Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Times -

I am posting these because I want my friend Melinda to see how clean and sparkling the votive holders she gave me (Along with so many other wonderful things for Quiltville Inn) are being put out and ready for others to enjoy now that we are close to reopening!

I love the story that came with these – more than 2 dozen of them – they had been stored away after her wedding and when she asked if I would like them for the porch, I said YES!

Because this summer weather is just what I envisioned for candles on porch rails, on the tables, creating an ambiance of “Let’s Sit a While” and memories being made as the creek rolls by behind the inn.

I have citronella tea lights on order.  Hopefully they will be here any day.

I washed out old wax, soot and debris in hot soapy water in the sink, and once clean that way, ran them through the dishwasher which brightened up the “grout” around the reflective tiles on the outside of the candle holders.

Lola, Helping  as Always!

Several have asked how the cats are doing now that they are back to the way things were.

Some older female cats (Emmy is 20 in August and Lola is 11) are pretty territorial and set in their ways.  I think it really IS best to keep them apart.  No one needs the drama or trauma.

Emmy Lou is back to her old self.  She loves being out on the porch, and will wander to the edge of the woods to do her “business” but doesn’t wander far off.  She comes right back in again.

Lola has always only been an inside cat, and she loves her cat trees at the QPO, and is always present when I am sewing – usually behind my back in my chair, or sometimes on the table like this just watching.

Some have suggested I get a kitten for her to keep company with, but see above.  Just not interested in the drama and trauma!

I know Emmy Lou’s days are numbered.  When she goes, we will move Lola to the cabin again.  She seemed to like it there, other than the fact that there was Emmy Lou.

Amassing A Stack

This project has been slow going over the past weeks as – well, I don’t know why other than LIFE has taken over.  Isn’t that the way it goes for all of us?

Yesterday afternoon I pulled all of the painters tape off from around door frames, base boards, window frames and panes – there was a bunch of dry wall dust to sweep up, floors to be dusted and mopped, bannister rungs to wipe down as well as stair treads.  We had fixed a bad spot in the ceiling and you can’t even tell now.  It looks so clean and fresh.

All pictures are back hanging on the walls, furniture and decor moved back. 

Paper towel holders are installed in the bathrooms!

And I love the Wash Up, Buttercup! sign – that was a Hobby Lobby find from my trip to Bristol the other day.

Only 9 of 12 coverlets have arrived, though!

Still waiting on 3 more.

At 5pm Dave came to help with the moving of the furniture back, and to help hang all of the pictures and decorations (If there is anything that men hate more than hanging decorations – let me know! LOL!) so I had planned ahead, brought the leftover BBQ chicken, some corn on the cob and some potatoes to bake.

The potatoes were in the oven cooking when he arrived – we got our work done and then ate out on the back porch as evening fell.  NICE.  Just SO NICE!

Binding is half-way done!

I also keep plugging away at this – with the late hours we’ve put in at the retreat house, not as much evening sewing time has been happening.  And it isn’t only because we are tired at the end of the day -

It’s THIS ONE saying “Play with Me!”

This morning’s candlelight breakfast alfresco.

Notice the spray can of OFF in the corner!

Through this whole pandemic thing (Which is FAR FROM OVER folks – people are still dying by the 1000s every day so remain vigilant!) the one thing that has really been fun is to bring the whole concept of “dining” back into our lives, instead of just “eating”.  There is a difference.

Notice – NO CELL PHONES at the table. (Other than taking this photo and then setting mine aside.) TALKING.  Reconnecting with family members on a deeper level.

I remember after 9/11 that for days and weeks I was glued to the news with an overwhelming NEED for updated information.  Didn’t want to miss anything. Needed to be informed.  I wasn’t sleeping well.  I could hardly focus.  My heart and mind were in turmoil. And after a couple of weeks I had to turn it off and just get back to life as best as I could finding comfort in every day ordinary things.

I’m feeling that now. I’m starting to find the pounding of constant news, even though important, starting to have a downward spiral effect on my emotions and my motivation. Are you feeling that too?  The feeling of not doing enough.  Or of not doing things the right way.

There are times when I feel I need a narrower focus to make a difference where I live.  For myself, personally.  For my family.  For my immediate community.  And then outward from there.

This is where I am resting from the world.

All of the changes begin here.  And then we go out and treat others the way we would wish to be treated.  We look deeper, we connect deeper, and from there we can begin to heal hurts and build bridges.

My today?

I wanted an early morning walk with Zoey that can’t happen as I have to make the 1/2 hour drive to Lowes and pick up reflective window film for the upstairs bedroom windows on the west side of Quiltville Inn, specifically bedrooms 4 and 5, and the big picture window in the upstairs hall.  Because that afternoon sun is now HOT and the air conditioner on that side is struggling to keep up. 

We weren’t even close to opening last Summer, and we had never run the a/c at a comfort level until now in an effort to conserve energy.

The window film we put in the huge front windows at the QPO has really helped with the heat from the morning sun.  My hope is that putting some reflective film on these windows will also keep things cooler so the a/c can work its magic and have things back to cool sleeping temps by bedtime.

I am so glad we put ceiling fans in all of the rooms because that really helps.

Which means – we will be filming the windows this evening after 5pm!  Old houses sure have their challenges.

Kielbasa and fried up leftover baked potatoes from yesterday are on the plan for dinner.

Anything going on for your Wednesday ahead?

Quiltville Quote of the Day

My words to myself this morning:

Don't let the opinions of others consume you!

There is a lot of opinion flinging out there in the form of "You know, you should, you need to, why don't you, (fill in the blank) from those who aren't living your life.

Be informed and listen to your heart when it comes to your life.

The choices are yours, as are the consequences.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!


  1. We need for the media to spend a whole week not telling us how awful we are and just telling us the news without comment. I understand the need to strike while the iron is hot and to make overdue changes but if they continue to tell me how awful life is I will scream.

    1. just turn it OFF... you'll be surprised... take a deep breath, hug yourownsweetself and and since you can't 'fix it' -- fuhgeddaboutit!! Love and good health from Cats in Carlsbad CA... just turn it OFF, <3

    2. Amen to that. I’ve quit watching national news as I’m tired of their biased reporting. Give me the good old days when they reported with all the editorializing and let me arrive at my own conclusions. Quilting helps bring me sanity. 😍

    3. I will second Dorothy’s Amen! I have quit watching as well. Less news, more quilting! 😊

  2. Just reading this made me feel calm! Sometimes we do need to take a break from the world and re-center. Have a great day, Bonnie!

  3. Glad to have a kitty update - glad they are both doing well. Your retreat house looks beautiful - I'm sure you will be happy to have quilters fill it soon!

  4. I am with you on the watching of national news. I want to know, yet, it can consume me. I listened to a pod cast that encouraged just loving our neighbors more during this time. I can't stop the pandemic by what I can do alone, but I can make the days a little brighter, perhaps, for those living next to me by being friendly & encouraging. (We live in a town home.) We all need encouragement. We are blessed to have a family with a toddler living in the next unit and chatting with him & his parents when they are outside is such a joy! On the other side we have 2 single young men and I have shared baked goods with them. Such small, small things, yet it brightens my day and theirs. Yes, the pandemic is far from over! Let's continue to be smart and caring of the health of ourselves & others. It is so fun to hear how the inn in progressing. I hope it is a huge success!

  5. Love the Mother Teresa quote. And here is one from Florence Henderson (a TV personality but still good) "Treat your friends like family and your family like friends." Happy Wednesday.

  6. Bonnie, I saw a lady yesterday on Facebook showing some items while she was shopping at Home Depot and one item decorative window coverings that apply and they remove easily. That is all I know I had never heard of them before.

  7. Wow...I like your idea of the reflective window film! I'm thinking of putting it on the sliding door in my sewing room. But...I like to sew by natural light, will the film make sewing more difficult? Always learning something from you!

  8. thank you for your wonderful thoughts. I agree. Your place is looking fantastic!

  9. A home owners work is never done!! Have you ever added zucchini to your kielbasa and potatoes? We call it kielbasa stew!! My male, and only remaining cat, is going to be 13 this year. I gave always had multiple cars but I don't want to stress him because he already has crystal issues with his urinary system and when we bought things from my daughter's last month he felt the need to mark it all as it smelt like her cats. I can't take the chance that he will do the same if there is another cat introduced!! What we do for our fur children!!

  10. I have not sewn for 10 days. My mind and soul are screaming for a creative moment. So here's hoping. I have been helping family with moving. This has been emotional and very exhausting, leaving no time to catch the news. Pity. I am doing much better because of it, while re-assessing what I really think and how I act toward my all my fellow humans.

  11. Absolutely the BEST quote today!! Glad the kitties both are doing well. Our cat will be 19 about Labor Day. He doesn't take well to other animals around either.

  12. I went to a quilt shop yesterday. It's a very nice smaller shop and we know the owners well. It was so great to see them again. I've been fine with the quarantine, but am feeling the need for some human contact.

  13. The look Zoey is giving you made me laugh out loud !!!!

  14. I find a short dose of media morning and evening is plenty. Then it's time take a break. Today's break will be on finishing Unity. We had kielbasa with sauerkraut for dinner last week. Our own homemade venison kielbasa

  15. Love your advice. Today I am meeting with girl friends under a covered patio of our town bank specifically built just to visit and eat our lunch of homemade sandwiches or if one prefers an order from our one take out for now "The Rogue" meaning unusual or different. That pretty much describes life today! I have been enjoying life at home on the farm which includes moving equipment from place to place, cooking, even driving a tractor to help out a little, gardening, and piecing quilts,etc. in between patching blue jeans for our grandson who farms in another area 100 miles away. We are looking forward to our granddaughters high school graduation which will now be in the parking lot of the stadium due to the fact that the University nearby is not open to graduations at the present and the football field is torn up to put in turf (fake grass). Life moves on! Hope you have a grand reopening of the end. It looks lovely, and I can only dream about visiting at a retreat.

  16. My days are like yours just now, painting, repairs and cleaning an old hotel building in Scotland, ready for some long awaited guests. We've just been told hopefully a reopening of hospitality on July 15th. It's been a long empty period. And I agree, old buildings are lots of work, even more now with sanitisers, risk assesments, screens etc. Fingers crossed we get guests back to enjoy real life. My quilting is my little bit of total relaxation, especially of my mind.

  17. I live in Phoenix where energy savings is critical. I have blackout cellular/honeycomb blinds in the picture window in my bedroom. The bedroom is southwest facing but is still much cooler than the rest of the house now by far. Assuming your retreat guests will not be spending much time in bedrooms during the day, so light and bright isn't needed, this might be another option for relief for your a/c unit. They relatively inexpensive, easy to install and very effective. I cannot wait to be able to book my stay at Quiltville Inn. You guys have done a beautiful job there.

  18. As for men hating to move furniture, my guy is the reverse. He would rather do that than paint. Isn't it great how we are all the same yet different?

  19. I literraly jave keilbasso on the stove to ho with leftover potatoes and corn on the cob for lunch. Made me laugh. My house is coming together and the inn is too! Stay safe.

  20. Have you checked if Zoey has pigs in her ancestry?? Cause she is such a HAM with the photo shoots. Lol. Have a grand day. Quilting my traffic jam quilt from left over masks fabric on a janome jem gold on a patio end table

  21. Bonnie, thank you for taking the time to post everyday... it brings me joy to sit and read what you post and also inspires me to work on my numerous projects which are in various stages of getting "DONE". Finishing has been my focus last year and continues into this year. Hugs from California

  22. I really wish the national media would just pipe down. I've heard more than enough about Covid. More than enough about protests/riots. More than enough about how awful I am because of my white skin. I just want to hear good news, see pretty quilts, etc. Your blog posts are always a bright spot in my day.

  23. When all the protests and rioting began 2 weeks ago, my husband who doesn't watch much tv, was glued to it. After 2 days,he was a changed person and not for the better. We made a life giving decision for our marriage - we will not have news on if the tv is on. We had to disconnect to have positivity in our lives. I quickly check the news daily and if is really important relay on to him. Our relationship is more important. Glad the kitties are happy in their respective spaces.

  24. Love the quote today. People are generous with their opinions, especially when the consequences don't impact their own life. Casden's quilt is bring a bright smile to his face (and his momma's). Glad to hear the cats are doing better. Zoey remains adorable.

  25. I was REALLY over Covid after the first couple of weeks and then to practically go right into BLM and non-stop demonstrations, I AM TOAST!! My DH was an air traffic controller so obviously very active in clearing the skies after the planes hit. I remember being in the yard, watering and looking up into the empty skies thinking how weird it was. I also think the older I get, the harder it is to deal with all the turmoil.

  26. My husband is still working from home, and has the tv on sky news constantly. I hate it all that negativity, so I don’t spend any time in my living room now. I have sewn constantly during lockdown and when I get batting will really have to get some of these tops finished lol.
    Today is a rainy Thursday for me and my daughter is moving house ,I had her son sleep here last night and once I deliver him to school I will go and pick up my baby granddaughter. It’s going to be a very busy day lol.
    Love your beautiful bathroom and thought the wash up buttercup picture was a hoot!
    Keep safe
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

  27. We are only an hour from New York City. I think our township had the first 9/11 memorial in New Jersey since many here commute to New York. After 9/11, my Mom's blood pressure went through the roof. Her doctor said he had many older patients having the same problem. We had to tell my Mom to turn the news off. I have to keep telling my husband that now. I want to stay abreast of what is going on in the world, but I don't want to live it 24 hours a day. I keep telling him you have the power in your hand to get away from this - turn the TV off or put on something different. He has been putting the classical music channel on which is much better for both of us. I spoke to an older friend today and she said the same thing. One of the highlights of the last few months has been the baby deer born in our backyard. In the past few days, we have seen the mother out there nursing our baby. We have to think good thoughts and pray this will be over sooner, not later.

  28. You are a wise woman Bonnie! You live your life, they live theirs and they can kindly keep their opinions to themselves - if only! Thanks for the update on the feline grand dames of Quiltville. Beautiful ladies they are.

  29. Hi Bonnie. I feel the same as you, that the news is getting to be too much. We own a small motel and RV Park in Nova Scotia Canada and all the uncertainty is stressful. We made the decision to keep the motel closed for the season just to be safe than sorry. The stress of unknown visitors and the disinfecting would be such an added stress. This season will only be the RV Park and much more free time for quilting for me! Some days I've been so down I haven't even been able to find joy in quilting. Hopefully, with one thing off my plate, a break from hourly news, will bring back my joy. Take care. Best of luck on your reopening!

  30. I turn off the tv news... and I sew and pray. I am tired of the media telling me how bad we are and how bad our country is... I love my country! we are not perfect no one is.. but we are alot better than some countries. Bonnie I love seeing zoey and your kitties.. hang in there..

  31. The retreat house looks great. Thank you for the quotes,

  32. I am a new reader and since discovering your blog, I read it every day. It does bring some peace in my life. Love pictures of Zoey and the cats - please keep them coming. I had to put my dog to sleep last year and my cat this year. Because of my age, plan to go without pets - but - who knows - might change my mind. Thank you so much for the blogs - wonderful!!

  33. EXCELLENT quote - I hope many folks heed that advice!
    Hang in there, the inn looks wonderful and I'm glad to hear you are reopening. Best wishes!!

  34. Wonderful message, Bonnie. I didn't fully realize until I read your post,but I am feeling the exact same way you are. I really, really needed to hear this. Thank you.

  35. Think globally; act locally.

  36. I found with a little bit of sand in the bottom of the votive holders they are apt to stay a little cleaner and not quite as easy to knock over.

  37. I barely watch any news anymore. It's all so negative. My husband watches the new all day long. I like to be in the family room with him so I take my Kindle and read to take my mind off the news. I love reading your blogs, Bonnie. Seeing your beautiful outdoor pictures and pictures of the Inn. I love seeing your animals too. So many cute pictures of them. When I was young and raising my family there were so many people, family and friends who thought they knew better how to raise my children than I. It made life very difficult sometimes. By the way I just learned that Lemon Grass supposedly keeps mosquitos away. Maybe some pots of Lemon Grass here and there on your porch would help keep them away. I'm going to try planting some here and there in my back yard. I live in Ca. and will have to check out if the Lemon Grass can take a little frost.

  38. Between the politics, the virus and the protests......I have had enough of TV.
    Luckily I have music channels on my TV.....so its 60's music for me, while I sew.


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