl! Landen (3 years old in June) hasn't slowed down a bit - unless he's playing with his trains. He's a very busy boy. They are planning a trip to see us in late June and I can hardly wait!!!!! I'll be counting the days to when I have not just one grandchild under our roof but two! What fun we'll have!
I was able to finish Raleigh's sweater vest and leave it for her. I think Virginia is finished with cold weather so the vest will have to wait until next year.
My other son, Brian, and Eryn are also doing well. Their daughter, Miss B (3 in August) is very talkative and full of personality. Big news is that Brian, Eryn, and Miss B are expecting a baby in August. We received a cute announcement this week - they emailed us a picture of Miss B sitting on the sofa holding a framed hand-written announcement that she is going to be a big sister to a baby girl in August. Miss B is going to be a wonderful big sis! I so wish I could post Miss B's picture but in deference to her parents' wishes - no picture. You'll have to trust me - she's adorable!
Here in Ohio, Mother Nature is reluctant to leave winter alone. We had snow Wednesday night with some spitting snow Thursday. The weatherman is also predicting possibility of snow flurries Sunday night. As much as I love my winter months, I guess I'm ready for spring. Well, almost ready. We've had migrating ducks visiting at our pond over the past several weeks on their way to Canada. The most recent was a group of about 30 Ring-Necked Ducks. It's been very interesting seeing them.
Before leaving Danville, Virginia, I visited the church where Uncle Frank's funeral took place - my home church. The church is absolutely gorgeous with the most beautiful stained glass windows I've ever seen. My next post will feature those amazing windows.
I have gotten a few things done this week. Amazing since this was the end of the month at work which always means tons of reports, etc. that need wrapping up.
First up, I finished knitting the pieces for Raleigh's vest. I love these happy colors. Tomorrow, I hope to sew the pieces together and pick up around the armholes and the sides for the button bands. I'm currently knitting one for Ms. B, also, but in a different colorway.
Secondly, a pair of socks --- two at a time, toe-up. I love this yarn! SOOOO soft! I have no idea what it is because the ball-band is missing. I want to get this toe-up sock knitting down pat. So far, so good but I don't like these pointy toes. I like a more rounded toe on a sock and will knit the next pair a little differently.
Finally for this week, Luck O' The Irish soap for St. Patrick's Day. I made two batches - one fragranced with Wink for all you mischievous Leprechauns out there and the other one fragranced with Green Tea.
Tomorrow is Saturday!!! Yippee! It's terrible to live your life for the weekends but that's how it goes these days. Knitting At Noon tomorrow with friends and then soap and lotion making on Sunday. Just wish there were more hours in the weekends or maybe an extra day. The weatherman is predicting 8-11 inches of snow Sunday into Monday. WooHoo!!!
Happy weekend to all of you and thanks for reading!
Well, for this little snowman, it's difficult to catch his breath. He's up to his nose in SNOW!
It snowed non-stop Friday and it was beautiful! It was the kind of snow that stuck to every branch and twig. The roads and highways were a mess because the weather folks had predicted maybe 1-2 inches. They admitted that they totally missed it! It snowed - I mean a virtual white-out snow - starting before lunch and was still snowing into the night. The road crews were not prepared. It took Andy two and a half hours to get home when it usually takes him about an hour and ten minutes.
Lily has become quite the snow dog - plowing right through the snow and climbing snow mountains left by the plow to find just the perfect spot to do her business. She blends in so well that you can hardly see her!
I couldn't resist taking a snowy selfie yesterday. It was white and bright outside!
The weather didn't stop us from making our way to The Golden Lamb in Lebanon for dinner. We had a delicious Valentine dinner of Filet Mignon, Asparagus, Mashed Potatoes, and Heath Bar White Chocolate Creme Brulee for dessert. It was yummy! This picture was taken from inside of The Golden Lamb looking out towards the library across the street. So pretty!!!!!
I mailed off Valentine's Day boxes to our boys and their families yesterday. What is it with being a mother that makes me always want to pack a goodie box full of surprises for each holiday or occasion. I guess it has something to do with how much I would appreciate receiving something like that. I hope they enjoy the things I send and appreciate them.
For this Valentine's Day, I sent some napkins with hearts, packs of tissues with message hearts printed on them, little notepads, stickers, books, a little toy for Landen, and, of course, a few sweets.
I also included some handknits.
I knit two pairs of socks for our youngest grand-daughter, Raleigh, who is now almost seven months old. I sure hope they fit!!!! I used the pattern, Oh, Baby!, by Anne Hanson of Knitspot.
For her mom, Rachael, a Clapotis in Blue Heron's rayon metallic yarn. She can wear it as a scarf or a shawl/stole around her shoulders. I hope she knows all the thoughts and prayers for her that went into every stitch.
For our oldest granddaughter, now almost two and a half, a poncho. The color here looks more purple than it really is. The true color is more red wine color. The yarn is by Sublime and the pattern is Little Emilia. I hope she likes it!
Nothing says "I LOVE YOU!" better than handmade!
It doesn't matter the age of a mother's children, you miss them just the same. It's still very difficult not seeing them but two or so times per year. Some day, I hope they realize this and how special they are to us!