Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Works for Candy Canes (and Lunch)!

Isaac came over for the morning while Kathy went to her Bible study at church. We had school first and then went downstairs to tackle the tree. I "assigned" him the ornaments around the part of the tree that he could reach and I took off the ones above that line...and packed them into boxes. We sectioned off the bottom part of the tree and after he got all those ornaments off he got a piece of the candy cane that had been hanging on the tree! He was pretty excited about having lunch over here so we stopped a bit before noon to have lunch...he wanted to be sure that he got to eat lunch before his mommy came to pick him up! He had one of those little mandarin ornages as part of his lunch and after I started peeling it for him he finished peeling it. He thought that it was pretty funny that the peel looked like a gingerbread man after he got it off. His gingerbread orange peel man is sitting next to his plate. After lunch I challenged him to finish getting all his ornaments off the tree before his mommy came and he did. I got all mine off and was getting close to having them all boxed up before Kathy came to get him. Isaac is a great little worker! He would have done the work happily without the treat of a candy cane...the candy cane just made it a little more fun! After Isaac left I headed off to get my hair cut. Mid afternoon I got the "tree brigade" (Graham, Elijah, Isaac, and Joseph) to come over. They had the tree apart in no time. And, then carried the branches upstairs to the tree box that resides in the Christmas closet. That box has been dragged down and up the stairs a multitude of times over the more than 30 years that we have had the tree...so the box has seen better days, but we need it to store the tree so...we now just let it stay ensconsed in the closet and we bring the branches to and from it. Today the boys marched (as in hup, two, three, four)up and down the stairs with the branches. Graham packed the branches all up...and that deed is done for another year!!!!! Hip-hip-hooray! If it hadn't been for them I wouldn't have met my goal of having the tree undecorated and put away before March 1! Thanks a lot boys!
Oh, and, by the way, Woody officially finished the tree as he took the last two ornaments off the tree that were too high for me to reach. We still have eight boxes chock full of ornaments stacked behind the glider love seat...but my back is screaming, "No, no, no!" So they will wait for another day to get brought up the stairs. At this point I turn all the Christmas decoration boxes (multitudes lined up in our upstairs hallway) over to Woody to be packed back in the Christmas closet. We had a very rainy morning so no going outside to work in the yard for Woody today. He did walk to and from the prayer room this evening. He is home and downstairs in front of the TV with a book and/or crossword puzzles. I am heading into my chair as soon as I hit publish...been a long busy day for me and I'm ready to put my feet up.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Can It Be??? Graham Is 15!!!

Isaac wasn't feeling very well this morning so I had a short time of school with Joseph and then Elijah and Esther each read to me. THEN it was PARTY TIME!!! Graham had quite a pile of presents and he had his own personal assistant who decided which present and then brought it to Graham to open. Well...most of the time the present got to Graham to open. One time it didn't quite make it there and Joseph just opened it himself! Graham just looked on to see what he got. Graham got lots of cool stuff...electronic things, things that have to do with cars, exercising, music, etc. He seemed quite pleased with everything he got. After presents we had cake and rainbow sherbet. We had a nice morning celebrating. After lunch Woody went to the Life Care Center to have Bible study with Jeff. I had a couple of cleaning jobs that needed to be done...things have gotten neglected while I was sick and while I have been attempting to undecorate! A couple of places in the house are a bit cleaner at least. I did get more done on the tree yesterday. All the needlework ornaments are off so the tree is much barer and the filled ornament box pile is much higher. Hopefully the last ornament will come off tomorrow. Isaac is coming over to spend the morning so after I have some school time with him, I'm hoping that he will be my helper. Woody went to Monday night prayer meeting at church and is now home. So we are settled in for another one of our typical quiet evenings. I will end by wishing Graham a BIG HAPPY 15TH BIRTHDAY!!!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2017


I think that my progress with the tree is beginning to be evident...the tree definitely looks much emptier! I have another box ready to pack up and the boxes stacked up against the dinint room wall are waiting to be filled. The stack of filled boxes have grown in number. And, the tree is definitely beginning to show bare spots! I think that I may remove all the handmade ornaments next. I like to take them off in categories. After the handmade one get taken off the rest left on the tree pretty much fall into a miscellaneous category. There are still a few that have specific boxes and then it will just be a "free-for-all" as to what box or layer they land in! I may yet meet my "before March 1" goal. Time will tell! Woody headed off this morning with a stop first at the Post Office to mail Cheryl's (my sister's) birthday present. If the Post Office comes through for me, the package will get there before her BIG day...another goal met...if it happens...and I'm pretty sure that it will...at least it is winging its way toward AZ! During his errand running Woody also made stops at the Library, the Credit Union, Aldis, and WalMart. Later in the day he walked four-miles. It hasn't been as warm today so the outside hasn't beckoned him to do much in the yard. It's supposed to dip toward freezing by the early hours of tomorrow. I have split up my time between taking ornaments off the tree and packing them up and resting and finalizing tomorrow's Sunday School lesson that I will be teaching to my ladies' class. We are now settling in for another low-key Saturday evening per usual in this Dorrell's household. I'm heading in to put the final touches on the Sunday School lesson and then I may put a few stitches in my sampler before evening's end. The day is ending just about as quickly as the month! Boy time flies when you are having fun...and...even if you're not! Oh! The elusive box with the bathroom decorations in it has been found! At the moment not hunting for anything specific! Praise God!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Southern Charm

I escaped "the hunt" today since I was whisked away for an afternoon outing with two friends in Bell Buckle, TN. We had lunch at Southern Charm's Tea Room. Yummy! And, I am still full! After lunch we browsed in several of the unique shops that comprise "downtown" Bell Buckle. We had a great time being together...as we always do! Woody stayed home and worked around in the yard. He also took a four-mile walk. We are settling in for the evening. I will admit to being a bit tired...but a good tired after such a fun time! My chair sounds good to me at the moment...heading back in there as soon as I hit "publish!" Beautiful day...though a bit windy...unusually warm temperatures...perfect for the outing. The wind is supposed to blow in rain and perhaps storms in the night as a cold front makes its way through. It is supposed to be cooler tomorrow and much cooler on Sunday. Driving through the countryside today definitely said that Spring was arriving...or perhaps already here...couldn't believe how things were starting to green up...afraid that it being so pretty and warm is just a tease. We'll take today for what it was...gorgeous! Nothing new taken off the tree today...just put a few back in their boxes before I left this morning. I'd better get back to work on that "project" since my goal to have it finished is March 1.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Hunt Goes On and On and...

Well, the tree now has three boxes worth of ornaments removed...can you tell any difference?!? I can tell that it is getting emptier, but...still an awful lot more to go! I have two large boxes loaded and have found all the ornaments for another box (bottom picture). I have all the ornaments on top of their individual boxes so now I just have to put them in their boxes and then pack them into their cardboard box. This is a smaller number than the first two boxes. I did the ornament hunt for a little too long today and have paid for it with my back giving me problems this afternoon and evening. I knew that I needed to stop but I kept seeing boxes that I knew where the ornament was on the tree and wanted to get just one more and then one more...till finally I had them all found for that box and then wanted to get them packed into their large box. It won't be long till the process speeds up as once I don't have to find ornaments for their specific boxes then I just layer them into boxes with tissue paper. But as my back told me this afternoon, I can't go at this for any length of time...so it will continue to be a slow process. I had school with Joseph and Isaac this morning. The others didn't come to read as they had some place to go mid-morning. Esther did come over this afternoon for her long time. It was a good thing that she didn't need me much for her cross stitch project. I sat in my recliner and she sat in the sewing room and did her cross stitch under the Dazor magnifying light that is in here. I couldn't get out of my chair when she got over here. I told her if she needed me to bring her project to me! After she stitched for a while, she went into the school room and worked on one of those intricate coloring pictures that she is doing with colored pencils. Her Auntie Cheryl gave it to her for Christmas and she has kept it over here to work on. She is doing a really nice job...very pretty. While she was working in the school room, Isaac and Joseph came over and started playing downstairs while Nathan talked to Woody. Jospeh went home with Nathan, but Isaac stayed and Esther joined him downstairs to play...then Elijah joined them. They really got involved in their play...lots of "things" got brought out of the toy closet. I told them that they had to clean them up before they left as Grammy had to have a path to the Christmas tree! Well, they took me literally...and just moved them away from the tree and left a path...but most are still in the living room rather than back in the toy closet. Guess I will give them more specific directions when next I see them! Woody has worked some more outside in the yard. I know that one of his projects is attempting to get some grass to grow around the stepping stones that go from our house to Nathan and Kathy's. That seems to be an ongoing project...and each year the grass starts growing, but as the year goes on either drought or trampling stops the growth. Woody went on a four-mile walk this morning. It has been a really pretty spring-like day once again today. I think that we will have warm temps for another couple of days and then they will drop once again...typical for this time of the year...back and forth between warm and cold. I think that I will go down and pack up the ornaments that are on the dining room table (the bottom photo) and then call it a day with ornament hunting/packing up. Woody is ensconsed in his chair in the family room with TV, books, and crossword puzzles. After putting those few ornaments away in their box, I will head to my chair and either read or do needlework. Sounds like a quiet way for both of us to spend our evening.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Mid-Week Doings

It has been a usual Wednesday, busy day for both of us today. I had school this morning with Isaac. Since Joseph decided to play hooky, Isaac got his school time too. Isaac thought that it was funny for him to get two long times with Grammy in the same week! Elijah, Esther, and Joy each had their reading times. Today was Abigail's long time with me. She is making another zipper bag and this time I am taking pictures with the iPad for each of the steps, etc. We will put the photos into a document and print it out for her sewing notebook. That way she will have a reminder of the steps when she comes over and I'm not home to get her into my iPad. She has made quite a few, but the last time there was quite a bit between when she had made her last one...so she got a bit confused when she tried to branch out on her own and make one when I wasn't home. She has a video that she watches that shows her how...but when Grammy's iPad can't be opened without a password that video isn't of much help! While I was having school, Woody headed off for his mid-week grocery excursion. He went to Aldis and Kroger. He used to just go to Kroger on Wednesday, but now that we have an Aldis he likes to stop there first and check out whatever happens to be a good buy before he goes to Krogers. He got home with the groceries before Abigail came over for her time so I was able to put away the cold things and a few other items. After lunch, I headed off to the church library to work for a couple of hours. Once again, Donna, Fran and I got quite a bit done and didn't open up too many "cans of worms!" I did come across one library mystery...it just wouldn't be a library work day without at least one mystery of where a book is or where its check-out card is or...! Woody went on a four-mile walk while I was at the library. I was pretty glad to get home and find "my chair." Woody cooked some pasta to go with the leftover pasta sauce I made earlier in the week...so an easy supper! And, all I want to do tonight is head back to my chair as soon as I hit the publish button on this blog! Only about three ornaments taken off the tree today...not enough to count. And, tonight not enough energy to go find even one more! At this rate March 1 will be here and I will still be on my ornament hunt...I hope not! I'm not even sure that I have enough energy to pick up my needle tonight. I have made some more progress on the sampler...but that continues to be slow progress, also. I keep having to do "reverse stitching" (another name for picking out stitches). I don't know if it would be worth even trying tonight since I am so tired! Tired = asking for stitching problems!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Hunt Is On!

I'm sure that you have heard of Easter egg hunts! Well, I am in the midst of my annual Christmas ornament hunt! I would guess that between Isaac and me, a hundred ornaments give or take a few have been removed from the tree. Can you tell by the above picture?!? So far I have removed the ornaments that are stored in one of many cardboard boxes. Everything that goes in that cardboard box is back in it with actual room to spare...so I have left that box open behind a chair in the living room so I can add others that might not fit into another box. Along with the hunt there is also the puzzle making (fitting the boxes back into a particular cardboard box).
A little before coming up to blog I emptied the next cardboard box of its ornament boxes.
The hunt will be on till I find all the ornaments that go in these small boxes and then...the puzzle solving will take place when I try to refit them back in the box. There is one thing that I know...each and everyone of these small boxes fit back into that large box...one way or another! It never fails that there is an elusive ornament or two that is difficult to find amongst the hundreds that still hang on the tree. I had been looking since yesterday for one ornament and just found it a little while ago...that made it possible to pack up that first large cardboard box (many more large cardboard boxes to follow)! Part of the time I enjoy this part of the undecorating as I once again get to remember events and/or family and friends as I put them away...other times it gets a bit frustrating when I just can't find a certain one. At least the process is underway! "Maybe" I can have them off the tree and the tree down before March 1? That is sort of my goal at the moment! I have another hunt underway too...I just realized today that I haven't come across the everyday items that go back in the upstairs hall bathroom. I knew when I put away the Christmas towels and a couple of other Christmas things that I didn't find the usual box they go in, but just put them away in another box that had enough room. At the time I didn't think about the things that I needed to put back into the bathroom that I had stored away during the holidays. I realized it today when Isaac needed a hand towel and the towel bar was empty and then realized that the two pictures that hang on the walls weren't there either. So now I will need to look through the stacks of boxes that are in the hallway to see if I can find that particular box...or that bathroom will have bare walls till next Christmas when I'll probably come across the box with them in it. I will need to look through the stacks before Woody starts packing away the boxes in the Christmas closet. A hunt for another day! Isaac and I had our usual "long Grammy time" this morning. We did lots of school things and then he helped me for a while finding Christmas ornaments to store away. Woody worked outside quite a bit today. He said that he was just doing a lot of different things outside. The garage looks so much better after he attacked the clutter out there. Our garbage gets picked up tomorrow and the garbage can is a lot fuller than it usually is thanks to his decluttering the garage. Woody walked to and from the prayer room at church this evening. He has returned and is settling in for tonight.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Spring is Popping Up!

Our dwarf iris and miniature jonquils are blooming in all their profusion...so pretty...but last just too short a time. It has been a beautiful spring-like day. It was fun to hear the children playing outside this afternoon. Today is my busy day of school. Joseph had his preschool time. Then Isaac came over for his time. Then my readers marched in one after the other...Elijah, Esther, Abigail. By the time Abigail finished reading it was just about time for Joy to come over for her long time. She got her jean skirt cut out and the side seams sewn during her time. I'm glad to show her a sewing project that doesn't take a really long time...all that's left is the elastic casing, inserting the elastic and pinning up the hem and sewing the hem in. Zoom, zoom! I ate lunch and then turned around and it was time for Elijah to come over for his long time. He decided that he would sew for part of his time. He practiced following the lines on a diamond and turning corners. He did a great job after not sewing for quite a while. After he did that he used the Osmo App on my iPad. He did the Osmo Pizza Co. app...he's trying to make enough money to buy a new and better oven for his pizza store...as well as make his customers happy! After Elijah went home I was ready to rest for a while...I just sat in my chair...didn't actually doze off...at least not that I remember! I got up early this morning so it has been a long day. I actually started taking ornaments off the tree before school started...so that monumental task has begun. After I rested for a while, I headed to the kitchen and made our long time...as I have made this recipe for years and years...spaghetti meat sauce...and tonight we had it on whole wheat spaghetti...rather than some kind of veggie spirals. Tasted really good as we hadn't had it in a long time. I took a chance and added a few sliced mushrooms to the sauce. I have been wondering if mushrooms might trigger my gout attacks. I had been being really good and staying away from mushrooms...but Woody had bought some really nice Baby Bella mushrooms and they were just crying to be added to the sauce! Now we will see if I am crying later in the week with gout pain. I didn't put many in and tried to avoid getting them in the sauce I had on my spaghetti...though I "had" to try a bite or two with a piece of them in said bites! Woody has had a busy day too. He has been working outside. I heard the leaf blower going and thought that he was blowing leaves in the yard...but think that he was blowing out the leaves that had drifted into the garage. I was surprised when I went out and found him cleaning out the garage...now THAT is a JOB! It looked really good with everything taken out of it! Of course a lot of that has to go back in! Our garage is really narrow and the car barely fits in (I will not pull the car in or out of the garage since it is such a tight squeeze.). Getting some of the things out from the sides will help...at least in getting in and out of the car when it is in the garage...as in being able to open the doors of the car! Woody went to the Life Care Center to have Bible study with Jeff mid-morning. This afternoon he went on a four-mile walk. And, this evening he went to church for Monday night prayer meeting. He should be tired! Nathan and Graham got our older green car going once again this afternoon so we are back to being a two-car couple. Woody is downstairs with books, puzzles, and the TV. I think that I will go settle into my chair with my needlework...though I'm not sure that I am awake enough to do it tonight. If I find myself "frog stitching" (as in rip-it, rip-it), I will stop for tonight and pick it another time when I am more alert! I was pretty sleepy/tired after supper...sat in a stupor for a while playing solitaire on the iPad...and that was putting me to sleep. "Maybe" coming in here to blog has awakened me...but I'm not too sure!

Saturday, February 18, 2017


Well, I met my goal for the day...all the boxes are upstairs and filled except for the ones for the Christmas tree decorations. I also got the shelves above the kitchen cabinets back to non-Christmas status. I still have to do some shifting around of the Christmas dishes...and then it is "ONLY" the Christmas tree. Now...750+ ornaments is a big "ONLY" but I am getting closer! Undecorating is an ordeal any year, but this year with being "down" due to gout it has been more of an ordeal! I will say that at the moment "my gout" seems to be gone. I'm almost afraid to say that last sentence...it could sneak back at any moment! But at least for the moment I am feeling ever so much better. I still need to take lots of rests, but I am back to being able to do most things...just not as fast. Woody did our Saturday errands...Lowes, Walmart, Aldis, Kroger, library. He also made a visit to the hospital, but the gentleman that he went to see was no longer a patient. This afternoon he made cookies to take to church in the morning for the Sunday school youth...middle school boys' turn to provide snacks for the preSunday school time. Woody is one of the middle school Sunday school teachers. That about sums up our day...a pretty normal Saturday for us. Oh, last night after I finished blogging I got to looking at the picture of the sampler that I am working on and realized that I had missed a stitch...can any of you find that missing stitch? I will put it in when I am filling in the solid colors. It is very hard to go back and add a single stitch when I am stitching with silk thread. Silk threads are slippery and hard to anchor so they don't work back out...so I will add in that stitch at a later time. I have done a little more of the double running stitch on that band since blogging last night...slow progress...but progress...sort of like everything that I do these days!

Friday, February 17, 2017


For me besides making progress on the sampler that I am working on at the moment, I have also made very good progress on the undecorating. Today I can say that the last box for the Carolers has been located and the last of the Carolers tucked away till next I decorate. I also was able to clear all the Christmas off our kitchen table...nice to have it clear and ready for everyday use. Finding boxes meant that I also found everyday decorations that had to be put back in their places. I have started working on getting everything back to normal. I did several trips up and down the stepladder to put items over the kitchen cabinets...but did finally put a hault to the climbing...I had just had enough. So several items that need to go up are residing on the kitchen counter. I think that I will wait to put them up till all are out and I can make decisions as to where each should be placed. I am now down to items on the dining room table and the number there are thankfully deminishing. Now all that reside there are odds and ends...some laggard angels, snowman, trees, and other misc. items that still need me to find a place to put them to store them away. At least I can see progress. Today a lot more progress was made with the leaf raking by Woody with a lot of help from the neighbors (Nathan, Kathy and perhaps a grandchild or two). Woody also helped the girls practice softball. He pitched to them for a while. Joy and Esther have signed up for softball this year. They have try outs tomorrow. Since they got introduced to baseball first (since there was no softball during Fall Ball), they don't know much about softball. For part of my breaks from undecorating today, I worked some more on my sampler. I have moved on to the next large band and am now doing the outlines that I will fill in with satin stitch. This is a reproduction of a sampler stitched in England in 1699. Ten to fifteen years ago Colonial Williamsburg acquired this sampler to add to their collection of samplers that is housed in the Dewitt-Wallace Museum. A little more than ten years ago, Woody and I arranged to go on a private tour of the samplers and were shown the samplers that are stored in special drawers and aren't on display to the public most of the time to protect the from the light. We got to see the actual sampler of this reproduction...the thing that stood out about it was that the colors were still, after hundreds of years, very vivid. Our guide told us that kits to make reproductions of this sampler had just arrived and were now on sale in their museum gift shop. Well, I was VERY interested and ended up buying the kit. Another special thing about the sampler kit is that the reproduction was done by Joanne Harvey. I had had the privilege of studying under Joanne many years before in Plymouth, MA, when a friend and I went to Plymouth to learn how to do 17th Century embroidery and began the Loara Standish Sampler (which is totally reversible). So working on this sampler is bringing back memories both of Williamsburg and Plymouth. Joanne is very accurate in her reproductions so I was very glad to have another of her samplers to work on. This one is not as difficult as the Loara Standish sampler (oldest known American sampler)but it is still tedious...it is done on 40 ct. linen (that's 40 threads per inch) and it is worked over three threads. Most of the time when working on linen one works over two so it takes a bit of "thinking" to go over three...though I did go over three for Loara's sampler, too, so it hasn't been too hard to get back into that habit. This one isn't done reversible...except for the double running stitch (the outline that I am working on now). It takes quite a bit of thinking to work out the path to make sure that all places are covered on the back too. On the Loara sampler Joanne gave us drawings with the path that we were to take...we called them "dot-to-dots." But for in this sampler's instructions ( there are no road maps except for one of the bands...not sure why that one was given and no others...but I am plugging along and doing the best that I can. I have finally given in to doing only small areas at a time...I just can't do it for a large area and end up being accurate. One of the things that makes it difficult is that the threads are thick and thin in the linen weave...and it is easy...even under magnification (I stitch under a powerful Dazor magnification lamp)...to miss one of those thin threads every so often and get the whole pattern off kilter...I have taken out quite a few stitches on this sampler trying to find those elusive thin threads that messed me up! At least doing small areas I catch my mistakes more quickly when things don't line up. Well, enough about stitching which is probably not of much interest to most of you...though I do have a few followers that will understand what I am talking about...one being the friend who went to Plymouth with me and another being a fellow needleworker who resides in AZ, who I first met on the internet in a sewing chat room and later met in person when visiting in AZ. And, there are several other internet stitcher friends who come in periodically to check the blog...so perhaps at least there will be several that I haven't completely bored! Woody did get his four-mile walk in late this afternoon. It has been a beautiful spring-like day here in Middle Tennessee. We are now settling in for another quiet Friday evening. I'm going to go watch a rerun on my iPad and perhaps put in a few more stitches.

Thursday, February 16, 2017


For the most part today has been a normal Thursday. I had school with the children this morning and for a short time right after lunch for the last reading spot of the day. Esther had her long time. She cross stitched for about half the time and then did a drawing activity on one of the Osmo apps on my iPad. I boxed up another group of Christmas items...but didn't do a lot more as I was pretty tired by the time school was over. Hopefully tomorrow and over the weekend I will be able to get most of the Christmas items that are still on the coffee table, dining room table, and kitchen table boxed up...then it will be time to attack the tree...oh, my...so far from being finished when I think about the job that the tree is! I woke up too early this morning and did a little cleaning before school so my day started earlier than usual...so was especially ready for a nap this afternoon! Woody made Peasant Salad while I was having school this morning. He also steamed asparagus just before lunch. Yesterday he made his veggie burrito concoction. So there are lots of choices of veggies around here at the moment. Woody went for a four mile walk this afternoon...while I napped! He also worked out in the yard some today. Mid-afternoon Isaac came over looking for Goosey (Woody). Isaac was all excited because his parents told him that if Goosey would come over when they went on their date this evening, then Isaac could be in charge...along with Goosey! When Nathan and Kathy leave, they usually leave one of the older children "in charge"...so Isaac was very excited to get that title placed on him...as long as Goosey would come over and be in charge with him! I made a pasta sauce and served it over zucchini noodles for our supper. As soon as Woody ate, he headed next door to be in charge with Isaac! Woody is back home and we are once again settling in for another quiet evening of TV, reading, and/or needlework. Pretty much the same ol', same ol' for our routine...not much changes from day to day to report...rather a boring read most of the time, I'm afraid!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mid February Wednesday

Can you believe that the middle of February was yesterday and now we are on the downhill slide of this month? Time continues to fly! I guess staying busy is one way to keep time moving quickly. I had school with Joseph, Isaac, Elijah, Esther, Joy, and Abigail this morning. Abigail completed another zippered pouch. She started one last week when I was at the church working in the library. She had a problem when she couldn't make the fusible batting fuse so she compromised and found another way...more quilting to keep the pieces together. Today she finished that pouch. And, I attempted to help her with the fusible batting...and though I bought it as fusible and have the paper instructions on how to make it fuse...and the receipt says that it is fusible. I agree with Abigail...IT ISN'T fusible! While I was having school this morning, Woody did his Wednesday Krogering with a stop at Aldis. I did manage to put away some of the groceries. After his shopping trip, Woody made some really good cookies, Spicy Molasses Pumpkin cookies. As soon as I finished lunch with a cookie for dessert, I headed towards the church with a quick stop at the public library. When I tried to check out an e-book last night it said that my card needed validating. So I stopped and got it validated...they just have to check to see if your address and phone number are the same as last year. I did find out that I can validate my card over the phone. I was glad to learn that as I got to wondering what I would have done if I hadn't been able to check out e-books while I was "chair-bound" during my gout attacks and couldn't have gotten to the library. I read lots of e-books during January. At least I learned that my presence isn't required at the library to get my card working again. After getting that task completed, I headed to the church library to work for a couple of hours. Donna, Fran and I got a lot done today. I came home pretty tired and headed straight to my chair and the heating pad...my back wasn't happy. I know that it didn't take very long before my eyes closed and I was dozing. Before going to sleep I did manage to get the e-book I had been reading checked out again. I woke up with Isaac in the room! He wanted to spend some time over here before his supper. He decided to play with Osmo Pizza Co. again. Woody and I have had supper and are settling in for another quiet evening. I have no energy...guess that I am still "recovering." It doesn't take very much for me to get worn out and tonight I have not a lick of energy. Perhaps I will be able to lift a needle to do a few more stitches on my sampler.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day started out like a usual Tuesday. Isaac came over to spend the morning with us. We did school for a while and then he helped me some more with undecorating. Today we got all the Christmas taken down from the tops of the kitchen cabinets. I climbed up on the step ladder and handed items to Isaac and he put them on the kitchen table. We put some of them away in a box, but didn't get them all put away. As soon as Nathan, Kathy and the rest of the gang got home we exchanged places...Kathy, Nathan and Joseph took off for Nashville for Joseph's appt. with the allergist. Woody headed next door to be with the rest of the children. I stayed at home for a while and undecorated a little more...got all the Christmas mugs boxed away and the everyday mugs back in the cabinet. I rested for a while this afternoon. I went next door a little before supper...all was under control...it was Elijah's night to cook supper and he and Abigail did a great job. After supper, Woody headed off to walk to the prayer room at church. Nathan, Kathy, and Joseph arrived home a little after 7pm. Joseph is still allergic to milk products and eggs. Poor boy had a rather itchy back for a while this afternoon! He was fine by the time that he got home. He was anxious to get home so he could stamp with the Valentine stamps that his Auntie Cheryl sent them. He made me a Valentine before I headed home. I am in for the evening. Woody has yet to return from his walk to and from the prayer room at church.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Never the Twain Shall Meet!

Not sure where I am going with tonight's photo...I planned to find the zebra photo that is the background screen on our laptop but found this guy instead! And decided that he needed to look in and check on each of you, our blog readers! I took his photo at the St. Louis Zoo a few years back. Today Woody's and my paths haven't crossed very much. I'm not even sure exactly what he has done with his day as I am sure that he has no idea what I have done with mine. We've just been busy doing "our own thing," I guess! I do know that he visited with friend who is in his Deacon Family. This gentleman is no longer able to get out and come to church so Woody stops by to see him every so often. Today Woody delivered him a magazine from church and a Valentine that one of the children at church made for him. Later in the morning Woody went to Life Care to have Bible study with Jeff. While he was doing those things I was having school with the children. Today is an extra busy school day. I have Joseph, then Isaac, then Elijah read, then Esther read, and then Abigail read. After all that reading, Joy came over for her long time. She continued to familiarize herself with the stitches on the sewing machine that she uses. She combined decorative stitches today and wrote "Happy Valentine's Day" with lettering in the machine. After she did that for a while, she and I started studying the pattern that she is going to use to make a jeans skirt. Maybe she will get started on the skirt her next sewing time. I ate a quick lunch and then it was time for Elijah to come over for his long Grammy time. He is wanting to learn how to do stop motion animation. Aunt Melany and Uncle Wade gave the children an animation set for Christmas. He worked on that for a while till he ran into a snag. Then he decided that he would do the newest Osmo app that was the "pickle present" from us this Christmas. It is called Pizza Company...and you run a pizza store...from putting on the ingredients, to making the customers happy, to having to buy the ingredients, to making change for the customers...and at the end of each day finding out what your profit was. Today, Elijah learned that if you put lots of ingredients on the pizza that your profit is less...but he made the customers happy! It's a fun way to learn a little about how a business is run on a child's level. The children seem to be enjoying it. It has various levels...one level all you do is make the pizzas, at another level you make change but only with bills, and at another level you have to make change with bills and coins. So the youngest to the oldest can hopefully learn a thing or two from this app. After Elijah left I was pretty tired so I retired to my room and rested, read, and worked on my needlework sampler. Last night I finally got the incentive to put the new neck bands on my three tops...so I have three "like new" tops since I either replaced a neck band that was worn out or that I didn't like the style. Next I'm hoping to get back in the sewing groove and make a dress for myself...haven't done that in a while. I'm not sure if Woody ever walked today. I figure that he did, but I never heard him say that he was leaving...usually he announces that he is going on a walk...sometimes I hear and sometimes I don't. I figure that I was just busy in another part of the house. He did go to Monday prayer meeting earlier in the evening. Next plan of the day: settling in for another very quiet evening.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Busy Hands!

We have both had busy hands today...Woody's hands just got a lot dirtier than mine! Just a little before dark Woody finished up his goal of the day...getting all the leaves out of the garden pictured above. He raked them out in parts of the garden, but there were some parts where he had to hand pick them out...a tedious job. Woody started out the day in the garden hoping to get the leaves out before it rained. He did take a break and did his Saturday errands...library, Lowes, WalMart, Aldis, and a stop at Kroger. I worked some more on the Christmas decorations...loaded up a couple more boxes and got others out hoping to get them packed up soon! I didn't have quite the energy that I had yesterday...so I did more resting. I did get out my needlework last night and worked quite a while on it. Today when I got tired of doing things around the house, I sat down and worked some more on my sampler. I made a new soup recipe for our supper--Chicken Zoodle Soup--instead of noodles it has spiralized zucchini in it...very tasty! We may add adventure to our Saturday evening...we're thinking about going out to get Blizzards after I blog.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Is Ironing Ever Fun?

I will admit that I did some fun ironing today...I always love to press antique linens like what is pictured in tonight's photo. This exquisiste white work was done either by my grandmother or her sister. I have many needlework pieces that one of the other of them stitched. Today I decided that it was time to dust the top of my dresser which has this runner on it...boy did the dresser need to be dusted and boy did this piece of linen need to be laundered...so a little hand laundering was on my plate today. After I got it rinsed out, I rolled it in a towel and then ironed it upside down on another towel. I love turning the piece over once I have finished ironing it...love how the raised stitches just pop out at you when you peel it off the towel you press it on. I also did another large doily today too...though, it wasn't the one that I thought it was. The other one goes on the dining room table and it is still quite a while till I will see the top of the dining room table. I did clear off a lot of the angels today and got them boxed up and that big box brought upstairs. All that I wrapped and boxed up, I was expecting to see the dining room table a lot emptier...but alas, it is still quite covered. I guess I need to rummage around and find the box that the rest of the angels and other Christmas items go in. Along with undecorating and cleaning off my dresser, I also went through a lot of paper work from the church library and put a lot of it into the recycle bag. That emptied out a box that I was wanting to get rid of. I am slowly chipping away at doing a thorough cleaning in our bedroom. I'm afraid that it will be like the Golden Gate Bridge...that once I get it all done it will be time to start on the tasks that I did at the beginning of this cleaning job! I have also done several loads of laundry and folded/hung them and got them put away. At least I have been able to keep at it today even though I flitted from job to another...at least I got something done...good to be able to accomplish something finally after more than a month long hiatus from doing much around the house. Woody kept up with things that just had to be done...but now the jobs that don't need to be done all the time are starting to really need to be done! Woody continues to work behind me when I am cooking and even does the clean up when he cooks. He has done quite a bit in the kitchen today. He also worked a lot out in the yard. He worked really hard on the front garden that we share with the neighbors (Nathan and Kathy). Lots of leaves to remove from it! He ran a couple of errands late in the afternoon. And, then took his four-mile walk just prior to supper. We have had supper and are now settling in for the evening...another quiet one in our household of reading, TV watching, crossword puzzles, and maybe even a little needlework for me. I've gotten in the mood to do some while I have been cleaning since I moved them from one place to another today. Plus seeing and touching the beautiful work of my grandmother's or great aunt's also made me want to get back to stitching. I have two samplers started and I think that I might just pick up one of them and put a few stitches in since I haven't worked on either of them in a while.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Chilly February Thursday

Today's temps were probably more average for February than we have been having. We have gotten spoiled with warmer spring-like temperatures! But due to the warmer temps, look what are starting to bloom. We have several in bloom and Woody said that some of our dwarf iris had started to bloom. I had school with Joseph and Isaac this morning, but not with the rest of the children as they needed to be away during the other times. So I rested a good part of the morning and even part of the afternoon...catching up on the last two nights of not sleeping all that well. I do feel better today. I am going to have a really hard time taking that little pill the next time that my gout flares up since only taking two this time made me feel so bad. Woody took his four-mile walk while I rested this afternoon. I guess that I got enough rest as I finally decided that I had enough energy to make soup for our supper. I made Stuffed Spud Soup, one of our favorites. We hadn't had it in some time so made it really taste good. After putting out the cooking effort, I am ready to head back to my recliner as soon as I hit the publish button for tonight's blog. When I came back upstairs, Woody was downstairs watching news and working crossword puzzles. Looks like another typical evening for our household!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Bubble Gum Pink & Baby Blue Smile!

Joy got her braces today and chose bubble gum pink and baby blue for the colors on her braces for this visit. They certainly make braces a lot more fun than when I wore them or even when Melany and Nathan wore them. Abigail went for her regular orthodontist appointment this morning too and I think that the girls have mapped out the next several visits with what colors their teeth will wear! Joy only got braces on her top teeth at this time as her bite is such that she wouldn't have been able to close her teeth together at all if she had anything sticking out on her bottom teeth. They will work on her top teeth for the time being and when they have moved enough then they will add the brackets on the bottom. Abigail got something new on her teeth too...she got brackets on two of her teeth that don't seem to be cooperating on coming in...these new brackets are hopefully going to encourage those two teeth to come in all the way! Amazing what can be done for teeth...and, amazing how different each of these siblings mouths/teeth are. Joy is the third in her family to don braces. I started to title the blog "Uncle!" As I am ready to cry, "Uncle." In the night...or really the wee hours of the morning, I realized that the pain that I was having in my left foot was gout...in a different place than where it was before. I don't know if it is hanging on from the last bout or if it is an entirely new bout! I'm ready for this to be over...enough already!!!! The doctor told me to take my new gout med as soon as I started having an attack. So I did. She also told me that I could take two at the start. But remembering all the trouble that this drug caused to my digestive system the last time, I was very hesitant to even take the first one much less two. So settled for just one. The last time I took this drug at 8am and 8pm so decided that I would go on and take the second one at 8am. So at this point I have had two of these little teeny tiny pills that cost mega bucks. Well, I have decided that perhaps the gout pain can be endured better than the affects of the med. I have been fighting nausea since 5pm. I think that for the moment I have risen above it without being sick. But I have made the decision that I will not be taking this pill at 8pm. I managed to get through the school morning. And, went to the library after lunch. I was very ready to come home to "my chair!" And, then not long after attempting to relax, I started feeling sick. I am hoping to be able to sleep tonight since I didn't sleep much last night. Woody stopped at the Credit Union...I was in need of pennies for school. Isaac has been practicing counting and when he meets a certain goal he gets to keep the pennies...well, my pennies were about gone! Woody also did our Wednesday Krogering with a stop at Aldis. He put most of the groceries away since I was still having school. He took his four-mile walk while I was working in the library. We are now settled in for the evening...same ol', same ol' type of evening for this Dorrell household. Oh, I just remembered what I forgot to tell you last night. Yesterday Nathan came over and told us that he had just found out that "his" Advil Liqui-Gel ad had been one of the Super Bowl ads. We just never know where our son might turn up...certainly wasn't expecting him to be a part of the Super Bowl...only 0.5 sec. of the Super Bowl, but still...he was actually in one of the Super Bowl commercials...juggling bowling balls underwater no less! Not too many dull moments next door in that Dorrell household!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Definitely Tuesday

Just before I came in to blog I was reading and my book mentioned the beautiful sunsets in the Blueridge Mountains. That brought back a memory of taking sunset pictures on the way back from one of our NIH trips. This return trip we got away from NIH earlier than usual and Woody decided that we would drive back on the Skyline Drive through Shendoah National Park. Again, we made many stops along the way so I could take pictures and it was another one of those roads that you couldn't go above a certain speed limit...I imagine 45mph again, but not sure. Anyway before we got off Skyline Drive the sun had set. At the various stops toward the end of the drive, I recorded the sun going down...and it was a lovely sight. Not sure that the pictures do it justice, but you can probably get an idea of how beautiful the sunset was that evening. Today, we once again had a pretty routine day. This is the day that Isaac comes and spends the morning while his mommy goes to a Bible study at church and the rest of his family have juggling practice. He almost didn't come since he had gotten used to going with them while I had been sick...but when he found out that I would miss him, he changed his mind! We had a great time of school and then he wanted to help me undecorate. And, he REALLY was a big help and we accomplished a lot. A lot got packed away and a lot of regular decorations got found and at least placed close to where they are supposed to go. I finally had to call a time out as I needed to sit and rest! He worked with a phonics app on my iPad while I rested. We had a very pleasant morning and he said that he was glad that he had stayed with me! Late morning Woody headed of walking to get a hair cut...part one of his walk for the day. This evening he walked to and from the prayer room...part two of today's walk. He just returned a few minutes ago. Woody played baker today and baked brownies and cornbread...both VERY tasty! After lunch Abigail came for her reading time and then Joy came for hers. After Joy finished reading, we took pictures of her doll in the new plaid shirt that Joy made for her. I also took a picture of Joy's smile as it will change tomorrow as she is getting braces in the morning! She has been eating all the things that will be forbidden during her time with braces...like popcorn, candy apples, caramel apples, and other really crunchy/sticky things that she likes to eat.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Monday Memories

The last couple of books that I read including the one that I am currently reading took/take place in Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains. They made me think back to Woody's and my many journeys to National Institutes of Health (NIH) which took us right through the Blue Ridge area. Tonight's photos I took one of the times that we traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is one of those drives that takes a lot of patience on the part of the driver (Woody) especially! You can't go above 45 mph (and it is a very long road) and then the passenger (me) wants to stop at lots of the overlooks and take a while at those stops taking lots of pictures from various angles which adds to the length of the drive! I think that it was this trip when we were traveling mid-day which isn't the best time to take pictures...just too bright. A lot of my pictures were washed out...but with the marvels of photo software I have been able to change the lighting on most of them. The top picture is taken out over the "Great Valley" which is sandwiched between the Blue Ridge Mts. and the Alleghenies...since I am standing on the Blue Ridge the mountains in the distance are the Alleghenies. This valley stretches from New York to Alabama. The bottom picture is of the James River. The river that so many southern plantations were built along. If I could lazily float along on it, it would take me to my favorite place...Williamsburg! Okay...enough geography, etc. for tonight! My day went back to normal routine. I actually had a normal day of school for the first time since prior to Christmas break. The little boys came for their times and then Elijah and Esther came for their times of reading. And, finally Joy came for her long sewing time. She finished her plaid shirt for her doll and then "played" with the various stitches on the sewing machine. She was the first one to sew on the new sewing table that Goosey (Woody) and I gave to Joy and Esther for Christmas. After lunch Elijah had his long time. He finished a K'nex well that is an example of a wheel and axle. After he finished that, he did some sewing. He wanted to try out the sewing table and tried out different stitches on the machine for the fun of it. I was pretty tired after my long school day and took a fairly long nap after Elijah went home. Woody followed his usual Monday routine...had Bible study with Jeff at Life Care, visited with a friend at Life Care, took a four-mile walk in the afternoon, and then went to Monday night prayer meeting at church. He is now home and we are both settling in for another quiet evening.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Liquid Gold

It's been a "liquid gold" day for me. I got up and started stewing a chicken...next step was debone the chicken...then put bones + some veggies in the liquid that I stewed the chicken in...then slow simmer for several hours...results = several quarts of chicken stock aka liquid gold. Chicken stock is referred to as "liquid gold" because having it is so valuable to have some in the freezer ready for recipes. At present, today's efforts are cooling in the refrigerator. Tomorrow I will skim off the fat that rises to the surface and hardens when chilled. Then I will freeze it in two-cup portions all ready for various recipes that call for either chicken broth or stock. The meat from the stewed chicken is all cut up and ready for recipes too. It took a good part of the morning and afternoon but the end products make it worth the effort. While the chicken was stewing, I managed to get all the family room shadow box non-Christmas items back in place and got all the Christmas items all packed up and back in the box and the box upstairs in the growing pile of boxes to be stored away. I found a box that I store a lot of flat Christmas items in so started gathering up some of them and started filling that box. "Slowly but surely" continues! Woody did his usual Saturday errands...library, Walmart, and Aldis. Later in the afternoon he went on a four-mile walk. The neighbor Dorrell's spent a lot of time in our back and side yard today raking/blowing leaves. It was looking good out there when last I looked. Graham came over a little while ago to reclaim his Civil Air Patrol clothing items that I had altered and/or sewed patches on. He was pleased to have them finished. I keep looking at the two tops that I started working on yesterday...but just haven't had the oomph to work on them today. Tomorrow is another day!!!!!

Friday, February 3, 2017

February Friday

Today has been a day to stay inside and stay warm...quite a bit chillier than it has been. Woody did walk his daily four miles this afternoon. He bundled up a bit more than he had had to the last few days. The first thing that I did this morning was finish the book I had been reading. Then I got busy on my sewing for Graham. Graham needed a couple of things done on his Civil Air Patrol uniforms...another patch sewn on and a pair of pants shortened. I promised Graham that I would have that sewing done for him before this coming Monday when he has his next CAP meeting. So promise kept! I hadn't sewn for some time. I imagine that both the sewing machine and the serger thought that I had forgotten about them! I used them both today so hopefully they are feeling less neglected. This evening I have been working on two of my tops...changing the neck bands on them. Woody has read, watched TV, done puzzles, etc. today. We are both settled in for another typically quiet Friday evening.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

No Shadow in Tullahoma

Cloudy today in Tullahoma...the above photo was taken another year when he would have seen his shadow! No shadow = early spring = sounds good to me! This morning I decided that I had better make the chili early or we probably wouldn't get any. I told Woody that he would probably like to eat and continue to look at decorations than have the decorations disappear and not eat! He did choose to eat! He made cornbread to go with the chili. Both hit the spot! I have gotten a little more undecorating done. I ended up straightening up the other side of the buffet and found space for another Christmas serving piece. I again put a couple of things in another place and threw a couple of items away. That job was a little bit cleaning and a little bit undecorating. This afternoon I removed all the Christmas items from the kitchen shadow box and got the non Christmas items back in it and the Christmas items boxed up. Then just before coming upstairs to blog I removed all the Christmas items from the family room shadow box, but haven't found the non Christmas items to put them back yet. As in the past days, I can just say "slowly but surely Christmas is getting put away." Woody walked four miles this afternoon. We were a bit cooler today. I guess I will go see if I can find the box that has the shadow box items in it and perhaps finish both of those tonight. I think that I caught a glimpse of the box that they are in the last time I got a box out. If not...then back to my reading and resting...and undecorating will wait till tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Another Calendar Page Turned

A new day, a new month and thus we welcome February. February, the shortest month of the year...so you know this month will fly by! February came in as another very pretty day. I think that the forecast is for lower temperatures, but we have enjoyed these warmer days that have given us a hint of Spring to come. Woody worked out in the yard once again today. Late this afternoon he enjoyed a four-mile walk. My main activity of the day was to finally get back to the church library for the first time this year for a work day. Donna and I accomplished quite a bit in processing books...several steps closer to them being ready to check out. This was an order of Christian fiction so our fiction readers will be happy in a few weeks when they start to show up on the new book shelf. I came home and knew that it was time for me to sit and rest. The same spasms happened to my back shortly after I sat down...but only one spasm this time...I have learned to sit very still for a while after one occurs! This time I dozed off and when I woke up all was well. Woody worked this afternoon making Peasant Salad (aka Soggy Bread Salad (dubbed that by Nathan the first time he ate it). It is a salad that has many fresh veggies in it along with feta cheese and a hearty type of bread. The dressing is balsamic vinegar...and the vinegar soaks into the bread thus the renaming of the salad. Woody enjoys eating it in pita bread as a sandwich. I enjoy picking out the veggies, etc. that I like along with a piece of bread every now and again! I planned to make chili today, but since my back was doing its thing I decided that I had better approach cooking with a well rested back tomorrow. This morning Woody did his usual Krogering along with a stop at Aldis.