Friday, July 3, 2015

Almost finished...Mary Ann Mitton 1832

Hello!  Is it raining where you are?  Rain is all it ever does here, the garden is drowned, the mosquitoes are multiplying like crazy, and  the roses are just one great big black spot!!  I hope it takes a break for tomorrow, so many people's big plans are going to be a washout.  I did manage to get the grass mowed today before it started raining again, and some of the pastures mowed to keep down the weeds.  I hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th of July!

I have been busy on my next sampler release, Mary Ann Mitton 1832.  I must call this a part reproduction, part adaptation.  The great majority of the sampler was still in tact when I began charting it,  but the large building was only a ghost image, so that is my recreation.  I have searched Ancestry and located 4 Mary Ann Mittons born around 1820 to be the correct age of the stitcher.  My last repro, Elena Tratman, was an odd name, so there was no difficulty in finding her.  I am hoping to contact some sampler experts who may be able to make an educated guess by looking at the style of the sampler.  Perhaps one of you can help?

Mary Ann is a biggie, with a very unusual floral border, three verses (hymns), flowers, birds, butterflies, little doggies, and the afore mentioned manor house.  I have done as much research as I am able, and have not located another sampler similar to this.  Maybe a good thing, as it makes it unusual, but also a bad thing in that another sampler would help me to identify where in England Mary Ann was from.

Here are a few sneak peeks, hope you like it.   Lots of peaches, greens, soft browns, etc.

Part of the original sampler.  Unfortunately, there is even less left now.  The stitches were just laying on top of the linen, and as I handled it, most of it fell apart :(  Lesson learned for next time.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Whole Lot of Gardenin' Going On

This time of year, gardening and outdoor work is what takes up most of my time, so I will hopefully not bore you with more photos.  I'll start with this one, it is the back yard garden, looking down from the deck into what used to be the pool.  The flower boxes are a real challenge, too much sun for impatiens but not enough for sun lovers.  The lack of sun is a common problem for me.

This is a Griffith Buck shrub rose in its first year.  If you are not familiar with Griffith Buck, he grew hardly shrub roses in Iowa years ago that I think are very under-appreciated.  This should be a large 4 x 5 shrub in a couple of years.

This is a climber/shrub rose, an old hybrid musk called Lavender Lassie.  One of my favorites, and can tolerate less sun (this in on the north side).

This honeysuckle vine has never before bloomed this heavily.  I wonder if it is because of the bird feeder providing constant fertilizer?

The old original well pump with an angel on top.  It still worked until I broke the handle off accidentally :(

This is perpetual basil.  I love the variegated leaves, it does not bloom, and makes wonderful pesto.

The fountain garden.  I love the sound of trickling water in the garden.

As you can see, the barn painters were a little over-zealous.  I hope it eventually wears off the stone.

Here is a photo that I saw in a dr office.  I love this idea.  I even have an old sewing machine base, maybe this will be a project for next year.

I have a plethora of bird houses all over the place, including many wren houses.  This year a mamma wren chose to next in this house right on the porch!  Can you see here looking out?  She flies in with a bug for the babies, then flies back out with a little piece of poo!  She keeps her home so clean.  She doesn't make any mess at all, much different from swallows in the barn, whose babies just turn around and poke their little bottoms out of the nest!  That is how I can tell if there are swallow babies,  a pile of poo under the nest.

If you haven't given up on me, one final picture.  Little Bella home from the groomer.  Look how happy she looks...

Compared to this little sad sack two years ago on her first night here.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

The two hardest things about blogging...

for me, are trying to come up with a clever title that will catch people's eye, and trying to figure out what to blog about...  I am not complaining, quite the opposite, but often life here on the farm is pretty quiet without much happening.   That is rather a good thing, I think, because if something does happen out of the ordinary it is usually something bad, i.e., sick animal, frozen pipes, flooded basement or barn, etc.  I sometimes laughingly tell my son that what he will remember about me is that I cleaned house, stitched, and gardened.  He'll ask me what my plans for the day are, and I'll laugh and say "clean house"!!!

The "exciting" event for this week was having the barn and chicken coop painted!!  Oh, wow!  you say...haha...  So I'll take you on a tour of the gardens.

Newly painted barn,  I love how they trimmed out everything in white.  They did a good job painting, and were very reasonable, but why can't people clean up after themselves?  I had to drag all the empty paint containers out to the recycling...grr.

Newly painted chicken coop on left, this is the back yard, with the "bottom barn" at the bottom of the hill.  It didn't need painting this year.  No chickens in coop, too many local raccoons.

Entrance gate with old original farm bell, and a sign that reads "Please Ring Bell".  Everyone ignores it.

Japanese tree peony bloom.  They really aren't from Japan, but from China.

A few pansies by the entrance.

The afore-mentioned Please Ring Bell sign.  This little dog board was found in the barn and I just painted it to mount how it has weathered.

My beginning on Mary Ann Mitton.  The beautiful 36 count wren linen arrived from Picture This Plus!  A start on the border, lots of yummy pinks, corals, and greens.  Manifesto has once again had to go into retirement until Mary Ann is stitched.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend, and Happy Mother's Day to all of you Mothers out there!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Blogger Sunday ... sort of :)

Ok, give me A for effort, even though I am a day late :)

On to events at Merry Wind Farm this week.  This past weekend was the big Destination Ohio open house weekend for many antique shops, culminating with the Simple Goods show.  I hear it is wonderful, but a mass of humanity, so I have never been, and probably never will.  Friday was a nice day, but Saturday was a total washout.  Instead, I hit the shops in Tipp City and made the short jaunt out to Verona, Ohio to The Little Shop Antiques and Gardens.  Lots of plants and goodies.  Here is part of my haul.  The little lamb on the left, and some new antique books for in a wonderful antique walnut cradle from the Tin Peddler.  I hope to make an antique doll someday from instructions in Early American Life, but until then the books will do.

She has turkeys and chickens too!"

Lots of mowing and gardening work.  We had inches of rain, and everything is just growing like crazy.
This small area is right by the entrance.  The rusty iron  pot will be filled with impatiens in a couple of weeks.

Here is another damaged hooked rug :(  I love my animals but sometimes get so mad at the kitties!  I am tired of them clawing up my rugs, no sooner do I get one repaired and they do another one.  I sometimes threaten them with saving up $1000 and doing a big mass de-clawing!  They aren't afraid :)

And, have I lost my mind?  Speaking of cats, I added another!  Or, rather, Evan did.  Meet Jack.
Here is his story.  A year or so ago, Evan's ex-girlfriend's mother called him to say she had found a cat (grrr).  He ended up coming here up in Evans room VERY temporarily.   In just a few days, she had found a permanent home for him.  Fast forward a year, she calls again, says the cat has had an accident in their rental house and they are going to put him to sleep.  So of course, Evan, cat lover, has to step in and take him back.  He is neutered, all four declawed, and shy and quiet.  So far, no problem with the litter box.  I rather imagine the previous people must have done something like not clean his box or have it behind a shut door.  He is an adult, maybe 5 years or so.

Also I am watching another wild outdoor cat who was skinny and now has a big stomach!  Have already contacted a local no-kill organization when a friend has worked for years, and they will take kittens if there are some.  Good news there.

Still waiting on my linen to arrive so that I can begin stitching my next repro.  Meanwhile I am been working on Manifesto.  The end is near and I will show you pictures next week.

Finally, a word about Outlander.  I recently discovered this as I didn't have Starz before the cable company offered a deal for whole house DVR's with all the movie channels that was cheaper than before with no movie channels.  One of my ancestors was a Scottish warrior named Tormut Rose who was captured by the English during the William Wallace wars.  He was sent to this country as an indentured servant.  I love Scotland, the history, the beauty, the castles... so it goes to say that I would love this program.  I have not read the books, but I think the story is wonderful and the scenery is beautiful, and Jamie is nice eye candy too.  That said, I think they are going too far with the explicit sex.  Maybe I'm just an old fuddy duddy, but I get it that they are madly in love and have a great time in the bedroom, but you don't have to show me everything!  Last week with the violent scene between Jenny and Randall went too far!  And I hear next week is even more shocking!  Come on, leave a little to the imagination.

Have a nice week, Melinda.

Monday, April 20, 2015

It's hard to believe that is has been six years today...

...since by dear hubby Don died.  I am not bringing this up for sympathy, but rather to announce that I am finally in a good place about it, and I think Evan is also.  We have finally arrived at the point that we can remember fondly, with laughter instead of sadness.  And rather than today being a unhappy  day, it is a day to treasure memories.

One good memory is of collecting these State quarters together.  We collected all 50 of them, with the last one being in November of 2008, right before we found out the cancer had spread everywhere.  He passed five months later.  Evan and I have started a new collection together...of the National Park Quarters.  I guess they started several years ago, but I just recently learned about them.  I consider myself blessed that I have an almost 25 year old son who wants to collect something with his mother.

                                                                        State quarters

                                                                    National Park Quarters

I also want to thank everyone for all their kind thoughts about Pipsy.  If I did not respond personally to you, I am very sorry, it is because a couple of days later all of my aol email, about 125 strong, simply disappeared.  Big bummer, I had a lot of saved emails, but fortunately nothing truly devastating, unless I just don't know about it yet :)  So if I didn't get back with you, this is why.  I did so appreciate all your messages.

I recently did a bit of antique-ing in town, and came home with this antique/vintage birdhouse.  I wanted to mount it to an old original cement fencepost behind the house.  I took an old coffee can, spray painted it with black rustoleum, screwed it to the bottom on the house and just slid it over the post.  Perfect fit!  Plus, I can put it away in the winter if I want to.

Here are Bella and Oliver just home from the groomer.

I have been working on my next reproduction sampler, Mary Ann Mitton.  The charting is basically completed, I do a lot of tweeking with the colors while I am stitching the model.  I have ordered the linen, and hope it arrives soon as I am anxious to start stitching!

                                                       A bit of the border.

                                                 Stitched during the reign of William IV

And don't forget about my first reproduction sampler, Elena Tratman.  Click on the button above to purchase.

I am finding it difficult to remember to post on my blog.  Life can be so busy, and Facebook becomes an easy way out.  It is blogs that I truly enjoy, they are so much more personal that just a quick one-liner.  I recently read that Marly of Samplers and Santas is going to update her blog once a week, on Sunday.  That sounds like a wonderful idea to me, and I am going to try and stick with it.  I realize that if I don't post, I will have no readers!  And I would hate to lose my readers...


Monday, March 23, 2015

It's over

Sad day here.  My sweet boy Pipsy is gone.  This morning he was eating although I had to hold his feed dish up so he could eat.  Late this afternoon he went down, and the vet and Evan (my son) tried valiantly to get him up again.  Pipsy tried so hard to get up, he just couldn't.  I would have kept trying and using more medications, but then he began to have seizures, two in 5 minutes.  Whether the test ends up being positive for EPM or not, it was something neurological that went to his brain.  I was sitting by  his head and stroking him, so he knew how much he was loved.  I took some of his tail to maybe stitch with, and he will be buried tomorrow here on the farm along with my five other lost babies, Lynn, Shadow, Missy, Valford, and Monarch.
And yes, he was vaccinated against rabies, so that wasn't it.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


EPM is Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis, a nasty type of parasite that can travel to the brain and central nervous system, rather like the Toxoplasmosis which is the reason doctors advise pregnant women not to clean the litter box.  It is spread by raccoon and possum poo, in the hay barn and in the pastures.  Many horses are exposed, but the immune system often fights is off.  This is what my vet thinks that Pipsy has.  Symptoms are ataxia, he looks like he is drunk.  I saw this once years ago in another horse that I had, he recovered and lived to be a ripe old 45!  There is treatment, unfortunately very expensive.  Bloodwork should be back the middle of the week.  This picture is from last summer.  He is being treated and hopefully will improve...  Melinda