Oh! Those aching joints…..

Crawling around on hands and knees weeding our vegetable garden beds is becoming a little more difficult every year.  I admit it, my joints sound distantly like a rusty gate swinging closed.  I try to limit the times I have to stand up to empty buckets of weeds to the chickens.  Oh and lets not even talk about harvest time for the green beans, ugh, lol.  Determined to keep the joints as loose as possible, I continue to do what I love…..Gardening.

While perusing Pinterest, I came across a perfect solution to my green bean picking issues.  We already have rows of above ground boxed for our vegetable garden.  Those were mainly to prohibit the gopher community from stealing half our yield.


The ugly time of year for the garden.   Slowly we will get it cleaned back up and under control. It will become a gorgeous jungle of colors and scents.


Steven created these cold frames for us, they have been fantastic during the cold season and during the transplanting throughout the year.  The cats in our neighborhood constantly dig up our seedlings, thinking it’s their own litter box.  We keep the frames on until the plants have established themselves.

Always looking to improve and make the garden more efficient, I found this on Pinterest!  Take a look…..


I showed this to Steven and I think we are going to create our own tunnel, arch, trellis sort of supports for our green beans and peas!  My joints are even sighing with relief, while my back has broke out the bottles of Guinness and is passing them around!  What a brilliant idea.  Not only does it save my poor aging body, but it also saves so much space.  I can still use the other half of the boxes for planting.

It’s a Win Win no matter how you look at it! Cyn


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Ay, yi, yi!

Someone hurry and block the entry to Punxsutawney Phil’s burrow!  This is the first day in a long while that it hasn’t rained for a portion or for all of the day.  The sunshine has shown me what a disastrous condition my poor yard is in.  High winds, loads of rain, and all the frost has taken its toll on my wonderful friends.  Some of them look like they have been run over several times, while others are so burnt from the frost, and then there are the warriors who are picture perfect no matter what.  The beauty of nature, so resilient.

I look out the back doors and hear the call of my friends!  It is still too early to get much done, I don’t want to have a late cold spell harm any of them.  So, just like the poor neighbors dog, Boomer, who has been whining and crying during these cold days, I have to pretend I don’t hear a thing!  Heartbreakingly callous, I can hear you say.  Too true! lol  I am not ready to give up the precious few hours I have to stitch my day away!

Progress is being made on so many projects!  Tennis matches to watch, Duke basketball games to catch, and curling up with a good book to read are important task that must be performed daily!  Ha Ha Ha, it just feels so good to burrow in a warm afghan, curl up in my recliner, and see my stitchery projects start to come to life.


Kacie’s Christmas stocking is taking shape!  The toe is finished and we are moving over to the heel and then, Up, Up, and Up we go.  I sectioned off the pattern into 10 areas, one for  each of the next 10 months.  I finished up January early and am working my way through February now.  I give myself time off for good behavior and reward myself with crocheting my owl afghan.

So, some one delay Punxsutawney Phil PLEASE!  I need more “me” time…..Cyn

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Surfing through Pinterest has become a frequent past time for me of late.  I get home from work and spend my lunch hour cruising through all the fantastically clever ideas.  I kept finding myself looking at the same afghan pattern nearly every day.  Now, while I am not an owl fan, the Linus Project would find someone who loves owls right?

While my daughter, Colleen, was recovering from surgery this last month or so, I sent her some pins that I just thought would be fun to crochet.  Of course the owl afghan was one of them, lol.  I just kept coming back to it over and over.  The colors were fun and it was just plain cute.  I made the decision to buy the pattern and just get it out of my system…….. make the darn thing!


Owl Obsession from The Hat and I designs by Marken

Well, ya see why I kept coming back to it?  This is the picture that was pinned of the pattern.  So fun and cheerful.  Only one problem, this yarn is wool.  I try to stay away from wool, due to Colleen being allergic to it!  There is only one exception to that rule, Aran Sweaters!  I brought back two from Ireland, oh boy and there are more of those in my future!  Nice thing is, Colleen won’t try to borrow them, lol.

It has taken me a while to find yarn in town that might just create a similar effect, nylon of course.  The Lion Brand came out with a “Landscape” series , similar to the chroma style yarn in the picture.


So far I have gotten 4 owl bases and 4 beaks, I think I will be able to get one more of each from this skein.    I only grabbed one skein to see if it would work, now I need to pick up some more to finish.


This chroma yarn has a shorter graduation of colors in comparison to the original design.  These colors are also a lot more vibrant!  Doubling the smiling and cheerful quotient!

Colleen has a co-worker who is owl crazy and has expressed an interest in purchasing this afghan when I finish.  We shall see, it is still a work in progress.   I so enjoy the challenge of new patterns and this one has just started, assembling all the components will be fun.  Once it is finished then they can decide if it is their cup of tea.

In the meantime, I am having a ball, literally lol, with this vibrant new yarn and watching it become adorable owls in the process.  I must admit that I don’t think white will work for the main color.  I think I will have to shop around for that color, bringing my owls with me to make sure they are compatible.

Fun, fun, fun,…..Cyn

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Challenge Accepted…..

Being a DIYer has its challenges, truly it does.  I remember when Steven and I did the craft show circuit.  There were always those people who would stop by and admire, then as they walked away you would hear, “I’ll just make it myself, that’s a good idea”.  They used to frustrate the heck out of me!  Well, I am one of those shoppers myself and my Mom and sister Corinne are a “Cyn can makes us one” shoppers, LOL.  I am still humbled that they have such faith in our abilities to recreate and create.

I had coffee with Corinne before her work Christmas party.  She is heading to Mom’s tomorrow and she is my courier for Mom’s gifts.  While having coffee she presented me with a tiny bag.  She thought of me when she saw this little gem and………. she would like me to make her one for next year. LMAO!  I knew this little cutie was out there to create, stood to reason that an egg shaped styrofoam form would be perfect for it.  I just never got around to trying it.  Weird too, because I love pinecones.


It is now hanging from my tree.  Thank you Cor, I love it.  My little brain that could, is chugging, plodding, and planning your pinecone, ha ha.  I love these kinds of puzzles.  You won’t have to wait too long, just can’t resist playing in my free time.  Who needs housework anyway….. Cyn

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The Little Wagon…..

In October, after the last guest left, the hall was all clean for the next event, and the newlyweds were off to Hawaii we opened up 2 gifts left for us by the happy couple.   In one was a pair of titanium Fiskars clippers for gardening and the other a little metal wagon frame with a wood insert.  It was just perfect.  So perfect, that I just couldn’t place it outside and watch it deteriorate with the seasons.  Yah, that’s what is was meant to do and the kids would come home and I wouldn’t have used it yet.  But, no I just couldn’t do that to it.

My little wagon sat looking so forlorn and sad thinking that I didn’t love it.  Nothing could be farther from the truth!  I had to find the perfect setting for my new friend.  It needed to be the centerpiece of the perfect location.  “Centerpiece!”  Bingo, I knew I had hit on something fantastic.  Flowers, we needed flowers.  Oh, and floral foam too.  Pumpkins, flowers, and foam, Oh My…..


Now my little wagon was being shown off to it’s best ability!


I smiled every time I entered the room!  This little wagon had still more up its sleeve……


It became our Christmas centerpiece too!  Somehow I don’t think this jewel is going to make it to the yard, maybe the porch, but never very far away from carrying the outside beauty inside.  Thank you again, Kacie and Shamus!  My new friend and I have many more tricks up our sleeve….. Cyn

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Full of memories…..

Everyone has things that they can’t live without.  These days it seems that they are all electronic, lol.  Heaven forbid you lose your phone, most of the adults I know have their life on those phones.  What is the first thing you would grab or mourn heavily if it were lost to you.  Of course, I am referring to inanimate items.  There is no way to ever replace a loved one and it is a surety that my loved ones come first always.  But, what of treasured, prized possession?

My all time favorite, treasured, and prized Christmas possession is the 3 Wisemen hanging that my Pop made.  I am not totally sure when he created this treasure, but for as long as I can remember, it was always there at Christmas.  I absolutely love this hanging, always have.  For me, the house isn’t complete until they hang in their spot at Christmas.


There is one more very strong memory from my childhood that involved my Pop’s creativity.  Christmas cards!  I can remember the him carving one end of a potato in to a stamp for our cards.  He would set up a table with stations for each of us to stand at.  At our station was our stamp and color paint.  In assembly line fashion, we each added our stamp in the same place as the card passed by us.  They were laid out to dry and then Mom and Pop wrote their traditional Christmas Letter to place in the card.  I wish I had one to show you!  It was so much fun!

In 2007, my parents gave us all a folder with copies of every letter they had written.  They went all the way back to 1967, talk about your memory lane!  We must have made cards in those early years, I would have been 5 or 6 years old.  Such fun, most of my favorite memories aren’t big grand ventures, no they are the simple, creative, and fun times we had just interacting as a family.

I had the best childhood!  So awesome that I wanted to give that to our kids and now our kids are trying to do the same for their children.  What a legacy! Thanks Mom, I don’t think I have told you enough how special you both were/are as parents!  I hit the parents Jackpot when God gave me to you.  Pop, you may not be here in the flesh, but you are in everything I do,  all that I am,  and in all my best memories.  Those memories fill up all the empty spaces you left behind.  I bring them out and share them so frequently that it is like you are still here.

Merry Christmas everyone, cherish, forgive, love, and accept each other, just as you are.  Cyn

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Back in time…..

Every time we open up our boxes of Christmas decorations I travel back in time.  A wonderful memory goes with each and every ornament, decoration, and stocking that we unwrap.  While it is a whole lot of time and energy devoted to just a few short weeks, it is truly enjoyable to travel down memory lane.

Each of our children have a stocking made by me.  Our daughters have ones that I crewel embroidered long before counted cross stitch was introduced.  Our younger daughter’s stocking was finished up by my Grandma Cirner for me.  Grandma Cirner taught me how to crewel embroider when I was young and it has been a needle-crafting love affair since then.

When Shamus was born, cross stitching was everywhere!  Better Homes and Garden had the best Cross stitch magazine available.  Now this does date me, lol.  In 1988, I cross stitched Shay one of the stockings featured every year in July.


It was my favorite of at that time and fitting.   It has endured all this time beautifully.

Steven never really had a stocking, so when the Wood working pattern was published I cross stitched him his own stocking.


I just love this “Room”series of heirloom stockings.  I have saved all my magazines and pull them out for inspiration regularly.  Since I finished Steven’s, I have made one for our grandchildren and our son-in-law Kevin.  Kevin and the kids were not from this series, you saw Donovan’s Train themed last year, Keegan’s is a snowman theme, and Kevin’s was a Wizard theme.

Well, our new daughter in law, Kacie would like one that matches Shay’s.  So, I pulled out the magazines and she picked her room…..


I have just got this one underway.  Next year, it will hang beside Shay’s waiting for Santa to fill.  Cyn

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