My photo
Wife, mother, quilter, historian and yes Virginia....SOAP-MAKER extrordinaire!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Yearling

...Grandma Hutto called to them and they went into the cottage.

Jody smelled its familiar odor. He had never been able to disentangle its elements. The sweet lavender she used on her clothing was plain. There were dried grasses in a jar before the fire-place. There was the unmistakable smell of honey, which she kept in the cupboard. There was pastry; tarts and cookies and fruit cakes. There was the smell of the soap she used on Fluff's fur. There was the pervasive scent of flowers from the garden outside the windows. And, above it all, it came to him at last, lay the smell of the river. The river itself was fluid through the cottage and around it, leaving a whirlpool of odorous dampness and decaying fern. He looked through the open door. A path led through marigolds to the water. The river shone in the late sunlight, Guinea-gold, like the bright flowers. Its flow drew Jody's mind with it to the ocean ...

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself...

~Norman Wesley Brooks, "Let Every Day Be Christmas," 1976

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Song

We Gather Together Hymn

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, was at our side, all glory be Thine!

We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tucking in and getting ready for our first COLD SNAP of the season!

Beautiful autumn day today so I took the time to move around a few perennials and dig a few bulbs. The weather will be changing dramatically in the next couple of days and I wanted to enjoy what I think will be the final days of Autumn here in the Great North Woods!

Our maple trees have lost a lot of golden yellow leaves in the past week-but the skies have been a striking shade of stone-washed denim blue and the sun was shining...

I found this poem by Carl Sandburg called "Autumn Movement."

I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.
The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman, the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.

The Northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things come in the first spit of snow on the Northwest wind, and the old things go, not one lasts.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings...

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, grant us peace.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, grant us thy peace.
Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, redeemer of the world, grant us peace.

Lyrics from Agnus Dei

In a letter to his mother young Sam wrote...

"I was meant to be a composer and will be I'm sure...Don't ask me to try to forget this unpleasant thing and go play football--please."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tea Time

When Mrs. Force had invited me for tea I had expected a cup and a lump of sugar. Now we entered another room, where a white wicker tea wagon had been placed, and on it the prettiest array of food you could imagine. But this room could not be called a room-it was a gazebo, with trellises and twining Morning Glory vines painted on the walls around us. And on the floor there were cool blue and white tiles, and around, here and there, baskets holding orange trees with plump baby oranges dangling from the branches. We settled ourselves on a curlicue sofa, the wicker starchy as Battenberg lace.

Now lets see, Mrs. Force said, scanning the tea cart. Today it’s tea I brought from Claridges on my last trip to London. Their special mixture, you know, and one of my favorites.

From the teapot she removed a tea cozy encrusted with multicolored caviar-size beads and poured the tea into mauve and gold cups.

Sugar? She asked. Dipping a silver leaf spoon into a bowl, she held out a confetti of crystals. Lemon? Or cream?

Oh yes, please, I said, lemon.

Spread out on the tea cart were delicacies I had never seen before. There were little soufflé’s of gruyere with whipped cream on top and a sprinkle of cayenne, round tissue paper-thin sandwiches of cucumber and chopped sweet onion. Centered on another plate were coconuts drops surround by black walnut lace cookies. But that wasn’t all-another dish, heart-shaped, held Coeur a la crème with Bar-le-duc jelly close at hand.

I didn’t know where to begin.

Excerpt from~ Once Upon a Time-A True Story By Gloria Vanderbilt

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

After Apple Picking

by Robert Frost

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still.
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples; I am drowsing off.
I cannot shake the shimmer from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the water-trough,
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and reappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
And I keep hearing from the cellar-bin
That rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking; I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall,
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised, or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Brenda's photo in Saturday Evening Post!

My good friend Brenda had one of her photo's included in a an article in The Saturday Evening Post entitled:

Congratulations Brenda....Awesome photo!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jams, Jellies and Butters---Oh my! jellies , butters, and compotes were labeled and put on the shelf this evening.

Don't they look like little jewels?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Powidla Sliwkowe-Plum Butter with a twist!

Nan and I gathered another huge bag of plums from our little plum tree and with that and the enormous Wolf River apples, courtesy of a friend, I was able to can 9........1/2-pint jars of pure plum and apple butter BLISS!

Powidla Sliwkowe Polish for Plum Butter is made without straining the pulp of the cooked fruit, so you are able to get that beautiful full bodied flavor of the fruit. An added plus is the deep plummy color of the butter with bits of the plum peel incorporated into the mix along with the golden color of the fruit from the Wolf River apples---My own twist on the traditional Plum Butter recipe!

This butter is great on scones, toast, English muffins and to note, traditionally the Powidla Sliwkowe is use as the fillings in Paczki!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Fisher's Boy

The Fisher’s Boy

by Henry David Thoreau

My life is like a stroll upon the beach,
As near the ocean’s edge as I can go;
My tardy steps its waves sometimes o’erreach,
Sometimes I stay to let them overflow.

My sole employment is, and scrupulous care,
To place my gains beyond the reach of tides, —
Each smoother pebble, and each shell more rare,
Which Ocean kindly to my hand confides.

I have but few companions on the shore:
They scorn the strand who sail upon the sea;
Yet oft I think the ocean they’ve sailed o’er
Is deeper known upon the strand to me.

The middle sea contains no crimson dulse,
Its deeper waves cast up no pearls to view;
Along the shore my hand is on its pulse,
And I converse with many a shipwrecked crew.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Montana 1948

"In addition to my discomfort with the strictures of town (a common and natural reaction for a boy), I had another problem that seemed like mine alone. I never felt as though I understood how town life worked. I thought there was seem secret knowledge about living comfortably and unself-consciously in a community, and I was sure I did not posses that knowledge. When the lessons were taught about how to feel confident and at ease in school, in stores, in cafes, with other children or adults, I must have been absent."

Excerpt from
Montana 1948

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Art on the Lake!

September 4, 2010 - Saturday Curtis Michigan's Art on the Lake
Art on the Lake is held on the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend

Come join By the Bay Handcrafted Soap and many, many vendors for a day of arts/crafts/music on the Lake!!

See you there....

Friday, August 20, 2010

Enchanted Apple scented soap...

My apple scented soap is now ready!

Crisp and clean scent perfect year round....

3-bars for $10.00 or $4.00 for one bar---just drop me an email!

Monday, August 16, 2010


Never too early to begin planning for next summers garden----

Nepeta, Stachys, Pinks, Lavender and grey mounds of Rosemary

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Painted Drum

Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself that you tasted as many as you could.

From The Painted Drum-Louise Erdrich

Monday, August 9, 2010

From a Distance

From a distance the world looks blue and green, and the snow-capped mountains white. From a distance the ocean meets the stream, and the eagle takes to flight. From a distance, there is harmony, and it echoes through the land. It's the voice of hope, it's the voice of peace, it's the voice of every man. From a distance we all have enough, and no one is in need. And there are no guns, no bombs, and no disease, no hungry mouths to feed. From a distance we are instruments marching in a common band. Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace. They're the songs of every man. God is watching us. God is watching us. God is watching us from a distance. From a distance you look like my friend, even though we are at war. From a distance I just cannot comprehend what all this fighting is for. From a distance there is harmony, and it echoes through the land. And it's the hope of hopes, it's the love of loves, it's the heart of every man. It's the hope of hopes, it's the love of loves. This is the song of every man. And God is watching us, God is watching us, God is watching us from a distance. Oh, God is watching us, God is watching. God is watching us from a distance.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Girls from the North Country


Darlings of the Canadian music scene, Dala are poised to bring their harmonies and fresh brand of acoustic pop to the world.

Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine of Dala (the duo’s name was formed by combining the two last letters of each artist’s name) have come a long way in a short time. The two best friends, who met in their high school music class and wrote their first song together in 2002, have since performed at Toronto’s legendary Massey Hall a total of seven times. Darlings of the Canadian music scene, Dala are now poised to bring their fresh brand of acoustic pop music to the world.

Drawing upon influences like The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Bob Dylan, Dala write songs that are both catchy and insightful. Amanda’s ethereal soprano voice blends seamlessly with Sheila’s velvety alto, creating the lush harmonies that have become their trademark.

“Dala can sing! What beautiful flights of melody and harmony, reminiscent of the Everly Brothers, the Louvin Brothers, Emmylou Harris and associates; though Dala can trade a melody line and leave one wondering who is taking the lead and simply leave one behind when the harmonies kick in.”
- Peterborough Examiner

I stumbled across these wonderfully talented young women singing during a PBC program last night and I was FLOORED!

Check out their blog and listen to Horses....a haunting song about a young man who suffers from a spinal cord injury.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Just a few snaps taken early this morning----We have been blessed with abundant rain and plentiful sunshine all summer long!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Vintage Double Wedding Ring Lap Quilt

Angela----Here is the little gem from Texas that I mentioned in my post on the forum!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

3rd time a charm at Arbor Vitae?

On Saturday we will be attending the Lakeland Art League & Kiwanis Art Fair for the 3rd year in a row.
For TWO years in a row I have taken a Blue Ribbon in the Nature Arts category for our By the Bay Handcrafted Soap! Keep your fingers crossed for this year!

Come join us on Saturday at:

Lakeland Art League & Kiwanis Art Fair
July 10th from 9 am to 3 pm
at Fireman's Park, Arbor Vitae

Thursday, July 1, 2010

4th of July Night~Carl Sandburg

Fourth of July Night
The little boat at anchor in black water sat murmuring to the tall black sky
A white sky bomb fizzed on a black line.
A rocket hissed it's red signature into the west.
Now a shower of Chinese fire alphabets,
A cry of flower pots broken in flames,
A long curve to a purple spray, three violet balloons---
Drips of seaweed tangled in gold, shimmering symbols of mixed numbers,
Tremulous arrangements of cream gold folds of a bride's wedding gown---
A few sky bombs spoke their pieces, then velvet dark.
The little boat at anchor in black water sat murmuring to the tall black sky.
~Carl Sandburg

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Aragon Tapestry

My vintage Aragon piano bench tapestry panel arrived this afternoon and I am itching to get started on it. I ordered a ton of pale muted China Blue tapestry wool from a local needlepoint shop and that will be in next week. Since I don't own a piano I am planning on turning this into a "bolster." Love the soft colors on this!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

One Man Show in Iron Mountain

I couldn't attend our soap show in Iron Mountain today---I was rushed via ambulance to our local hospital on Thursday and I am now recuperating and waiting for tests results to come in before I am allowed to go out and about.

Bruce took over the table and all of the sales at the show-God love him!
This is the first time one of us had to do a show alone...He did very well setting up and displaying and made us a bundle in just a few short hours. The weather held and we are looking forward to attending the show together next year.

Thank you Art for All in Iron Mountain for inviting us to attend this years show....we look forward to seeing you next year!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Vintage Purses-

I will be listing these beauties on my etsy site very soon!
If you are interested in any of these just let me know...

1. Vintage Belgium Black Beaded Dance Purse. The label reads Hand-made in Belgium. It's a darling little purse 7 X 5 inches and has a handle built in on the back--which would have been used as a dance purse, so you can hold onto your honey and not have to "clutch" your purse! This is a very unique and dear little purse. A must have to go with that little black dress!

$35.00 plus $8.00 shipping

2. Vintage Rose color Needlepoint Handbag. The label reads Christine Custom Bags-Detroit, Michigan. Expert needlework-Gold chain and it snaps securely when closed. The dimensions are 14 X 9-1/2 inches not including the gold-tone chain. Very sweet vintage purse!

$35.00 plus $10.00 shipping

3. Enid Collins "style" Peacock bucket handbag fashioned with beads, sequins, cording stencil and rhinestones-Absolutely breathtaking! Nubby linen type support outside, short handles and a wooden bottom with a spacious open compartment, plus a small zippered pocket inside. Very Nice vintage condition; colors are striking and all of the spangles are there! Dimensions are
11 X 10-1/2 inches not including the purse handles.

$35.00 plus $10.00 shipping

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I’ve got nothing on my mind: nothing to remember,
Nothing to forget. and I’ve got nothing to regret,
But I’m all tied up on the inside,
No one knows quite what I’ve got;
And I know that on the outside
What I used to be, I’m not anymore.

You know I’ve heard about people like me,
But I never made the connection.
They walk one road to set them free
And find they’ve gone the wrong direction.

But there’s no need for turning back
`cause all roads lead to where I stand.
And I believe I’ll walk them all
No matter what I may have planned.

Can you remember who I was? can you still feel it?
Can you find my pain? can you heal it?
Then lay your hands upon me now
And cast this darkness from my soul.
You alone can light my way.
You alone can make me whole once again.

We’ve walked both sides of every street
Through all kinds of windy weather.
But that was never our defeat
As long as we could walk together.

So there’s no need for turning back
`cause all roads lead to where we stand.
And I believe we’ll walk them all
No matter what we may have planned.

Crossroads- by Don McLean

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rain, Rain Go Away!

Is it ever going to stop raining here in the Great North Woods?

Truman took me for a walk along the beach this afternoon-we almost made it home before the skies opened up once again. We dashed home soaked through-Well, Truman needed a bath anyway!

Rain Rain Go Away...
The origin of the lyrics to Rain Rain Go Away are said to date back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1553-1603), one of the English Tudor monarchs. During this period of English history there was constant rivalry between Spain and England culminating in the launch of the Spanish Armada in 1588. The Spanish Armada consisted of many Spanish galleons and was sent to invade England. The Armada was led by Duke of Medina Sedonia and the fleet numbered over 130 ships. The English fleet,under Admiral Lord Howard, totalled 34 small Navy7 vessels and 163 armed merchant ships. But the great Spanish Armada was defeated. Only 65 Spanish galleons and just 10,000 men returned to Spain. The attempt failed,not only because of the swift nature of the smaller English ships but also by the stormy weather which scattered the Armada fleet. Hence the origin of the Rain Rain Go Away nursery rhyme.

Taken from: rain go away.htm

Friday, June 4, 2010

Can't wait!

Iron Mountain Michigan Art Show

iron mountain mi art show

"Art For All" 2010 Art Show

Iron Mountain, Michigan, June 26, 2010

Bay College West on Highway US-2

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

2010 will be the 43rd year for the "Art for All" show. The show is sponsored by the "Dickinson County Council for the Arts". The show will be held at Bay College West on June 26, 2010, in Iron Mountain, Michigan. This juried art show attracts people throughout the Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin and the midwest. There will be food vendors and entertainment so stop by Bay College West and enjoy the show.

Artists from all over the country will be displaying and selling their art work. There will be Fibers, Acrylics, Oils, Sculptures, Jewelry, Wearable Fibers, Ceramics, Pottery, Metal Craft, Basketry, Stained Glass and many other works of arts. The judges will be awarding cash prizes in various categories, including a "Best of Show" award.

Along with the art show exhibit and sale, there will be a student art show representing area high schools. These students are some of our up and coming budding artists.

This will be our very first Art for All in the Iron Mountain area and we are very excited about being asked to participate! Hope to see you there!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

By the Bay Lilac Linen Water and Lavender Linen Water

By the Bay is pleased to introduce to you our very own line of Linen Water in two scents Lavender-very therapeutic and relaxing and Lilac- the very essence of spring time freshness.

Linen water is traditionally used by French women to perfume sheets and also linen water is a subtle way to add fragrance to your home.

The aromatic fragrances of Lilac or Lavender help ease away stress and anxiety promoting a peaceful sleep. So spritz those pillows before climbing into bed after a long and tiring day!

Linen water is also soothing on skin helping your to cool down and freshen up!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Here's that rainy day...

Maybe I should I have saved those leftover dreams.

Funny, but here’s that rainy day.

Here’s that rainy day they told me about.

And I laughed at the thought that it might turn out this way

Where is that worn-out wish that I threw aside

After it brought my love so near

Funny how love becomes a cold rainy day

Funny, that rainy day is here

Where is that worn-out wish that I threw aside

After it brought my love so near

It’s funny how love becomes a cold rainy day

Funny, that rainy day is here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mary Engelbreit Magazines for BARTER!

I just LOVE Mary Engelbreit---

Up for barter Farmgirls-------- 2 issues dated 2001!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


The year was 1915 and the perfume of choice included;
Bay Rum
Crab Apple
Lily of the Valley
Sweet Pea
White Rose
and Chantecleer Lily................

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The little wren----

She is a tender, little, but plain brown bird with an effervescent voice. A common backyard bird found over nearly the entire Western Hemisphere. Her sweet song is a rush-and-jumble song in the summer and you can find her zipping through shrubs and low tree tree branches snatching at insects with grace and delicacy.

I have several house wrens that swoosh down and feed from the suspended bird feeder swinging lazily from one of my newly blossomed apple trees not far from the gardening shed.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Amish Quilt Auction in Bonduel

I attended a familiar quilt auction in Bonduel, Wisconsin today. Twice a year the Amish community puts on a quilt and craft auction for the benefit of their school. Several years ago I had a few of my quilts listed for auction at Bonduel and have been attending ever since. Actually, our very first By the Bay Soap show premiered at Bonduel!

Today, it was very cold and windy with small patches of snow still on the ground from the storm we had last night. The auction tent panels huffed in out out for most of the morning. The quilts that were up were so beautiful! I believe there were over 300 listed for auction. The detail and expertise in these quilts were beyond compare. Texas Star, Nine Patch and many, many appliquéd quilts....

They were breathtaking!

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Farmgirl History Project ----Blog

I finally pinned down some time this afternoon and started a blog about collecting farmgirl histories for a book I want to write.

So far, the response has been promising and the stories are anything but typical.

Keep the questionnaires coming farmgirls...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Clary Sage with just a hint of Jasmine!

I was busy this morning make some handcrafted soap--Clary Sage with just a hint Jasmine. The house smells so good!

Later....Tea Tree!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I am awestruck at the beauty of a simple plum tree blossoming in early spring. Breathtaking!

And the scent! My son Elli says it smells like a giant grape jelly sandwich---typical 14-year old response!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A trip to Eric's!

Picked up some herbs and flowers this morning at my favorite nursery...Eric's.

Lemon Verbena, Lemon Thyme, Rosemary, Peppermint, and two beautiful red Geraniums. Now if the weather would just cooperate!

"American Red Geraniums"
by Sidney F. Willis