Friday, June 27, 2008


The new plant holder steps

Just a note about the next post showing the new planter holder steps I added to my side porch.
To see the fancy trim on the edges of each step just double click on the picture to enlarge it. Enlarging the picture also shows the frog on the botton step.
Hope you like it. I know I do. I love making things in the shop and am always happy when it turns out the way i planned.
Took me days trying to post the picture as every time I would try, Internet explorer would give me it`s not responding reply. I am glad it finally let me post again.
Have a wonderful week-end everyone.


The new plant holder steps

New Planter steps.

The past week I have stayed busy working on the planter steps for my side porch.
Didn't take very long to cut out and put together the main frame work. But, it took time painting it and making the trim boards.

First and most important was making the height of each step even with the regular porch steps, Between the regular porch steps and these new planter holder steps is the railing. I also wanted to make the new plant holder steps easily removed when winter arrives. This way it will not only last longer, but won`t be one more thing to keep removing the snow from. It is made in such a way that the frame part under the top shelf slides into a framework on the side of the porch and the framework under the bottom step slides under the bottom step on the porch steps. Under each step on the porch side is a small ledge for that side of the steps to lay on while the riser supports the open side.

Painting wouldn`t have taken so long if it hadn`t been raining ( or thunderstorms) every day except for yesterday. One morning would be the first coat of primer on one side of the boards, later the same day- was painting primer on the other side. Next day was the coat of top paint on one side, that afternoon I was able to turn over the boards to paint the top coat onto the other side of the boards.

Then it was time to nail the steps and frame together. My daughter told me it looked real nice. I told her I still had more left to do before it would be finished. She thought it looked fine just the way it was. But I had more plans in my head that I intended to add before I would feel satisfied with the final looks.
I had some trim board scraps left from other work I had done in the past. So, I first cut the trim to fit along the top two open sides to keep the planters from falling off. Then it was another two days doing the primer paint and the top paint on all sides. When I had this finished I decided to see what it would look like with a little blue color added. I liked it, so the next day I spent painting on the blue paint spots. I tried gluing on the trim, but the paint kept it from holding strong enough. So, I ended up using screws to connect the top trim to the shelf steps. I was going to call it finished, but in order to sit my large frog planter on the bottom step I knew I would have to leave off the top trim. I didn`t like the empty look of the bottom step with the other steps being trimmed. So, I started looking around my shop to see what I could add to the bottom step. I came across some more trim that was flat with a slanted design on it. I cut it to fit the two open sides of the bottom step, painted it and then added the same blue paint on it to match the top trim on the other steps. Once I nailed it onto the sides of the bottom step, I decided this same trim would look good nailed onto the other steps under the top trim. So, back to more measuring, cutting, painting and nailing it on. Now I am satisfied with the way it looks. I spent this morning just Nailing on the last trim. It was raining all the time I was working. Glad no thunderstorm so I could use the band saw. I don`t use the electric machines in my shop in thunderstorms. In fact, I don`t use the computer, telephone or television either in thunderstorms.

Rain or no rain, I just couldn`t wait any longer to see how the new planter holder steps would look once it was in place. So, There I was, in the rain, putting the steps in place. I should have been satisfied and got inside out of the rain. But I wanted to see how it would look once the planters were set on the steps. The two tall planters with the handles were some from a daughter. She had seen them at a garage sale and thought I would like them. When she got home that day, she came over carrying them and asked me if I had any use for them. Of course I can always find a way to use something nice like those 2 planters. Originally I had put them by the wrought iron on the front porch.
Then the frog went on the bottom step. This frog is one an ex-daughter-in-law made for me in a ceramic class. This D-I-L stopped to see me a few months ago when she was up visiting from Texas. She noticed I was still using the frog planter in the house and asked me if that was the one she had made. What a nice smile she had when I told her yes. Nice knowing she still considers me "Mom".
The other pretty flower planter was a gift from one of my sons years ago. All these pretty planters that were always sitting in my home all winter, now outside for others to see.

Now, I am satisfied with the looks and my shop project is finished until I get another crazy idea in my head or something else I would like to have.

One thing to add- My daughter came over last eveing to tell me how much she loved the way the steps looked. Then she asked me how I ever found steps that matched the step heights of my other steps. I told her I just measured to make them fit. Then she said-Oh, you made them. Told her yes. She had thought I had boughten the plain main frame and just painted it and added the trim. Then she surprised me again when she said 'I was amazed you could find them to match the heights of other steps, now I`m even more amazed to find you made it all". Now, coming from your own child, that is a compliment well appreciated.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Sat.June 21st, `08- plant stairs formation/staying busy

Saturday, June 21, 2008 Another day,- plant stairs formation- I learned years ago that when I lose a loved one, I find it easier to handle the loss if I keep busy.

Wind is blowing hard, sky has some white clouds and a pretty blue sky showing between the clouds. Looks like the sky seen in many paintings. But off to the south the clouds are darker and looks like rain or possible a thunder storm. Sure hope those dark clouds aren`t heading our way.

Oh Well, so what if they do. As long as we don`t have a storm strong enough to break down the tomato plants I won`t mind. There are already lots of blossoms and a few tiny tomatoes on the tomato plants. The peppers have blossoms and the string beans look like it won`t be long before the beans start showing up also. Have already eaten some of the lettuce and other veggies are also growing good. With good luck I might do some canning and freezing at the end of the growing season. Would sure save me money this winter.
I have finished all I wanted to accomplish outside for today. I finished the last coat of paint on the corner boards and they are now ready to be nailed onto the two outside end corners of the house addition which is my kitchen and eating area. I look at this addition that we added on years ago and wonder how we managed without it when the children were small. I look at the small dining room which used to hold the entire kitchen and dining room furniture- including stove, sink, cupboards, freezer, large dining room table and 8 chairs and wonder how we ever had so much in that one room. Today that same room is filled with just my daybed, floor model Lowry organ, antic dresser that resembles a dining bureau, a plant stand, a long bookcase style shelfs filled with some of my horse collection and a few other small items and it still looks overfull. Makes me wonder how we had so much in that room years ago. I remember how in order to go into the hall I would have to ask the kids or their friends who were sitting on the end of the table to get up and push their chairs under the table to let me by. My washer and dryer were in the cellar back then. Today I have them upstairs. Once the kids were raised we turned the extra downstairs bedroom into a laundry room. A lot has changed since the old days when the kids were still living here at home.

The other item I have been working on is a stair formation with 4 steps to hold some pretty plant holders with flowering plants. When finished it will sit even with the side porch steps, just separated from the regular steps by the railing going down the side porch steps. Today I finished painting the step formation and adding a water protector over the flat part of the atairs that were stained. All that is left to do now is to nail on the trim that goes around each step to keep things from sliding off the stairs. These stairs will be made so they can be removed in the winter to make it easier to shovel snow off the regular steps. Also, removing them in the winter should make them last much longer before needing to be re-stained and re-painted. The trim is painted white to match the white railings on the porch. I also added some blue sections among the white painted trim. I hope that when it is finished it turns out the way I want it to look. A few more nice days to finish it in and I will know.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


RRemembering my Dad on Father`s day, 2008

I wrote this a couple weeks go. Had trouble trying to post it earlier today.

Sunday, June 15th, 2008-- Father`a Day

Remembering my Dad.

He was born in 1903. He had 2 brothers and 2 sisters. He was the youngest in his family. When he was growing up, his father died , and later his mother remarried. My father told me that his mother married a Canadian Indian. I never thought to ask him what tribe his step father had belongd to. From the way Dad spoke I got the impression his step father was a good father to him. All I know is that all three(father, mother and step father) are burried next to each other in the same cementary that my parents were burried in, Plus my Mother`s parents were also burried there. But Dad`s 2 sisters and 2 brothers were burried in another cementary closer to where they lived on the farm. This is the same farm now owned by my oldest brother and his wife.

My dad was always a hard worker. After he graduated he went to work for the Union Bag Co. and when he was 21 he married my mother who was 20 at that time. He became a Mechanic and also changed jobs and worked as a Machinist in a local mill. He was a good provider for his wife and 7 children. I was the middle child in those 7.

He was a very loving father and no matter how busy he was, he would always stop what he was doing and give us his full attention when we wanted to speak to him. Many time he would be working under a car doing something, and he would slide out on his homemade wheeled platform just to see what we wanted. I grew up learning a little about cars because I was always asking him " Dad, what are you doing now?" He always took the time to explain what he was working on at the time. He never once told any of us to go play that he was busy. We always knew he loved us.

He had his idea of what was acceptable and what wasn`t and we knew enough to abide by his rules. But he wasn`t over strict. He was reasonable and met us half way and would listen to what we had to say. It was never his rule without hearing us out.
I remember the time I started smoking. I was right out of high ASchool and working as a Nurse aide at our local Hospital and a Dr there told me that it would help my nerves if I took up smoking. Noone knew the dangers of smoking back then. Well, we had an archway between the front room and the dining room with a scrolled wooden effect and often hung our coat on a hanger on the arch. The ciggs were in my High School jacket pocket. My Dad came into the kitchen carrying the pack of ciggarets and all he said was " Who`s are these?" I could have told him they belonged to my boyfriend and he would have believed me. But, I never lied to my Dad and asked him "Where did you find them?" He said - in your coat pocket. I then told him-- then they must be mine. My Dad just walked back into the other room and placed them back in my pocket where he had found them. He just wanted me to know that he knew. I never smoked in their house in respect for them, but I did smoke in their back yard. Others smoked in their house. If only we had known the dangers of smoking back then.

My Dad also helped many of the neighbors. There was this one neighbor whose husband died when her last two sons were real young- same age as my younger brother and I were at the time. One time their mother called my father for help to make the boys go to the barber for a haircut. My Dad told them if they didn`t have their hairs cut that week-end he would come over to their house and cut it himself and since he wasn`t a barber they just might end up with no hair left at all. You can bet they got their hair cut. I can`t remember my father ever raising his voice, even when he was upset over something someone did. But still his voice seemed to carry a tone that required respect from the one he was upset with. Some of our friends in the neighborhood called my parents Mom and Dad. They loved coming over to our house. My parents had a way to make anyone feel at home when they visited.

I remember one time when we were asked to bring in some item large enough to make a paper basket with. It was to be a mother`s day gift. I was in about third grade at this time. I noticed this large square can that used to hold candy delivered to the local station. I aske my father and he helped me cut off the top section and file it smooth so noone would get cut on it. Then I told him I would need some paint. He told me to check the cans of paint in the garage. I found a can of black and a small can of red and decided to paint that large can black and paint some red tulips on the can. My Dad got me some green paint for the leaves and stems. My mother had that paper basket sitting under the old sink for years until my Dad added on the larger kitchen with the modern sink.
Another time my younger brother wanted a toy rifle from Santa for Christmas. It was about 1938 or 1939. I was about 7 or 8 at the time. I asked my Dad if I could have the piece of wood he wasn`t using and I sawed it into the shape of a rifle and my Dad helped me cut out a finger place and a fake trigger. Then I painted it black. I remember watching my younger bro running around the yard playing with it. Sure didn`t take much money for us to find things to play with back then. Dad was always so willing to help me when I wanted to make something.

Years later he taught me how to prime our well pump when it quit working. When the furnace would stop working, he also taught me how to remove the furnace nozzle, clean it and how to re-measure all the adjustments before putting it back together. Seemed like the pump and furnace always acted up when Walt was at work. Dad would hop in his car and go to help anyone who needed help. He would explain things so clear to me that he never had to come to my home to teach me, I could understand what he was telling me to do on the phone. He would end up saying If that doesn`t work, call me back. If i had to call him back, the second time he always ended it by saying -if that doesn`t do the trick, let me know and i`ll make the trip up. He never did have to make the trip. He lived about a 30 minute drive from where we lived. Whenever I have a problem now, I sure miss not being able to phone him for his good advice.

I remember how he would never drive past a fellow wearing a Military uniform- he always stopped and gave them a lift-- often driving miles out of his way to get them where they were going. He had a great respect for them. My oldest and youngest brothers were both in the Navy. One time when he stopped my sister and I were in the back seat and I remember my sister saying she was staying by the window. So, this fellow had to climb in over her feet and ended up sitting in the middle between us. I remember feeling a bit nervous with a stranger sitting beside me, but I also knew my father was there so nothing bad would happen. He could make you feel so safe. Dad also wasn`t one who used cuss words. My parents felt that children learn what the hear and there was no bad language allowed at home. They taught us that if you wanted to be respected you had to earn that respect in the way you acted. My Dad was such a gentle man and he believed in treating others the way you would want to be treated.

Happy Father`s Day Dad. It may be 33 long years since we last talked, but you are still missed by all of us. When I wrote this, I didn`t know that Fred would be joining you in time for Father`s day. I know you and mother and Ken were there to greet Fred when he arrived. I am sure you are happy to once again be with him. Someday we will all be together again. Love and miss you all. What a happy father`s day for you Dad- seeing your first born again. But what a sad day for all Fred`s family, burrying their Dad a day before Father`s day. God Bless them all. Dad, the rest of your family misses you all very much. We love you all soo very much.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


My Brother Fred

Just a short note to let you know my brother Fred passed away Monday evening.
I was notified Tuesday morning. Tomorrow is the wakes- afternoon and evening and the Funeral is Saturday morning. Lost another brother back in 1994. There are so many memories already in this cementary where my Husband, both parents, 2 sets of Grandparents, 2 sisters husbands, plus other relations are.
Thanks to all who left comments before that I haven`t answered yet.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


My Oldest Brother, June 6,08

My Brother

I was raised with three brothers and 3 sisters. But today my mind rests on my oldest brother who went into a coma yesterday. He has held the highest position in our family every since our mother passed away back on May 10th, 1995. He has worked very hard trying to keep our family in a close relationship. He was able to do this mostly because we have always looked up to him during our growing up years. We lost my youngest brother back in 1994 and now we know it is just a matter of time before we also lose our eldest brother. Being in a coma, they can no longer feed him as it would only end up filling into his lungs and cause him even more pain. He has suffered for over three years with one stroke after another and has been completely in a wheelchair for over a year, almost two years now. With all the suffering he has gone thru, he still tried hard to smile and always show his loving, considerate , caring ways to everyone he sees. He has never complained, even when we can see how much pain he is sometimes in. The most I have ever heard him say was to his wife asking her to help him. This past year he has talked very little, so we know the last stroke he had before going south for the winter made talking a bit harder for him. He really didn`t want to go to Georgis this past winter, he wanted to stay up north in his huge farmhouse near the rest of his brothers and sisters. But the Dr had told his wife that even the lightest cold could risk his life. So, for that reason my sister-in-law decided they had to spend the winter in a warmer climate away from our terribly cold snowy area.
So, like other winters, they spent the winter in their apartment up over their son`s huge garage. This winter they hired around the clock nurses to help care for him. Yesterday I heard that one of his sons from Jersey was already down there and the rest of his children were on their way to Georgia. So, my sister-in-law will have all her children there with her.

This brother took up mechanical drawing while in high school. I was the only other family member who took up these High School drawing courses. I still find them useful today, but my brother put them to a much better use. After his time in the Navy during World War II, he got a job working at our local lace factory and soon became their head design person for drawing and setting up his designs on the lace machines. After a few years, he decided he wanted to own his own lace factory. He heard of a small lace factory for sale in the state of New Jersey and he not only made atrrangements to buy this factory, but he moved his family to New Jersey. He ran this factory for many years, until a much larger factory became available for sale. With another fellow, he ended up buying this factory and sold the smaller one. Since he was putting the most money into the new factory, he was the head of it. He continued to draw all the designs again for this company. Here is one millionare who never had a penny handed to him. He was and still is ( my mind keeps feeling like I should be saying "he was") a self made millionare. We all watched him working very hard over the years and obtaining the goal he had set for himself. When he retired- or semi-retired, he kept a small percentage and divided the reat of his shares amongst all of his children who had worked with him when they got old enough. He has put most all of his children thru college, one son became a Dr in Georgia and specialized in psyciatry, another is a tree surgion in NJ - who has a good job doing yard beautification, cutting down trees, etc, another became high in a bank and then started her own business in Real Estate, the other 3 sons still work in the lace factory. Today my brother also owns many other things, like a gas station (if he didn`t sell it this past year), houses- they have sold the one where the kids grew up in Jersey, plus sold another one in our area to a cousins daughter, but still owns the camp on the lake, the home where a sister now lives and the one where we all grew up, plus the large farm and the large farmhouse that he had all remodeled and today looks nothing like the farm house where I lived when my twins were born. This farm has been owned by my family for many years and my father grew up on this farm. He also owns Wet Willies Inc. So he has done real good due to being such a hard worker all his life.

I have watched him help many family members keep their homes when times got tough and also helped many friends. I can honestly say that Walt and I are the only family members who do not owe him. I remember many years ago when he loaned Walt a hundred dollars which was paid back 25 dollars each week. When I was giving him the last payment my sister-in-law tried to tell me that we were already paid in full, but I sinsisted we did owe this 25 and I insisted on paying it. I still remember my sister-in-law yelling to my brother saying "Didn`t you tell me that Dot and Walt were all paid up" and his reply " you handled the payments, so if you say they are paid up, then they are". But I told her I kept track of every payment and since I still owed this last payment, they had to take it. I have always taken my bills seriously and never wanted to leave any bill unpaid.

So many memories keep rushing thru my head as I sit here with my thoughts centered on him. Like when I was a teenager and it was so cold out when we would go sliding on the hilly road in the wooded area of the farm. As a child, I had always had leg pain whenever my legs got cold. One day my brother gave me his sailor pants with those thirteen buttons on the front of them. Only older people will remember those 13 button winter Navy pants worn during World War II. They sure worked wonders keeping my legs warmer while sliding. I still own those Navy pants today. Some of my children also wore them to keep warm while playing outside in the cold winter snowy weather here in upstate New York. Another item i still have is a fancy silk scarf and also a nice warm white stole-- both made in his larger factory in Jersey. Then there is the book titled "That`s Why Stories" he bought me when I was a kid. Still have that book also.

Last week they had to put down the last of my brother`s three horses due to a medical problem. One of these horses I think was about 17 years old, and the other two were up there in age. Like my younger brother and myself, he had a great love and respect for horses. First my grandparent had horses on that farm. then an Uncle did, then for a couple years my younger brother lived there and owned a couple horses and two ponies. Last was this older brother with three large horses. Such beautiful horses. I will miss seeing them. I don`t know if anyone has told my brother about his last horse, This brother used to ride horses with another High school friend and I loved it when they showed up at home and would give me a ride. I am 6 years younger than my oldest brother. When I got older I used to go rent horses to ride. I remember one time when my youngest brother (2 yrs younger) and I were riding his horses. He told me the one I was riding was very gentle and never ran very fast. That was why he bought it for his wife to ride. But, he got surprised how fast that horse could run. When he took off ahead of me on a fast run riding his stallian, the mare I was on suddenly took off on a fast gallop and in seconds we were running fast right beside him and his horse. First time he had ever seen the mare take off like that. Maybe it was because his wife always held the reins tight to keep her going slower and I just gave her freedom to run. In seconds we were at the end of the road. Fastest I had ever rode on a horse and I loved it. Maybe the mare sensed my sister-in-laws fear and noticed I didn`t have that fear. Horses are smart. I miss those days and the cycle riding days. Had to give them up years ago when I broke off the tailbone on my spine.

It is now starting to get daylight (6am), so I had to stop and get dressed, but now I am back. I have been up since 3 am thinking of my bro and unable to get back to sleep. I just saw my son-in-law and his brother leaving for the fishing trip with his boat hooked to the back of his truck. They enter a lot of the fishing tournaments as does one of my sons. I can already tell that it will be another hot day today. I put the smaller air conditioner in the kitchen window yesterday. Now I need to put the remaining plants outside so I can move the larger air conditioner into the laundry room window. All winter the table in front of that window held many of my house plants, plus many hang from the ceiling in front of that same window. In the high 80`s yesterday and expecting up in the 90`s today. Just two weeks ago we were having frost and freezing conditions at night, and 40`s -50`s days. Such a rapid change. We wanted it warmer, but would have been nice to have a few weeks in the 70`s before jumping into the 80`s and 90`s. Guess we are never satisfied-- either wishing it would cool off or wishing it would warm up. Guess I`ll go and get things moved around so I can put the large air conditioner into the laundry room window. I have a large cold air register in that room and when I turn on the furnace blower it pulls the cooler air from the air conditioner down into the furnace in the cellar and shoots it back out in all the rooms thru all the hot air registers-- a little like a house air conditioner without the high expence. When we had the newer furnace put in I insisted on having a switch added beside the emergency switch to enable me to turn on the blower from upstairs without having to go down cellar every time. This morning I awoke with a headache and my eyes smarting badly. So, today is going to be another bad day for allergies. Can`t take any allergy meds just yet because first had to take the actonel and wait a half hour before I can eat or drink anything and have to stay in an upright position. But, the eye drops have helped the burning eyes some. Oh, the half hour is up, so I can now bend and can move things in the laundry room and put in the air-conditioner. I need to stay busy or I will have a hard time here -so far from my brother, just waiting for the next phone call. I know he wasn`t in a lot of pain yesterday according to his Dr son and that helps a little. It is now almost 6:30 and I will be posting this a little later when I am back on the computer.

The air-conditioner is finally in the window. At 11:30, the temp is now 86 with an 91 heat index, so it probably will get up to the 90`s F this afternoon. The air content is high and they say it is bad for the elderly and anyone with breathing difficulties.

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