Sunday, December 23, 2012

Twas Two Nites Before Christmas

I am in the throws of getting all the food and gifts in order. I make most of the gifts myself, a lot of homemade coffee's and cocoa, candied nuts and cookies and the chocolate coated pretzel sticks. (The grandchildren won't let me get by without those.) And they all get an ornament every year. With the hope that when they have their own tree they will have a start. We have 12 grandchildren, so it does take a little time to make everything.

This year, I also, made them each a throw pillow with a fabric picture on each, that has something special for each of them. We are going to play a game when we take each pillow out.  They will have to guess who's pillow by the picture. I don't think it will be very hard to guess. I have a video of the pillows, but can't put it on till after Christmas, just in case one of them decides to (not all that likely) view one of Gram's videos. But you know Murphy's Law ;)

I have made some origami boxes for each family to add to their goodie box, with a little pocket money, it gets to hard to think of something for each family, espcially since the grandchildren are growing and many of them working or off to collage.  It used to be an easier task, before they started spreading their wings and flying away from home.

I have used the embrodary machine, boy do I love my machine, for the ornaments this year:
And can show you my hubby's pillow (he is just a big kid) which is perfect for a fellow that eats and sleeps, fishing:

I am wishing you all a blessed Christmas and a healthy, peaceful and happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Am fast in the throws of Christmas, having finished the cards and a little note to enclose, all that is left is for hubby to take to the post office.

Have started on the gifts, just started, so I need to get into gear.  Hope the sewing goes fast and the ornaments should take just a few days.  I say that, but there seems to be nothing I start, that doesn't have a glitch.  I am excited to have a project for my new embroidery machine, but this has a BIG learning curve, not only the embroidery itself, but getting the designs, getting them in the computer and getting that to my machine.  You can see where I might get into trouble, Ho Ho Ho

This group of cuties are the birthday crew - 1.  You know when they start to get older, you can't have everyone all the time.   They tend to get lives of their own.  How does that happen??

Who would believe you could eat a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner and still have room for birthday cake?

Will keep you abreast of the progress to the real Birthday Party, on the 25th.  Pray for me.

Hope this finds you happy and healthy

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I, the Pollyanna of the family, am having a little difficulty being cheery and thankful this year.  I am doing a thanksgiving post to try to get myself out of this blue funk.

I simply must stop reading the news and pseudo news, watching the news and pseudo news and last but not least listening to the news or pseudo news.  I had become unhappy with the media, when the President would speak, and right after, a distinguished gentleman from the media would come on and tell me what the President had just said.  Did that bother you at all?

This has now exploded to having distinguished ladies and gentleman coming on after the news to tell us what the news meant and we are extra lucky on Sunday mornings, there is a plethora of distinguished ladies and gentleman telling us what the previous weeks news was about and what it probably means in the coming weeks.  There is only one pleasant program, Sunday Morning, that does interviews, looks at art, history, music, oddities, the famous and infamous and the funny.  It even ends with a quiet moment in nature, that is so relaxing, I wish could go on for an hour.

I get overly informed about our diets, something is good for you till it is found to be bad for you.  Overly informed about finance, yes invest till investing leads you into the hands of the unscrupulous who depletes your investments.  Then you will have your social security till there is no more social security.  Medicare will care for you, till you get your letter saying you are entitled to a health assessment each year (not a check up).  You may be asked and answer the deep questions; do you have a smoke alarm, do you use your seat belt, how about a carbon monoxide detector?  How is your mental health, do you feel depressed?  The things you are not allowed to talk about is your health, neither your known health problems nor should you ask about something you notice that is new.  You may not even discuss your medication.  Now, I guess, asking if you are depressed is not such a silly question, since you aren't allowed to discuss your health with your physician, that is very depressing.

Have any of you gotten your degree in the math, needed to figure if you would be better off paying for your prescriptions out right or paying for a prescription insurance and then paying a co pay for same?   
                   Total cost out of pocket          vs.                  cost of premium plus co pay

Now if you are thinking you have the answer, please add, which type of insurance do you want to buy?  The little amount per month premium where you pay more out of pocket, the medium premium where you pay a little less out of pocket  or the really expensive premium where you pay a lesser amount out of pocket????????????
I missed that day at school, I am so sorry I did.

Then we must talk about teeth.  Yes, teeth!!  Have you noticed, many older folks with missing teeth?  And truth be told they all don't come from the back woods, where the nearest dentist is 100 miles away.  Let me tell you what the cost of dental, without insurance, could set you back.  I know the proper way to look at your dental health is to save as many of your own teeth as you possibly can, that is the very best scenario, correct?  Maybe not, lets look at this from the down hill side of your life.  You are now left with few real teeth (ones that have not been ground down to the nub to have a false tooth attached) the rest are a combo of crowns and partial plates, both removable and (supposed to be) non removable.  The non removable are really only as good as the cement that glues them in, and the plate is only as good as the fit when originally made for you.  My husband, bless his little tooth, broke a tooth that was on a pin.  Yes that means, go to a lab to have the pin removed, $270 then back to the dentist to have the pin and tooth replaced, $300.  Now I have seen an add on TV with this cute little old dentist offering removal and full dentures for half the cost of his silly pin tooth.

Now lets talk about autos.  You all will remember the post of our last visit with Flossie and Mr. Wonderful at The Villages.  You know, when we took the auto into the dealer for a small fee ;)  with instructions for them to go over the car from bumper to bumper.  A few adjustments later, we started off with a clean bill of health and by the time we were in Tennessee, the check engine light was on and the car was leaping forward on it's own, mile after mile.  All in all, after $1000 in repair cost and much prayer we made it home incident free.  Just a few weeks ago, looking for the best cost for brakes for my hubby's old truck, add after add, sale after sale and armed with several coupons starting at $69.00 upward to $250, he took off to get the work done.  Returning hours later with a bill in his hand for over $700 and a glaze over his eyes, I put him to bed and wanted to take him some warm soup.

Another problem, please hear me out!  I couldn't take my hubby a bowl of warm soup, cause I couldn't get the lid off the can.  A hand held opener is no longer something I can manage, and an electric can opener makes a wonderful burrrring sound, but will not hold on to and cut open the can.  He wouldn't have really liked it without crackers and all I had was a new box of crackers, with the sleeves hermetically sealed so even if I had any teeth left, could not even have chewed thru.  No, couldn't take him a glass of juice, it has the seal that needs to be pried open from a pull tab, that no matter how hard you pull, will not come off, the milk maybe? no, it has the tab to break to get it unscrewed and when you do there is a white seal that can't be removed.  I have no idea why I am as heavy as I am, not being about to get into any food stuffs in the kitchen????

Well, it took me till the week after Thanksgiving to unload all this on you.  The good news is that I feel much better just getting all that out. 

 So from our little part of the world to yours, lets get ready for Christmas, HoHoHo

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Just a peek at a new product for the store, oh OK a few new peeks:

A warm and cuddly hat with a cabbage rose and scarf set:

A real glam way to keep warm, an ear warmer and 90 inch scarf:

 And, a pretty gift for the bride, maybe from Mom or maybe the Maid of Honor as a last minute 'something new'.  Or, could be used in place of the gift card on a shower gift!  Her gown is a cotton hankie to dab away a few tears of happiness.  For it is just lightly stuck to the card is easily removed  and may be tucked into the brides evening bag.  OH!, and I might just have the evening bag for you ;)

That's it, that is the peek,  huggles to you all

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I finally have a little time after the shows and before starting the Christmas gifts for the grandchildren to sit and dream for a short time.  The chill in the air and the color of the trees and all the pumpkins out and about have me looking back on a super time in the mid-west, Pumpkin Show in Circleville, Ohio.

It has now come and gone for 2012, but there is already a 2013 plan, would you believe?  I have a link to a scroll of photos from this last show, and it just keeps getting bigger and better.

The gourds, squash and pumpkins (, sorry about that! I went to Google the difference between the three, and after reading, I am still not sure.  Again, the gourds, squash and pumpkin display, seem to take a whole street, it was just about 2 blocks long 60 years ago.  Wow was that hard to type, almost 60 years and it is still something that calls me to remember, magic. 

When you are very very young and at the end of your block in your small town, starts a midway that rivals any state fair, in the USA.  From my porch you could see the top of the lighted Farris Wheel.  Yes, for a first grader that was magic.

It was a time when a child could walk the streets with out an armed guard and dream their way up Court Street and down Main Street.  Even though it only took up several blocks of each street, it seems like it took every moment of the long weekend to take in everything. 

Congratulations Circleville on another great Pumpkin Show and will be looking forward to the photo's of 2013's big show.

Original Circleville
Original Circleville

Now back to reality and the lone elf must get started!! 

Hope this finds you all healthy and happy, and a special sweet hug to Flossie and Mr Wonderful!!


Monday, November 5, 2012


This was our first 2 day show.  My goodness there is so much to learn, and I just can't use the 'old dog, new tricks' phrase enough.

Learning the ins and outs of craft shows, how to set up and how to attract those shopping, to stop and look.  The displays, some crafters have set up, rival the window dressers in New York.  They have used as much imagination and artistic talent as they used in their craft.

The work of these gentlemen and ladies display just keep me driven to do better work of my own.  The lady behind us makes stuffed animals out of real fur coats from Grandma's attic or Great Aunt Jane's old trunk.  She refashions them to something beautiful, gets them out of the attic or trunk and gives them new life.

A very popular booth was the woman who makes American Doll outfits.  Any of you who attempt to sew can appreciate the tiny stitching it takes to put together an outfit that is so little.  I have a difficult time with zippers in a normal outfit or stitching delicate fabric that likes to slip and slide as you sew, she is doing this in miniature.  And the beautiful fabrics and bling on each outfit, had little girls eyes just sparkling, as they went thru the tiny racks.

We had a writer next to us and there was another an aisle over, with their books proudly displayed.  Who says no one reads real books anymore? 

A gentleman with his hand crafted leather belts, each a piece of art and another with his welded metal art, well I can only say, it is worth the walk just to view the art.

I know many 'poo poo' the 'crafts', but I see it as a traveling art gallery, the writing, painting, sculpting, photography, jewelry design and handwork, can be the work of granny doing her tissue box cover to Grandma Moses doing work that will be enjoyed, by a great many, all over the world.

I must, now, get started on Christmas gifts, we were thinking of trying to squeeze in one more show, but it is much more important to me to have things ready for children and grandchildren and there is a lot of work for this old elf to finish in a month.

As always, I hope this finds you all happy and healthy,

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Have been so busy with craft shows, I have been neglecting the blog and have not found the time to get in touch with a sweet friend, from long ago.

He got in touch to remind me about the upcoming Pumpkin Show and I have to let him know, I received his message and I have a silly surprise for him and all my Circleville friends.

I am going to try for the first time to post a photo to my new blog with blogger, I have a few photos from the last craft show last weekend.  It truly was Craft Overload, oh my.


By George, I think I have done it.   We have one more show, we think, the first of Nov. it will be a 2 day show, Sat and Sunday and then I will start to make the grand children's Christmas ornament and gifts.  Have to give myself a little longer than I used to.  I don't think I am slowing down, I think the world is speeding up!

I have been having such fun with the youtube crafting community.  And really envy the ability to create, film, participate in swaps, challenges and make things to sell in their stores, along with working outside the home, keeping house, husband/wife and children all moving forward.  Did I ever have that much strength, I don't think so.  And, the talent, muti media beauty from every quarter.  There is a gentleman quilter who is out of this world, and he dabbles in other art forms.  Goodness, such inspiration on this crazy youtube.

I have a to stop for now, but hope to have the surprise photographed and ready to post in the next week.

Hope this finds you all happy and healthy,


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Am in the throws of the craft show season.  One finished and 3 to go!  We hope to build to several more, but we JUMP into nothing, at our age.  We kind of MOSEY into things.

Now you just know if we were younger we would be so all over this thing, we would have our schedule so full, we would meet ourselves coming and going, NOT.  We were never that driven 40 years ago and we have not changed.  We wonder why we are not millionaire by now, Ha ha ha.

I have to tell you about this wonderful world of YouTube, I never knew existed for 'old folks'.  One of our 'genius' grandsons introduced me to the YT and from there I would notice my crafty friends having videos and Wham I was hooked.

It is very much like having cyber craft buddies, they are always posting, teaching, sharing and caring for each other like your best next door neighbor.  You can even relax in the evening with a glass of wine and a video friend, or have an early cup of coffee, with another cyber friend, either showing their shopping hauls, sharing their swap art or teaching you a new technique.  It is a wonderful world, that till this year, I never new existed.

From my craft buddies, I expanded to the learning part of my new find.  May I tell you, I found a wonderful tutorial of a triple crochet, I had let slip from my pea brain, how to stop my toilet from leaking water thru the flapper, how to fix the delay flush, how to use my embroidery machine, how to set a craft cutting machine for different type papers and fabric, what type needle needed for every fabric in the universe, how to pick leathers, how to care for my roses, what to use for weather proofing our deck and how to fold egg whites so not to deflate.  And these are just the tip of the YT. 
I have managed to do a little work:   Posting projects for anyone to put together and decorate as they choose.


That I have added to my Zibbet Store and am working on another project that is not ready yet, but will be soon.  
I am having fun with all this and hope the things I have will help others have fun also.  Guess I had better finish gabbing with you all and get to work ;)
Hoping this finds you all happy and healthy and GO CARD!!  oops, just had to slip that in, being a part of St Louis MO USA 'Cardnial Nation'

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Even after a summer of 100 degree days that seem to never end, it is a little sad to wish it good bye.

Every year I feel the time flies so fast, but, that doesn’t stop the next year from passing even faster. Do you remember when Christmas day just wouldn’t come! You waited and waited, watched shopping happen, cookies baked, nut and date breads start to stack up. In our case, we would be getting ready for the annual trip to St. Louis, to Grandma’s house. So, I guess I could say ‘over the river and through the woods’ was real in my life.

All this preparation and travel never seemed to rush the big day. Where as, today I am struggling to come up with the idea for the last grandchild’s Christmas present and getting nervous about the preparation for the Fall craft shows. And it is not even Labor Day yet.

I move slower and think slower and these two things add up to starting earlier to accomplish the same things I used to get done after Thanksgiving. You see for me Thanksgiving is a really important holiday, but not for the retail world, for there are no special clothes, or special gifts or even TV specials attached to the holiday. Just the thought of family and good smells in the kitchen none of which generates a dime, but for the food industry.

We don’t even have our family get together on the Thursday, to save our children and grandchildren from having 5 meals in one short day :) With everyone trekking to a different home to eat, the wonderful ‘leftover’ experience doesn’t happen, so we have our Thanksgiving the weekend after. That way no one is rushed to eat meal after meal in one day and we get the wonderful feeling of leftovers only brand new.

All of this to say, I am sitting at the computer this morning in August searching the internet for that one last grandchild’s gift. And feeling less than Christmas, perhaps some ‘White Christmas’ or ‘Jingle Bells’ would help put me in the mood. And, just as I sit here to tell my little ‘time flies’ story, the morning is flying by.

Tilly signing off and hoping this finds you happy and healthy,

I am really blessed that my work room is in the basement, for it is always 100 outside! The basement is the coolest place to be. I have been working to ready myself for the fall craft fairs:
chipboard flags and star
Makes pretty cards or scrapbook page


Happy Birthday

More little girls aprons!

See I have been busy, and cool in the basement, I may not come out till Fall :)
Hope this finds you all happy and healthy,

I am not as Quasimodoish any longer. But this shingles thing was more than I had anticipated. God bless those of you who have suffered through this strange affliction.

I have not even been thinking or dreaming that much since this started, but am itching to get back into the groove. Not that this is a monotonous routine, but a good routine, to really clears the little gray cells of thoughts that keep swirling around (some from years ago).

I guess this could be titled a potpourri of gray cell clutter. I have been disgruntled recently with several things that have been happening over and over till I feel the need to declutter.

I try on the social networks to keep a fun, newsy, sharing. Family photos, connecting with friends and extended family, who have been removed from me and now we are joined and are catching up with their lives. Sharing the good things to brighten each day and sharing the painful things, hoping to lighten someone’s load.

What I keep finding are some young people preaching to me, oh you know, by me I am referring to the unwashed elderly, 60′s, 70′s, 80′s and (God bless you Mom) 90′s. Imparting their worldly, educated and just plain fresh way to think and behave. Even our own President has been apologetic, to the rest of the world for our resistance to be less like a republic and more like ‘them’ the new world order. (have I heard that before?) As I see it we (and them) are all in a world of ‘give me’. What really worries me is that I perceive them seeing perfection elsewhere and I will just be in tears when they find out there is no perfection. I see them in the streets wanting the heads of the rich, and then see them marching for good jobs at grand businesses, created by the wealthy and screaming at the demise of the arts, notoriously supported by the wealthier in our society. I see them stomping on religions of all sorts, but see them chanting for the food pantries, housing for the poor, support for the addicted and nursing of the poor. Are we, the elderly unwashed, to blame? Did we not do our job teaching history, instilling the widespread good of the faith we practiced. And, most of all did we fail in the lesson of respect of those older folk, who have lived through much more than they can comprehend?

Now I have for the most part lived by the old quote: Francois Guisot, a French monarchist statesman:stated:
“Not to be a republican at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head.”
This is also stated that variations on this quotation:
If you are not a liberal at twenty, you have no heart and if you are not conservative at thirty, you have no brain.
were later attributed to Disraeli, Shaw, Churchill, and Bertrand Russell.
I feel I have every right to feel this way, but do not force others to follow me, or belittle them if they do not. Nor do I feel others have the right to hush my thoughts because they are not theirs. And, I hope I have never hushed anyone explaining their thoughts

One sweet young thing keeps shouting about congress fiddling with her uterus. Now, I do have to admit, I have no idea how they do that, must be some kinky thing I choose not to get involved in. Just last evening I was informed that ‘some people are gay, get over it’. Well this made me joyful, for my dear friend, Gay Smith, has been affirmed. I am sure she is also happy to hear this news. I myself have spent a lifetime striving to be gay. It is not easy some days, but I have always felt it was a good thing to wake up each day and try to be bright, pleasant and promote a feeling of good cheer. Oh, post script, if they want me to know there are homosexuals, well all I can say is ‘I knew that’!!! And if they are just finding out, they are not as worldly or educated as they think they are.

Another clearing of the rattling in my brain is the insistence of those in charge, to bend what is correct, that is, to change what is correct to satisfy those who can’t accept the correct. Don’t you know ‘ain’t’ is incorrect? But, you can find it in the dictionary. Don’t you know ‘snuck’ in incorrect? If you look in the dictinary, sneak is conjugated sneak, sneaked/snuck , sneaked/snuck, sneaks, sneaking. I have to laugh, why not take it all the way and have a backslash snucks and snucking?? Oh, I have a list, but this has given me the ease I have been looking for.

I believe I will have a good night sleep, my mind is a bit uncluttered now and I am only praying that, not a soul has been personally offended by my personal thoughts being written. I don’t wish to hurt only unburden myself in the least offensive way. I can now go back to the social sites and continue striving to be gay!!!

Tilly signing off and hoping this finds you all healthy and happy!


I did as I was told ;) I went to a clinic to have my weird problems solved. I was about to give up again, when they told me it was too much for them to handle. They wanted me to get right to an emergency center. I needed to think this over, came home and decided to call my own doctor to see what he thought.

No chance to give up, they wanted to see me and to get to the office right away. After just a few questions and a caution to stop itching the awfully painful, but awfully itchy scalp and eye, or they would put little baby mitts on me, Ha ha ha ha. (At least I think they were joking) I was told it was Shingles, and it was a rather nasty case.

Yuck! just after returning home

Just as yuck, but 12 hours after starting some very expensive meds!!!

Does this look any better? This is 24 hours on expensive meds!

Now don’t you all feel very sorry for this old ‘sad sack’? I am really, really blessed that I have it and not my husband, he has a bit of difficulty coping with ‘dis’ ‘ease’ of any kind.
Being very serious, right now. I would suggest to any of you who had chicken pox as a youngster and have access to Shingles vaccination, GET IT!!! My doctor was very concerned and I am still to watch for any vision change. Beside the headaches, pain and itching, if it is around the eye there is a problem loosing your sight. I want to take no chance, I have been gifted with sight and there is so very much beauty, I don’t want to miss.
Quasimodo (Tilly) signing off for now and I hope this finds you all healthy and happy!!!

Just a little update before I start. My headaches have extended to kind of a flu sick feeling and I have a sore patch starting on the right side of my scalp and continuing down to my right eye. I look very much like Quasimodo, and itch like I have a strip of poison ivy. My family is insisting I see someone about it, so guess in the morning I will do just that.

Now for the subject of the evening. I just have to laugh, over and over. I also have to really research the word cliche. From Cliche Finder I got: A cliche is not just something that lots of people say; It’s something that lots of people say and it conveys some sort of idea or message. A cliche is, in other words, a metaphor characterized by its overuse. 
Ladies, can I just say, my husband returned from his 50th high school reunion sat in a chair and started to watch TV.
I asked, what did they have for your dinner? His reply, fish beef and potatoes.
I asked, were there a lot of classmates there? He replied, yes.
I asked, did you have a good time? He replied, yes.
I asked, did they take a class picture? He replied, yes.

I decided, since I don’t have the credentials to be a dentist, I would stop asking questions, before being arrested for pulling teeth without a licence.

Another giggle comes from the ability to read a line or two of a note or email and assume they have captured the thought. Then comes a question, back at you, that you covered in line 4 or 5. How much of a giveaway is that, that the whole note was not really read?

Now I am not saying this is just a male thing, but it sure is prominent in that sex. And the art of conversation is just as the poor old dinosaur, extinct. I was so happy to learn to play donino’s this summer, because it is something you can play and there doesn’t need to have a word spoken. My husband and I can be doing something together, without his having to listen to the spoken word.

I believe bloggers started blogging because they miss conversation. Do you remember conversation? That thing where you start off with a thought and expect others to join in verbally, expanding on or adding to the thought. This often leads to more verbal exchange as the thought expands or leads you in another thought direction.

Some are so developed in the art of conversation that you used to hope for one or two being included at your party or dinner table. I was blessed with an Aunt and Uncle who were masters of the art of conversation. They were often split up at dinners so they could be used at different tables to do that very thing. They would come up with thoughts appropriate with the place and people they were surrounded by. They were so artful they were able to draw others in the exchange and before you knew it, everyone was enjoying conversation. Unlike myself they were masters of the art, that is, they knew exactly when to stop talking and allow another to take the spotlight and would only become actively involved if the conversation started to taper off.

That is the art.
The only real conversation I seem to be a part of now is with a few grandchildren, who don’t know it is cool to be the silent James Dean type. Or even worse, strictly converse in song lyrics that can’t be understood by anyone over the age of 50. They just love to have you listen to their stories and don’t need food or drink to encourage exchange.

I will keep you posted about my mysterious disease, till then, I hope this finds you all happy and healthy!


I have been ‘poorly’ lately. I have more wrong with me than I would ever inflict on you. However, I have a new ‘puddle’. Along with everything else, I have developed headache’s and it is an everyday thing.

I must apologize to all who have suffered headaches, I have never considered this to be a real problem. I just figured you take an aspirin, take a nap and bingo, you are well and off to live your life. All wrong and I am sorry as I can be. Between the aspirin, nap, aspirin and nap, this little puddle, just stays and stays.

It seems to interfere with life from morning to night, from thinking straight to doing anything and everything. I have been excited about a new diet, to rid myself of, oh, several hundred pounds. I have been excited to put out much work this summer to get ready for the craft fairs this fall. I have been excited about learning more about this blog stuff and I have been excited about starting some Youtube videos with my new camera. As excited as I was, this little 24/7 headache has really put a large puddle in the way.

Do you see what I mean about puddles? It is not that it is a bridge to cross, a new phase in my life, it is just a glitch in the stage you are in right now.

I just felt the need to let you sufferers know how sorry I am that I didn’t realize the debilitating affects of this constant visitor. Never having had a headache before, I just didn’t realize!!!
I hope this finds you all healthy and happy!


You all know how I was looking forward to our vacation with my cousins in The Villages, Florida, USA. Now to enjoy a vacation you need to get there first. Some time it is not as easy as it sounds. Have the car inspected by the dealer for a long trip, pack light the evening before, wake early and plug in the GPS and off we go.

We did our best to try to avoid the big cities, including our own, during rush hour traffic, thus the 5 AM start. Things were going swimmingly, till the mountains in Tennessee. My ears were so painful and popping, I was really uncomfortable. There is no pulling over to recover with trucks to the left and trucks to the right. Before long we were on our way down and the pressure in my ears was letting up. What a blessing.

We were still on our time schedule, oh happy day!, or maybe not. At Chattanooga, Tennessee we came to a standstill. Still having trucks to the left and trucks to the right, all of us standing still. After about thirty minutes, we inched our way to an over the highway sign stating ‘a delay for the next 3 miles’. All told, it was a whopping 3+ hours to travel 7 miles. A little grumpy, we felt ashamed of ourselves when we came to a bent road guard rail, then a large part of the highway covered with sand and soon the remains of a tractor trailer truck, bent side way, as though it had rolled over a few times. Again, what a blessing we were safe and sound.

As we rejoiced in our good fortune and started getting back to normal speed, the car started surging forward, on it’s own. It was much like we had cruse control on, but we didn’t have it on. At the same time it started to rain just a ‘tad’. Now mind you, we are still pretty well bunched up in traffic, with trucks to our left and trucks to our right. The ‘tad’ of rain turned into rain drops the size of paper plates and started blowing sideways all the while we would have a little surge on and off. Very soon the hail started, about the size of gumballs. That would be surge, rain, hail and surge again.

Not long after, and approaching Atlanta, Georgia, at a time we thought would now be after heavy rush hour traffic, our check engine light came on. May I also add that the ‘after work’ rush hour in Atlanta, lasts much longer than the 6 PM drop off in most other cities.

Not knowing how much longer we had before the car just ‘up and died’ we stopped for the night in Morrow, GA. With my handy dandy Kindle, (thank you children!!) after getting to our room, started searching for a dealer or auto shop close. After a good meal and a good night sleep, we had a little breakfast and started off to the Auto Zone only to find out a car as old as ours can’t be put on the computer that detects problems.

My poor husband came out and broke the news, then lifted the lid, checked all the fluid, radiator, and belts he could get to with out any tools. He found nothing, got into the car, turned it on while we tried to figure where to go from here, low and behold the check engine light was out. We decided it was something jarred loose and as he checked things, it got jarred back into place. What a blessing.

We took off for The Villages and sailed along till we entered the state of Florida, just crossing the state line must have triggered the check engine, the car started to surge again and the light was a brilliant shade of yellow. I can’t begin to tell you how poorly I deal with stress. We text our children to start praying. We couldn’t see any way but just press on and pray we made it to Di and VJ’s home. We surged and drove and surged and drove, counting down the exit #’s to our destination. What a praise when we pulled into their drive way. A dealer was found and the guys took off to have the car looked at.

Big bad stuff was wrong with the car, but we were treated like a king and queen our whole time there. We learned to play domino’s, the train and the chicken foot. We played most evenings on the Lanai, that is the back porch in Florida. We got to swim, go for golf cart rides in the charming town squares,

went shopping and had both great home cooked meals and really good meals out. A great bar-b-q dinner one evening and one afternoon we dropped the fellows off to fish and headed for a charming English tea room. The menu seemed very authentic with a high tea for two, bangers and mash, scones and clotted cream and multiple types of tea to choose. There were ‘pasties’ and different meat pies. I could have gone there 30 days in a row and ordered something different each day, wow what a fun time.

We watched while the Florida coast was hit by hurricane Beryl, we were safe and cozy in central Florida, what a blessing. We did get a little rain, but that just meant more domino time.

Our cousins are Frogs, that is a year round resident, a Snow Bird is a winter resident who travels north in the summer and we are Snowflakes, who just visit for a very short time each year. When we win lotto we will definitely be, at least Snow Birds. I had the best time at the pool listening to all the neighbors and all their plans. One lady having to find a water zumba class that wouldn’t interfere with knitting class, and golfers scheduling tee times that wouldn’t interfere with their scrapbook crop, guys coordinating their dragon boat practice with their tee times and their WWII class with their chess matches. All the while factoring in the weeks gone on a cruise or junket or trip to visit their children. There is setting up neighbor plant watering schedules while away and keeping track of plants you promised to water while a neighbor is away, oh my. Come to think of it, it may be more work than I am willing to tackle. I can think of about 15 classes and clubs I would love to be a part of and that is not including the block parties that seem to be weekly if not more often. Coming up with a yummy dish to carry in to a block party every week, through the whole year can be a little daunting.

I thought in retirement you would have a chance to slow down, not the case in The Villages. These people are at least as busy as when they were employed outside the home. And would you believe they all have a smile on their faces all the time. What a blessing!!!

Hope this post finds you all healthy and happy.

We are packing to go to the Disney World for the over 60 crowd. Yep, The Villages, FL. Oh, my goodness, is this a place to have fun? Yes, a hundred times, yes. I don’t even play golf, and I think it is the cats meow. There is always something to do, some place to go, something to see. And, neighbors so friendly, you feel as if you have known them for years
I could never live there, (thats not really true) too many decisions to be made, every day of the year. Their news paper is huge and filled with more things to do than you could fit in 4 life times. A class for everything and anything from the study of ancient history to line dancing. Every type of competition from golf, on one of a bizillion courses, to dragon boat racing.

There are 2 town centers. In the evening there is something going on in each center. You have to make another choice as to which one you would like to spend your evening. A club may be showing their work at one square and big band music may be going on at the other. There may be a huge craft fair or a display of souped up golf carts.

how cute is this one??
Clubs, yes, clubs for residents from every state in the union and every country outside the US, clubs for sewing, crafting, golf cart owners, so much more I could not even attempt to explain!!
I could go on for hours, but would rather pack for our trip. Will take more photos and share, when we get back.
Bye for now, may this post find you happy and healthy!

I have a correction to a previous post. I believe I stated that I reached my peak at 8 years old, the correction being 7. Yes, I reached my peak at 7 years old and have been going down hill ever since.
I was entered in the Little Miss Pumpkin Show contest, in Circleville, Ohio, and I won! I remember very little about the whole process. The Pumpkin Show was a really big deal. And, I understand it is even bigger now than I can even fathom.
Remember the explanation of Circleville, in my minds eye. Main Street and Court Street were my world. My world was closed off once a year, and filled with the most extraordinary rides, with lights I could see from my parents bedroom window. Booth after booth of games and goodies, all home made, being sold by every scout, 4-H, church and philanthropic organization in and around Pickaway County. At the corner of Main and Court Streets was always a very large patch of the biggest and the best pumpkins, gourds and other fall wonders.

By the Big Pumpkins
The highlight for all the young women and mothers of young girls was the Miss Pumpkin and Little Miss Pumpkin Show contest. All dressed up and with big smiles, we were marched before a distinguished panel of judges, for their determination of the winners.
Our interview
You have seen this picture, but no one guessed correctly, who the male judge was. Let me show you a few more pictures:

I Still have this trophy
The previous year’s Little Miss and myself with Mr Jack Buck. Mr Buck was ‘the’ radio personality out of Columbus, Ohio. And, for those of you who don’t live in the Midwest

Mr Jack Buck
moved to St. Louis, KMOX radio and went on to be the voice of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Back then, I was still listening to the Kate Smith Show, The Shadow, Gunsmoke, Our Miss Brooks and lots more, so Mr Buck was well known to my parents because they listened to grownup radio.
When the album came out of the mothballs, and my children got to look at the photo’s do you know what startled them the most?? No, not that their mom was a Little Miss, no, not that she got to sit on the lap of Mr Jack Buck, let me show you:
before judging

Yes, they were speechless that we were allowed to ride on the hood of a car through the parade route. Well, we all lived and I won the Little Miss title 1952.
Again, I guess I just was not as impressed by the whole thing, not like I would have been if I were a teen, and truly understood what an honor it was to represent the festivities. I only know I must been in 2 parades a day for 3 days. This was not a hard thing for me, we could walk to the parade starting area and could walk from the end site and in between I just sat and smiled and waved. The same could not be said for my poor Mother.

note the gloves
Do note the gloves. Now every young lady wore gloves, the only problem was that I only owned one pair. In order for them to be snow white for both parades, my Mom would grab the gloves off my hands as soon as the float stopped and would run home, scrub them in the sink and put them in the oven to be ready for the next parade. Just no time to put them out on the line to dry, they wouldn’t be ready for the evening parade.
I am so used to the dryer that this makes me laugh inside myself now, but I dare not let Mom know, she still remembers ‘the frantic glove bake’. You know if you are not careful and don’t watch close, you could end up with burnt gloves. That would have been a disgrace, she guarded against that with all her might.
I do remember the float, it was so big and beautiful. I do remember thinking, everyday, how did I win this, with a beautiful blonde curly haired girl next to me, that in my mind looked just like Sonja Henie, why did she not win? Never figured that one out.

My little town explodes
Can you believe my little Court Street and Main Street? Oh, my goodness, can you even understand what happened to my world once a year? Life couldn’t be any better. There were pumpkin burgers, pumpkin bread, pumpkin ice cream and the largest pumpkin pie, baked by the town bakery and placed in the window of the bakery till the last day.

the end
There were many winners, everything from canned fruits and vegetables, baked goods, pickles, preserves, plants and flowers. My best friend just won the blue ribbon for her perfect dahlia, I believe it was. Elaine forgive me, if it was not a dahlia. But do look at what I did find. Elaine has twin older sisters and they won a sewing competition where they sewed a 10 piece outfit including dress and coat and would go on to the Ohio State Fair. Most of my children haven’t a clue how to hem a dress. At least that is what they tell me when they deliver their sewing chores.

Flo and Jo
There were baby parade’s and the prettiest baby was chosen, the best decorated bike, the best of everything is honored each year. If you can imagine Christmas, Easter and 4th of July all rolled into one it would be The Pumpkin Show. The time when my little town turned into the largest, brightest town on the face of my earth.