valley forge

valley forge

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What's New

Summer is in full swing which means we have been traveling to Florida Bar meetings with Mr.MW, Mom has been stitching Halloween and Christmas goodies, and Annie...Annie has recently scooped up a couple of new awards.

First, this is where my mantle use to be. This old pine chest-of-drawers use to hold our t.v. on top. I had to get rid of the mantle and move it to this wall to make room for this...

I ordered this piece from The Seraph in the spring and it arrived last week. I love the piece...lots of needed storage! 

Also ordered this table from The Seraph for the family room. Love the tiger maple top on this traditional porringer table. 

These two pieces arrived the day before we left for Boca Raton for the annual Florida Bar Convention. Whew!!! It was close!


We had a great time in Boca. Annie received a President's Award from the outgoing president, Bill Schifino on the left...and a Lifetime Membership Medal (around her neck) from the incoming president, Michael Higer, on the right. She was so surprised...and so were her parents!!! 
It's hard for me to get good pics because so many people are taking photos...professional photographers for the Bar...people with cell phones...I end up in the back row...but I think you can see how happy our girl was to be honored by these wonderful friends.

That this organization and these great friends go out of their way to recognize Annie is amazing. Her dad has been on the Board of Governors for thirteen...starting fourteen...years. Annie has only missed one meeting in all that time. That's over eighty five meetings! These folks are our family.


Speaking of Will...our first great nephew. His dad, our nephew, is on the Young Lawyers Board. His mom, also a lawyer, works for the Governor of Florida.

Finally, thirteen nephews...three nieces...finally, one of them reproduced! Welcome, Baby William!


I've done a wee bit of hooking. Yesterday, I mostly reverse hooked...yuck!

Hope you are all enjoying these summer days. We have had so much rain my door garden is full of soggy dead herbs. My gorgeous rosemary and lavender plants...drowned. With calls for rain all week, I don't expect any survivors. I'll just stay inside...and reverse hook.

Enjoy the day,

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Randomness...early summer

Shooner redware bank

Hello friends...hope these early days of summer are treating you well.

Summer, to me, always comes with a reading list. And it seems this year Annie and I share a common subject...Colonial America/ the American Revolution.

We are planning a trip later this year and, as preparation, Annie and I are reading/learning all we can about the early days of America.

Having traveled to historic towns like Philadelphia, Alexandria, Boston, Concord and Lexington, Annie knows a good bit of our country's history. She can tell you why her mother's home state of Virginia is called "the mother of presidents" (eight of them born there...the most of any state) and name the big Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe. 

 Annie has been fortunate to visit Valley Forge, Mount Vernon, Independence Hall and the home of Betsy Ross among other sites of historical importance. I always try to prepare her before our visits so she will know what she is seeing so she can enjoy it, and not be overwhelmed or bored.

I never know how much Annie retains from our visits so I was absolutely over the moon when we found the Eyewitness book above in Barnes and Noble. Paging through it we saw lots of familiar sights from our visit to Philadelphia a few years ago. Annie proceeded to tell me all about the pictures we were looking at and telling me things like, "This is Independence Hall in Philadelphia." I was one proud mama...and teacher! Even better, Annie was so proud of herself. 

So...we are brushing up on our history for our next adventure. 

I am reading 1776. David McCullough is a wonderful writer and I am loving every word. In my opinion it should be required reading for every American...especially these days. Patriots like these, I fear we have seen the last of their breed. 

The coasters in the photo are pics of our trip to Philadelphia and are a wonderful way to preserve memories and see them every day. Made them with Shutterfly.


For those of you who are stitchers, I wanted to share with you this great tray made by Lori and Peter Brechlin of Notforgotten Farm fame. This handy tray attaches to the arm of your chair and holds all things necessary for your stitching pleasure.

I am a chronic needle loser! This tray comes with a magnet attached to it. I added my favorite needleminder and it works like a charm. All my sewing goodies in one it!
Great little helper this talented team came up with!

Sadly. I have not made any progress on my Karen Kahle rug. I've have been doing some seasonal stitching for the fall. Mostly I have been spending time with my addition to our Colonial studies, we have a few art projects going. Never enough time. 

Take good care everybody! The Fourth of July will be here momentarily!

Enjoy the day,

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Key West

We just returned from a visit to Key West. It was so hot all I could think was...we are surely melting!

Despite all the HOT, Key West is a unique and beautiful place.

This quote, right on the sidewalk, perfectly describes the colors of Key West. I've added my own pics to share the lovely colors of this tropical island...our country's southern most point. The photos have not been enhanced...the colors you see are the true colors of the photos as taken. Enjoy a little taste of the Conch Republic!

This sunset was so beautiful! Took this sitting on our balcony...sipping green tea.


Remember the antique bricks I mentioned months back? My Christmas present from Mr. MW has been a slow but steady project.  A friend came by to check it out and was nice enough to let me take his picture. At this stage we are letting the sand settle before adding the cement. More pics coming. I love it!

Hope all is well with everybody.

Enjoy the day,

Monday, May 29, 2017

Thank you!

Washington's Headquarters at Valley Forge

This photo was taken years ago in Washington, D.C.. This statue is part of the Vietnam War Memorial. The soldier on the left, with the hat and holding the rifle, was a classmate of mine from high school. He modeled for the artist years after his safe return from duty in Vietnam. 

To my friend, who has since passed away, and all those who served and did not return home...thank you.

Enjoy the day,

Thursday, April 27, 2017

I'm going in....

Morning, friends and fellow hookers. I have had this rug on my list to hook for a long time. I mustered a bit of nerve and yesterday pulled some loops.

This is Karen Kahle's "Flowerbox"...the large one.

It's a big one!

Very big! 52x40 big!

I plan on doing a little bit every day. Wish me luck! I'll post my progress.


If you have been here before, you know I come from a long line of "never throw anything outers".

This is Annie in one of her favorite tees. I bought this shirt on a trip to 1993. It was more like a nightgown on her when I brought it home, but became a favorite right then and there. She grew into's still a big favorite.

Gotta go pull some loops!

Enjoy the day,

Saturday, April 8, 2017 favorite

Good morning, friends! Hope all is well with you. Yesterday, I tackled a job I have been avoiding...tidying up the bookcases in our living room. We have a lot of books even though I have been pulling and donating with vigor. 

Most of you know that I am an avid collector of Shooner Redware. I love the rich colors and many forms this talented husband and wife team create with simple clay. 

My collection is spread throughout our home...with most of it on the bookcase. I decided the pieces  needed to be gathered together, rather than be sprinkled here and there on the shelves. It also gave me the incentive I needed to dust!

I like the result...although I am still tweaking books. Brought all together in the center of the bookcase, I think it looks more like a true collection. There are still pieces scattered around, but the bulk of it is here.

Here are a few pieces on my piecrust table. 

I know that if you remember the years I featured my changing "Kitchen Window", you have seen many of these pieces before. I'm liking this new look. My sweet husband kindly suggested that this collection is complete...silly boy! Are collections ever complete? Have to admit he has a point. 


I have not been doing a lot of hooking lately, but I am reading a wonderful book...The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman. It is the true story of a couple who ran the Warsaw Zoo before WWII.  I'm late to the party with this was published in 2007. They have made a movie out of it so I immediately bought the book to read before seeing the movie. 

It is a wonderful read...full of history. I have learned a great deal, always a plus for this old educator. It is a story of hope and kindness and survival.

It is also full of sadness...full of man's inhumanity to man...full of greed and corruption...pain and suffering. 

I've been shaking my head and remembering the words of George Santayana, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Pray for's a big mess out there.

Enjoy the day,

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Bunnies and Eggs

A few bunnies and eggs are popping up at our house. Last night, after the sun went down, we were entertained by a real mother rabbit as she dined in our front yard. These German bunnies are happy inside. 

(The pillow in the background was made by Pam Gill.)

These wonderful eggs are from Treasured Primitives on Etsy. I bought a total of four sets before I made myself stop! These are red and brown and pink eggs, and they are so perfect for my Colonial living room.

They are covered in reproduction Civil War fabric and then aged. My antique white leather bunny sits amid the lovely blues.

Hope this finds you all well...enjoying a slight case of Spring Fever! 

Enjoy the day,

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

...seeing spots


I'm seeing spots today...and painting them, too. 

This is an old Pennsylvania German style of folk art painting. It might not appeal to everyone, but I really, really like it. It's so folky!

Although I have seen these spots on furniture, as well as walls, it was this book by Nancy Braithwaite that really pushed me to paint. This talented designer used spots on the walls of her Atlanta home.

Her spots are larger than mine as she was painting a wall, while I painted a smaller mantle. It was a fun did not take long...and the size and spacing is random. You really can't mess it up, so it was just plain fun. 

Of course Mr. MW has yet to see it...and Annie started singing Cruella DeVille when she saw it. But me? I like it...but then, I adore polka dots!

 Still have to figure out what to put in the interior space. It's very much a work in progress, but I thought I'd share as I go. Sometimes you just need to change things up!

Anyone else seeing spots today?

Enjoy the day,

Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy President's Day!

It's been a long while since I've posted...or visited. does keep us busy. Hope this President's Day finds you all well and stitching, hooking or punching something fun. I have been working on a few things...already thinking Autumn here at the House of Mugwump.

We made a trip to Tallahassee last month and found a state park that we had not visited before on our many trips to our capitol city. Maclay Gardens was the"springtime" home of the Maclay family. Mr. Maclay was a fan of camellias and developed many new types of these gorgeous flowers.

They were a bit beyond their prime...but so beautiful...

and so large! All types and was a feast for the the middle of January.

The house is a perfect house. Painted salmon with green shutters and door, as stipulated by the owner when donated to the state. It's lovely.

The surrounding grounds are lovely, as well. We are always pleased when we find an accessible park. Many places have conformed to this law, but in state and national parks it's tricky. Some of the park is law...but not all of it. Annie loves when we are all outside together. We have a flower press and collected a few camellias off the ground to press...unfortunately, they didn't make it home. Next time we will pack our press for the trip!

Love this bronze peacock!

That's a beautiful lake in the background.

We always enjoy getting out in nature and the weather was gorgeous. That's a live oak with the famous Southern adornment "Spanish Moss". You see this moss all over Florida and much of the South. It is sometimes referred to as the "beard of the conquistadors"... the early explorers of the state. It is very invasive when it grows in a tree and is not really good for the tree, but it is something many people find charming.

Hope you all are enjoying some nice weather. Our front yard was covered with robins a few days ago. Actually, our entire street was covered with robins. Annie and I had so much fun watching them dart about and even enjoy a shower under our neighbor's sprinkler. Love robins!

Hope to be back in the loop soon. 

Enjoy the day,