Saturday, April 25, 2015


AppleJack and I were invited to an event at Grassmere aka the Nashville Zoo.

The land for the Zoo was gifted to the city of Nashville by the Croft Sisters.

The gardens around the homestead are tended by the Master Gardeners.

There were many beautiful blooming species.

All around town, the Iris are showing everyone their beautiful side.

The lilacs were blooming and oh what a heavenly smell.

True confession:  I am not a zoo person.  There are reptiles at the zoo and I don't do snakes.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Iris time in Tennessee

The iris have begun to bloom!  Iris is the state flower of Tennessee, they are very hardy require very little maintenance and the different varieties are beautiful.  The Iris is sometimes called the poor man's orchid.  With the beautiful flower and hardiness factor, the poor man/gardener is the winner.

Am looking forward to a bountiful Iris season.  

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Return of Spring

The good earth is coming back to life.  The dogwoods have been blooming and they have been glorious!  

Bath's Pink Dianthus is also blooming.  It has the sweetest smell and makes me want to sit outside to breathe in its scent.

The first blooms of Miss Nellie Moser, she will soon be filled with dozens of blooms.

The curbside garden--iris will soon be blooming along with day lilies and coneflowers and lavender and . . . .  The neighborhood children and birds love this garden.  This garden brings joy to this old gardeners heart to see the children stop and smell the flowers and to see the birds playing in the birdbath.  

Bright, cheerful, sunny violas greeting me in the evenings after a long day.

The garden centers are filled with endless varieties of annuals to temp me.

The tender crimson of Japanese maples--so delicate.

Time of the year for the gardener to sharpen her trowel, pull on her garden gloves and tackle those weeds before they become more abundant. Welcome back spring--I missed you!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Margarets

La D Da
Margaret Cottam 
Three Part Mystery Sampler
18 Century Brown 32 count by R & R
NPI silks

Margaret will be the next sampler added to my Grandmother Bessie Shults/Shultz wall.  A Grandmother, Sister and Grand daughter were all named Margaret.

Grandmother Bessie's Grandmother

Grandmother Bessie's Sister

Grandmother Bessie's Granddaughter

Ever been at one of those points in your life when you realize you have too many projects in the works?  I've been working on Grandmother's Heritage (Signature quilt)  to get it completed to carry to the long arm quilter.  

Finding backing fabric for the quilt is a challenge.  The front of the quilt is made from Civil War reproduction fabrics.  I found this piece of fabric at the local quilt shop and immediately fell in love. Wyndham Fabrics and the Gettysburg Museum worked together to design this fabric.  Since AppleJack and I have been visiting battlefields and the fabric lists several of the battlefield sites, it was to good to pass up.  Am undecided about using--all the names on the front of the quilt are women--will this piece of fabric overpower the front?  Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bessie and the Bumblebees

Grandmother Bessie was an avid gardener.  Her vegetable garden was prolific, weed free, and fed her family, friends and neighbors for many years.  Bessie's flower garden was equally prolific--there were beautiful flowers, interesting varieties and faithfully tended by Grandmother.  Now. . . before I share my story about Grandmother Bessie and the Bumblebees, please understand she knew the importance of bees in the garden and their role.

One gardening year, Bumblebees made their nest in Grandmother's garden.  Grandmother was willing to have a harmonious relationship with the Bumblebees until they felt threatened by her presence.  Hmm, they failed to realize Grandmother was the reason for the beautiful garden.  When the Bumblebees became aggressive and stung her,  the relationship changed and Grandmother declared war!  The bees had their stinger and Grandmothers secret weapon was a pair of scissors.  She kept the scissors tucked in her apron pocket and when the bees went down into the flowers to gather nectar she would sneak up on them and snip, no more bee.

Grandmother kept a daily casualty count:  number of stings she received and the number of kills she made.  She studied the bees, watched their habits and found their nest.  When summer turned to fall and the  morning temps were cool, the bees became less active.  Grandmother began planning her final battle and started gathering her tools:  a gasoline can and a match.  

Let's just say the bumblebees went out in a blaze of glory.

Final note:  Grandmother Bessie had the highest regard and respect for nature.  She fully understand the role and importance of bees in the garden. 


Monday, April 6, 2015


Anne's Civil War Quilt
a gift to her Grandson
The Battle of Fort Donelson

My camera was not cooperating and this is the only decent photo I captured.  The quilt is stunning!

The Union capture of Fort Donelson near the Kentucky-Tennessee border opened the Cumberland River, an important waterway to the invasion of the deep south.  This battle earned Brig General Ulysses S. Grant a promotion and a nickname "Unconditional Surrender."  The Battle of Fort Donelson is considered one of the costliest battles of the Civil War.

This very modest, primitive log structure is Shiloh Methodist Church.  The Union Army named battles after cities, the South named battles according to geographic locations. The church did not survive the battle of Shiloh (this building is a reconstruction). More than 27,000 men were killed, wounded or captured.  It was after the Battle of Shiloh, Grant knew the war could not be won with one major battle and it is said the South never smiled again.

One day after the Battle of Shiloh, a Lincoln staffer reported to President Lincoln that General Grant was drunk.  President Lincoln listened and said:  Oh, we get all sorts of reports here, but I'll say this to you:  that if those accusing General Grant of getting drunk will tell me where he gets his whiskey, I will get a lot of it and send it around to some of the other generals, who are badly in need of something of the kind.

After visiting some of Tennessee Civil War battlefields, I need to get working on my own Civil War quilts.

Grandmother Bessie's signature quilt has been pulled from the unfinished heap.  I have been practicing my cursive writing and getting the names together.  

The Stones River Battlefield (Murfreesboro) is a short drive from our home.  Of the major battles of the Civil War, this battle had the highest number of casualties for both the Northern and Southern armies.  The battle was fought from December 31, 1862 to January 2, 1863.  

The Battle of Chickamauga was the most significant defeat of the Union Army in the Western Theatre.  The battle had the second highest number of causalities (Battle of Gettysburg was the highest). 

Each of the fifty states which make up this country of United States has its own unique history.  Tennessee experienced some of the deadliest, costliest battles during the Civil War.  It was a divided state with loyalties to both the Northern and Southern Armies.  The war divided families--a great uncle was killed the first day of battle at Gettysburg fighting with the Confederate Army, a cousin died at the Battle of Stones River fighting for the Union Army.