Monday, January 26, 2009

Prayers for Delaney

We got word about our little great-niece, Delaney Skye Matasich, and wanted to post the blog about her journey with Progressive Infantile Scoliosis.

You can read more here:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Remembering "The Building"

For some reason, perhaps because I've been reconnecting with some high school acquaintances through Facebook and my mind has been in "rewind" mode, I thought of "the building". I don't know what triggers such an insignificant thought, but I had to smile as I stepped back nearly 50 years ago to remember "the building."

I was two years old when we moved to Molly Drive in 1956. Dad built our little house on the quiet dead-end street, which soon became home to 13 families. The "circle" at the end of the street was our baseball and kickball diamond, and the hill behind it launched our sleds clear to Rt. 619! Life was simple and quiet. I was a a true tomboy in every sense of the word and a tag-along to my older brother, Bob. Most of our days were spent playing with the neighborhood kids, climbing trees, playing in the woods, riding our bicycles, or riding a cardboard box down our steep bank. There was never a shortage of friends or activities since it was unheard of for kids to stay inside and watch TV or play video games.

I think Molly Drive was once a part of a large farm, and we had mature maple trees, apple trees and a grape arbor on our property. The fruit trees eventually all came down to make room for the garden. I loved to take a salt shaker to the garden and eat juicy ripe tomatoes off the vine! Every year Mom would can hundreds of jars of vegetables to get us through the winter. Beans and cornbread were a staple, and many Sunday evenings we had a treat of fried mush and milk.

Dad laid brick and made a walkway from the house to the backside of our property. The walk led to a small two-room tool shed. One side had a dirt floor and was used for necessary things, but the other side had a wood floor, a separate door, and a window. Dad kept his tools and supplies there since the house was barely big enough for our family of four. Probably not more than 8' x 12', it was known simply but properly as "the building." Whatever Dad needed, it was no doubt out in the building. There was nothing special about the weathered wood frame, but it was a special place for a little towheaded girl with a big imagination. Dad never threw anything away, and the bags and boxes of "stuff" fed my curious mind. If I organized everything just right, I had a pretty nice little playhouse. A couple nails and some twine held a makeshift curtain on the window. My transistor radio gave me access to the world, and I could browse through the stacks of National Geographic Magazines for hours. I was never alone though. My dog Tippy was always nearby. One year the building became a birthing suite for a neighborhood stray cat. I stayed with that mama cat the whole day and still remember how funny it was for a cat to have her litter on Labor Day.

I don't know why I thought of that building. It's been long gone for probably 30 years or more. What I do know is that I'd rather have a wooden plank floor anytime than fancy ceramic tile. I'd rather have an old cutter quilt than ornate silk. I'd rather have a scented candle or oil lamp than a fancy chandelier. I'd rather sit on the back porch and look at God's creation than go to a shopping mall. I'd rather be just the way I am, and know it probably started as a little girl enjoying simplicity in "the building."

It was just an old shack to anyone else.  To me, it would bring a smile and a tear from the memories of 50 years past.

Below are some pictures of other favorite buildings and places. Enjoy!

Long Run Baptist Church, Herald Route, West Virginia was my mother's church as a little girl. It is still an active church home for many of my relatives.

My cousins live on the old homestead that belonged to my mother's sister and her husband.

The original Davis Homestead near Sutton, West Virginia, where my mother was born. This picture was taken at the highest point of the farm looking down upon the house and the driveway. The property was purchased by the State of West Virginia and land-locked when I-79 was built.

The original country store on Herald Route.

One of the out buildings on my cousins' farm

I love the look of weathered wood!

Driving down Herald Route ~ Make sure you have room to get off the side of the road if a car is coming the other way.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

29 years ago. . . .

January 7th is a memorable day for me. Twenty-nine years ago, my youngest son, Keith, was born around 5:30 pm, the 3rd of our three sons. My pregnancy was definitely a surprise, especially with a 2-year old and a 7-month old already in tow. What seemed to take forever to happen (getting pregnant) was now happening quite easily to say the least. When Keith was born, Stevie was 16 months and Brian was 11 days away from turning three. Stairsteps, wouldn't you say? I've always said the first five years were just a blur. . . .

Now my baby is a grown man, married with a home of his own. I'm very proud of the man God has made him to be. Love ya, son!

Little Keithie - There are still people who call him that. One of my favorite studio photos - always with a smile and the chubby cheeks that got pinched for years and years!

Christmas, 2008 ~ Keith is acting "surprised" over his Christmas present. I'm pretty sure he picked it out.
Happy Birthday, Keith! Enjoy the last year of your 20's!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to Work!

It feels good to get back on a schedule, although I hoped for an earlier start than what I had. We've had SO many requests for catalogs and fabric swatches that I spent all morning getting all the mail ready to go out, ordering fabric, and getting jobs pulled for the girls. Here it is lunchtime already, and I haven't sewed a stitch! Still, there are other aspects to running a business that need my attention. I hope my energy level returns quickly as the strep throat has left me dragging a bit.

Here's a quick look at my workshop, formerly our large family room.

My office is through the French doors where I can always glance at the computer monitor to check for new orders/emails from customers. To the right of the office is my laundry room, and I'm multi-tasking as I write (definitely one of the advantages of working from home).

Just thought I'd give you a glimpse of my shop. I'm looking forward to another great year for Home Sweet Homespuns!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Olde Picket Fence

I made the January updates for The Olde Picket Fence's website today. Hop on over and check out the specials for the month. Wanda is offering 10% off on all Crossroads' candles this month. They are WONDERFUL candles! My favorite is the Buttered Maple Syrup, but Wanda says the Country Breakfast is fast becoming a favorite. Stock up during the sale on Crossroad's jar candles, reed diffusers, votives and tarts.

The fifth book in the series by Judy Condon is now available and flying off the shelf! As Time Goes By has 300 color photographs on 144 pages. Some of the chapters are The Keeping Room, The Guest Room, Boxes, Baskets, and Bowls, Hallways and Small Ways, The Privy!

It's hard to keep these books on the shelf, so order yours now for $24.95 at The Olde Picket Fence..

Friday, January 2, 2009

January 2009 News and Views

Can you believe 2009 is really here?! The past two weeks have been a much-needed break for me physically and emotionally. It's a time to concentrate on family and priorities without the constant distractions of working the business. I actually have taken more of a break than planned since the sore throat I woke up with on Christmas Day ended up being Strep Throat. Haven't had that since I was sixteen years old! Don't want to have it again either. Needless to say, starting to sew on a limited basis this week did not happen. My body just needed to heal and rest, so I've spent the time wrapping up the year end bookkeeping, tax records, analyzing the year, and setting goals for 2009. I'm feeling good as new now, and I will start working on orders again on Monday.

Some exciting news for January ~ Our fabric manufacturer is expanding some of the Black/Tea Dye homespun fabrics, and they are expected to be available around mid-January. I am especially excited about the Black/Tea Dye Ticking!!! I've been wanting this fabric for quite some time, and I predict it will be a very popular fabric choice. I've pre-ordered the Ticking and the Buffalo Check print, so those will ship to me as soon as they are in the warehouse.

H590 Black/Tea Dye Buffalo Check

H500 Black Solid

H56 Black/Tea Dye Ticking

H52 Black/Tea Dye Small Check

There is a BRAND NEW COLOR FAMILY coming in February also! The Brown/Tea Dye Homespun line will start out with five patterns, plus I have another very nice print from IndoUs that I will add at the same time. I'll post more about those prints later.

I have laid out the 2009 monthly schedule for special discounts, promotions, and contests at Home Sweet Homespuns. Every month will be some type of money-saving special, either free shipping, a sale items, a percentage off coupon, a chance to win a SPECIAL gift, etc. During January, any customer who orders $100.00 or more will receive FREE SHIPPING when they enter the voucher code JAN09 at check-out. It does not come off automatically; you have to enter the code. Our customers are the absolute best, and we value your business. Be sure to take advantage of the specials.

In closing, I would personally like to wish you a blessed new year. We can look at a lot of things that would cause us fear, anxiety, or distress. Let us not lose sight of hope and our faith that all things are controlled by someone bigger than ourselves. Using my husband's favorite closing line. . .

In His Grip,
Donna Yoak

Rod and Donna Yoak