The Hands Stay Busy

Before I share the latest happenings I want to apologize to everyone who has left comments recently. As many of you know I haven’t been turning on the computer very often and have been checking email notifications via an app on my phone.  Unfortunately, comments left on the blog are considered “social” and not shown on the email app. I had no idea so many of you left such sweet comments. I appreciate every comment and want you to know how very sorry I am if you felt ignored in any way.

In the last couple of weeks the children have had time off from school and wanted to spend part of it with me. Luckily, I took them one at a time which is easier on me with the lack of a good chair. (Update on the chair, the insurance denied my first request saying we hadn’t proved my need. The process is currently being appealed.)

Let me share with you just one weekend and how we spend time together. Afterwards I’ll show you some of the things I’m working on for myself, and I have a surprise job I can’t wait to share with you today.

My youngest granddaughter had a four-day weekend and asked to spend half of that time with me.  I didn’t hesitate and agreed right off.  She arrived with a whole list of projects she wanted, or rather “needed”, me to make happen.

First up was a pillow and blanket for her baby. But the blanket had to be large enough that her doll could share with her.

Not sure if you can see the pillow very well, it’s under her baby doll’s head.  She did the measuring and stuffing then helped with the sewing machine.

Her doll arrived in the only outfit she owned.

I was told she needed a dress, pants and a shirt to start to build a wardrobe. We ran out of time for the pants and shirt but the dress I was told had to be crocheted.

Next I was told the doll needed a sleeping blanket in pink that was crocheted.  My granddaughter has a sleeping bag for sleeping in the tent with daddy in the summer so her doll needed one too.  I did a quick double crochet with a larger needle because little girls don’t have a lot of patience when it comes to waiting.

Babies take lots of naps which gave us time to do other things.  Autumn in this part of the country comes with one bonus….Leaves to play in.

When she was smaller I’d crocheted her a scarf, it’s way too short for her now so I made her a new one. She brought it with her and wore it every time we went out.

As night came there were other requests. She wanted a crocheted bow for her hair to go with the  fabric ones I recently made her.

And we had to color.  The children all prefer adult coloring books so I keep a few of them on hand.  We each selected one for ourselves and then spent some quality time coloring while we talked about everything on our minds.

Christmas is just around the corner. She wanted to do something for Christmas that involved painting.  I pulled out a piece of scrap wood I found on the property when I first moved in and brought out some red chalk paint and let her paint. Afterwards, we hot glued on this cross stitched holiday piece.

I have a bag of patterns I’ve started to cross stitch because I get bored easily.  I decided to kit up those projects and thought she would have fun helping, she did.  The idea to have all my projects ready to work on has been  helpful and I’ve been getting much more done lately.  Previously, when I got bored with working on one the idea of pulling out all the necessary colors to work on another prevented me from doing any cross stitch for days.

Anyway, as I opened a fabric to put with a new pattern I wanted to make for the girls room this winter my granddaughter spotted patterns on the paper included with the fabric. There was a mermaid pattern and she asked if I could make it for her.  Do I ever say no to making something for family? Hardly.  This is a quick and easy pattern that will only take about a week, this is where I am after three days.

Not sure if I will give it to her for her birthday or as a housewarming present when they move into their new house. Both will happen in March.

Speaking of their new house. I have to share a few pictures because I get to help restore some features of the home.  My kids have been saving to purchase a home and wanted to buy the next house without a mortgage. This house on an acre of land came up for less than $50,000.   Look at those original pocket doors and trim!

And this is what I get to help restore.  My son wants to restore all the wood in the house to the original to preserve this farmhouse.

Can you tell I’m excited?

With the cold temperatures, we’ve been fluctuating between the low 20s and mid 30s for the last week or so, I’ve been finishing up some projects before I start a large one for a friend, you know who you are. 🙂  I thought I would show you a few of them.

This summer cottage will be finished in a couple of days then will be hung in the girls room.

This Native American Alphabet will eventually go into the boys’ room.  It’s a good project to fall back on when I need a break from the large one that I will be starting this week.  I figure if I get one letter done a week it will be hanging up in six months time. That’s a goal I think I can accomplish.

I have to show you one completed piece. I finished this one a couple of months ago then stuck it in a drawer because I didn’t have a frame for it.

This might be my favorite piece out of all I’ve done.  The water calls to me and the boat is just like one I used to go out on in high school.  I found a frame made with reclaimed barn wood and stained a grey that matches the picture nicely. The picture is a bit distorted from the glass when photographing it.

Before I leave you today, I want to send a special thank you to both Elaine and Marlene for the supplies that allowed me to make one little girl’s weekend wishes come true. I have been so fortunate to make such wonderful friends through blogging. Thank you!



  1. Those cross stitches are all just lovely and your wee granddaughter has a wonderful grandmother! I especially like the crochet hair bow. A big renovation project like the farmhouse is wonderful when you are young 🙂 it would be so exciting to see it given new style and life! And those blogging friends – just wonderful!! Have a good week Lois.


    • Pauline, I am blessed with special little ones. I had the youngest who is three now this past weekend and enjoyed him immensely, he’s both fun and helpful all rolled into one.

      My kids are fortunate to be in a position to be able to renovate before moving in. An added plus is that the construction work will be done by my son’s company which will make it more affordable.

      And yes, like you, I have made wonderful blogging friends. Blogging may have changed but the people are as sweet as ever. Take care, Pauline.


  2. Thank you once again, for sharing your wonderful life ….It constantly inspires me and makes me smile and feel happy. I know I have suggested a book before, but here I have a new idea…I think a book featuring some of these family/children posts/activities/crafts/artwork, would surely make others feel happy and inspired too…

    re the wheelchair…what can I say? I am stunned..THEY want you to PROVE you need one? SERIOUSLY?

    What a bunch of TURDS.

    The house the kids bought is so gorgeous. I hope we get to see more of it, and see more pics as it is reno……


    • Anon, thank you. You always have such wonderful suggestions. I hadn’t thought of a book of family activities before for mass appeal but I have put together photo books for each of the older children to remember their summer visits and they cherish them.

      The wheelchair situation is truly frustrating. I have what is wildly known in the medical establishment as a degenerative disorder which has no cure. Meaning it will get worse over time but never better. If the insurance found I needed the chair six years ago how can they say I don’t need it now! I just try to make do and ignore the situation as best as I can or I’d be one angry lady every day. 🙂

      I’d be happy to show you more pictures of their house, before and after, when they are ready to move in. I adore old farmhouses so their house, while bigger than I’d ever need or want, speaks to me.


      • Lois
        books for each of the kids sound wonderful. they will surely love them.

        re the house…thank you.. I eagerly await any and all photos. I love old house details. Maybe they will find a secret hiding place, and a treasure (grin).

        re the wheelchair. …I agree…once they originally certified that you needed same, how can they keep harassing you? It reminds me of an article I read on a British site. These things must be handled similarly there. I read about a person who was certified to be on Disability Payments/Assistance, due to double amputee, and many other serious health situations. Cant recall what all, now. Again, though there were the type of situation which does not improve etc. Yet every year, their “eligibility” had to be certified…meaning much paper work/visits to doctors/painful medical tests etc…Obscene.


        • This summer I didn’t get to spend much time with the older two grandchildren so didn’t have photos to make a book. Their birthdays are the beginning of September and they asked if they were getting another photo book. They were so disappointed when I told them it wasn’t possible. They show the books they have off to everyone!

          As for the house, so far I’ve seen their paint samples, and the new exterior siding along with the kitchen cabinet doors and the granite the chose for the kitchen. Now to get all the work done. 🙂

          Like I mentioned to Swiss Rose, it drives me crazy to hear how the rich need their tax breaks while the rest of us lose more basic services every year. Who needs tax breaks when they already have so much they are hiding their money off shore? The rest of us need at least basic medical. Ah well, I guess nothing will change any time soon -if ever.


  3. She is such a cutie! Love the smile.

    You are most welcome on the yarn supplies. Happy to share.

    And you counted cross stitch is just AMAZING. I had to give that craft up years ago. Too hard on my eyes.


    • Thank you so much, Elaine. The yarn has been put to good use. I finished a pair of leg warmers for myself from it as well.

      I hope my eyes hold out as I still enjoy cross stitch. When I was writing about the adult coloring books I thought of you. How are you enjoying yours?


  4. I love the house your kids bought! Wow, what a treasure! Please post pics of redo’s as they happen if you can. I love watching an old home come to life again. Your cross stitch makes me envious. Not sure my hands are up to it anymore. So I will live through yours. 😉


    • Isn’t that house amazing? It needs plenty of work but when done it will be a gem and quite the investment down the road.

      If I ever need to give up cross stitch it will be due to my eyes first. Hope that doesn’t happen. Glad you enjoy seeing my pieces.


          • Oh my! LOL Maybe if you can’t talk her out of it, just do one small wall. 😉 Keeps everyone happy and a focal wall is not bad. Compromise is learning.


          • We’re trying but so far she’s insistent on the whole room 🙂 I’ve suggested to her mother to purchase the next lighter shade on the color strip and not tell her, I was told I was bad lol. Anyway, it’s just paint and if she hates it, it can always be painted over. Probably the cheapest thing to change.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Always love to hear what you’re up to with your grandkids. Your house looks like so much fun, I’m not surprised that they want to spend a lot of time there. Hope your chair appeal comes through soon.


    • If the children think my house is fun then there is nothing more I could ask for. 🙂 Thank you, I too hope the appeal goes through this time I hate to think it may drag out for much longer.


  6. Lois, just loved your clothes you made for your Granddaughter’s doll, And oh your needlework in the cross stitch is just wonderful
    I am so happy your Son has saved for his new home. And I bet you can not wait to get your teeth into it and get cracking upon all that magnificent Woodwork.

    Sorry to hear you are still awaiting your wheelchair. I hope it all gets sorted out very soon.
    And no worries about visits.. I know how it is and I often forget where I leave comments, Lois, as I leave that many. So just keep enjoying doing your crafts and enjoy your Grandchildren and Hobbies that is the most important thing.. So long as you are well and in good health these are the most important things..

    Sending LOVE and Many Hugs for a lovely November.. I will be absent for a short while as we go to Scotland soon.

    Much Love Sue xxx


    • Isn’t that woodwork amazing? Once it is restored it will be lovely again.

      The wheelchair situation is frustrating but I’m taking it one day at a time and trying to ignore the time delay and the stupidity of it all. It will happen in good time and I tell myself it’s a lesson in patience I probably still need.

      Wow! Enjoy your trip to Scotland and I hope you share plenty of pictures and stories. Scotland was always on my wishlist of places I wanted to visit.

      Safe travels, Sue.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m behind too, Lois. 😦 Just to let you know, 2 boxes on the way. One heavy so you may need some help. Letters inside to explain. I LOVE your cross stitch! As always, you do fantastic work. Love the cottage and Christmas home. Not to mention all the rest you have made and crocheted. I recognize the fleece. You almost need bigger. They will be grown up so fast. The house your son bought is wonderful. $50, 000!!!! Wow. It’s just wonderful and will be even more beautiful when they are done with it. I wish I didn’t have a mortgage. I’ll probably never get it paid off in my lifetime. At least it’s less than rent. I see why you are so busy. Hugs.


    • You are too sweet, thank you, I will look for the boxes.

      The house my son bought he got for less than $50K, He actually paid $30K for it. He has been saving for a while now so even the remodel will be paid for with cash. I’m so proud of him and thrilled with the house he found.

      I too wish there wasn’t a mortgage on my house, but what are we going to do? Like you my house even with the mortgage is cheaper than anything I could rent that would give me land at the same time. I could rent an apartment in a complex for almost the same as I pay now but then I’d have no outdoor space.

      Liked by 1 person

      • He is a wise young man, Lois. I agree. It’s better than the rents that are being charged for nothing. My daughter pays more than I do for one bedroom and a stove that only part works, no off street parking, and no yard space. She cooks at my house and does laundry here too. Just to be a half hour closer to work. Some days she really needs that half hour to 45 minutes it would take from the place she was forced out of.


        • I feel for your daughter and others who are living in cities that are booming and pushing the rents up. The studio I rented before moving here didn’t have a stove, but I had an acre of land to play in, lake across the street and was five minutes walking to any where in town. I paid $410 per month and that included all utilities.

          I know you love having your place to yourself but it’s a shame you and your daughter couldn’t share your place, maybe divide it up to keep still have private spaces, and save lots of money.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I have offered this to my daughter many times. It’s too long a commute for her and she IS NOT a morning person. 🙂 I would love having her but I also want her to venture out and find a life of her own before I’m gone. She hasn’t dated in almost 15 years. A hermit through and through. My son is not much better but his ex handles him well. 🙂 I’m so glad that has worked out. I don’t know how this is going to end up. Emigration is next to impossible from here. No one wants us unless we have something wonderful to offer. So I leave it up to fate and let the chips fall where they may. It will be ok.


          • That’s a shame. In the college area I used to live in several mobile homes were divided into two dwellings for more rent, but it thought it was genius for someone wanting a small space but being constrained by building codes.

            I don’t date often either. My last relationship wasn’t a good one and I realized that I was perfectly content on my own.

            Yes, my son and I looked at emigration and it really is difficult to find a country that would be happy to have us, me especially with my disability and no solid work history. Now if we wanted to move to Mexico or Costa Rico we probably could.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh Lois, the wheelchair situation is disgraceful 😦

    But the house looks lovely and the features – wow, that will all come up so nicely, beautiful.
    Well done for finding such a property and paying cash, fantatic. There are no houses under 400K any more here, quite simply. Disadvantage of a small, densely populated country!

    We have spoken about time with the grandchildren before, always wonderful. Also your cross stitch – the colours of the house/boat really appeal to me, one of most favourite colour combinations, so fresh and pretty… You really are making me want to cross stitch again!!

    Here is a blog link you might enjoy – Gillian is an enthusuastic maker!


    • First thanks so much for the link, what a lovely cowl and I’ve done a quick peek at some of her other crafts she’s very talented.

      The wheelchair situation will work itself out in time. I’m trying not to focus on it so I don’t stress myself out in the meantime. It drives me crazy that my country will fight for tax breaks for the rich while cutting all the basic services for the rest, but that’s a rant I don’t want to start on.

      I can’t imagine 400K being the starting point for housing although the price of my son’s house (and my own) amaze me because the last town I lived in land with no utilities or structures starts at $25K, I am in love with all the details in my son’s new home, I can’t believe no one painted over all the wood, it’s rare to find unpainted wood details any more.

      I should have held on to the house/boat pattern I’d send it to you but I get rid of my patterns once I’m finished after I had too many requests for me to stitch for others items I’d made.


      • No worries about the pattern – I would be unlikely to stitch a design with the US flag, to be honest. I just love the colour palette, very inspiring 🙂 Also, patterns are usually copyrighted and I think the illustrators deserve the income. Thanks anyway.
        Isn’t it great that nobody painted that wood?! Even my granny went wild with a paintbrush in her 90s and painted the leading between the coloured glass panes on her front door lol!! Waste not want not… ;o
        Yes, houses are expensive. However, the market has never fluctuated the way it does in the US or UK. Even 40 years ago houses usually cost nearer to 1/4 mio. and the rise has been slow and steady, remaining on a very even keel. Mortgage rates have also gone down drastically but you do have to have 20% downpayment to get a mortgage. In addition, houses here are built to an extremely high standard that I don’t think is seen in the US at all, the only comparison I know of is Norway as far as quality goes. Foreigners are amazed to see that in flats/condos there is, by law, a nuclear bunker – a German visitor told me the door alone would cost Euros 40K, the cost of some housing in the area of Germany he came from – which includes air filtration systems etc. If you don’t live in a place with a bunker, you pay a small premium to the council for a place in one of the national bunkers (schools etc.) so that building is very expensive before you even get to ground level! Also almost 100% of buildings have a full in-ground basement. We actually don’t have either of these things because our house was built in 1770 next to the millstream – people were smart enough not to build cellars next to water! – so our “basement” is ground level and surrounded by 2′ thick walls with the solid wood construction (beams about 8″ square!) above… I am fascinated by historic building in all countries, though. I’m sure there were more similarities 100 or 150 years ago between our countries’ style and quality of building!


        • I modify many patterns, the yellow cottage has a flag on the roof of the house but I’m leaving that off, it just doesn’t work with how I want it to look.

          You never cease to educate me on the differences between our countries! I guess since we haven’t had a major war on our land we don’t think about things such as bunkers, although some can be found here and there. Basements aren’t found often in the western or southern part of the US but are in the rest of the country. Being in the northeastern portion it’s almost unheard of not to have a full basement so both my home and my son’s homes have them. Personally, I prefer the older homes because they were built better than what we are building today. For instance, housing in Arizona has gone up so quickly and with shoddy work that homes are expected to need to be torn down after only 30 years! Some of the houses in the Phoenix, Arizona area were so poorly built that families couldn’t even move into them right after construction was completed. My home would be rather young to you but it’s 108 years old which is pretty old for us. It was solidly built although some of the DIY done to it during the years was not well done and I’ve been having that repaired.


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