kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Happy Halloween
to our blogging friends!

(Deiter graciously, but reluctantly, decided to forgo his usual dignity and be costumed for the occasion.  He told me not to get used to it!!!)

OK!  I did the trick, now let's have the treats!!!

Please don't be alarmed!  He doesn't EVER eat chocolate!  He just likes the crinkly sound when he bites the wrapper.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Rest in Peace (it's Halloween)

Holiday decorating is not something in which I usually indulge.  But with Halloween coming up, I began thinking of graveyards and what they mean to me. 

In past centuries, before antibiotics and vaccines and c-sections and bypass surgery, death was an ever-present visitor.  Children died of a plethora of diseases, mothers died in childbirth and people died of old age in their 60's.  There isn't a small town anywhere in our country where you will not find a local graveyard.  People were laid to rest in churchyards, town cemeteries or in family plots near their home.

Ever since I was a child, I've been fascinated by graveyards.  Not the modern memorial garden kind, but the ones with the lovely old weathered stones from the bygone centuries.  To me these markers have so much more beauty and character.  I love to study these hand cut, lichen covered mementos of past lives.

I like to look upon graveyards not as spooky or sinister places of ghosts and hauntings, but as a peaceful area for reflective thinking.  OK, I don't go there after dark usually!  So maybe there is just a little bit of superstition in me. 

                                                   The graveyard at Middle Spring, PA

        Stones marking the graves of Shippensburg area Revolutionary War soldiers

When I was a junior in high school in 1964, our Art Club was fortunate to be offered a trip to the World's Fair in New York City.  I don't remember much about the fair, but I do remember coming into the city by bus and passing the largest graveyard I had ever seen.  Miles and miles of tombstones were packed so tightly that you would hardly have room to walk among them.  The World's Fair had nothing quite that spectacular!

Amish graveyard on a bare windy hill outside of Newburg, PA

Some of my favorite graveyards are in New England.  They are some of the oldest in the country, with the most poignant  tombstone art.  I love the little faces and skulls with the angel wings!

                                                     I think this churchyard is in Maine

Aren't these tombstones lovely?  They were carved two hundred years ago and are still intact.

I don't remember where this picture was taken.  Somewhere in New England, I would guess.  I can't imagine a lovelier place to be laid to rest.

Picket fence, red geraniums, and a statue of a lovely young woman overlooking it all.

This picture I took on Monday when I attended the hook-in at Falling Spring Presbyterian Church in Chambersburg.  I love this old cemetery behind the church.  I think I've photographed it in every season.

I will leave you with some of my favorite 'famous last words'.

                    "Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees".

The dying words of Stonewall Jackson, general in the confederate army during the American Civil War.

Peace be with you!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Quiet Hero

Last week, I was finishing up a uniform for Brad and Kami that had to be shipped the next day.  Only four buttonholes to go and it would be finished.  That's when my dear old Necchi Supernova sewing machine started to go into a seizure.  Oh gosh, I've had this machine for over 40 years.  I bought it when I made my wedding gown and attendant's dresses.  We've been together longer than Zip and I have been married!

There have been many others since.  Uuuuuh, sewing machines, not MEN!  LOL!!!
But it's still my favorite.

Since this machine has no zig-zag function, I still use the 'clacker' to maker buttonholes.  The buttonholes are always the same size and perfect every time.  I just love this machine!  That is, if it's sewing properly.

When my machine is not working properly, I can go into a mental meltdown!  Why does it always happen at the most inopportune time???
Zip knows not to say ANYTHING!!!  Otherwise he is in danger of being snarled at and bitten!  A mad dog is kinder than I am when my machine is taking a fit!

So I unplug it and drag it to the car and off we go to the one place that I can find peace and comfort.  And expert help.

My local Bernina dealership and Mr. Earl Martin.  THE BEST sewing machine repairman in the area.
Just entering the door makes me feel calmer. 

The shop is bright, clean and very organized.  Look at that wonderful selection of machines set up and ready for a demo run. 

The machine in the foreground is an embroidery machine that can do beautiful large pieces.  I love the official Bernina chair!

These lovely sewing cabinets are handcrafted by Mr. Martin's brother-in-law and can be custom ordered in several choices of wood.  The machine in the background is a mini-verson of a long armed quilter that is used for demo.

Mr. Martin may be a Bernina dealer, but he has parts and accessories for many other brands of machines.  His service and repair work includes all brands of sewing machines and sergers.  He had just recently reconditioned a heavy-duty industrial machine for Brad and Kami.

Here is the thread selection, both regular sewing thread and a huge selection of machine embroidery thread. 
There are needles available for practically any machine you can think of, scissors, pins, measuring devices,  embroidery stabalizer and patterns. 

But look at the repair area!  Clean, neat, perfectly organized!!! 
I took my machine in and right away he looked it over, and fixed the problem.  That of course, doesn't always happen,  Sometimes I have to leave it there for a few days.  But service is usually pretty speedy and his prices are reasonable.

Now I can relax!  My machine is in good hands!  That's why Mr. Martin is my quiet hero!

His shop is located at 11 Fairview Road, Newville, PA which is between Newville and Newburg and just a short drive from Shippensburg.  He's open 8 to 5 on Mon. and Wed., 8 to 7 on Tues. and Fri., 8 to 3 on Sat. and closed Thursday and Sunday.  Phone 717 423-5533.

Lately the kitties have been thinking that not enough attention has been paid to them.  Here they are!

So what's with the not enough attention???  Tipper is sitting right in front of the computer screen.  Maybe I was typing and not petting?  Such neglect!

I had been working on my rug, but very quickly it has been taken over as the best place to give kitty baths. 

Mommy won't be knitting either!  We'll make sure of that!!!  In our house it is impolite to disturb kitties while they're sleeping.

Penny is trying for the innocent look.  With a face like that how could she possibly be naughty? 

 Mom is not convinced, but Dad will believe her!

It's taken me an age to finish this post because this new picture loading device is a pain in the behind!  Are any of the rest of you having difficulties with it???  Or is it just me?

Oh well, what else do I have to do with my day?

Until next time, enjoy the fine fall weather!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Little Perspective in my life....

My friend Joanne of 'Snippets and Scraps of My Mind' sent me this today.  Don't know who wrote it or where to get permission to use it, but if it's flying around as an inspirational email, I guess it's meant to be shared.

This is the answer to the lament over my hair loss!!!


There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head.
'Well,' she said, 'I think I'll braid my hair today.'
So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head.
'H-M-M,' she said, 'I think I'll part my hair down the middle today.'
So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed
that she had only one hair on her head.
'Well,' she said, 'today I'm going to wear my hair in a pony tail.'
So she did, and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and
noticed that there wasn't a single hair on her head.

'YAY!' she exclaimed. 'I don't have to fix my hair today!'

Attitude is everything.

Thanks, Joanne!  I needed that!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lately We've Been....

Under the weather.  Zip and I have had nasty head colds and coughs.  Mine is nearly over, his still persists.
Throughout my days of feeling yucky, Deiter was right by my side.  I could not have asked for a better companion.

Sunday was a lovely fall day.  I finally felt good enough to venture out. 

I had gotten an email from a woman who has a soapmaking business, Handmade Soap by Patsy.  She is from Halifax, PA and was going to be in my area for a craft show at Pine Grove Furnace State Park.  I agreed to meet her and spend the afternoon.

Riding down the road I was fortunate to go past an Amish home where they were having their Sunday meeting.  The Amish do not have church buildings.  They meet in members' homes for their spiritual message, food and social interaction.   There were many more buggies than I could get into the picture.

I didn't do a lot of walking around at the craft show since I was still recovering.  I know there must have been a lot of other interesting things to see, but I went directly to Patsy's stand where we  had a nice afternoon of conversation in a beautiful mountain setting.

I like her nice, tasteful display in subdued colors.  Aaaaah!  The fragrances are wonderful and some of the soap names are quite colorful!   She also has her own formula lip balm and healing salve.  All of the soap is made by hand using a variety of vegetable based oils. 

Notice that I got one called 'Witches Brew'!  Hehehe!   Or maybe cackle, cackle!
And the bundle includes five different soaps so that you can sample.  My kitties received a nice bag of dried catnip as a gift from Patsy. 

I've been using her soap for the past few days.  It makes excellent lather, doesn't dry my skin, and smells delightful.  If you are interested in purchasing some of her soap the email address is

Yesterday I attended the hook-in at Grant Street Woolworks.  There wasn't a big crowd there during the day, just enough people to have a good conversation.  Joanne and Nettie came from way out in eastern PA.
As usual Joanne was 'finishing'.  She always seems to save her whipping for these occasions!

Aren't her little chairpads cute?

Kathy is working on her bird rug that she designed herself.

Nettie's rug looks like an antique.  She's planning to do the border in a lovely dark red.
I haven't had a chance to talk to her for a long time.  It was so nice that she could come and join the group.

Jill is working on a rug for her son.  It's a cute rug with little sailboats on it.

Linda is showing off her new earrings and eating crackers.  She had been working on her rug, but stopped for a much needed snack.  Rug hooking is hard work!  It makes you hungry!  That's why there is always food at hook-ins.
Here's her partridge in a pear tree rug.

The shop is looking good!  :Linda and Kathy have made up lots of nice seasonal kits.
A nice gift to encourage a new hooker or a small easy project for a more experienced one.  We all need 'easy' once in a while!

I've finished the hooking on my little logo rug.  It's going to need some major blocking!  Somehow when I was doing all that 'hit or miss' on the corners I didn't realize that doing it on the bias might be cause for concern.  Plus all around the edges of the heart my background is hooked on the bias.  The whole thing has become slightly distorted from the stretching of the burlap. 
I sure hope steaming will do the trick.  I may have to pin it to a board until it's thoroughly dry.

This time of year with the cool breezy days and the chilly nights makes me want to cook comfort food.  Must be my PA German ancestry, that farmer influence!
It's time to fire up the woodstove and cook one-pot meals.  I dig in the fridge and bring out things that need to be used.

I had two smoked turkey sausages
Some turkey bacon
1/2 head of cabbage
A large onion
and lots of little red potatoes from the garden that were too small to peel.
Season with salt, pepper and paprika.

I sprayed the pan with cooking spray and added the meat, browned it and added the cabbage and potatoes.  Put the onions in after that had cooked for a while.  Then just saute until the veggies are tender, making sure it doesn't stick, adding water as necessary.

Very hearty and satisfying with some crusty bread.  And so easy!

Until next time , enjoy this wonderful fall weather!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Fabulous Rugs Hooked by Doris

Yesterday was the monthly meeting of the Blue and Gray rug hookers who meet near Gettysburg, PA.
Recently it was proposed that each month we have a 'featured hooker' who will bring in a display of rugs to share with the group.  This month my dear friend Doris (Moments in Time) was selected to show her work.

When I think of Doris as a rughooker, the beautifully executed formal rug in a #3 cut always comes to mind.  Doris is a McGowan taught and certified hooker and instructor.  She's been hooking for many years.  She would have to confirm just how many, because I'm not sure.  She's also an expert dyer, specializing in the graduated shades needed for the exquisite shading for which she is famous.

This lovely magnolia rug is Doris at her best.

This is a wonderful example of what can be done with a monochromatic color scheme.

Beautiful leaves, just in time for fall!

I love the muted colors that give this rug an antique look.

And the vibrant colors that are set off by the blue background.

This Oriental plate design is absolutely stunning.

Even though she can skillfully produce the perfect formal rug, there is the sense of humor and folk art side of Doris that shows itself in these last rugs.  They are some of my favorites!  These are the rugs I find most creative and full of personality.

This is Doris's 'study in black and white'.  The white background is hooked in two slightly different shades of white to give a checkerboard effect.

This kitty rug is Doris's own design.  Love that calico!

This has a great old-fashioned folk art feel to it.

But I think the one with the most humor and spontineity is the Library Cat.
Doesn't it just make you smile?

I'm sure Doris will be posting more information about her rugs on her own blog, Moments in Time.
I just can't express how much I enjoy being friends with and learning from such a wonderful person and skilled hooker.

Thank you, Doris, just for being YOU!