Glory's Garden

All the world's a garden, you know, and we are mere flowers within it. Come, I'll show you!

Don't get any funny ideas!

©2018 Glory Lennon All Rights Reserved

My Peeps!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Meet Shaherazad, my first solo sewing project

This cute little bunny is Shaherazad, named after the brave young maiden who dared try to stop a misogynistic sheik from taking a new bride every day only to kill her the next morning. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, perhaps you have heard of 1001 Arabian Nights. Well, Shaherazad was the one who told those fanciful tales in order to entertain her husband, hopefully enough that he would spare her life--and those of any future wives-- until she ran out of stories. By that time, 1001 nights equals almost three years, he had fallen completely in love with her and decided to keep her and no longer take more wives only to kill them in the morning. Oh joy! The fair maidens of the land breathed a sigh of relief, I'll tell you!

You may be asking why I would name my little Bunny Shaherazad. Did she tell me stories? Not a one. But she did have a sister as did the original Shaherazad. Her name was Dinahzad, as I recall and she was the one who asked the sheik to allow Shaherazad to tell one last fascinating tale before her death. Sisterly love was one thing I never experienced, having only had a brother, and I did envy it.

So, I compensated by making Shaherazad and Dinahzad. Yes, I made them. They were the very first sewing project I tackled on my own. I believe I was ten, but I'm not quite sure of that. It was a good way to learn a few different stitches on one project.

Back in the day, my mother and I used to go to the fabric section of the local Woolworth store--I am dating myself, aren't I?-- and I would watch as she chose fabrics for dresses, pants, blouses and skirts she would make either for me or for herself. While she did that I found the craft bin which had these pre-printed fabrics for decorative pillows, stuffed toys and that was where I found the bunnies. Mom bought two of them for me.

I took them home and sewed them by hand, straight stitched all the way around except at the bottom. That was where you were supposed to stuff in the filling. Once plumped up with poly-fil, I sewed shut the opening using a blanket stitch. And there they were my twin bunnies. You may be wondering where Dinahzad is now. I couldn't tell you. My aunt Thelma took a fancy to her soon after I made them and absconded with her. Ah, well, I still had Shaherezad.

You may think it odd that I would keep some seemingly useless thing for so long, but that is where I differ from so many people. I throw away nothing. I instead gave up Shaherezad to my daughter. Alexis had her until she moved out--for what she says is the last time-- and she left the poor bunny behind. Alas, it was only recently that I found her at the back of the closet with a torn ear. Ouch! Yes, it hurt me more than it hurt Shaherezad, I'm quite certain. I put her on my sewing machine as a reminder to fix her one day.

Well, one day finally came when Justin happened to find me in my craft room and saw the torn bunny. He didn't like it one bit and bugged me to fix it right away! He gets his obsessive/compulsive traits from Tom and just like with Tom I capitulated and sewed the ear back on straight away. Shaherezad now has an ugly scar but she'll live on.

I'm not sure they sell these kind of decorative "pillows" (for lack of a better word) but they should. They make really nice, fun, easy first sewing projects for kids of all ages. Good for those boring snowy or rainy days when we can all use something to occupy our time.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oh, the trees sacraficed for all this!

What a waste...or is it?
A few days a month, I  help Tommy pay our considerable pile of bills. We not only have the regular phone, electric, car payments and mortgage, but also vendor bills for Tommy's Hi-Vac Specialists and Brandon's Vacuum Pump Rebuilders.  Plus each of these companies have their own car payments and electric and phone bills. Some of them get paid online but there still are quite a bunch that need to go through snail mail. This means there are envelopes to stamp and address and yadi-yadi-yada.

What a bother! But then I'm, not telling you anything you don't already know. My problem is that the electric and phone companies send envelopes each and every time they send a bill. That may not seem so bad, but in our house we have the opportunity to consolidate bills. That is to say, the three electric bills go in one envelope. This saves us the bother of addressing another two envelopes, not to mention it saves on stamps. Tom and Brandon even share some vendors so they put both checks together and send it in one envelope. This makes good frugal sense.

The problem comes when we have left over envelopes with seemingly no useful purpose. They are specially made for one particular bill. Boy, do these pile up! See photo above, if you doubt me. Of course, you may not feel this is much of a concern, but it is for this hugger of trees. Trees are being sacrificed for all these stupid envelopes.

So, what do we do to save the trees? We actually use the envelopes anyway. Yes, the Verizon envelope has been known to send a payment to vendor Gasflo, Inc, the PPL envelope may find its way to vendor Tech Services and all those car payment envelopes (no, we don't use any of them to pay for the cars. We pay those online) go to vendor Grainger. Again, both company payments go in one envelope.

Save a stamp, use a useless envelope, save a tree!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pack rat is back!

Recall if you will, when I said I would never put anything up over these cabinets, that I was through with the pack-rat lifestyle? And recall too that I gave myself a couple of months at best for that to stick. Well, now I can say, "Told ya!"

I found these pretty bottles and decided to fill them with water and to add a few Golden Pathos and Philodendron cuttings to root up there. I think it looks rather nice. I've got my fingers crossed that I keep it this uncluttered and simple. I better cross my toes too, just to make sure!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ice and snow, snow and ice.

Perhaps you can tell we don't use these back steps very much...actually we don't use them at all during winter. Being this is the shady part of the house where the sun rarely hits it, this snow--now ice covered-- will likely stay here until warmer weather comes around. Please-Please-Please, let it come soon!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Granny Square Hot-pad

One of the easiest ways to rid yourself of tiny bits of yarn is to make granny squares. The Granny square can be made into just about anything, afghans, vests, table runners, bathmats, baby blankets, scarves and even sweaters. Here I used two of them to make a useful hot-pad for when I bring hot things to the table straight from the stove or oven. These easy to make Granny square hot-pads have saved my table top and counters from scorching and burns. 

When you've got nothing better to do and you could use a hot-pad, make yourself two granny squares, layer them with an old potholder between and slip stitch them together. They are so easy and fun to make, you'll find yourself looking around for useful things to make for your home or your friends.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Winter Crochet project #2

I suppose you're wondering why in the world one would crochet a cover for a plain old plastic clothes hanger and I would say, you just answered your own question. It's plain and ordinary so it could use some sprucing up. Not to mention it's slippery for slick spaghetti type straps and silky blouses. Nothing slips off this baby when I cover it with yarn!

But besides those good reasons, this one also happened to be broken. Most times these would get tossed out unless they are at my house. That's right, I even salvage broken hangers. I tiny bit of duct tape and some extra yarn for the cover and it's fine and dandy. Don't use it to hang heavy winter coats but for tank tops or a sundress, it's just great.
Crocheted any which way gets the job done

So, how did I do it? I winged it. No, I had no set instructions, so I can't really give you any, unless you truly want them. I have done it several ways. In two parts, in one part, working across or width-wise. Any which way works. The trick is to make each side slightly smaller than you want it then add a row of single crochet around the edge until it's the right size. then you slip stitch the sides together with the hanger snug within.

If you have the basic stitches down, you know how to increase and decrease along the edge and you are willing to measure as you go, you'll do fine and you'll use up those seemingly useless bits of yarn which are too small for any other much larger project.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Winter activities

There I was with a tote bag full of tiny bits of yarn, a crochet hook in hand and no idea how to put these two thing to use while I sat watching TV with Tommy. No, I can't just sit there doing nothing while watching TV! What are you thinking??? Didn't your mama tell you idle hands are the workshop of the devil? Well, neither did mine but she should have!

So, I decided to flip through some of my craft books and lo-and -behold! I came across...well, nothing struck me as something I remotely needed so I just put them away, too. Then the next day as I was taking Justin to Lords Valley--that's where the bus picks him up to take him to PCDC-- I saw a pair of sunglasses bouncing around in the car. They were all scratched up and pretty much useless. so I said to myself--yes, I often talk to myself cuz who else is likely to listen to my every word?-- "I should have cases for all of our sunglasses so they don't get ruined.

Have you put two and two together yet? I thought so. Yes, these simple little crocheted sunglass cases took about 40 minutes each to make at a leisurely rate. I made two more since. Yes, we have tons of sunglasses, several pairs in each car and almost all of them needed protection. So, that was my project for part of the winter. I was planning on making sweaters for myself, but Tommy ruined that for me. I'll tell about that next time.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Death by icicle

Once upon a last week...I was scared silly of icicles. Just having them there, outside my window would give me nightmares of having one break off the roof, fall and plunge itself into my yielding flesh, killing me instantly. YIKES! You may wonder why I'm telling you this. Well, I decided to write about my icicle nightmare in the hope of ridding myself of this unfounded fear. I'm never outside in winter long enough for one to get me, you see!

So, if you'd be interested in reading a quick little flash fiction piece called Dead of winter: an icy death, have yourself a blast. Is my fear gone now? You tell me.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Icicles everywhere.

Not too bright of me, but I took this picture of the icicles hanging outside our bedroom window, just because I wanted to.

The icicles had never been this long before, so I wanted a record of it. Why didn't I just go outside to take these pictures? Temperatures in single digits, that's why!

Okay, so I sneaked out of the house and snapped this one.
And this one too.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

More snow in the garden

This is probably how winters are supposed to be here in the Pocono Mountains, with constant snow cover and more falling before the last one melts away, but that doesn't mean we like it. Here Brandon needs to shovel a path to the pole barn where his car is stored during inclement weather. We are so lucky Tom has a plow. If we didn't...well, Brandon would look dreadfully less happy than he does here!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Snow in my garden!

Not that I really want to, but I thought I'd take you on a virtual stroll of my garden while it's covered with snow. Don't worry, I took most of these pictures while on the porch or back steps. No, I'm not too keen about getting my feet into the snow. If I had, the snow would have reached passed my knees. Not too keen to do that, not at all!

Hostas are under there somewhere
If you recall from my spring and summer pictures, there were Hostas in this planter box. Yes, there is a planter box under all that snow. You can just make out the edge of the wood peeking out.
Poor little bird's nest spruce, all covered up!
What a sad sight! I had to think for a bit to recall what exactly was hiding there. It's my only surviving Bird's nest Spruce. The other one (they were like pretty book ends in the garden!) didn't make it one nasty winter. Hard to believe it, but all this snow is probably good for most of my perennials. Of course, only spring will tell if that's true of this little guy.

Below, you'll see the place where my vines like to spread and flower. The herb garden is right in front of the trellis, but don't bother looking for anything. Not Tansy, or Oregano, not even Chives can be seen poking out of that ice crusted snow. It looks so desolate now, it makes me want to cry.

Clematis vines sleep soundly with a blanket of snow covering them

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Scooters everywhere!

The town of Jarabacoa teeming with scooters
 In the Dominican, almost everyone has a scooter. The ones who can afford them, that is. People love these things because they are much cheaper to buy, to maintain and cost a whole lot less to run than your average compact car. But according to my parents they are deadly as modes of transportation go. I can agree on this. While we were there at my parent's home, just a five day stretch, there were two major accidents on the road leading to their home. They involved several people, because it is the custom there for the owner of a scooter to give rides at a cost. 

Well, two little kids were riding with their mother and some guy. The kids got thrown from the scooter when it ran into a truck. Thankfully and miraculously the kids weren't seriously hurt. The man was not so lucky. Major bumps and bruises were reported.

Tommy looking over a scooter for sale
They, however, were the lucky ones. Most scooter accidents involving cars or trucks are fatal. Many scooter owners merely aren't careful going up the winding hilly road and sometimes during wet weather they slip right off the road and land in ravines two hundred yards down. Not good!

So, when Tommy said he was thinking of getting one for himself to tool around while we visit my parents, you can imagine I was none to pleased to hear it. Lucky for me, scooters weren't as cheap as they should be, according to Tommy anyway.

Whew! I can keep my Tommy safe for a bit longer...until he gets on the interstate again! Angels, please watch over my Tommy!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What is in a name anyway?

My mother's favorite color has always been blue. So, when she asked if I could get her a true blue flower she could easily grow in her tropical home, Morning Glories were the first thing to pop into my head. First chance I got I bought a pack of Heavenly Blue Morning Glory seeds for her and for good measure I sent along Moonflower seeds, Petunias, Four o'clocks and a few others, too. She loved them all, the ones that took anyway. The Moonflowers, however, baffled her. She decided to call them Four O'clocks instead. Wanna know why?

"Well, the flowers open at four PM everyday, so I thought they just accidentally put them in the wrong package. Didn't you tell me there are very fragrant flowers called Four o'clocks? You didn't tell me they were so huge though!" she said to me. Yes, my mom can make me laugh!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Just a little walk

View of a tiny house in the hilly mountains of "el campo"
One day while at my Parent's house in the mountains of Jarabacoa in the Dominican, Tommy got a severe allergic attack. He was sneezing his head off, the poor dear. To counter this he took antihistamines which tend to make him groggy. I proposed we take a little walk to make him feel better. He was all for that. He gets rather bored there. So, off we went down the curvy road which leads to the river. Don't recall the name of it at present, but is a long, winding river set in a lush tropical valley, so, I knew it would be nice to see. I remembered seeing it the previous year. My father had driven us to it.
Glimpse of river through trees
Banana leaves
Croton hedge blocking a  vegetable garden from view
Well, what I didn't recall was just how far it is to this river. Didn't seem nearly so far by car. The road is hilly and when I say hilly I mean one steep incline followed by an equally steep down hill and that was followed by several other ups and downs.  I nearly died! Even Tom was out of breath and his bum knee was getting bummier (Let's say that's a real word, shall we?) with every step. I was really starting to regret this "little" walk. But I did take my camera with me and found some pretty sights along the way...
Little goat doing what goats do best, eating!

Rocky river bed
...and some not so pretty ones, too.
While walking we must have been passed by no less than fifty scooters. All of them were noisy and smelly...kind of marred the beauty of the countryside. The river was nice though even if it almost killed me to see it!