Friday, October 30, 2009

A Favor

When I starting blogging I was looking for a place to jot down some of my memories. I was pleasantly surprised when people actually started reading and following. It wasn't long before Google wanted to have ads on my blog and I thought sure why not? A few extra pennies never hurt anyone. And I attached their annoying little ad sense gadget.

Six months have passed where I patiently frowned at those ads everyday, and finally this morning I got rid of them. And I'm doing a little happy dance while wondering why I didn't do it sooner.  Now I can have anything in my side bar I choose to. I don't have my own etsy store yet so I can't place a link for that, but I do have a friend who makes the cutest Waldorf dolls that I thought would be a shame not to let all of you know about.


Isn't she precious?
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And now I would like to ask a favor from anyone who is interested. I have an aunt that is very dear to me who has/is Downs Syndrome. She is having a birthday on November 5th and I would love to have her mailbox filled with birthday cards. If anyone would like to send a card to her, please e-mail me and I will give you her address.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Burdocks

Summer was always busy, but the summer that Mahlon was a baby was especially so because Mom and Daddy had planted three acres of sweetcorn to sell plus an acre of strawberries and our own vegetable garden.

Most days when Mom, John, and David went to pick strawberries or hoe the sweetcorn I would have to stay in the house to babysit Mahlon. I enjoyed it most of the time but there were days I wished I could go outside and run and play instead of having to sit on the floor and play with Mahlon.

And then the time came when the strawberry season was over and the corn no longer needed to be hoed. Mom had picked green beans and we helped get them ready to can. Once they were all in cans she told us we can have the rest of the day off.

We ran outside and I knew exactly where I wanted to go. I found an old gallon paint pail and we ran behind the barn to where there was an old dry creek bed and all along the banks there were hundreds of burdock plants. We picked pail after pail of the pretty pink and purple burrs and then climbed into the corn-crib and dumped them out until we had a large pile. We sat down and started making baskets with the burrs . We had a whole row of varying sizes of baskets when I decided to make one that was extra big. I started with the sides  and as I was ready to make the bottom it struck me how much it looked like a crown. I lifted it up for John and David to admire too and then set it on top of David's head.

David was pleased to be wearing it as John and I admired him and then I wanted it back to finish my basket. But now it didn't want to let go of his hair. I pulled at it and I got a few hands full of burdocks and the rest stayed stuck to his hair. John tried to help as we pulled and tugged to get it off David started crying and started running to Mom.

We followed him leaving our finished baskets forgotten in the corn-crib. Once we got to the house David found Mom. She took one look at him and set him on a youth chair and started painstakingly picking the burrs from his hair. She got a lot of them but there were many more that were so hopelessly stuck that she had to cut them out. And for several weeks David looked funny with his choppy haircut.

I don't remember that Mom gave us a lecture but we never tried wearing a burdock crown again.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Visiting

It was not unusual for parents to send messages to other families by sending a note to school with their children and they would make sure the right family would get it either by giving it to pupil from that family or if they didn't have any children in school it would be given to someone who passed their house to drop off on their way home.

We didn't get notes very often and it always made me curious what people would have to write so often. But at one noon recess we were all eating when LV dropped a note on John's desk. The day couldn't pass fast enough and we as soon as school dismissed we ran home to give the note to Mom and Daddy.

Daddy read it and said, "How nice! We have been invited to Roy's on Sunday." I couldn't really see anything nice about that since they didn't have any little girls to play with. I couldn't be expected to sit and listen to the grownups talk and I certainly didn't look forward to an afternoon playing with LV.

I was suddenly wishing we would not have received that note or that we would have happened to lose it on the way home. But there was no use in wishful thinking. Daddy had already read it and said we would be going.

Sunday came much too soon and as we were getting ready to leave Mom asked Daddy if she has to use the black baby blanket for Mahlon. Daddy thought it probably would be a good idea since Roy was one of the ministers and black blankets were required to go to church. At this exchange it all of a sudden dawned on me that maybe Mom wasn't extra thrilled at the thought of going to their house either.

Daddy hitched Jim to the buggy and we left. It was a beautiful spring day but I was not enjoying the ride as I continued to dread the thought of having to be in LV's home. When we got there Roy came out to help Daddy unhitch the horse. He shook hands with Mom and me and told us to go into the house. I followed Mom to the porch and stood there looking at all the flower beds surrounding all their buildings. I had never seen such a lovely farm before. Everything was immaculate. As Mom knocked I could hear footsteps and Roy's wife Susie came to the door to welcome us inside. We stepped inside and I felt more uncomfortable than ever. Everything looked new and perfect. There was a huge kitchen dining room and living room all in one large L shape. Everything was gleaming and I suddenly wanted to be back in our own home with small rooms and old windows that made everything look wavy when you looked through them.

As Mom went to help Susie make lunch I followed and stood at the end of the counter to watch. It wasn't long before the menfolk came inside and found a seat in the living room to visit until lunch was ready. After lunch I helped wipe the dishes and once that was done the women joined the others in the living-room. LV John and David were playing with Tinker Toys and a farm set. It looked like fun but I just sat beside Mom.

After a bit Susie told me that I can go play too if I want to, that Nancy Summy always plays with LV when ever they get together. Nancy was my best friend and so encouraged by this bit of news I went to join the boys. I sat down beside John and asked if I can play too and the daggers that shot from LV's eyes more than gave me my answer. And as he hurriedly raked more Tinker Toys toward himself I got up and went out to their sun porch where their daughter Lydia was popping popcorn for an afternoon snack. She starting visiting with me and once she was done she got a game and helped me play with it.

I had a pleasant afternoon after all, but was glad when Daddy came to announce that it was time to go home. On the way home I thought how lucky I was to have nice boys for brothers instead of someone as mean as LV.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Little Red Mailbox & Other Thoughts

Several months ago we started our own little mail system when we happened to find these cute little mailboxes. Now when there is something on the children's minds I can expect to find a letter in my mailbox. So far most of them were little love notes and my box where I am saving them is starting to bulge. I really like the system and am looking forward to continuing to use it for years to come.


The mailboxes in the girls rooms, where one of them has a note from Mom waiting to be read.
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Recently we took  Sailor and Rosebud to the library and let them get their own library card. They were excited at the thought of being responsible for their own books. Sailor of-course chose a book on building ships and has been poring over it in his spare moments and is in danger of knowing it by heart by the time the book is due back.

After we got home I finally got to read the lengthy list of rules they had given us. And I have been thinking about them since. Somehow I think it's really sad that somewhere along line it was necessary to establish some of these rules. For example rule five states that no bathing is allowed in the restroom. Really?! I can't imagine how anyone could possibly dream up a rule like that unless someone actually tried it. Rule 25 states that it is prohibited to leave a child under the age of 18 after closing time. I can not imagine trying to leave my children there unattended at any time.

After reading the list I am happy to know I am not in any danger of breaking any of their rules and I'm hoping we can conduct ourselves in a manner that no new rules are required because of our conduct on their premises.
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After the suggestion of a friend, I will be starting to add a label to each memory post stating the age I was.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Aunt Ella

 Once a year we would all go to Canada to visit Grandpa Swareys and all of Daddy's brothers and sisters. It was something we all really looked forward to. Grandpas had such a cozy little house that was built beside Uncle Solomons house. Aunt Susie and Ella still lived with them. Grandma was short and plump and very cheerful. I loved visiting with her because she had a way to talk that made you feel like you were equals and could share everything that was on your mind without the fear of being secretly laughed at.

Susie would spend most of the time cleaning vigorously or sewing quilt tops. She would let me snip the threads that held the string of sewn patches but that wasn't nearly as fun as spending time with Grandma or Aunt Ella.

Ella was not your typical aunt. As a teenager she was a victim of the dreaded disease, polio and suffered devastating effects because of it. But she was always cheerful, delightfully humorous and and all around pleasure to know. A definite favorite to her nieces and nephews. She always had the way of viewing life from the perspective of the age group she was mingling with.

I couldn't wait to show baby Mahlon to her. I knew she would love him as much as I did. When we arrived everyone came out to welcome us and I wasn't disappointed at how she and Grandma fussed over Mahlon. We unloaded the van and sent the driver to a neighbor who was willing to share a room in their house for him. It wasn't long before more vans came bringing more of Daddy's brothers and their families from several different states. The noise that came with them was delightful and we cousins went to play leaving the grownups to their grownup conversations.

The day passed swiftly and the next morning brought the rest of Daddy's siblings for a family reunion. What a noisy gathering it was. The women were cooking loads of food and the men were each cranking an ice cream freezer and we cousins were having the time of our lives. I don't remember what we had to eat except when it came time be served the ice cream. Seven of us girls approached the line of ice cream freezers where the uncles were doling out portions of all different kinds of flavors, by the time we reached the end of the line our plates were piled high. We sat on a bench under a shade tree and started eating, but had barely made a dent in the mountains of ice cream when we were simply too full to eat another bite. We sat there in pure misery trying to eat it. Taking our plates to our mothers never crossed our minds as we had all been taught to eat everything that we had been served. Finally one of us got a bright idea.... at this point it should be brought to attention that Grandpas did not have indoor plumbing. They had a nice little building that accommodated four.

We casually walked toward the outhouse bearing our heaping plates of ice cream and hurriedly scraped it down the holes. We were ready to leave when who should appear at the door but aunt Ella. She relieved our guilt by saying, "They gave you way too much. Didn't they?" She then proceeded to collect our empty plates and took them inside to be washed. She never told anyone what we did.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gas Thieves

Since Daddy had started a woodworking shop he had bought several fuel tanks and set them up under our pine trees behind the house. He had allowed us children to paint them a shiny silver and once they were dry he wrote GAS on the one with big black letters so it wouldn't be confused with the tank of diesel fuel standing right next to it.

It took quite a lot more diesel than gas to run the machinery in the shop but somehow the gas tank got empty before the diesel. Daddy asked all of us if we had opened the valves or if we have any idea why the tank was empty already. We were all clueless about what could be happening to the gas.

Daddy kept having to fill the gas tank once a month, and then winter came and one morning we woke up to fresh tracks in the snow in front of the gas tank. Daddy wasn't very happy about the idea that someone was stealing gas and decided he is going to try to watch the tank and catch the thieves in the act.

Sure enough several nights later as he peeped out the kitchen window he saw our neighbors two teen-aged boys filling their gas cans. He hurried down to the basement and out through the shop stopping in the engine room long enough to pick up our gas can.

He walked up to them and said "Here's some more gas you can have." They jumped and turned around to see who was there. Daddy repeated. "Here is another can of gas for you," and held it out to them. They stammered around a bit and refused to accept it.

They offered to pay for the gas in their cans but Daddy refused to take any of their money and told them the next time they really need gas to come to the house and he will be glad to give them what ever they need.

He told them goodnight and came back into the house. They stood there for awhile and then walked home with their gas. But from that night on we never had any problems with gas disappearing and they never came to accept Daddy's offer of free gas either.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

More Eggs

I enjoyed Saturdays. It was nice to have a day off from school and help Mom around the house. We always cleaned the house extra well in preparation for Sunday. The windows had to be washed and all the floors mopped and once a month waxed. We would let the fire die in our Pioneer Maid cook-stove and take the ashes out. We would wash the stove top and then get an emery cloth and rub the top until it looked shiny and new again. I strongly disliked this job, not that it wasn't a pleasure to see a shiny stove top but because the sound of the emery cloth being rubbed back and forth across the top made a horrible sound and always made me shiver.

On this particular Saturday we got up earlier than normal and hurried with the cleaning in hopes to get done in time to cook a good meal for lunch. One of the men from church was coming over with his bulldozer to do some landscaping around the house and he was planning to eat with us. He was one of the ministers so that made it extra important to have everything nice before lunch.

Once the cleaning was done we started with lunch. Mom let me set the table with her Blue Willow dishes. They weren't as pretty as the china we used for Sundays but nicer than our everyday dishes. I carefully set the table. Daddy would sit at the head as usual and Mom and I at the side Roy would sit at the end and John and David at the other side. I felt important to be able to sit next to Roy. He was such a kind friendly man and I always enjoyed listening to him preach in his sing song voice, it was hard to believe that it was possible for him to have an obnoxious little boy like LV for his son.

After the table was set I helped Mom prepare the food while John and David knelt on the wood-box to look out the window and watch as Roy was digging out some of the bushes and pushing dirt to make our yard nicer.

Mom had hard boiled a dozen eggs and I peeled and cut them in half carefully. Mom showed me how to mash the yolks and then mix in the salad dressing and seasonings. I was thrilled to be able to make them all by myself and admired the plate full of devilled eggs as we all sat down to eat.

After a silent prayer we started passing the food. Our plates were filling up with steaming mashed potatoes and fried chicken when Daddy got the plate filled with the devilled eggs and took several and passed them to Mom. I took one and as I started passing it to Roy I just had to let him know that I had made these, and I barely got done telling him when I happened to tip the plate a little too much and I watched in horror as the entire plate of devilled eggs dumped into his lap and fell on the floor and I was left sitting there holding an empty plate.

Roy took the plate from my hand and started picking them up. Mom hurriedly got up to help clean up the mess. After everything was cleaned up Roy took an egg. Mom told him he doesn't have to eat a dirty egg, but he said they don't look that dirty and he wants to see how good I can cook already. He smiled at me and ate his egg and informed me it was indeed very tasty. It helped my embarrassment a little and I thought he must be one of the greatest men ever.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Eggs

It didn't take Mahlon long to become a very cute baby and John and I used to run home from school everyday and warm our hands by the stove and then took turns to hold him. John usually didn't hold him very long before he decided it would be more fun working in the shop with Daddy.

That left me alone in the kitchen with the hired girl. Mom had told me to be a good helper and even if she does things differently from what we were used to I was not supposed to say anything about it. I tried to stay quiet as I watched her haphazard way of doing dishes but kept a tally of all the dishes she broke. She broke more dishes in those six weeks than I had since the day I was born.

Her cooking wasn't very good either, most of the things were edible but I couldn't stomach the way she fixed the eggs for breakfast. The egg-white used to still be runny and I simply couldn't make myself eat it, and morning after morning I would push the egg to the side of my plate and eat only my fried cornmeal mush. After several weeks of doing this Daddy happened to see my egg one morning and told me to eat it.

I sat there and tried to choke back the gags that were threatening to come. I bravely cut a bit of the egg-white but when the half cooked egg white came oozing out, I gagged openly and started crying as I said these eggs are not fit! Everyone was quiet and looked at me, and I wanted to scoot down on my chair and out of their sight.

Daddy told me to go get ready for school and I was happy to get away from the table and those awful eggs.

The next morning the eggs were well done and I had no problem eating it, and that evening after we went to bed as I lay in bed I could hear Mom and Daddy talk in there bedroom. I couldn't understand what Mom said but they both chuckled and then Daddy said. "I wish Mary Ann had said something about those eggs the first morning, so we wouldn't have had to choke through all those dreadful breakfasts."

I snuggled deeper under my covers, happy to know that Mom and Daddy weren't displeased with my outburst at the breakfast table the day before, and knowing that I wouldn't have to worry about those yucky eggs again.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mahlon

The winter winds were sweeping across the hills and around the corners of the house when Daddy came upstairs one Saturday morning to wake us up. He told John and me to hurry and get dressed while he helped David. Once we got downstairs he gave us a note and told us to take it to Grandma Mast and then stay there until he comes and gets us.

He helped us into our coats and we started up the road as the sun was beginning to rise above the trees across the road. We trudged up the hill and made our way slowly to Grandpas where aunt Emma arranged chairs around the kitchen stove for us to warm up. Grandma read the note and handed it to Grandpa, he read it and immediately went and hitched up his horse Tony to their buggy while Grandma hurriedly got ready to go with them.

I was wondering what all the strange commotion was about and suddenly a light went off in my head as I recalled how they acted similar once before and I all of a sudden grew excited and could hardly wait till Daddy came to get us.

He came shortly after lunch smiling from ear to ear, and asked if we want to go home and meet someone new. I asked if it's a baby girl and he said "No, we have another baby boy." We hurried out to the buggy and hurried into the house the moment we got home. Grandma was standing at the kitchen sink washing a few dishes and told us to warm our hands while we wait till Daddy gets in to show us the new baby.

Once Daddy came in we followed him into the bedroom where Mom was in bed and beside her was the wrinkliest, ugliest little baby I had ever seen. I felt like crying. It had been bad enough that I didn't get a sister, but having such an ugly baby was about more than I could bear. Daddy gently lifted the baby and placed him in my arms and said, "Say hello to your brother Mahlon."

I choked out a whispery hello, just as the baby opened his eyes and his wee little mouth and stuffed his fist in and started making the funniest noise as he started sucking on it. Daddy gave the baby back to Mom and herded us out of the bedroom saying that there is plenty of time to get acquainted with him once he is no longer hungry.

I ran upstairs and flopped across my bed and cried. I could hear voices downstairs but I didn't even bother to try to hear what they were saying. After a bit I heard the squeal of buggy wheels in the snow and looked out the window to see Daddy, John and David starting out the driveway and head up the road.

After what seemed like a long time Grandma came upstairs to find me. She asked what is wrong, but I really didn't know what to say and finally blurted out. "The baby is so ugly!"  She chuckled a little and said "Don't worry, all newborns look like that. He will look a lot better in a few days."

I went downstairs with her and helped start supper, and before to long Daddy and the boys were at home bringing a neighbor girl along. She would stay with us for the next six weeks and do all the housework while Mom rested and enjoyed her new baby.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Treasures From the Past

I was delighted today when the mail brought a package with a few old photos from my childhood. I can well remember the day these were taken and will share the story later but I was so excited that I couldn't wait to share some of the pictures with you.



The kitchen in our new addition with furniture that Daddy had made. Our Pioneer Maid wood stove was serving as a lamp-stand during the summer while we used our kerosene stove to avoid the extra heat that cooking on a wood stove would cause.

Daddy getting ready to turn a plain piece of lumber into arm rests for rocking chairs.

Daddy putting a dining chair together.


John is helping and David watching as Daddy continues to assemble the chair.

Daddy cutting out the arm rests on the band saw.

Choretime, as Daddy leads one of our horses to the barn and Jenny the cow follows to be milked.

Monday, October 12, 2009

In-between Sunday

Since the Amish only have church every other Sunday. The Sunday we didn't go to church was filled with fun things to do since we couldn't work. We always got up late and had a relaxed breakfast. After we were done eating Daddy would push his chair back and start telling stories to us about when he was a little boy. We each had a favorite that we would ask to hear again and again.

After the breakfast dishes were cleared away we would read books and play games. And often when the weather was pleasant Daddy would hitch our horse to one of our open buggies while Mom popped popcorn, which we put into bread bags to take along and eat on the way. We spent hours driving along back roads to see where they led to. The scenery in the Allegheny and Appalachian mountains was beautiful and we never tired of our Sunday drives.



Other Sundays we would invite friends over for lunch. It was fun setting the table with Mom's pretty china. And all the best dishes we had. The afternoons spent playing with our friends were so much fun. In-between Sundays were my favorites by far and they seemed to not come nearly as often as church Sundays.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Who Is She?

A picture I found while trying to sort a pile of old photos. Love the yawning baby, but who could the woman be?

Yes, it is me holding one of my daughters.

Who Is She?

A picture I found while trying to sort a pile of old photos. Love the yawning baby, but who could the woman be?

Yes, it is me holding one of my daughters.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Whispering Pines is Born

  Since we had built a large addition to our house Daddy was working on getting a woodworking shop started in the basement of the new addition, in hopes that he could work at home with his growing family, instead of doing carpentry. It took quite a while to get everything ready since the electric motors had to be removed from the machinery and replaced with either a hydraulic or air motor.

  Once everything was ready to go he started working  in the shop in the evenings. We enjoyed watching him whenever we could. There was something about watching plain boring lumber being turned into something much nicer that sent a thrill through me.

  Besides starting a woodworking shop. Daddy and Mom also bought a fabric store from someone who was going out of business. We moved all of our furniture out of our living-room and sewing-room, and put it into our kitchen. And turned those two rooms into our store. Daddy built shelves along the walls to hold the bolts of fabric and the many other things Amish stores have. They also set up a queen size bed on which to display the many quilts to sell.

  After everything was set up and ready for customers Daddy fastened a small bell to the door so we would be alerted to any customers that came. And Mom painted a sign "Whispering Pines" Quilts, Fabrics and Gifts. After the paint was dry Daddy put it in the front yard, and there was nothing left to do but wait for customers to start coming.

  It wasn't long before people started coming. We children would have loved to be in the store with Mom to watch. But we were told to stay in the kitchen and try to be quiet. We stayed in the kitchen, but pressed our ears to the door to hear what was going on in our store. It wasn't very satisfying not being able to see too. And then a great idea popped into my head. I could climb up on Mom's china cupboard and peep through the vent hole above the door.

  I climbed up. And was delighted to not only be able to hear everything but now I had a birds eye view of the store too. I stayed there until the customers were paying for their purchases and then jumped off and went to do something else before Mom came and discovered me there.

  From that day on whenever Mom went into the store I would climb up on my perch to watch, until one day several years later Just as I popped my head in front of the vent, the lady Mom was helping look at quilts looked up at me and waved, which made Mom turn around and she saw me before I had time to disappear. After the customer had left mom had a talk with me about how impolite it is to peep in on people, and that it would be better to sit in the chair behind the desk if I wanted so badly to see everything.

  That was the last time I watched from the cupboard. It was so much better to actually be in the store, even if I wasn't allowed to every-time.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Random Post

With the chill of fall in the air I am once again in the mood to work on sewing projects. Rosebud and Sunbeam always get excited when I start new projects and have the grandest time digging through the piles of fabrics I have stashed away waiting to be used some creative winter day.

They found several yards of this colorful fabric and would love to each have a dress made out of it. The fabric is not what I would want to use for dresses but I would like to make something for them with it since they think it is so pretty. Any ideas what I could make?

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I enjoy almost everything about fall. However there is one thing that I have never learned to like and that is the insects that try to get into the house. On Monday evening I wanted to open a door, and since I am not in the habit of checking doorknobs for wasps resting on them I never thought to check and promptly got stung by an irate wasp. Since I am one of those people that overly reacts to stings I was less than happy about it, as I watched my hand begin to swell. I hoped since it was a wasp instead of a bee or yellow jacket it wouldn't be too bad. Though it wasn't as bad it still caused plenty of discomfort, with a pincushion hand and a swollen eye. Thankfully I am getting back to normal, but I am wondering if I shouldn't have an emergency kit on hand to use if I ever get stung again.
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Sunbeam's limp is gradually disappearing. Which makes all of us very happy.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Winter Evenings

I loved winter evenings. John and I used to hurry home from school and enjoy the snack that Mom would have waiting for us. Most of the time it was half of an apple with the center filled with peanut butter, but every once in awhile she would have a warm Raisin Oatmeal cookie waiting for us.

After we had eaten our snack we would hurry with our chores. The wood box had to be filled with enough wood to last until the next evening, and then I would have to peel potatoes while Mom got other things ready for supper.

Once we had eaten and the dishes were cleared away and any stray crumbs swept from the floor, Mom would start popping popcorn while John and I would go down in the basement with a flashlight and a bowl to get apples from the storage bin. We would all sit around the kitchen while Mom peeled apples and read stories to us.

After Mom had finished reading, she would work on her knitting or do hand sewing. I would work at cutting out patches for a nine patch quilt. Daddy would help John and David play. A little before 8 o'clock he would say "Time to get things in order." We would put our projects away, and turn our chairs making that if we knelt down we would be facing the east. Daddy would get his little black prayerbook and read the evening prayer.

Afterwards us children would race upstairs, calling out "Last one to bed is the green pig!" The upstairs was chilly as we hurriedly changed and jumped into bed. As I lay there I could hear the murmur of Daddy and Mom's voices, and the whistling of the pine trees around the house as the wind swept through them and piled the snowdrifts deeper. As I snuggled deeper under my covers I was sure winter would always be my favorite time of the year.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sweet Things in Life

There are some things in my life that help make it so much sweeter. Like a simple bouquet that was picked and presented to me by my children.

Sitting in front of a cozy fireplace with some good books. (It has actually been chilly enough this fall that the thought of starting a fire in our fireplace has crossed my mind.)

Pretty dishes. I especially like this hand painted water set, I love the colors and it brings back memories that I'll share some other time.
I really like quality oak furniture. One of my brothers made this elaborate desk/curio cabinet when he was fifteen. It makes me think of days gone by and brings back bittersweet memories.

I love the pile of letters I kept that my Mother wrote after we moved so far apart. And even though I am no longer adding new ones to the pile I still thoroughly enjoy going back and rereading the old ones. She didn't waste any space on the pieces of paper and her letters were usually at least three legal pad sheets long. Yummy!


And I really love these people. They are the reason I get up every morning.


What are some thing that help make your life sweeter?