Friday, August 31, 2012

Toy cupboard

Can't you just picture some daddy somewhere, (or maybe some grand-daddy), making this cupboard for his little girl?

It has lots of storage room, just right for all the dishes it takes to serve meals to all her dolls.
It's kind of sad that the little girl grew up, and no longer played with the cupboard isn't it? Or at least, I assume that's what happened, since the cupboard was for sale.

So, I bought it. Us big girls can still play with a toy cupboard....

I'm using it for display until someone comes along who thinks it would be perfect for the little girl in their house....or maybe it would be perfect for the big girl in their house!

There are some things that us big girls never outgrow!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My window displays for the Cost of Freedom

Moundsville's Cost of Freedom ends today. It's been lots of work for many people, but a work well worth the effort. We'll never be able to show enough honor and respect and appreciation to our military. We owe them more than we can ever begin to repay.

Many folks who came commented on how impressed they were with how our town came together for this event. The majority of the storefronts had their windows all decked out in military memorabilia. Lots of red, white and blue. Lots of pictures and uniforms. Lots of American pride.

I didn't take pictures in other stores, but I did take pictures of my windows, and I thought I'd share them here.

This is the left window going into the shop. It featured my cousin Lyle who was killed in Vietnam, my father-in-law, and some friend's relatives. 
This is the right window going into the shop. It featured my dad, and also newspaper clippings from the Persion Gulf War.
For more detailed stories of each soldier featured, you can go to my facebook page. I posted one or two a day during the Cost of Freedom event.
At some point along the way, we picked up these two 48 star flags. This seemed an appropriate time to use them for display. The pip wreath in the middle is for sale, but the flags aren't. 
May we never forget....

This bell was originally in the Dixon Ridge School in Marshall County, WV. Later, it was on my father-in-laws farm outside Cameron, WV. When the news came out that WWII had ended, George's dad, uncle, and grandfather rang the bell so hard in celebration that the bell cracked! If you look closely at the bell, toward the left side, you can see the crack.
We had the bell in the window for the event, and I think lots of people enjoyed seeing and reading it's history. 
I made a fabric bunting to hang around the top of the windows, and cut out stars on my Sihlouette machine to accompany the bunting.
One memory of the Event that meant a lot to me was walking into the store Friday morning. As I neared the front door to unlock it, I saw a group of school children and their teacher Mrs. Eskridge looking at the displays in my windows. My aunt just happened to be there right then, and as I opened the door, she was pointing out to the children that the man in the picture was her brother.
That brought tears to my eyes, as I saw her proudly point out the pictures of my dad, and I heard the teacher say, "Look children, this man was this woman's brother."
Then, my aunt pointed out the young man in the other window.
My cousin, Lyle Glenn Aston. He was killed in Vietnam, leaving behind a grief-stricken family, including his wife and baby. The print-out is from my sister's blog, when she wrote about Lyle. You can see it here.
The teacher said to the kids, "This is why we're here. To pay respect to these soldiers."

Yes, indeed. May we never forget. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Cost of Freedom Arrival

The Cost of Freedom Traveling Tribute rolled into town Wednesday, and it was a sight to behold!

In our location, just a couple blocks from the former West Virginia Penitentiary, where the Tribute is now set up, the sidewalks were filled with folks patiently waiting for it's arrival.

First came a large number of police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks from our town, and many surrounding areas.
And then the motorcycles. Lots of motorcycles. Lots and lots of motorcycles.
The majority of them were Patriot Guard Riders. I have so much respect for them! The highlighted link will take you to Wikipedia, where you can learn more about the Patriot Guard.
After a large number of riders went by, the truck carrying the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall came through.
 I was standing too close to get a good picture of the whole truck, but this gives you an idea of the beauty of it.
And then, the motorcycles kept coming. 
And coming. 
And coming, and coming, and coming.  
It had been estimated that there would be 750 - 1000 riders. I haven't heard an exact number, but I'm sure the estimate was accurate. A friend counted to 500 before she gave up counting. And they kept coming and coming and coming.
Yesterday, a TV reporter who had covered the arrival was in my store shopping. She said the truck driver told her that this was one of the biggest welcomes they have ever recieved. Moundsville was out in full force, but so were the towns leading into Moundsville.
I pulled this photo from the Cost of Freedom Moundsville facebook page. This is a small town a few miles north of Moundsville on Rt. 2. Their residents filled the overpass, with their patriotism shining brightly.

 It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining brightly, but the weather had nothing to do with it. American pride, complete with honor, respect and appreciation for our military and emergency personnel was out if full force.
May we never forget their sacrifices.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ohio Valley Cost of Freedom Tribute

I tried to do a post yesterday, but the pictures wouldn't load right. Well, phooey. So, I'm switching gears today and going with a whole new post.

One week from today our little (population 9,234) town of Moundsville, WV will host the Ohio Valley Cost of Freedom Tribute. It's coming to town in style, accompanied by 750+ Patriot Guard Riders. Can you imagine the thunder of that many Harley Davidson's roaring into town?

The traveling Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall  will be set up on Jefferson Avenue, in front of the former WV Penitentiary.

Other parts will be inside the Penitentiary grounds, and on the riverfront. Several stores (including mine) will have displays in their windows. Some are already up, others will be put up next week.

My windows are filling up with red, white and blue. Military memorabilia from my dad, my father-in-law, and friends family will be going in my windows next week. I don't want to put it out till closer time...I don't want to risk sun damage on irreplaceable mementos.

The newly refurbished (beautiful!) Strand Theatre will be presenting their own tributes as well. 

This is a huge event....they are expecting 50,000 visitors during the Tribute. If you can possibly come, I'm sure it will be well worth your time and effort.

I've been to the real Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall in Washington DC. I've looked up my cousin's name on that wall. I've stood there and cried. For his loss, and for the thousands of others that are so neatly listed one by one on that Wall. It's an overwhelming experience.

I'm sure it will be just as moving when standing in front of the traveling Wall. 

We owe those young men from that war and the many others our sincere gratitude. I hope you will be able to join us in Moundsville next week.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ornaments...and it's only August 10

In the retail world, one has to already be planning for Christmas. Ugh. It's hard to get in that frame of mind when it's hot! But, it has to be done.

Fall is out on the floor. Well, what I have so far is out, there will be more to come. After all, it's only August 10. School hasn't even started yet. Well, I take that back. It has started for one district in the county that is experimenting with a form of year round school. But I digress....

New this year is locally made felt Christmas ornaments. I've put out what I have so far, there will be more to come. After all, it's only August 10. School hasn't even.....never mind. I think I'm repeating myself. So sorry.

Actually the ones on this side of the rack could be used anytime. Hang them from a hook, or shaker peg. Use them on a gift bag. Some of you keep trees up all year, and hang seasonal ornaments on them.

I don't do that you have any idea how dusty it gets on a dirt road in a dry summer? Dusty, very dusty. And it takes forever to dust those pine needles one by one. Ha!

The ones on the other side of the rack are more Christmasy. (is that a real word?)

Well, the star on the top left could be used anytime, but I don't have to tell you that. Maybe it's just my eyes, but the one on the bottom left is a little hard to make out. So I will tell you what that one's a mitten.

A close-up of the two that started it all. WV and a blue & gold star to go with it. Ahhh, Almost Heaven.

As I said when I was repeating myself, there will be more to come. After all, it's only August 10. I think I may have mentioned that.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Country Life = How to cook eggs

This morning, I canned 8 pints of green beans...

While they were processing in the canner, I cleaned the eggs from our spoiled rotten hard-working hens.

It's not unusual for there to be a broken egg or two in the batch. That comes from the hens thinking it would be fun if everyone used the same nesting box.
Sometimes we'll find 6 or 7 eggs in one box. No....that doesn't mean there are 6 or 7 hens in that little space all at once, but rather that as soon as one (well, sometimes 2...see above photo) gets done and jumps out, another one (well, sometimes 2...see above photo) jumps in.

And when a hen lays an egg on top of other eggs, you can guess what happens. Crack.

(Don't feel bad for them, they have 12 boxes to choose from. But like a bunch of kids, they all want the same one)

So, lots of days when I'm washing the eggs, I'll find a cracked one or two. Usually it's discovered when my thumb goes through the shell. Yuck. I just wash it down the drain when that happens.

After I canned the beans, I poured the VERY HOT water from the canner down the drain.

A few minutes later, I happened to walk back over to the sink, and I noticed something odd in the drain....

What is that white stuff in the drain? What is that yellow stuff on the side?

Oh! HA! That would be the egg that went down the drain. Or, the egg that mostly went down the drain. Part of it remained in the sink, and the VERY HOT water from the canner cooked it instantly!

Betcha never thought of cooking your eggs in the sink drain, did ya?

Yep, we're quite inventive out here in the country.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Buy local

Love this poster a friend had on her facebook page!

Since we don't offer shipping, ALL of our customers are local.
Or, they stop in whenever they are visiting
which makes them temporarily local.

And our customers make us very happy!
Thanks to all of you.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Farm crafts, and....

We're going down on the farm....craft style.

Mini pillows. 
Great for a shelf, or a bowl filler.

Love Spoken Here. Awww.




Hey! Wait a minute! That's our REAL goats!
You don't want them in your home decor.

  Farm house.
 (a Billy Jacobs print)

Farmhouse ornaments.

A goat named Jessica. 
As opposed to our daughter named Jessica.

Although, the goat named Jessica WAS named after our daughter Jessica.

If you are of the female persuasion, and you are in our neighbor's barn 
when a baby girl goat is born, she is named after you.

(doesn't work for boys - the boys aren't named)

Kevin & Katie just bought the goats in the picture above,
including Jessica, and another goat named for Katie.

But....the goat Katie is not well, and hasn't made the move yet.
We're pulling for her!

Thursday, August 2, 2012


I'm building up my Americana/Patriotic inventory in preparation for the Cost of Freedom Traveling Tribute that will be coming to Moundsville August 22. This will include the traveling Vietnam Wall, which is a scaled down version of the one in Washington DC.

Just a few of the new Americana crafts....

My friend Debbie made the flag, then I attached it to a large piece of checked material by blanket stitching around it. The whole thing was then attached to an old window. A red, white and blue pip berry garland tops it off.

Well....hmmm....I've tried twice, and this picture won't rotate. If you tilt your head, maybe you can make it out. I'm calling them Americana triangles. Debbie also made these, and they mimic the folded flags.

These are barnwood signs I painted a few days ago. I took the picture of them in what I like to call my 'outdoor painting studio'. Several of these have already sold, and I'm working on more.

Americana is always in season!

Switching Gears to an Occasional Shop

For a loooooooooong time, I have wanted to switch our shop to an occasional shop. Until yesterday, we were open 5 ...