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Monday, May 29, 2017

All Gave Some, Some Gave All

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

One section of the East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery.   Brave soldiers, you're not forgotten...

Sunday, April 30, 2017

When History Gets Rewritten

Hello from the hills!  Our little bluebird friend and his mate aren't nesting in our box, after all.

 I had witnessed them being run off/bullied by a pair of robins so I think that's why they decided to nest elsewhere.

They still use our birdbath, though, so we see them nearly everyday anyway.

Do you like to go on riverboat rides?  We do, and most of my side of the family does, too, so we recently got together and rode the Memphis Queen III as part of a monumental birthday celebration for our oldest brother who lives north of Memphis.  He reached a monumental age, that is. ;)

The tour was billed as a 1 1/2 hour historical tour...  Well, it seems history took a detour once we were on the boat.  We were told that the city of Memphis was founded by someone other than Andrew Jackson, John Overton, James Winchester and a group of investors that did actually get it started.   I had heard that in some places in our country history is being changed according to who is in charge there now, but it was kinda weird hearing it for myself.
A view of Memphis from the riverboat.

I don't like giving a bad review to any tourist attraction, but this time I must because instead of going up or downriver the boat just went around and around in about a one and a half-mile circle while the tour guide put his own spin on the history of Memphis for an hour and a half.  I'm going to give this riverboat ride a D, and that's only because it didn't sink in the Mississippi River while we were on it.  O.o
A view of the Bass Pro Pyramid.

After our trip, Goodman and I were both sick for a while, but it's good to be back in our neck of the woods anyway.  A few years ago I planted a wisteria vine at the base of one of our maple trees, and it finally bloomed this year.  

I'm hoping  it will someday look like this one that we saw in the big city a while back.  Wisteria had completely covered the branches.

Hope you're having a great Spring.

This post is shared at Saturday's Critters.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Blue Spring In the Foothills

 Hello from the foothills where Spring is in full swing.  The seed clusters in this maple tree provided just enough dappled shade to darken the color of our resident Eastern Bluebird.  Love the color.

 He and his mate have been preparing the bluebird box just outside my kitchen window for nesting.  She watched me closely while he waited his turn at the birdbath.

You can leave anytime now, Mr. Robin....

 Finally in...

Is there anything better than a long splash in cool water?

I hope your Spring (or Autumn) is filled with lots of gorgeous color.

Linking with Eileen at: Saturday's Critters

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hello There

Hello from the foothills!
Wow, is this an early spring or what?  Our daffodils have come and gone, and our pear tree is in bloom... just in time for the frost tonight. Ah well, some blooms may not have opened yet.  This is an Eastern Towhee below. 

I've been making our soap for more than twenty years so a lot of my soap molds have cracked and become useless.  I found some zinnia flower molds on Amazon very reasonably priced and snapped them up.  This is a sampling of the different batches I've done.
Each color was part of a 4-5 lb. batch.  We're pretty much set on the soap front for quite a while.  

This light orange one smells delicious as I grated orange peel and added it to the soap mixture. Remember Creamsicle ice cream bars?  Oh yeah, that's what this soap reminds me of every time I use it.

You may remember this little guy from my last blog post.  He's part of the knitting pattern String-Along-Toys by Susan B. Anderson.

I got the pattern when it first came out and was on sale for a limited time, but it's $10 (ouch) now. 

Personally, I think that's too much for a pattern you have to knit yourself, but nobody asked me.

I'm obviously enthralled with the critters, though, and I think I'm going to knit up some bunnies using the mouse directions.

What child wouldn't want a set of these?  I sure did. o.O

There was a bit of a snafu among these birds over the feeder after I snapped this photo, but all's well that ends well.   Hope you're enjoying these warmer days. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Ten Years and Counting

 Hello from the foothills!  I've been using my new camera a bit, but oh my, I'm no photographer, not yet anyway.

I hope to enroll in an online photography course soon to remedy my ignorance with the new camera, but in the meantime I'm keeping it on Auto. ;)

Have I ever mentioned that I cook a lot?  You should see my poor stove.  It's black and white and scratched allover, but I really don't mind.   Here's one of Goodman's favorite breakfasts.

I crocheted this sparkly scarf recently from what I thought was acrylic yarn, but after I got in the swing of stitching I began to itch and break out.  It seems only 10% wool will not be tolerable, either, so...

It's hello cotton, linen and acrylic for me.

This little green guy is one of three little cuties from Susan B. Anderson's String Along Toys pattern.  More on them next time.  (He's thinkin' about something...)

To celebrate my tenth blogaversary I'm giving away this skein of fingering weight, kettle dyed Malabrigo Sock yarn.  It's 100% merino wool, 400 yards so there's enough for a fine pair of socks or whatever you'd like to make with it.  In the event the random number generator picks a non-knitting entity...

I'll be happy to substitute a couple of bars of my homemade soap if you like.
All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered.  I'll contact the winner on Friday January 27, 2017.  Have a great week, y'all!
Edited 1/27/17 to add:  Random number generator chose JES.  Congratulations, I've sent you an email.
Thanks to everyone who left a comment on this post.  I always enjoy hearing them.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Adorable Felted Slippers

Hello from the hills!
I'd been wanting a Christmas Cactus for a while, but I totally forgot to get one when they were available in the stores last month.  I found this one on Etsy from Cumberland Plants for only $2.50.  It's small, but half the fun of plants is watching them grow.

The single digit temperatures last week had me thinking about warmer footwear to ward off the chill around the house.  I found this free pattern, Two Hour Felted Slippers and had the best time knitting up a few pairs and felting them in the washing machine.  These red ones were made with Cascade 220 yarn and took 3 cycles to felt.

If you've felted wool you know the knitted item must be larger than your normal size before you start the felting process.  And some yarn felts quicker than others.

These natural/oatmeal slippers were made with Patons Classic Wool and took only one cycle to felt. I added straps and a few of my polymer clay buttons for the French Press look, and they are toasty warm.  I think they're the cutest house slippers ever, however, they will not be staying in my house...

For nearly a year as I knitted socks, hats and slippers I've had rashes on my face, but I naturally attributed that to my love and indulgence in chocolate confections.  In the past few months I began to suspect wool as the culprit for the irritation on my face and itchiness on my wrists and hands.

The last pair of slippers that I knit, left below, were finished yesterday morning, and I immediately put them in the post to go and live with one of my sisters.  I'd used Lion Brand Fisherman's Felting Wool, and it's great for felting, but you should have seen my face!  It was really inflamed, and I itched all over until they were out of the house.  It seems some wool yarns are worse than others, but to save myself from anymore outbreaks, I'm going to don a pair of gloves (and more protective clothing besides) and pack my wool yarn away until I decide what to do with all the wool yarn I have in my stash.  There are skeins and skeins in large containers, baskets and well, all over the house.

Yeah, I'm pretty devastated over it, but at least it wasn't the chocolate.  Can I get an amen?

Eastern Towhee and female Northern Cardinal above.  Y'all have a great weekend!
Linking up with:  Saturday's Critters
                             The Art of Home-Making Mondays

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Hello Snow

Hello from the hills!

The birds are keeping the feeder busy.

One of our granddaughters thinks the cardinal, below looks like an Angry Bird.

This is a quick, picture laden catch-up post. 
The James River at the Jamestown Settlement that we visited on our trip in October.

And the Glass House where they demonstrate and sell hand-blown glass items.

I purchased these two hand-blown apothecary jars to use for my tinctures and such.

One of our granddaughters requested a pair of Dragon Scale Mitts for her birthday so I...

Dusted off my crochet hook to fill her order.  She's happy now. ;)

I started a Granny Stripe Blanket after the mitts were done to use up leftover sock yarn.

There's been a lot of cookin' in these hills.  These Cornish Hens on a bed of vegetables were excellent.

We tried a Chinese Broccoli & Chicken recipe.  Not bad but not perfection.

And this Easy Egg Rolls recipe makes the BEST EVER eggrolls on the planet.  Youngest found the recipe here.  Btw, if you look for duck sauce for dipping and can't find it, just add a bit of water to a few spoons of apricot preserves, and you've got a sauce as good as any in the restaurants.  Great, now I'm hungry.

Snoopy says we got a total of three inches of snow on the back deck.   Hope you are enjoying a little snow with a cup of hot cocoa in your neck o' the woods, too.
If you would like to see more of our snow then have a look at the Ober Gatlinburg live webcam here: