Monday, January 31, 2011

Dear Joanne,
I read your blog and nearly fell off of the computer chair laughing. So you are approaching your 50th birthday and have just received your first junk mail from AARP. Whoohoo! This is only the beginning.
In the next few weeks you will learn how good their health insurance is, how they can get you discounts on cruises and other vacations, how important it is for you to have their sticker on your bumper and other sundry things. Of course, they are not the only organization that will be contacting you about "your old age."
Now that you are approaching your 60th birthday, you must be getting ready to retire. That means that you must have some money in the bank to live on. You will be surprised how many organizations want a share of that loot. For instance, St. Luke's hospital for Children, Children living on the Indian Reservation will send you a dream catcher, Disabled American Veterns will send address labels, as will 30 or 40 other groups. By the time you reach the age of 69 you will have accumulated at least 2000 address labels. I think they are planning on your living to 105. Don't forget to give to your local Sheriff and the Bene. Order of Police - they send you a bill - not a plea for a donation. I could go on and on but I think you get the idea.
Now that you are approaching 70 I'm sure that your eyesight has suffered from all of those long days in the sun and watching the ocean. Do you know how many ophthalmologist's there are in your town or county? Gosh, there are lots and they all have large advertising budgets. Cataracts are surely dimming your eyesight. You probably don't realize it but the advertisers sure do. Lots of advertising in the mail box. This is also the time of your life when you begin to go deaf.
Now that you are approaching 80 - guess what??? You are deaf, dumb and blind! Of course anything that you don't understand that the younger generation is doing makes you senile or "in the generation gap." I say phooey on the generation gap. I still believe that manners and morals are important. I also believe that the English language is a beautiful thing. It's to bad that our young people have forgotten how to communicate with each other. I do not consider - I M OK - R U ? to be legitimate communication. However that belief does not make me deaf!
Now is when the cemetary brochures show up in the mail box. Do I care if the dirt above my head has been sifted so there are no lumps on me? Heck no. Do I care if the handles on my casket are silver or gold. Of course not. I will be with my God and loved ones and not worrying about such things.
They say advice is only as good as what you pay for it. Here's my FREE advice to you. Keep your mail box cleaned of junque mail. Keep your sense of humor fresh and sassy. Keep a positive and upbeat attitude. Remember to sing in the shower and dance in the kitchen! Sing and dance every day.
The best years are yet to be lived by you!
Posted with love,

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I have been very frustrated for the past week and unable to update my blog because my computer has a mind of its own! For some unknow reason, to me, the computer decided to no longer tell me where it was putting my pictures when I transferred them from the camera. I find using the computer one big mystery - even Basil Rathbone could not solve.

On Saturday Traci, Elinor and I ventured to Sterling, Va. to the Goose Creek Hookers Hook-in. This turned out to be a great adventure. First, we decided to listen to Tom-Tom but we didn't like what the lady was telling us so we looked at MapQuest that Traci had printed out. Very conflicting instructions. After about an hour, and a few run-abouts we arrived at our destination. Believe it or not, we were a bit early so ventured to the shopping center to visit McDonalds. That proved to be another interesting trip. The layout of the shopping center was done by a cross-eyed engineer and confusion reigned!

However, we did finally get something to eat and then were on our way back to the church meeting place. This proved to be a most delightful hook-in. My guess is that about 75-100 people were in attendance. It was held in the church recreation hall, a very large room, with several smaller rooms leading off of the main corridor. The room was extremely well lit, which is so important to hookers. The smaller rooms housed the vendors leaving plenty of room in the main area for hookers. A most pleasing arrangement. The co-chair persons, Anne Geiger and MaryAnne Harden, did a wonderful job of preparing and seeing that everyone was confortable. Raffles were held every hour on the hour and a very nice rug show also was hung for all to see.

The following pictures are from that show. I did not attempt to get all of the rugs nor did I get names of those that hooked the rugs or titles of the rugs. I hope that you will enjoy seeing what some of the rug makers in Virginia are creating.

This study in color was created by
Sarah Provence

This is a close-up of parts of a pillow. The
flowers are all three dimensional

An overall view of the pillow. It was
much more beautiful than my picures
A very nice half-round in the
crewel style

I don't know whose piece this is but I do
know that several attendees were from
the Nova Scotia Guild - was someone
there from Wales????

A very nice pictorial
Another color study by Sarah Provence

An interesting design

I loved the pastels of this rug. I belive that
the flowers were prodded

As last years hook-in the chapter offered a
challenge to its members and attendees to
do a snowman piece. This is one of the
finished pieces
A different snowman

A third interpretation of the snow man
I hope you have enjoyed this little rug show. This was the nicest hook-in that I have ever attended. Enough room to set up and actually hook and yet room to visit with friends and meet new people. Well organized and a well thought out plan by the chairpersons. If you have an opportunity to attend next year I recommend you do so. A good time was had by all.
It is snowing and sleeting in Maryland today. A thoroughly miserable day. I put on a pot of spicy bean soup early this morning. The whole house has a wonderful aroma of soup cooking. My latest rug project is on the hooking stand waiting for the hook to do its work and I have several good books to read. The book that I won from Pamela Terry's House of Edward arrived yesterday and it is a beauty. I have only looked at the first few pages and can't wait to read it. Eloise is tucked up in bed with several blankets around her. On a cold snowy day what more could a person ask for?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


It began to snow about 5 pm on Monday evening, just a lightly snow that felt a bit wet. Not big flakes, not small flakes, just white fluff drifing down from the heavens above. Eloise and I did not think much about it since it had been forcast most of the day. We went to bed at our usual time and were surprised when we arose this morning to see about 2 inches on the ground.

Wonder whose foot prints these are?
Well, white on white, with a bit of
brown so she can be seen in the snow.
For someone that hates rain she is
very adept with snow.

Look closely at the left hand side of the
picture. These are my neighbors horses
picking for grass thru the snow.
This was a very picturesque scene and
oh, so peaceful and serene,

This hand carved Antelope normally stands
on the hearth in my family room. We
moved it outdoors for Christmas since
we were having a small child in attendance.
He looks wonderful in the snow.
So regal!
Richard came this afternoon with his
shovel. He purchased a snow blower
last year but still prefers to shovel.
Silly boy!
This was my first knowledge that
there was an inch of ice on top of
the snow. What a slippery mess.

These are the scenes that I love. When I
see these barren branches against the sky
I know that Mother Nature is showing us
the beauty of her world.

The curving lacyness of these branches
are a thing of beauty to me and inspire me
to know that all will be right with
the world.

Upright branches against a molton sky.
Hard to find a more beautiful sight.
It's the small things of life that are so
important, just looking around us and
seeing our world for what it is.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


What is it with garages? How do they get in such a state? Mine is a mess. I have two 18 foot freezers in the garage and I go to them frequently. Since I live some distance from the grocery and I have a teaching schedule to keep and I love going to hook-in's, I try to cook ahead and keep several months food on hand, especially in the winter.

See that tennis ball hanging in front of the freezers - that is the guide for how far you can pull a car into the garage (LOL - big laugh, folks) No car has ever seen this garage.
This is Richard's side of the garage. It contains a riding lawn mower and every tool known to mankind. Plus odd chairs and rug cleaning equipment.
There is a bookcase down the center of the garage also containing tools and on my side of the garage another riding lawn mower. Along with some general chaos and my beautiful wooden bench that is on the deck in the summer.

On the inside wall next to the freezers is this wall shelving and counter with storage underneath. It houses small appliances not used daily and extra pots and tupper ware and baking dishes since my kitchen cabinets are full. Guess I should have a yard sale but I like my "things" - just have too many.

On the far wall, my side of the garage, is all of my dyeing equipment along with many jars of unused dye. I am a dye saver. When I mix a formula if I don't use it all I store it in a jar for later use. I find this a handy time and money saver.
The place is a mess. It is to cold now but when spring comes there is going to be a change. When I mention this to Richard his response is "It's a work in progress and will be as long as you live here." I know that he is right.
I was getting something from the freezer last week when I spotted a box that I had not noticed before. This has happened a number of times since we moved here. At first, I rented two lockers and stored all of the extra's in the lockers. Little by little things were brought to the house and either kept or discarded. Most boxes were gone thru and taken care of - but here was a box that I didn't recognize. Upon opening it I found the following treasured items.
Four absolutely beautiful oval Nantucket Basket molds. They were filthy dirty. I spent much time cleaning and waxing them. These, of course, belonged to my late daughter.

Eight graduated round Nantucket Basket molds. If there are any basket makers among my blog readers you know that these are priceless tools. I know that these were furnished to her by her friend and internationally know basket maker John McGuire of Geneva, N. Y.

This last picture is a closeup so that you can see the beauty of the woods in these lovely handmade molds. Altho they may never be used again, their beauty is almost breath taking. Now it is the problem of how to display them in my home. I love just looking at the beautiful craftsmanship and the combinations of woods.
I noticed that I have several new followers of my blog. Thank you for taking the time to join me as I go through my moments in time. I so appreciate your comments and enjoy knowing that there are others out there in blog land. Thanks for stopping by my garage tour. Hopefully next time it will be neater!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Yesterday it snowed, not as much as we usually get, but more than a dusting. I am guessing about an inch or so. It was a beautiful sight altho we all know that it plays havoc with motorists. In the early evening, just as it was getting dusky, Eloise wanted to go out into her play yard. As I opened the door the beautiful white flakes were slowly wafting down. The white dog exploded into the flakes with the speed of Superman. The white dog in the white flakes, leaving a trail of vapor and a plume of snow behind. After the run, rolling in the snow, creating doggy snow angels. What a delight. Never a day goes by that Eloise does not bring joy into our home.
After a good romp, a girl has to rest.
I also attended the Blue and Gray hook-in in Gettysburg on Monday. If you have checked Pat's blog. you know that she also attended and has posted many pictures. The turnout was great. We had not seen each other for two months since the December meeting was postponed due to the weather. So much chatter and exchange of ideas. A wonderful group of women all sharing ideas, recipes, and laughs. Many rugs were shown on Monday, and like Pat, I took many pictures. I have gone thru mine and will try not to show to many duplicates altho I know there will be some.
Many of these rugs I do not know
either design name or who the
hooker is - but I do hope that you will
enjoy each and every one of them.

This is a rug being hooked by Joan S.
Lovely soft color plan.

This rug in process is also being hooked
by Joan S. She started this rug
at the Buckeystown Rug Workshop
last October or November

This is a original design with poppies in the
corners. Designed by Jeniece F. and being
hooked by her.

This rug is a beauty. It is being hooked
by Judith. Judith likes to hook seasonal
rugs in the season. This rug was started in
October - love the crow!

I'm not sure but I think the rest of these rugs
are Peg V's rugs. Some of these pictures
may be duplicates of Pat's posting.

I hope that you have enjoyed this bit of a rug show. If you ever have a chance to go to a Blue and Gray meeting I am sure you not only enjoy it but that you will be exposed to some outstanding rugs and rug hookers.
As for me, my Adam and Eve rug is progressing slowly. I did manage to get a bit of background done yesterday. I under estimated the amount of skin color needed to hook two angels and Adam and Eve. As a result, wool is soaking and this afternoon I will be in the dye pots. I feel as tho I have to "hurry" and finish because I have several other large rugs in process and Pat has finished the designing of my new rug. Oh, Oh, Oh, I have to live to be 103 and then I'm not sure I will get it all done. Probably get more finished if I would stop playing Bridge, but I love that too. How can people ever say they are bored and have nothing to do. I wish the days had 48 hours, or is it that I am just slow?
Enjoy the snow, drink hot tea, prop your feet up by the fire and enjoy this season of the year.
Doris and Eloise

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


All summer and early fall the news media and many areas of cyberspace informed us of how angry the American people were. Were they reporting facts or merely stirring up trouble? I never felt angry. Instead I wondered why those of us that love this country, and took the time to vote, were not giving our President and Congress positive reinforcement in helping them to do the business of the people. Now I am angry! Angry at the happening in Arizona. Angry that the people of this country seem to have so little interest in and compassion for the brotherhood of mankind. I could write a very long commentary on my feelings but instead I will merely quote Pogo:

"We have met the enemy
and he is US"

Friday, January 7, 2011

A resolution lasting the shortest in the history of the world! First let me thank all of you who left comments on my last posting and all of you who sent me e-mail encouraging me to continue blogging and blogging as I wanted to. Sooo, I have resolved to do just that. It is my blog, my place to vent, my place to teach, learn and make friends. Hopefully, this will prove to be a wonderful blogging year.
Yesterday was my birthday. To celebrate I "visited" with my cardiologist and after being poked, pushed, pulled and thumped, her analysis was that nothing had changed. Looks like I am good for another 4 months until my next visit.
I moved to the Hagerstown area a little over 7 years ago. The move was made to downsize from a 13 room house to an7 room house, more the size that I needed, and to be nearer to some members of my family. Hagerstown is a western Maryland town that has seen more than its share of ups and downs. During World War11 it was a bustling manufacturing town with a railroad terminis and aircraft manufacturing plant. After the war it returned to its status of farming country. The soil is rich and the grass plush. Holsteins love it. Farming was prosperous, no need for higher education, or worldly wisdom. As you know times change. The housing boom found inexpensive land for sale. Housing sprang up everywhere. Suddenly the population grew and grew. The county and city fathers did not!
However, I have found two gems in Hagerstown. I have written in the past about the wonderful Museum of Fine Arts located in the city park. The building itself is a gem. This museum houses many art works that you would expect to see in a New York Gallery. It's other gem is the Robinwood Medical Center. A large complex of buildings joined together with a center lounge housing all of the specialty medical needs of a community. Everything that you used to go to the hospital for, with the exception of chronic problems, birthing, and operations can be taken care of at Robinwood. For instance, if you are a woman and need x-rays pertaining to woman problems go to the blue door, if you need a cardiologist go to the orange door. It is also the location of the John R. Marsh Cancer center. a truly wonderful facility.
In the past it has taken me about 20 minutes to arrive at the Orange door. In the meantime, the County and City fathers decided to build a new hospital on the same grounds. Just North of the Robinwood center is a very large complex housing the Hagerstown Community College, just South of the complex is a high school and a grade school in the midst of being built. It is planned that on the same side of the street, between the Robinwood Complex and the College a Senior Center will also be built.
This is a look at the main intersection to
the complex. It is a nightmare!
Traffic is always in a JAM! The city fathers
think that by widening the intersection they
will cure all of the problems.
I now allow an hour to go the 20 minutes from home. The citizens of Hagerstown wanted the hospital built on the outskirts of town just off of Rt. 70 with easy access. Politics and money won the battle. It boggles my mind to think of an ambulance on an emergency call trying to get to the hospital emergency entrance. Enough, Doris, Enough!
Now to answer the question what do I use for skin tones when I am dyeing for a pictorial. I was not satisfied with the material on hand when I got ready to do Adam's face in the piece that I am working on so I went back to my tried and true face colors.
This material is what I am using. It photographed
a bit darker than it is. It is Chroma Craft Formula
#11. I only dyed 4 values but usually keep
8 values of this on hand. The formula is very
simple. It is designed for strips 3 x 12. I dye
over pieces 12 x 14 so I double or triple
the dye depending on what I need it for.
1/32 Aqualon Yellow - 2/32 Mahogany in
1 cup boiling water. Measurements as
you choose. I usualy start with1/4 teaspoon.
It looks much more orange in the picture
than it is.

Or you can do as our Canadian friend Julia

did and use onion skins. (this darn computer

has a mind of its own) for skin tones. The

picture above is material dyed with light

onion skins.

This is the result when using darker skins.

Just don't use the skins from red onions.

The weather man forcast snow for this area last night. Eloise always has a reaction to the cold.

Yes, there she is folks. In the middle of that heap. Her sentiments about snow!


Jen thanks for reading my blog. It was so nice to get your comment. I have been asked to do the February program at the Boonsboro ATHA meeting. I will be showing "that rug" that you thought was Cynthia's among others. Hope to see you there! Please keep reading, I love your comments.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

When I started my blog back in 2009, I meant it to be about rug hooking which was and is an important part of my life. Somehow I went astray, and began to include things about my personal life and my family. Wow what a mistake. I have inadvertantly offended a member of my family by not including them enough or by showing you a picture.of them. This is something that I never meant to do - I guess it just happened - and for that I am truly sorry. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO my resolution fo 2011 is to stick to my original premise of this blog and talk only about my love of rug making. I will deviate from time to time in the new year as Eloise does like to post her "doings" from time to time. Her antics are always worth a laugh!
It is my hope that as I post hooking hints and some formulas that may help other rug makers, that you will enjoy and learn something from what I have to say. I do hope to update my blog at least weekly. I am a very lucky person in that I have a vast history to share with other hookers. including many early publications by Pearl McGorwn and a complete set of the "Rugger's Roundtable" published by Mildred Sprout starting in the 1950's. As I go thru these materials in the coming year I plan to share with you the joys of rug hooking and the vast knowledge of those hookers of the past.
As for me, I have been on "hooking vacation." It is something that happens, but only rarely. Those who know me, know that I hook 3 hours each day, every day of the week. I have not picked up a hook in the past 6 weeks. To much turmoil in my life but I am now getting back to normal. I have begun again to work on my latest project. The one that I started with Cynthia Norwood in November. It is a lovely and at the same time a funny pictorial, an Edyth ONeil design called, Adam and Eve in the Garden Dwelth.
Earlier I had posted a picture of the crossed eyed angel
in the upper right hand corner. Here are some of the
flowers that I have since accomplished that
surround the angel.
I just did this Lion yesterday. I love him! He got
so cute! He is just below Adam in the design.

Here is the angel that I spoke of earlier. This
view is with the background in around her. I
love the fact that she turned out cross-eyed, it
touches my sense of humor.

I have been rummaging thru my stash and been
displeased with the materials I had for the face
and bodies of Adam and Eve. So this morning I
got myself in gear and soaked some wool. I used
Chroma Chraft Formula #11 which I have used
many times for skin and face and dyed only
4 values. The results are what you see in
Adam. I think it turned out pretty darn good.
So, that is an update on my hooking. I think that I am back in the "hooking groove" again. I certainly hope so!
I hope all of you have your hooks poised and ready to accomplish wonderful new rugs in the new year.