I am SO ready for spring, however Mother Nature thinks otherwise!

Looking out our back door this morning just after the sun poked through all the fog! So pretty but so dang cold.  I am dreaming of warmer days and working in our yard and garden. We have had (and ‘they’) say we are to get more of the same. It is a toasty 14 degrees right now. So what to do? Well don’t have any power over the weather so we just make do. Cold winter days are great for planning an expanded garden and plotting all sorts of new craft endeavors (a new quilt idea has cropped up) as well. Also great for nice hot filling soups/stews and/or casseroles.


Heavy frost on the neighbors trees on a COLD bright morning here in Idaho.

My husband and I are currently raising one of our young granddaughters, Miss Ellie will be 2 in March and keeps us very busy. It’s a good thing I retired from my day-job back in August – I need the time, not to mention energy to keep up with her. Ok so I try to keep up with her. She is a very busy little girl, very loving, smart, cute – ah did I say I am a wee bit prejudiced in her favor? LOL We love all our grands so very much – all 7 of them!

Some, just some of the piles of snow!

Some, just some of the piles of snow!

This was Miss Ellie’s very first experience with snow – she loved it.

We do have plans for a much expanded garden this year. Since I am home most of the time I intend to grow lots of yummy things. Saw a great idea for a different type of raised bed on a Public TV show recently and want to try it. Gotta find a huge pile of bricks somewhere….. hmmm would be great to find someone tearing down old house or chimney that did not want to keep the bricks. Planning on veggies from A to Z, so to speak, we love fresh veggies and I love to can, freeze, preserve, dehydrate lots of things. May need to build an additional pantry for all the stuff I plan to do. Of course there is the thing of plans not always coming together but I will certainly make a big stab at doing all the things I want to do.

I am doing my embroidery and other textile projects. Visit me at www.only1co.com for information on Custom Embroidery. I love all things textile – fabric, embroidery, knitting, crochet, weaving, sewing.. the list goes on and on. I keep a notebook near all the time so I can jot down ideas as they come to me.

I hope you are all keeping warm and safe during these winter months. Spring will come and with it all the renewal that comes with new green on plants, trees, and grass. My mood lifts considerably with sunny days and getting outside again. Oh yes, when nice weather arrives we will also go camping as much as we can too! Note to self: be sure to get the drip system set up for garden when its time so I won’t have to worry about watering when am off camping or off on the annual trip with my three sisters.

Here’s to lots of good books to read, warm snuggly blankets, hugs and loves from family and friends, a good cup of hot tea (coffee) and may the Good Lord Bless you all!

Window Dressing


I used some old table linens to make this window treatment in one of my bathrooms. It looks cute and I get to see the linens on a daily basis instead of them being in a box somewhere. Now, honestly, I don’t recall even where these linens came from but they are pretty and go with the color scheme in my bathroom so it does not matter. Someone, sometime ago went to the effort of embroidering (by hand of course) the lovely designs and I appreciate that. I just got a tension type curtain rod and laid the linens over it so it was not difficult at all. The middle linen was a long table runner type and had some stains on one end so I just used the other end and then the little matching doilies for the sides.

The upstairs bathroom has a similar window treatment except that on this one I used a crocheted doily/chair cover – technical name is antimacassar (spelling may not be correct) I believe. For that one I again used a tension type curtain rod and then I threaded narrow ribbon through the top of the doily to attach it to the rod.

This is a fun way to display some lovely, handmade, antique and possibly family heirlooms. My husband thought they looked great as well and that is always a plus.

Letting go and holding on………………..all at the same time.

Sometimes letting go means just clearing out your closet and letting go of some clothes you will NEVER wear again, whether it is due to size or just not like the garment anymore! I just did this a couple weeks ago, hauled it all out, dumped it all out on the bed and went through it piece by piece. The local thrift store got three bags full and I am hopeful that someone will be able to make good use of my castoffs. I have, myself, purchased items at the thrift store and know you can find some good things there.

Recently, letting go meant retiring from my ‘day job’ after a lot of years of working. As my husband and I have been raising our little granddaughter I made the decision to retire and be home with her. Retiring also allows me more time to pursue my creative projects.

Letting go also means letting go of things that bother you, especially if they are things that really, in the great scheme of things, do not matter anyhow. Little annoyances are not worth hanging onto. You know the dresser drawers left open or the dishes not put back exactly where you might have put them, or your clothes folded in a different way. What matters is that your spouse, or significant other, thought to even fold the clothes or put the dishes away.

Hold on………..to the special things in life: hugs, kisses, loving family, good friends, laughter, tears, even the frustrations that you ended up laughing at!! Life is way too short to spend it worrying about things you can do nothing about so enjoy the good stuff.

And remember: “Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain”, author unknown.

The Box on the Beach; Pt 2

100_6411First, let’s start with the beach.  This photo taken just last month, when our brother/cousin/friend Jeff David kindly transported us down to Glacier Point.  Transport your thoughts back over 50 years when we used to LIVE down here and a boat was our only way to get to town.

For some reason, every time our Dad could not find something, he’d say ‘It must have been in that box we forgot on the beach’. Huh? Seriously? Even as little kids we would have noticed a box sitting all by itself on the beach!

On our recent trip to Alaska [yes, all four of us sisters went again!] we stood there and chuckled about ‘the box on the beach’.  With all the items that were in that box over the years, it would have had to be shipping crate size by the time we actually moved away from the homestead.  But, wait for it, what if one opened a collectibles store and called it ‘The Box on the Beach’ ? You would have to be near a beach, and have a sign explaining. Be crazy.  Then again, we often are, and we had a lot of giggles thinking about the possibilities!

The day of this picture, we had to leave after our picnic lunch because a stiff wind came up.  Definitely that brought with it many memories from our childhood.  This time we had to ferry out to the boat via a small zodiac and that was a challenge as the waves grew.  Especially for the eldest sis [me] who is decidedly less agile AND had seriously wrenched a leg a couple days earlier.  If someone had made a video, I’m sure we could have gotten a prize for it [or at least scared ourselves and families!]  100_6423

Here we are shortly before our quick departure!  Rose, Denise, Linda, Jeff, Nancy, Ruth.

100_6425Pat, Caroline & young son Huxley joined us for our picnic, and Patrick was VERY helpful getting us all back out to the boat.  You can see the waves starting to build in the background.

A Little Color

Spring brings so many natural treats and I meant to share a couple 100_6293~ this one in particular reminds us of spring on the homestead because Mom always had a row of chives at the end of the cabin.  Some fresh chopped went into a lot of recipes, but in particular a salmon one.  First day, baked salmon.  Second day, cold salmon flaked into mayo with chopped chives!

Fingers crossed, we’ll be home in two weeks with a LOT of beautiful photos to share!

Whoa, Have We All Been Busy or What?

Besides the ‘normal’ daily things [which are just to keep ones head above water and the floors not too sticky], what has been going on?

Ruth @ WoodshopWonders.com has of course been dealing with a new calf crop, hauling water until the irrigation ditch was turned on, creating many new items in her woodshop and filling orders!  Her husband Jerry is getting quite a following of his metal art as well.

Nancy @ Only1Co.com ; Despite her day job which seems to keep growing, she has been creating a plant haven at her home, preparing her mom in law’s new abode and working on some special embroidery projects.

Linda @ FabricCreations.us has barely had a moment to spare between greenhouse planting, bedding plant sales at the Farmer’s Market, and now moving plants from greenhouse to field.  Those ‘other moments’ were crammed full however, starting her granddaughter on the way to being a good seamstress and creating several new items for summer fairs which of course include new quilts!

Denise @ BellybuttonBears.com  being the eldest has the best excuse for failing memory (right?).  Venturing into quilting, she managed a couple small ones and is working with her sister on a couple others.  More herbs started for the farm in the greenhouse, some other very random projects including experimental signs and a few creations that flopped! Plus, of course, memory bears for many families.

The biggest venture this spring? Planning another Alaska trip for the four sisters, and we depart the 20th!  Yes, this week!  Pictures and write up after our return.  Going on a quest to find a few more locations from our childhood and just explore.

Alrighty then, confused as usual.

Week or two ago I posted a new piece, “Almost Spring” and my email even told me that there was a new posting.  However, it seems to have gone into the land of the lost.  Here is a repeat:

While puttering around one sunny afternoon recently I found some 'wild' oregano
in a patch on the hillside.  Truly, I planted it years ago, then after a season
or two it faltered. Pretty much disappeared. So I ignored it.  For years. 
Guess what? It lingered and then grew back under some actual wild stuff (grass
and sweet peas of the wild type].  Hot diggity!  Dug up and transplanted into
3 and 4 inch pots, each with a nice root section.

They are doing well!  Of course I left some in my 'secret' hillside incubator
spot too.  These 30 pots will go to Cron Produce to join their spring bedding
plant sales.  Plus a couple dozen lavender, IF they root.  Unlike the oregano,
they are from necessary trimmings in my yard.

So exciting, 32 (actually) pots of oregano, and 24 lavender... just how does
that compare to what they are doing on the farm?  Over 20,000 [yes, twenty
THOUSAND] asstd peppers, 6,000 eggplant, and just starting on the over 10,000
tomatoes.  Yes, THOUSANDS!  You can follow them on Facebook and get the latest
updates on produce progress.  https://www.facebook.com/CronProduce?ref=hl

Plus, we'll break the secret right here and now; can you say Recipe Book? The
'First Ever Sweet Cron Recipe Book' is going to be available soon!


Frosty Mornings & Warm Afternoons

This is only the beginning!  Was out to the farm the other day and my sis was working, where else, in the greenhouses.

Thousands of seedlings!

Thousands of seedlings!

I delivered some herbs that were started last year, was minimally helpful in transplanting the first of the eggplants that were big enough for the next stage.  Then we sorted/reviewed/matched and discussed fabric for quilt projects while she did some embroidery for me.

We took time for a walk around the field in front of her house before I headed home.  Beautiful weather, spring flowers peeping through here and there.

I brought home some seedling soil and am beginning the process in my own small greenhouse to (hopefully) get a few more herbs growing and possibly some flowers.  We’ll see!  Of course, the fact that I am in the middle of a bear order and another project doesn’t help, but seems the norm.  Even so, I am less busy than any of my sisters.  You don’t want to know what their schedules are like!!

This posting is also another test to see if the ‘notice’ system has perhaps begun to work correctly.  If it has, you’ll be reading this with no need for an additional email.  If not, I’ll know soon and will try to rectify.

Best to you, from all of us.

Sunshine Again!

blue boyThe garden fairies will be around soon!

Must venture into the fabric warehouse [much better to do when it is warmish out] and locate the tub of bear fabric.  This would not be to make bears out of, but has bears or woodland or mountains or forests on it.  Now that the first bound edition of “The Klondike Gold Rush, Bellybutton Bears in History” is complete, there is another project in the works.

Klondike Book


Well, of course!

If you are interested in the latest book, email bellybuttonbears@charter.net.  Others are displayed at http://www.bellybuttonbears.com/Stories.htm

Hoping to share some other projects soon, from all of us.  Oh, someone asked about the link for the homestead stories.  http://www.homesteadline.com/Publish/

These are real survival, a compilation of diaries and memories of the Stelting family.