Tuesday, April 28, 2015


We worked and worked and slaved away.
Last week, you saw the beginning of our little project out front.
Here is what has become of it.
And the real surprise is...
After two years,
we got the swing hung up.
I did a little trading: got rid of a desk and acquired the swing.
Brought it home, cleaned it up and sealed it.
Then there it sat.
About 6-8 months ago,
Mr. LB found the length of chain for 60% off so got it.
And there it sat:)
Finally, we put it all together.
It really is level.  The ground is not.
I know I should have a pillow and quilt draped over it for a pretty picture,
but that's not very realistic.
For two evenings now, we've sat out here and watched the water
shoot from the sprinkler after we we've finished-up 'out and around.'
Once summer comes, I imagine there might be a tall glass
of iced tea in our hands but still no pillows.

Mr. LB took the rototiller to it and pulled out at least a cart full
of roots and these rocks.
These were just a few of the big ones.
I put those little ones in a ring around the base of the tree
because I planted a few beans in there to see what would happen.
I also planted corn, broccoli, and celery.
It's a little early, so I am just hoping we don't get a late frost.
I have other things started inside,
but of course, it's too early to put them out.
That is the road that passes in front of the house,
so we want some barrier,
but I will do more cleaning up and plant things with a purpose.
Did you notice?  We also got all the barbed wire and chicken wire out.
As you are looking at the swing, to the right
there are lilacs.
After they've bloomed, we will prune those way back and
clean all the mess out from the bottom portion
and gain even more ground.
I didn't have the heart to do that before they bloomed.
Depending upon where it is,
we have reseeded some the area with grass seed.
We do want some lawn, but
where there is good sun, is reserved for edibles.
Our goal is to have pretty much everything in the landscape
to be edible including flowers.
Think hosta, tiger lily, nasturtium, chamomile, balsam, etc.
It is a process.
None of it happens over night.
This little accomplishment seems big to us.
With every little bit we develop, nurture, and tend to,
we hope to create a natural 'grocery store.' 
Mr. LB is probably tired of hearing me say every time
we eat home canned veggies,
"I just can't believe how much better this tastes."
Not only is home grown/canned tastier,
it's better for us.
We use no chemicals to grow 'bigger/badder.'
Compost is a wonderful thing.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Just One Stitch

As many of you are aware,
the last couple months have been a little trying
in our corner of the world.
During that time, I did little if any stitching.
The other morning,
I decided that I was going to 'play' in the fun room for a few minutes.
I was only able to make one more block,
but the therapy was wonderful.
It felt so good to get lost in points matching
and press towards the orange,
and not think about all the "stuff" we have to think about each day.
There will eventually be 99 of these blocks
to be set into a pattern.
I think I have 11 or 12 done.
I usually work on hand stitching so making a w-h-o-l-e block
in just a short period of time was very rewarding.

Perhaps you too have a therapy activity.
My wish for you is just one block:)
If nothing else, I hope you find that little bit of peace today
that rewards your heart and brings you joy.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Gaining Ground

It's amazing what can happen when Mr. LB
gets the chainsaw out to trim a dead limb.
That's how it started.
There was a dead limb (or two) in the pear tree.
Once those were removed...
Hun, since you have the chainsaw out......
I have been plugging at this side of the yard 
off and on for years.
Anywhere you see lack of grass is where
there were briars.
It gets great sun so I am hoping to plant
some corn and beans along with flowers.

I'm not sure why it is that at one point in time,
people thought it was a good idea to put in
a barbed wire fence with chicken wire along the bottom
then not maintain it.
This is always how it looks.
Actually, I should clarify,
this is how it looks after we pulled all the lilac suckers,
black berries, briars, and weeds.
I've owned two homes in my adult life.
They have both come with such "fences."
Needless to say, it's coming out.

One other thing I have done periodically is
tie a bright ribbon around plants/trees I don't want cut down.
Here it's on a mock orange that smells delicious when it blooms.
I started doing this after Mr. LB
took the weed wacker around and eliminated
a young cedar, the wisteria, cauliflower, and raspberries.
It's fun to tease him about it now,
but he felt pretty bad at the time, 
especially since he likes all those things.
Also, I try to let him know if I have planted something in an odd spot
which I often do.

We gained about a 10' X 40' swath (roughly.)
Now, I just need to finish the clean up.
We will probably till it with some compost for good measure
since it's never been planted.
There will also be another little project over here
that I hope to share with you soon.
Just have to make a parts run in order to finish.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Friday, April 10, 2015

How to Clean Bottles with Rice

How to Clean bottles with Rice:
If you have a narrow-necked bottle you would like to reuse,
but it has matter on the bottom or sides
that you can't seem to get to
put an inch or two of hot water in the bottle.
Add a squirt of dish soap and 1-2 tablespoons of rice.
Shake, Shake, Shake it up baby,
Twist and Shout.
Oh wait, got carried away.
The rice does the scrubbing.
Rinse well and let dry before capping.

Until next time, 
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Importance of Friends

Good Morning Everybody.
I hope each of you had a blessed and beautiful Easter day.
You may have noticed I've been away for a little bit.
My friend Shirley died last week.  She was 91 years old.  
She and her husband had been married just shy of 73 years.
He will be 95 next month.
I am writing this because their's has probably been 
the most important friendship of my life.
I have learned from them, laughed with them, and still love them.
We met when I was 20 and living across the street from them.
I complemented her on their yard.
We started talking and haven't shut up since:)

She has taught me so much over the years such as:
the names of plants and flowers (most of which I still can't remember.)
How to use mace (the spice) and where it comes from.
This is the other part of the nutmeg and is the flavor
of your grandmother's cake donuts - yum.
So much about refinishing furniture, it's mind boggling.
How to use rice to clean bottles.
And so much more.

And then there were the stories from her youth.
Her father died when she was 6 years old.
At 8 years old, they moved and she had to ride in the rumble seat with her dog
and an umbrella from Michigan to Florida.
Her mother sold half of their house in Michigan.
They were somehow able to remove 1/2 the house.
Then they just had to add on a kitchen because that was in the 
half that was sold.
In Florida, she fished off the dock as often as she could.
One time, their house keeper used the water from boiling 
hotdogs to make her tea, then proceedings and laughter that followed.
When they were first married, she had a hot plate in the closet.
She would take to clothes out to cook.
It was just a one room "apartment,"
and they shared the bathroom with 3 other couples.
They lived in Seattle while he was in the service.
She had an hour bus ride at each end of the day 
to get to and from work.
She called their camper - the cramper.
And there are many more of these stories too.

But one of the most cherished lessons
I've learned from her is not to use names.
She would say, "Some friends in such-n-such town..."
I had met them, knew who they were, but she 
didn't say names - no gossiping.
I loved that about her.
The day I first realized that, we talked about it.
From that day forward, I too try not to mention names.

I'm not sure what it will be like with her gone.
But one thing I will certainly aspire to 
is to be the same kind of friend she has been to me.
She (they) have shown kindness always,
counsel when requested,
a shoulder to cry on at times,
as well as smiles, laughter, and all the little conversations
that make someone a friend.

I will miss her terribly
but know she is still 'with me'
and is keeping God good company.

Things are beginning to settle down a bit
(though I am hesitant to say that)
so I should be able to get back to the blog.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches