EMZ-Piney Post

Farming, quilting, variety

Saturday, April 4, 2020

A Finish

This quilt, seen on the Fons and Porter Love of Quilting Show, was the inspiration for a baby quilt I have recently finished.  I don't know who made the quilt so I can't give her credit, but be sure you know that I didn't make it.

I paper pieced the print strips and did fusible appliqued flowers and leaves.  After a bit of thinking, and purchasing a scalloped ruler, I put the borders on the top (cutting away half of each strip),

 attached the red rickrack with embroidery floss, and appliqued flowers in the four corners.

But, this isn't the one I finished (it's in the cupboard on the waiting list).  I had this top 

which had no borders and was too small without them.  So ~ it just so happened that the part of the border on the first top (scallops) when cut off, were the exact size I needed to go around the second top.  The borders couldn't have matched the prints around the embroidered  motifs more perfectly. And now it's finished ( this was before it was quilted and bound in pink); really cute don't you think?  And it saved me a lot of work!

Don't you love it when something unexpected happens for the good?


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

March of Dimes

The present concern over "The" virus brought to mind the days when polio was such a dreaded virus.  President FDR was probably the most well known person afflicted with the disease.  Our family knew first hand the effects polio could have on a person.  Daddy's little brother was stricken at the age of seven, and although he recovered, he was left with a deformed chest and shoulder area.

The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis was founded by President Roosevelt in 1938 and led an effort to uncover the mysteries of polio.  The March of Dimes organization came about as research programs were taxed to their limits in the polio epidemic of 1949.  This is, I'm sure, when children at school were given cards to take home and return them with dimes placed in slots in the cards.  There were ten slots in each card.

I always took the card home, uncertain of how many dimes I would get to place in the card, but somehow Mama came up with at least a few dimes.  This was at a time when every penny was pinched until it screamed.  It was a thing of importance to me to able to return my card with dimes.

In 1954 a massive field trial of a vaccine created by Dr. Jonas Salk was given to 1.8 million schoolchildren.  I would have been thirteen years old.  Schools were showing a film about polio and I can still remember the fear it created in me.  It showed a little girl sitting on the steps and a cloud settling over her, the cloud being polio.  Then with each pain or sign of illness I would wonder if the cloud was over me.  I don't remember getting the vaccine but I'm sure I did.

The focus of  the March of Dimes has shifted to birth defects, pregnancy health, and premature babies.

So, with time, these present fears will surely lessen.  Does anyone reading this remember the days when polio was so feared?

A little trivia, FDR's image was placed on the US dime in 1946.


Sunday, March 8, 2020

Two Quilts

These are two baby quilts made before and during the blogging break:

Both are made by the same pattern but the block size for the blue quilt was a bit larger.  This is the Flying Geese pattern.  I paper pieced both using very small scraps from other projects.  The blue quilt went to my new great grandson, born in March, 2019.  The pink one waits inside the cupboard.  (The bottom picture was taken before it was quilted).


Sunday, February 23, 2020


I was eleven the summer my sister married and when she moved away the next summer, she left me as the little girl always considered to be one of the smallest in her class.  When I sent her my sixth grade photo,  taken in a red pullover shirt,  she must have thought there had been a sudden growth spurt in me, for the gift she sent at Christmas suggested this.

To receive a gift from a far- away state was exciting and I could hardly wait to open the package on Christmas morning.   But there it was, plain as day, a bra.  I suppose I turned pale; I didn't need one of those!  I took the bra to my dresser and buried it beneath the panties, slips and socks, out of sight, out of mind.

When spring came, I began thinking of the thing in the bottom of the drawer and took it out now and then, just to examine it, wondering if my friends wore one yet.  Maybe I should wear it to church, just one time.  Mama had made a new dress for me so this could be a chance to wear it.  I slipped my arms through the straps and Mama fastened the hooks for me.  Best I could tell it was just a flat piece of fabric which made another thickness underneath my slip and the new dress but at least I had it on.

Stepping into the presence of people at church, I could feel every eye focused on my chest.  It was as though the dress was made of tissue paper and everyone could see the bra and the little rumpled folds it made across my chest.  I kept my shoulders hunched forward to conceal those folds.

The bra went straight back to the darkness of the drawer as soon as I got home.  "I'll think about it before I wear it again."


Do you have a similar remembrance?

Monday, February 17, 2020

Rain, Rain = Mud.....

We've had a very, very rainy winter!  The ground is so saturated, that now even a drizzle makes mud.
It's become difficult to feed hay to the cattle because there is no dry place to unroll the big bales and they end up wasting a lot of the hay.  For a while the farmer put some bales inside rings, but after having two calves almost die when they got in the mud around the rings, he just unrolls the bales now.  Both calves survived and are now inside the barn where I feed them every day.

Around the first of December, 2018 , we had an old cow who got down in the pasture and couldn't get up.  Usually we will first give a nutritional paste of minerals by mouth, and if they still can't get up, we will administer a liquid form by IV.  This time an IV was required.  Of course it was beginning to rain and darkness was coming on.  It always takes the farmer a while to locate the vein in the cow's neck to place the needle.  Then it's my job to hold the bottle high enough for the liquid to slowly flow down the tube and into the vein.  We were not far from the highway and I wondered what people passing thought about us working in the rain by the light from the truck's  headlights.

The cow still didn't get up and a small calf kept coming up to her.  We took note of what the calf looked like and the next day when the cow died, we caught the calf and brought her home for me to feed on the bottle.  She sucked the bottle the first time it was offered to her and grew into a beautiful heifer, named Pretty Girl.  Two other calves were in the barn with her and it became my  job all winter to take grain and hay to them.   All our hay is put up in big round bales, and there is no way to feed a bale inside the barn.  So each day when the farmer takes hay to the pasture, I take the side-by-side and bring in enough for that day, no matter the weather, cold and windy or raining.  When he unrolls the hay, I gather up bundles where the cows are eating; I always try to not get hay right in front of a bull. :)   The cows are used to me and pay no attention to me.  It has become so muddy outside of  the barn I have to be very cautious to keep from falling down

And while I'm on the subject of falling in the mud, a cow did back into me and knocked me down into the mud!  Luckily I wasn't hurt, except for my pride, and no cows stepped on me.  I was a bit angry about it, so I reached down into the black, gooey mud and clawed up a fistful into a ball and threw it at the cow!  Thank goodness for hot, soapy water, clean clothes, a four-wheel drive tractor, and good Muck boots. :)

Now I hope this doesn't make it seem like I'm a dirty old woman, someone you wouldn't want to know.  It's my life as a farm wife and I'm rather proud of it.  The old quote, "Don't cuss the farmer with your mouth full" always comes to mind.   After all, we are helping to feed the world. ;)


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Contents of the Shed

The old house had been left clean.  Oh there were a few half empty lotion bottles and such, but no clutter.  We never intended to live in the house, but our grandson and his wife and baby girl had thought of making it their home.  Then when he began seeing what needed to be done to put a new floor covering on the kitchen floor, the termites appeared and the cost of repairing everything was more than they wished to spend.  Instead, they moved their RV onto the land after the storm.

Behind the house, a nice shed had been built to hold gardening tools and things: things that were no longer used but had some sentimental value to the person storing them.  You know how that goes, "I don't need this, but someday another person might be thrilled to find the old item."

Upon opening the door, we were met with a room full of clutter: papers, books, walkers, watering cans, faded jigsaw puzzles, a big pile of quilt batting,  an old wobbly dresser, twin bed frame and  mattress.  The mirror for the dresser was still good and surrounded by an ornate frame.  The one piece of furniture that caught my eye was a pie safe, ruined with a coat of white paint; even the tin in the doors had been painted white!  Why do that?  And lurking in tiny, dark, secluded places were brown recluse spiders, many of them.  Several old dress patterns, mostly in the shirtwaist style, were held in their fragile envelopes.

And then there was the black, fragile garbage bag which held stacks of letters.  Letters written from an Army solider to his love who would become his wife.  The first letters had postmarks of 1942, then early 1943 and on to 1944.  I was so curious about the words inside but somehow it seemed if I read them I would be treading on the couple's private lives.  But I did read enough to learn how much he loved her and missed her and that he was sick.

There was a little slip of paper, which wasn't a letter, with these dates on them:  married-Nov. 20, 1943 (the next letter was postmarked Nov. 23, 1943, which meant he was only home three days before returning to duty), sick-Dec. 1943 and died-Oct. 1944.  I also read letters sent from Red Cross workers telling her of his condition during this time: "Sgt.__died very suddenly, his heart suddenly failed due to venticular aneurysm".  What a sad, sad story and how much comfort she must have had from those letters; she never remarried.

Now my question is, what do I do with the letters?  It seems I can't stand to burn them, nor do I want to keep them.  One of her nephews lives in our community and I wonder if he would take them.


Thursday, January 2, 2020

The Big House

2019 went by so quickly I have to refer to my daily calendar to see what happened.  When I began my blogging break, the date was Sept. 2018.  I have made a note of some of the highlights of our lives to use for posts, beginning with the date of November 20, 2018.  Future posts will continue on into 2019.

November 20, 2018 ~ On the spur of the moment we bought the big house.  It had ten acres with it.  I had always loved the house, built in the early 1900s, and commented many times, that to me it was the prettiest house in our community in spite of larger more elaborate houses.  The roof was very steep with a chimney no longer in use.  A covered porch surrounded the house but had been  interrupted by the addition of a bathroom on the west side and a storage/closet room on the east side.  Large old oak trees shaded the yard for years.

The farmer had known the family who lived there almost all his life and when we built our own house, it was just down the road from the old house, so I could see it every day.  And now, after wondering how it would be to live there, I could hardly believe we owned it!  Of course we had no plans to move; we had purchased the house and land because it joined our property and to keep the place neat and tidy.  (We've had our fill of renters who go off and leave a building full of their junk.) The inside had been renovated with new kitchen cabinets, carpet, central heat and air, all a far cry from its beginning.

Fast forward to May 1, 2019 ~ During the night a terrible wind storm blew through and with the light of dawn we could see what damage had been done.  Several roof shingles and strips of vinyl siding had been ripped off the old house.  But the worse damage was done when the big tree on the west side of the house was split and the top branches crashed onto the corner of the porch, bringing down that part of the roof and the porch floor.  My heart was broken.  What had once been a grand old lady took on the look of a haunted house.

Sadly, we have no intentions of trying to do repairs.  Please don't condemn us for this decision. We had no insurance on the house, termites are eating away at the aged floors, water from rain coming in where shingles are off has caused ceiling tiles to fall.  We'll clean up the mess on the porch and we've worked up the tree branches into firewood.  But, I still wonder, what could have been.

Next post I'll share about the contents of  an outside shed...