Monday, May 31, 2010


I celebrate Memorial Day by thinking about the most important men in my life. Forget all of the Admirals, Gemerals, congressmen and all of the other people that love to blow their own horns.

The first and most important = my father. The son of Russian emigrants, born in this country, with many brothers and sisters. Born in 1900, in 1917 he was to young to serve in the first world war and in 1944, married and with a family, told he was to old. So, proud man that he was, he became an airplane spotter and neighborhood commander.
How proud he was of his helmet, badge and binoculars and the fact that he could do something for his country. After all, he was living the American dream, a wife, two children, a house, a dog and even a white pickett fence!

This next picture is of my dad at age 19. I said that he was from a large family and of course, the boys all wore hand-me-downs. It is his picture in the first set of new clothes he had ever owned. Payment from his first job!

Next is my brother, Bobby. Five years older and my mentor when I was in high school. How I loved him - oh my - he was so important in my life. Drafted into the Army at age 21 in the early summer of 1945 and then shipped almost immediately to California - so far from home. Thence to England for more training and into France on D-day plus 2.
Home as the war was ending in Europe, unscathed by some miracle, to live a full, and fruitful life. His American dream ending at age 85 some 4 years ago.
Last but certainly not least, my husband, Bob. Many of my pictures and records were lost during our move to the Hagerstown area so I have just this one rather poor picture to share with you.

The three musketters, brother Bobby, age 21, me, age 17, and husband to be Bob, age 21.
My Bob enlisted in the Army Air Corp (as it was known then) 2 weeks after the Pearl Harbor attack. He was called to active duty in January of 1945 and served until late in 1946. He was honorably discharged due to a training accident that landed him in a military hospital. He spent the balance of the war years at the Naval Gun Factory in Washington, D.C. helping to build munitions for the military.
Memorial day to me is about the "little" people. People like you and me, that walk the streets of small town America, love our families, our country, abide by the laws and take care of each other. I hope that each of you has someone that you can be grateful to for giving you the freedoms that we so enjoy today.

Friday, May 28, 2010


I love going to Grant Street Woolworks on Thursday's for the hook-in with friends. This is an informal gathering where people come and go between 10 in the morning and 9 at night. Come when you please, stay as long as you like, dress casually, bring a sandwich and if you are so inclined, some cookies to share with others. Ideas are exchanged, good friendships are made and lots of laughs are shared.

Some weeks the place is so crowded you can hardly get a seat. Yesterday there were few in attendance. It was very hot and also the beginning of the holiday weekend. I personally enjoy the Thursday's with fewer people because you get to see more of the rugs being hooked and get into lenghtier and more meaningful conversations.

When I arrived, Pat was already there as well as Ellen. I didn't take any pictures of Pat's project because it is a challenge piece and therefore a surprise. I would like to say however, that she is using very soft colors, just beautiful, and the workmanship is as lovely as ever. Ellen is still working on her geometric which I posted a picture of last week.
This is Jill's rug. She started this during the Norma Batastini workshop and is almost finished. When we looked at the rug together she noted that she was loosing some of the birds. I agreed and we thought a little outlining would help. Then I took this picture! We couldn't believe how the birds showed up in the picture but not to the naked eye. It is all an illusion when you are hooking.
This is Linda's rug. It is progressing very nicely. I love the birds and the softness of the flowers. It is a takeoff of a crewel design meant to be done in a primitive fashion.

Judith's pictorial, also started during Batastini workshop. I love the windows in this piece. She is really doing a great job with this. There is much detail in this design and sometimes that is very hard to capture when hooking with wide strips.

Last but not least, Ellen, Pat and Judith, hard at work. Sorry I didn't get a picture of Kathy's rug. Her "My House" rug is coming along at a great pace and is looking really good. I'm still working on Kris Kringle and am almost finished. The design is completed and I am just hooking the border on.
I wish everyone a happy holiday - may you be safe if you decide to travel on this busy weekend - enjoy your cookout's and tell your family how much you love them. Until next time, Eloise and I wish you health and happiness.
Sidebar -
Total groundhog count - 2 adults, 3 babies - all in new homes.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

In my last blog I told you that we were having trouble with groundhogs. I have been doing a lot of research on them on this fancy machine and while I knew that they were destructive I had no idea just how destructive they really were. Richard (my grandson) tells me that the passage that they have made from the center of our barn to the stone wall in the garden, is about 50 feet long! Obviously, they have created several rooms off of the passage and could, if allowed to continue, undermine the whole center of our barn. We set up the two traps that we borrowed from our neighbor and have had the following results. After 2 days we caught an adult, male or female, who knows?? During the next 2 days we trapped 3 babies. See picture below. Two babies in the trap. The one on the left is eating the apple and both seem to be content to be in the trap. Not to fear, all of you animal lovers out there - they have had humane treatment. They simply have a new address - and it's not heaven!

In the meantime, the Iris continue to give me and my neighbors candy for the eye.
Beautiful yellow with red/purple falls.

A beautiful amber color - new this year to my garden. I have just placed another order with Exline Iris Gardens, located in Berkley Springs, W.Va., for delivery this August.
The weather is beautiful, the wind chimes on the deck are singing and all is right with the world.

Monday, May 17, 2010


What better to do on a rainy day than up date your blog. I must admit that yesterday was a beautiful one. I was out on the deck quite a while yesterday and spent some time walking around the front of the house. This is a view of the Iris along the fence line. They seem to be in full bloom just now altho there are still a few late bloomers to come. I have had several e-mails from my neighbors telling me that they are enjoying their beauty. I'm glad that I'm not the only one that thinks this is a beautiful scene.
The deck furniture is in place and daughter Joan gave me the flower centerpiece that is on the table plus a hanging basket and I have purchased several other pots of flowers. It is beginning to be the most pleasant place to be. Love having my coffee on the deck in the morning!

I deliberately took this view from the deck. Look Pat and Linda - there really is a barn. Off to the right hand side of the picture. In this view it looks as tho it is very close to the deck. Believe me it is quite a walk from the house to be barn - just an illusion in this picture.
I did go to the hook-in at Chambersburg last week. I know that many pictures have been published of that day but perhaps the few I post here will be a bit different. I am ever amazed at the number of hookers coming to the Thursday hook-ins. Its popularity is growing by leaps and bounds. If you haven't joined us for a day of fun and hooking you are really missing a good time.

Jill and Linda posing like good girls after a face making session.

Ellen joined us for the first time. This is her first rug - can you believe it? I was much taken with the colors that she is using and also very interested in the arrangement of the design. She has just retired and will be leaving for a vacation lasting about 6 weeks. After that she will be joining one of my classes and I look forward to working with her.

Ellen is sorting thru some wool with Jill. Sorry. I only got this side view of Ellen.
Kathy dilligently working on her rug. Love the glasses halfway down the nose! I'm sure the nose has 20-20 vision,.

Sorry, I don't know this sweet lady's name- She comes most weeks and is working on her very first piece.
In the week that has followed this hook-in I have been in the dye pots and almost have all of the dyeing done for the strawberry sculpting class. I have the handouts ready and am starting to make up the kits. I have continued to work on Kris Kringle and have finished the sculpting on that piece and have finally decided how I will handle the snow that Kris is standing on. Geesh! decisions, decisions!
It is a gray, rainy day. Eloise is belly up in the bed and I am getting ready to shower, dress and go over to the Robinwood Medical Facility. Today is Mammogram day. While I don't look forward to it, it is necessary for all of us gals to get taken care of. I tell myself that the pain only lasts 30 seconds, with no lasting effects. Certainly any woman can stand 30 seconds of pain in order to assure herself that all is well.
We have set two traps for the ground hogs but they are still eluding us. I will stop at the store and get more apples to bait the traps with, on my way home. Ah! women's work is never done. Guess these critters are smarter than I thought they were.
Have to stop now and get some things done. Hope all of you have a wonderful day with lots of love and laughs.

Friday, May 14, 2010


I didn't think that I would be posting so soon again. When my mom put up the new fence last summer I thought that that was the end of my adventures. No way to get out of this fence. It is high, and all of the gates have springs and locks on them. But guess what - an adventure came to me! A groundhog had been living at our barn. It decided to invade my territory! It is very big - I weight 22 lbs. and it is bigger than me. My mom saw it run thru my play yard one day last week. It was a real surprise because she couldn't figure how it got in to my domain. Richard discovered that it had dug a new hole (in and out holes) near the fence that is closest to the pasture.
Here I am at the back door deciding if I should go out. I understand that groundhogs don't like for other animals to be near their holes. It is really BIG but J.R. terriers are bred to hunt and go down holes = thats why we have our tails docked. Then our masters can grab our tail and pull us out of the holes that we dive into.

I still think that surveying my domain is important. I was doing this earlier in the week when I discovered something else about this groundhog. I disappeared! My mom couldn't find me. She panicked!! After calling me a few times she went down stairs to change over the laundry and looked out the sliding doors. Guess what she saw. Under the deck, up near the foundation to the house, my rear end was sticking out of a large hole. Yep! the groundhog has been under our new deck and made herself a new house. Richard came the next day and blocked up the hole with rocks so my adventures under the house have come to an end. You can believe that I have checked out every square inch of my play yard. That darn beast has been everywhere in my territory!

In the meantime, I am still looking out of the window by the computer. I can watch the neighbors walk their dogs from this vantage point. I can bark at them and act as tho I am just as big Max, the golden retriever that walks with Wendy every day.
My mom says that she will call our neighbor, Sandy, who has a groundhog trap and perhaps we can borrow it and take care of that varmit soon so that I can be safe in my own yard.

In the meantime I continue to do what I do best. It just taks a small amount of time to fix this bed to suit my needs. Hope all of you are high and dry. This weather sure keeps a girl mixed up - cold, then hot and now foggy and rainy. Just don't know what to wear!!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I can't believe that it has been over a week since I last updated my blog. Time just seems to get away from me. I have been feeling very discouraged about this blog since I live such a mundane life I often feel that I have nothing to say of interest and that no one reads the darn thing anyway. Perhaps it is just a way for me to get things off of my chest. I have managed to get a few things done this past week in spite of the fact that I have not been feeling up to par. My nose thinks it is wearing running shoes and my throat thinks it has a "closed for business" sign attached.

I did go to the Grant Street Woolworks last Thursday and I really enjoyed the day. I took my friend and student Elinor with me - it was her first experience at Grant Street and she announced on the way home that she had such a good time that she was game for every Thursday!!! I took a few pics but since Kathy has posted many pictures of the day I don't think it is necessary to repeat. I also went to the Blue and Gray meeting last Monday. This is a group of very talented hookers - sorry no pictures - battery died in camera on the first pic. However, there were a number of lovely rugs shown there.

Since I have said that this is all about the flowers - here are a few. The Iris have finally started to do their thing! What a glorious sight. My Iris garden is the length of the fence - I guess about 30 feet long and 4 ft. wide and the exoctics are just beginning to bloom. These are not great pictures but I hope you can enjoy the beauty that I am seeing.
Purple with white stripes
Purple with white tips and an orange center - just lovely - also very large.

Yellow with deep purple falls - falls like velvet

Ruffles, ruffles and more ruffles. Last fall I purchased 14 more exoctics but I do not expect blooms from them this spring altho one or two of them look as tho they might put up one or two blooms.
Now to Mother's Day. My daughter Joan sent me a wonderful gift basket filled with chocolate goodies. She knows that I often have chocolate "fits" and look out if there is no chocolate in the house! Among other things in this basket was Chocolate Hazelnut coffee. I had it this morning and let me tell you I have been googling and looking for a way to purchase more of this. It is the best coffee I have ever had - it has to be available. In addition, she arrived on Sunday with the following baskets of flowers for my deck.

Beautiful hanging Petunias = dark and light purples

and these lovely Berber Daisy's - yellow, orange and red. In additon, my neighbor, Margaret brought me this beautiful vase of flowers.

all in all, a wonderful Mother's day which included a shopping trip and a luncheon with my daughter and grandson at my favorite Mexican resturant.
In addition, I have been doing lots of hooking. I have completed the door prize for my sculpting class to be held in June at the Grant Street Woolworks. I cannot show the pictures of it as it is to be a surprise door prize. I will take a picture of it to show later. I also have finished about half of the dyeing for that class and hope to finish the dyeing during this coming week. I have students coming today and hope to go to Grant Street tomorrow (provided my nose decides not to run away and wants to accompany me).
I hope all of you have been keeping warm and enjoying yourselves in spite of the miserable weather we have been having. Until next time keep the hooks moving.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Last Wensday was the regular meeting of the McGown guild chapter that I belong to. It's a long trip to Glenelg, Md. but I have been hooking with these ladies for many years and they are my oldest friends in hooking. I took a tumor on the brain and only took one picture. This is a beginning of what I know will be a lovely rug all about Quails hooked by Sevi. I think that after I took this picture we began to talk about what she could do to enhance the background in this rug and I just forgot to keep the camera going.

As you can see she has made a good beginning.

Early on in my hooking career, I had a teacher that used a lot of Paisley in her rugs. I guess I got hooked on Paisley. One of my favorite things to do when in New England was to haunt the antique shops looking for these wonderful shawls. Over the years I have managed to gather a good stash of Paisley and also managed to find 3 complete shawls - that is shawls that were worn and could be cut. After working with Cynthia Norwood a year ago, my interest in Paisley was renewed and I began to look at shawls on ebay. I was agast at the prices. About 10 days ago, I saw a shawl that really appealed to me. It is a soft red with gray and some black and white. Not the rarest of color combinations in a shawl but the design was so beautiful that I could not resist making a rediculously low bid. I won and the shawl arrive 2 days ago. It is HUGE!! It was described as very large, with a number of small holes about the size of your thumb nail and a slit about 5" long. I have looked this all over and I can only find one small hole. I think it may be just to beautiful to cut.
This is a view showing the edge panel in all its glory.

A closeup of what I think is a very beautiful design. I am thrilled to have this piece in my collection.
I went to the hook-in at the Grant Street Woolworks a week ago Thursday. Linda and I had a conversation about ProChem dyes and I purchased the 4 basic dyes from her. She loaned me her swatch samples and her dye book called Prisms.

Just look at how yummy these colors are. Makes me want to just jump into the dye pots and let everything else go.

A closeup of all of the wonderful colors made from the formulas in the Prisms book.
I managed to get four dye lots done. I had students last week plus some other responsibilites so did not have as much time as I would have liked for the dye pots. Three of the dye lots came out "spot on" in comparison with the swatch samples.

I am very pleased with these three dye lots. The colors are vibrant and very beautiful. This next dye lot was supposed to be forest green. I don't know what to call the color it turned out to be - but it sure is not like the swatch sample. When I examined it closely after it dried, I really love the looks of it. I can see it married with brown to make a very interesting tree trunk and since I am getting ready to do a pictorial with a large tree trunk in it, nothing is lost.

Today I went to the Boonsboro chapter of ATHA. There were few in attendance since this was the first day of the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. This is a very popular festival held in Howard County, Md. and a great place to replenish you wool stash. Sorry I didn't take any pictures. Several of the members had very interesting rugs to show today. Perhaps my mind will be working better at the next meeting.
Well, thats about all of the "this and that" that has been happening this week in my household. It is very hot and humid today and Eloise and I are just trying to keep relaxed and comfortable. The first of the spring flowers have gone by as have the Magnolia blossoms and now I await the beauty of my Iris garden.