Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Yellow is...

It is Yellow week at House on Hill Road, and while I don't have a lot, I do like it. In fact, I am working on a little art project with some yellow.

“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun.” - Pablo Picasso

Marie P.S.

How could I forget to show you this?
The pattern from her wedding dress,

...and it still fit on their 60th anniversary!

Monday, February 16, 2009


I tried to scan in my most recent picture of her, but this one of her as a young girl will have to do. And how do you like the fancy Art Deco frame? Marie was my grandmother.

Marie was born before 1920 and grew up during the Great Depression. I remember her telling me one time, "We were very poor, even by the standards of the day. I remember thinking it would be nice to have furniture, and curtains." Curtains! I heard a story once of how their family had a big get-together, and they borrowed a chair from a neighbor for one of the elderly relatives to sit in. Marie had a big family and she loved her sisters dearly. I have pictures of the sisters at a sleepover a few years ago, some of them in their 80s!

As evidence of her thriftiness, I have spools with several different bits of thread, and boxes of her buttons (some used) and sewing notions:

And Marie was full of joy. She was frugal but generous, loved having visitors, loved having her picture taken. During my childhood, my grandparents lived in Nebraska, but they moved to Colorado while I was a teen, and I saw her almost every week until she passed away. I knew her very well. Her generosity was extraordinary, but the most extraordinary thing about her was her relationship with God, which colored her whole life. She was patient, and kind, and humble without being timid. She wasn't just generous with her worldy goods, but also with her love and friendship. When she passed away, I helped clean out her home, and I was able to keep her diaries. All her adult life, she kept a diary. Many were five-year diaries so there was room for only a few sentences a day. I haven't had time to read them all, but I did initially look through her entries for 1941. She was married in December of 1941, shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. I was amazed at her deep friendship with Jesus, even as a young woman. Here's her entry for December 7, 1941:

"Japanese attacked Hawaiian Is.! We are in the war at last. Glad I've my faith in the One who is alpowerful - who can keep me, what He sees fit to allow is best for me."

I was reminded of her today as I was enjoying a moment of warmth outside, and pondering my shed. It needs curtains, and I would love to make some eyelet curtains for it. And I was reminded of some beautiful linens I ended up with. There are four pillowcases with lilacs embroidered, and crocheted edging. I don't know if she made them, but she certainly kept them nice. They would make the cutest curtains. Unfortunately, they are stained, and I don't know if I can clean them. Do you?

As I was looking for the pillowcases to photograph, and looking through a box of her stuff, I waded through vintage handkerchiefs and photos; I have a whole box of handkerchiefs and don't know what to do with them. It would be a shame to leave them in a box until someone's going through my things. I also have a handful of her brooches. When I was little, I loved looking through her boxes of brooches: she wore one to church every Sunday, and probably anytime she got dressed up to visit or for a party, etc. By the time she died, many of them were missing pieces or were broken, but I do have a few.

And lest you think she was all solemnity and piety, let me set the record straight. She was quite a whistler, and loved to tell jokes, don't you know - clean ones, of course. She wasn't a clean domino player, though! She used age and lack of hearing to sneak a peak at your tiles, when necessary. And boy, did she like a water fight. When she passed away, one of BFJ's friends asked me, "Was that your grandma who was spraying everyone with the hose last July?" As a matter of fact, it was.

My mom is just as good a grandmother, and I am glad to see how much fun my kids have with her. I am reminded that I should stop and smell the roses a bit more, myself.
PS She was married to this guy.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

I had a lot of plans and ideas for this day that just didn't happen, but it was a nice day anyway. We had a Valentine lunch with two guests, and The Bruise finally had someone to give Valentines to. I also saw two movies. I went to The International with BFJ, which I thought was a good movie, if somewhat despairing. As we were leaving the theater, my sister was coming in, heading toward He's Just Not That Into You, so BFJ suggested I stay and watch that with her while he went to pick up the kids. So I did. (I went back out and bought a ticket, just so you know.) I left the second movie acutely aware that my house does not say things about me, like Movie Peoples' Movie Houses say things about the character(s) they belong to. And also, I had never realized how much Ben Affleck looks like Casey Affleck. I mean, it's not that I didn't get the point of the movie, but luckily I am all settled about who my sweetheart is :)

And by the way, it is still wintry here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Where Have I Been All Month?

I have been here, working on this and that. Mostly laundry. Also, a little garden planning, reconnecting with old friends, child training, helping at school, a teensy bit of knitting, taxes, and today, we went to a funeral. Our friend Amy lost her mom, Kay. It was a nice service and gathering of friends.

I have been thinking about my garden. I was looking for ideas on Rate My Space and was reminded of my own Rate My Space page, although it's not actually my space. It's my mother-in-law's. If you'd like to see her garden from last year, here's a link.

I have been working on piecing a quilt. I stayed up late one night, laying it out, only to realize that two blocks are missing! Now, where can they be? I haven't worked on this quilt since last fall, and I have shuffled the blocks around, moving it for guests in the guest room, taking pictures, shifting projects... Well, I actually need to clean out my craft room, because we are going to have a house guest for a few months. I might find them? It isn't hopeful. I may have to make new blocks, but I'm not sure that I have enough fabric, so if I have to introduce a whole new fabric, then I have to shift everything around and... I had to give up and go to bed. And the next morning, because I didn't know what to do about it, I started knitting a new hat. I must have some busywork for my hands. Well, I will let you know what happens. Because I am going to finish this quilt top this year, no matter what!!

Oh, and Speed keeps telling me about The Riggler. That cracks me up.