Archives for April 2015

River’s Story Begins

On February 4, 2015, we lost our last dog of the three that had shared RiverCliff Cottage since it was built in 1999.  The first one to leave was our beloved Annie. She was followed by Gracie and then, of course, Luckie. Luckie was the hardest because there was no one else waiting at home. This painting was done about two years ago of Gracie and Luckie.

Luckie and Gracie

Some people like animals, some people love animals, and there are some people who actually relate to animals more than humans.   I think Mike and I fall somewhere in between the last two.    We had made a decision not to get a dog until September since it would be challenging to handle a new dog and the activities of Adventure Mendota.

When we removed the Luckie Dog Woodshop sign because it was in the way of Adventure Mendota’s parking, I was filled with emptiness and sadness.    We went up and played a bit with our neighbor’s German Shepherd, and on the way home, Mike said, “I think we should go ahead and get another dog.”

The next morning, out of the blue, this was in my email inbox from my animal rights activist/animal rescue friend, Beth.

From: Beth Davis <>
To: beaule <>
Sent: Wed, Apr 29, 2015 8:51 am
Subject: reminds me of Lucky

 I saw this on craigslist this morning and thought of you but haven’t heard back from them for more info…
please help him (and there was a picture which I couldn’t insert in this post)
this dog came wondering into the neighborhood. Very sweet can tell its been around kids been following mine around. His front paw is hurt. Don’t know if got hit or …

Following receipt of the email, Mike called me and said “this may be the dog.”  Are you interested?   I emailed Beth back and said that we were interested.

So Beth reached out to the person who posted the picture, and Mike got the address and went to see the dog.  Mike, unfortunately, had a pulled a tendon in his calve, and could barely walk, so he asked our brother-in-law to go with him to see the dog.  The dog was very reluctant to get in the truck which suggests it was dropped off and abandoned.

But the dog did get in.    And when I got home, this dog was here to meet me.   My “bestie” at work, Regina,  conspired with me on the best name for this dog.   “River”….it so works for him!

River Looking at the Camera Best

He’s been here less than 24 and has been in the river twice. He’s a good dog, and he has been loved by someone. He walks pretty well on the leash and will not get on the furniture. I bought him Blue Buffalo dogfood which is a good brand, and he wants to eat things like potato salad, potato chips, and sandwich butts.

Riiver Looking Away

Monday he will meet his vet for the first time. He’ll get his shots, have blood work done, and have this paw looked at that appears to be a toenail issue. If all goes well, Tuesday, he will be neutered. River doesn’t need the distraction of doggy testosterone. He has a business to run.

Meet the official mascot of Adventure Mendota:

River Looking at the Camera


Another Barn Quilt Square And It’s Better

After forever……we finally got the Saw Blade barn quilt square up on the shop which is transitioning to base camp for Adventure Mendota.  It looks really good.  We’ve got lots of compliments on it.   Here it is.   And I love it.  I really do.

Saw Blade on Barn

But I am going to love this one more!   Could it be any better?  It’s a kayak quilt square!   Coming to a barn shop base camp near you soon I hope!


Yikes!  As if we didn’t have enough to do!


Sam The Cat

Before I left the Washington County Library, I met Sam.  He was a tiny little guy with a blue collar which had a bell on it.   He seemed to belong to no one.  He was hungry, and the boys who hung around during that time thought it was funny when they put Sam in the book drop.   I did not.   He remained afraid of certain things and of most people.

Sam is Skeered

I brought him home, and he proved to be the most challenging pet we had.   He was territorial and this resulted in our having gates throughout our house.  Sam could not go where there was a rug if we were not present.    He was a pretty thing.   He had no use for dogs.  They were to be swatted at.   In his mind, dogs drooled and cat ruled.

Sam Kidding

He liked to sit on the roof.  I’d be walking across the front yard and I’d feel something watching me.  Right on the highest point of the roof, there sat Sam.  He looked like a giant owl.

Sam the Cat

He was not a healthy cat.  Whatever happened to him as a kitten pained him as an adult.  His tail had a broken spot and he seemed to have back problems.  I could never run my hand down his spine without a cry.    He would alternately hiss and smack us and then purr and rub against us.    Look how fluffy those ears are in the picture below!

                          MOST WANTED!!     Sam The Sinister Cat

MOST WANTED!! Sam The Sinister Cat

So…he wasn’t a great pet, but he was our pet.   And in the wee hours of the morning, about 1:00 am, he slipped away.  He was not at home.   He had been ill for a few days and  we noticed that his abdomen seemed bloated.   We took him to Dr. Steve early yesterday morning.    “Yes,” Dr. Steve said.  “Sam is a very sick cat; he has a large tumor in his abdomen.”    We decided to all “sleep on it”  to determine the next step…whether we operate–if we even could operate–or whether we let him go.  He made that decision for us and slipped quietly away at Dr. Steve’s house.  He was warm, comfortable and pain free since he was with Dr. Steve.

Sam…a pretty, slightly mean cat who looked like his nose had been dipped in coffee.    Born sometime in 2005.   Lived until April 22, 2015.

Sam the Cat




Honeybees Rock April 15 2015

Today was “B” day…the day we examine the hives looking to see how many bees are inside, whether they were producing larvae, and determine the health of the hive.   I was feeding them until this week but I’ve stopped.  There is plenty for these little guys to forage for right now.  Just look at the apple blossoms…

Apple Blossoms

These apple trees are located behind Mike’s shop, our new “base camp” for Adventure Mendota.  I blogged my outing today at Adventure Mendota‘s River Blog.  Please go over and see it and say hi if you have a moment.    The trees were “buzzing” with bees.

So here are my bees..  The middle hive was the one I’ve been worried about but when we opened it, it was full of bees and there was honeybee larvae with bees just about ready to hatch.   That means there is a queen and she is working.   It’s not as big of a hive as I’d like, but it’s living and appears healthy.   The ones on the outer sides are doing very well.   I still contend that bubble wrapping and tarping these bees during the extreme cold when the temperatures drop well below zero is the reason they survive…ugly but effective.

Bees 030715

I’m worried about swarming so I’ll be placing a nook box out there tomorrow with a little lemongrass oil inside.  If there is discussion of swarming going on among the bees, they might just decide to move next door.  It happened once…it can happen again!.

Three Survivors R

In the spring, you “over super” your bees.   You give them plenty of room, so we aired out these six supers for all six hives.   Gerald, my brother in law has three, and I have three.   We want them to understand their house is big–plenty of room for them to add lots of honey!

Supers R

I’m hoping we have honey this year to sell.   Last year, we had so many swarm problems that we didn’t have excess honey.  We had about 18 pints and that was it!   I’ve always wanted to hang a sign up that says “Local Honey For Sale.”   With the shop being open for Adventure Mendota, this will be a perfect place for me to sell my honey.

Here’s a pretty perennial phlox that the bees will enjoy..


Mendota is beautiful this time of year.   How is it where  you live?



Sawblade Barn Quilt Square

When did I start talking about getting a quilt square put on the shop?   I carried this around for months.

Sawblade pattern

It was before we’d ever even thought about Adventure Mendota.    It  was almost finished on September 16 in the post I called Mendota Rising.

I said it was 20 percent finished in a post in August called Keep On the Sunny Side.  Oh my gosh…was I ever an optimist!   I wanted that quilt square in the worst way.  I gave Mike the pattern, and he said I should draw it out but he’d paint the plywood first.  I came home and he’d painted the plywood, drawn the pattern and he started painting the green “blades”.   He said I needed to finish painting it the next day.   I told him I would, but I came home and Jr. Picasso had done most of the painting.   Great!  I don’t mind delegating!    It’s all about the end result.

And then…it sat.   And it sat.   And it sat.   I could not say too much since I’d contributed zero on it.   And no matter how many times I suggested we go down and finish it, it just sat.   He had some excuses that were logical…winter had arrived and it had become extremely cold.  The shop’s floor is like a giant ice cube when it gets cold.   It sat all winter.

And then…like the redbuds that came out Saturday…look what appeared on the outside of the shop today.  Sawblades to the left..

Sawblade 2

Sawblades to the right…sawblades on the shop..they’re really out of sight!   (Picasso is married to a poet!)

This barn quilt square is a 4 x 4 piece of plywood.    Because it was a bit smaller than the 6 x 6 that I’d originally wanted, Mike framed it to give it more of a presence.    We kept it simple and tried to use paint we already had.  I’d at one time painted some exterior doors red and green.   We used all exterior paint so there was no need to put a sealer on the quilt square.    Mike just came by and said “we…we…we???”  Okay…he did all of this.

Saw Blade on Barn

Now he needs a new project.    We are going to have our patio redone as it looks horrible.   We need to put the stone that will be removed to good use.  I’m thinking a fire pit for Adventure Mendota.




Adventure Mendota – Kayak Down 041215

This post may be found at Adventure Mendota’s River Blog.    Thank you!!   (Please go on over…this helps my search engine optimization at Adventure Mendota!  I need people to find that site and come Float the Fork with me!)

Thank you!!


Grandmother’s Rose Garden

If you follow my blog, you know that I’ve been working on the Dale Jett & Hello Stranger 4th Annual Cemetery Benefit.   Here’s all the scoop on that.    It’s so important this event be well attended because the proceeds from this benefit and the proceeds from our quilt raffle are what keep the Mendota and Mt. Vernon Cemeteries groomed..waiting for a family in need.

Mendota Cemetery Tree

The 2015 Mendota Cemetery Quilt is “Grandmother’s Rose Garden.”   The quilt top was donated by Marck and Margie Dean on behalf of the Dean family, and the quilting was done by Mendota’s Master Quilter Ruby Smith who still makes beautiful, tiny stitches at the age of 97.

Here it is.   Sorry about the shadows on the pictures.  I’ll take more and replace these in a bit.

Cemetery Quilt 2

A better view but still in the shadows.  When I took this quilt out of the bag, it smelled like rose blossoms.

Cemetery Quilt 1

While Grandmother’s Rose Garden is resting on my Adirondack chairs in these pictures, she wants to go home with you.  You may purchase a chance to win her.  Raffle tickets are $1.  We are looking for people to help sell the tickets as well as purchase the tickets.  If you have ties to Mendota — especially if you have parents or grandparents buried in the cemetery — I am asking you to take tickets to sell as well as buy.

Mendota Cemetery Quilt 3

If you wish to buy tickets, you may email me or see Patsy Carrier at the Post Office.




It’s That Time Again, Dale and Oscar and Teresa!

It’s that time again.  Are you coming?   Do you like our poster?  It was designed by Mr. Musick’s Graphic Design students at Scott County Career and Technical School…

DJ & HS Cemetery Benefit

Be there or be square.



A Light In The Window

One of my favorite books is titled “A Light In The Window” by Jan Karon.    I haven’t added any lights to the window, but a very nice man named Robert Schenker replaced one of our ceiling fans and two lights.    Robert first took on the ceiling fan and it was pretty scary as the bedroom’s ceiling is over 12 ft.   Yikes.   It was much easier going in the laundry room.

Robert Hanging Light

I love this little red light.  It was $39 at Lowe’s.  Nothing was wrong with the ceiling light that was there except that it was exceptionally plain.   Robert is so nice.  His little girl calls him “Prince.”   Hello Prince!

Robert did such a nice job.   If you want his contact information, please let me know.  He says he does it all!  This picture is a little dark because my camera setting was not correct.

Robert Holding light

Here’s a peek at my little laundry room looking all cheery!   See those black Sam’s Club boxes?  They are still hard at work!

Light IN Laundry room 2

Robert also got the Pottery Barn Mason Jar light hung.  I love it, but I cannot get a great picture.  I love it so much that I’ve ordered a second light for just down the hall.   Mike will hang that one.   He’s not as fast as Robert but he can get it done.    In any other house, this could be considered trendy, but not at RiverCliff Cottage.   My house is authentically country, and canning jars are a way of life here.    Hmmm…I am going to change those light bulbs.  That light is like the sun!  I’ve never had such a bright entry to the kitchen.

Pottery Barn Light

Speaking of canning makes me think of gardening.   I was at Southern States Saturday looking at seeds and buying potatoes and onion sets.    I was looking at these, too, although I’m not putting green beans out until after the Japanese beetles leave.  I’ll have a lovely fall crop.

Half runners

Tomorrow my  36 Yukon Golds go in the ground along with my onions.   It’s that time!    In these beds 36 potato plants are a lot!!   I will not make the mistake again of having too many potatoes planted in each bed.

Raised Beds in MarchHopefully, we’ll also have a great year for strawberries, and I’m going to make at least 100 strawberry lavender jams!  Guess what you’re getting for Christmas if you are on my list!!

Three Strawberry Lavender Jams



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