Mending, Reading, Grands & Outdoors

Years ago my sister gave a huge king-sized heavy comforter / spread to my son. He and my DIL love it, even in the warmer months because with whole house A/C plus a separate unit for their room, they want to be very cold when they sleep. Well, between their dog Merle and my other sons’ dog Koopa having an overnight and playing there awhile back there was a huge tear in the comforter on one section and then on the side another tear where the piping was.

This spread was due for a dry cleaning and couldn’t go in that condition so I recently spent a morning appliqueing a huge patch over one tear and repairing the other as best I could. I used quilting thread so that it would hold up and I had one of their cats helping me.

Zoe isn’ t really THEIR cat but they are keeping her while a friend goes off with the Navy:  ( not the greatest picture…hastily taken with my old iPhone )

Zoe is QUITE the character. She will actually leap from a kitchen counter or table on to your shoulder to perch there. It really took me by surprise when she first did that to me! :)

After wrestling with that heavy blanket trying to applique and mend, I lost all taste for sewing for a few days!

I pulled out a book that I’d purchased used online a few years back for some light reading. I’ll re-read things off and on and this is a folksy sort of memoir with recipes in it.  It is called “Up a Country Lane” by Evelyn Birkby. It is about farm life in rural Iowa in the 1940’s and 50’s.  If you can find it online or at a library I’d highly recommend it.

I thought to show you the stove that she started out with when she and her husband started farming and the later one that she was using when canning their summer produce :

If you walk down a block onto the main street of our little borough and walk behind the businesses there, you will come to the railroad tracks and that is a nice walk.  My DIL took this picture of her and the grands doing just that the other day. She called it “making memories” as it was on Mother’s Day.   ( It was later on that afternoon that we assisted Javis in regards to the huge sundae that I posted about HERE. )

Sometimes they’ll walk the track all the way down to a local park.

Brent’s district had no school the other day, and after visiting my mom we went to that park but I drove ! :)

We’ve had a lot of rain and I made sure that he only waded in the very shallow end of the creek…on the other side it is very deep at times and especially now.

As to the outdoors if I want to keep up with the thick spring grass and all of the rain that we have been getting I have to mow every three to four days or I’ll not get the mower through it. Aside from that, in the collage below:

  • These invasive buttercups have to be dug up from the front of my house every year so that I can plant seeds, etc.
  • The lilac bush off of the back porch is starting to give off a heady, heavenly scent.
  • A white Spirea bush in the middle of the yard is in bloom…it’s a dual planting there. Spirea for spring and tall grasses for fall. And unfortunately a thorny bush that the birds planted that I have to keep cutting out of there.

As to other sewing other than mending, I’d made a baby quilt top for a friend awhile back. I’d gotten about 2/3 of the way through in regards to tying it, and then put it aside ….I had plenty of time. Well, the baby is due in early July so I have it back out to finish tying the last border and then start on the binding.

Things are drying out a bit….two days with only a light shower so I was able to turn over the dirt and prepare beds for flower seeds and tomatoes etc and get it all planted along with a fresh mowing of grass. I had compost going in the turtle sandbox when the children outgrew that and it was a pleasure to shovel the DIRT THAT I MADE into a big flower pot. I have started a new round of compost with leaves, mulched and fresh grass, a bit of dirt, and now I’ll save food scraps in the kitchen for the next round.

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Could YOU eat all of this?

In a little town a few miles down the road from me, is a gourmet chocolate factory and ice cream parlor called Sarris Candies.  Nowadays you can purchase their chocolate there or in local stores or through fundraisers as well as online.

Their success all started with a beautiful love story. I have copied this from their website. 

“Building the Sarris Dream

Sarris Candies, known for not only its superior rich taste, but adherence to high quality standards and exceptional customer service for over 50 years, has evolved into the epitome of the American dream.

You might say it all started when Frank Sarris found a sweetheart. As a young man trying to win the affections of the lovely Athena, Frank presented her with a gift as sweet as she was, a box of chocolates. Athena’s face lit up as she lifted the lid and Frank knew he was in love. He also knew he could make better chocolate.

Frank began by producing small amounts of chocolate in his basement for friends and family, and then as word spread, he began making more and more for the local market. Frank and Athena married soon after and Sarris Candies was born in the basement of their Canonsburg home.

Working as a forklift operator by day and candy maker by night, the son of Greek immigrants realized that one or the other, his candy enterprise or his career, had to end. Thankfully for the thousands of “sweet-tooths” that enjoy Sarris chocolate, Frank Sarris quit his job and started stirring batches full time.

By 1963, Frank had outgrown his basement and built a small candy shop next door to his house. Five years later, the house was demolished to make room for an even bigger candy shop and he and his wife, Athena, settled into an apartment above the store.

Over the years, Frank never forgot the quaint soda fountains of his youth, which sold ice cream and penny candy. In 1982, with the help of his son Bill, he created his very own old-fashioned ice cream parlour complete with period-style, red and brass booths and shimmering crystal chandeliers. Each year, thousands of people come from miles around to sample sundaes and other cool treats made with Sarris’ homemade ice cream and toppings.

Many family members have helped to build the business into the chocolate empire that has become a Canonsburg landmark. Today, the Sarris Chocolate Factory and Ice Cream Parlour in Canonsburg cover an area the size of a full city block, with over 100 yards of chocolate, penny candy, ice cream and life-like plush toys.

Though Frank Sarris passed away on March 1, 2010, he and Athena’s love story lives on and with one taste of Sarris Chocolates, you’ll fall in love, too! “

AS to that ice cream parlor….

A year ago, here was my grandson Javis with his order:

THIS YEAR, on Friday afternoon after school he wanted to tackle a banana split. ( Photo courtesy of my DIL )

Could YOU eat all of this? :)

Fortunately he could not either and most of it came home with him to go in to the freezer, and Mother’s Day afternoon found a mother and this grandma helping him to polish it off :)  Their ice cream is ‘out of this world’ !

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