I was so excited when I found an elusive “script” fabric online. Imagine my surprise when I opened the package and discovered that instead of a yard of cream-colored fabric, covered with elegant French cursive writing, I had received chickens. That’s right…chickens.

My great great grandfather came to America around 1870 with little more than the clothes on his back, a trade and a desire to succeed, and managed to build what was, by all accounts, a very successful business.

Sometimes you just have to give into insomnia and devote that “found time” to something productive…and creative.

Although I see shoots of green leaves sprouting from the ground, a signal that daffodils and crocus are readying their annual display, I’m still surrounded by bare tree branches and dormant shrubs. Clearly, I’m overdue for a day trip to Longwood Gardens.

For what seems like the first time since the holiday season began in November, this weekend I had NOTHING scheduled for Sunday — no concerts, no neighborhood gatherings, no NFL playoff games — so I was able to spend nearly six hours sewing. Bliss.

I’ve been in love with Mercury glass since I was a little girl, helping my parents decorate our Christmas tree with the glass ornaments from their childhood. There’s something about that rich, mottled pewter tone that spoke to me even in my pre-teens.

When mom and I began researching her family tree, she believed that the Ensminger name was an uncommon one, and that most of her relatives arrived in the U.S. from Alsace via Ellis Island. We quickly learned that her branch of the family could be traced back to 16th Century Alsace, and that her first Ensminger ancestor to arrive in the U.S., Peter Ensminger, landed in Philadelphia in 1733. So, no Ellis Island. Oh, and mom’s maiden name is not as uncommon as she thought.