Monthly Archives: May 2012

Memorial Day….a day to give thanks

Its Memorial Day today and I have to admit that it is usually just another day on the farm. We don’t stray too far from home, most often we get some work done and occasionally we have guests for the weekend.  Today, we have guests for lunch and we are going to bar-b-que burgers.  It will be a good Memorial Day!

I have been planning  a special post remembering our veterans.  You see, last December on our way back from Burkina Faso, we stopped for a couple of days in Paris France and arranged to go on a tour of Normandy.

Our tour guide, Olivier from Overlord Tours, was a wealth of information and stories. I was so impressed by the military details and strategies.  The personal stories of the soldiers and local people were very inspiring and seeing the lay of the land and the struggles they encountered showed me the bravery of those men who descended upon Normandy so many years ago.

It was a very moving experience and one that I will always remember.  Seeing the memorials and standing on the actual beaches made history come alive and helped me to understand more of what happened on that day, D Day, June 6, 1944.




Omaha Beach




Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial




Looking toward Omaha Beach




All soldiers are buried facing west toward home.




German gunnery




Looking out a German bunker




American paratrooper rendezvous point at a farm.




Utah Beach




To those who serve, Thank You.




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Filed under D Day, France, Holidays, Memorials, Normandy, Photography, Travel

My Mom…aka….Grandma Jam

I thought I would talk about my mom today, since it is Mother’s Day!

This is my mom.

She is a creator of many things useful and beautiful. She loves to cook, craft and sew. Cooking has been a huge part of her creative energy. She loves to try new recipes and also loves to feed all her family. Hence the name Grandma Jam, she makes the best homemade freezer jam and homemade rolls. She also makes yummy cinnamon rolls and of course fudge, that is her weakness. I could go on and on…..

Being a farmwife, she is also very resourceful. Back in the day, when money was for the needs of the family and the farm; my mom decided to make her own carpet for her wood floors. She made a braided rug for the living room out of old wool coats and men’s dress pants. I wish I had a picture of it; I used it for many years in my home over my wood floors until it started to wear thin and then it retired to the cabin.

Mom recently made me a braided rug out of my long wool coats and a cape that she made for me when I was pregnant. I love it! And I love that she still is making things for her kids at 84.

Braided Wool Rug (2012)

Embroidery is also one of her skills. She has made many beautiful pictures and pillows. If you go visit her they will be on the bed and walls decorating her guest rooms. I appreciate this skill, because hand embroidery isn’t my favorite hand work, but I do love looking at it.

Embroidered Pillows

My mind is spinning as I am remembering things she has crafted. Dolls, doll clothes and blankets, stuffed monkeys and bears, Holly Hobby dolls, ski mittens and baby blankets, the list goes on and on……

Mom has always had a sewing machine. She made prom dresses, bridesmaid dresses, and remade dresses to fit properly. She even made my sister and me, when we were in high school, ski coats and bibs! Now that is a picture I’m glad I don’t have! When my daughter was small she made a beautiful tweed wool coat with velvet trim. This coat has been passed onto friends and family to be worn for special occasions.

Hannah’s Coat (1988)

She has moved on from sewing clothing, except for the altering part and now is quilting. She has made many baby quilts with embroidered blocks for the great grandkids and she is making table toppers and runners for her families tables. I have a beautiful wall hanging that she made me for Christmas this year. It even has a black dog in it for ‘Mac’.

Quilted Wall Hanging (2011)

Mom also loves flowers and they seem to flourish under her care. I remember a beautiful orchid that we had in the living room for years. Well, I just have to show you the orchid she has now, it has 10 blooms on it and 6 more not yet opened. She pointed out that it has new leaves coming and a new stem. It is beautiful!


Happy Mother’s Day, mom! You have passed me your gift of creativeness and I thank you! I so enjoy chatting with you about everything and anything. I love going to quilt shops with you and buying fabric for who knows what! I love discussing patterns that didn’t work and learning from you what you did to make it better. I’m still learning that lesson from you, the ability to see an idea and make it work for you. God has given us these gifts and I appreciate and love you for your encouragement.

I thought I would end this post with some pictures of some of mom’s creations. I am also creating a private group on Facebook for those of you who are family and friends and would like to upload pictures of ‘Grandma Jams Creations’. I thought this would be fun and it could also be a showcase of her creations through the years. So take some pictures of those dolls, wall hangings and many other items she has created for you. I want to see them!

Hannah’s Elephant (2010)


Jesse’s Wall Hanging (2011)

Happy Mother’s Day!


Filed under Fabric, Flowers, Food, Photography, Quilting, Quilts, Rugs, Sewing, Wool

Fabric Flowers and Watering Cans…. and computers too!

Spring is finally here and I have tulips!


I’m trying to get in some sewing before I get too busy outside. I have been working on a tablecloth for our picnic table. I wanted it to be summer like and fun.   I looked in my Floral Inspirations quilt book by Debbie Mumm and found a watering can block and thought it would be perfect.



I wanted something to go with the cans and thought about adding flowers and found three flower blocks in Block by Block by Lynette Jensen, that just happened to go perfectly with the watering can blocks.  How sweet is that!  I like not having to re size a block to make it work.



By using my left over stash fabric the blocks came together quite fast and now I am quilting it on the frame.  I decided to use flannel for batting. I thought about not putting any in but wanted a little padding to weight it some since it was to be used outside.



I have had a few interruptions this last week, so I don’t have it finished.  My son, Jesse, built us a new computer and I have been transferring everything from the old to the new.  I have 2 computers running under the desk, two keyboards, two mice and two monitors.  It gets kind of confusing sometimes when the mouse won’t work on the right screen and typing on the wrong keyboard.



Hopefully I will win this battle with the computers this next week.  I will say that my most frustrating issue has to do with ITunes and syncing my IPad and IPhones.  I never thought moving music and apps would be such a problem.  Whenever I moved my CD’s I just moved them!  They didn’t have to be compatible with one another or lose the ability to play because the original file wasn’t there!!!!  What I want to know is where the original file went between one computer and the other!  I will succeed at this game, even if it takes me into the dark of night!


I just had to take this picture the other evening while I was taking a break from the computers, it was just too pretty to not share.  I love the sunsets off back road.  These pictures that God gives us are a great reminder that He is in control and that the little frustrating moments we have are temporary.  That is Good News!



I am planning a special blog for Mother’s Day.  It’s about Mom, of course!

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Filed under Computers, Fabric, Flowers, Photography, Quilting, Quilts, Sunsets