Monday, June 30, 2008

I can't believe half the year is gone! Where have I been? I know I spend a lot of time knitting and quilting, but it seems that it was only March the last time I looked. Is it really the last day of June, really???

Here are the quilted postcards I've received in the most recent online exchange. The spaces are where I'm still awaiting cards but they may be a long time coming so I'm posting what I've gotten so far. Aren't they wonderful? I'm in another one that starts soon, too. Some of the same people, some new ones. I love these things!

I also signed up for the Summer of Socks online. This 'competition' is more my pattern assignments, no targets, no assassins, no needle or yarn requirements - just knitting! Knit patterns you want to, use yarn and needles of your choice, knit the size you want. Just post a picture of each pair you complete between June 21st and September 1st. Cool. Here's a picture of my first pair - they are made with Tofutsies soysilk yarn, on size 1 Addi-Turbo lace needles, using the Tidal Wave pattern. I call them Red Tides! They are being gifted to my darling daughter-in-law in honor of her learning how to knit! Congrats, Jill!

I entered a recent online give-away at Quilt Taffy and they pulled my name. All I had to do was comment on their blog...I can do that! I have opinions, after all. Here is what I won.

It's a charm pack of Mary Englebreit's new Christmas line for Moda...31 squares measuring 5"...hmmm...I see a Christmas table runner in my future. Too cute.

John is off to Salt Lake City this weekend for a Grandkid Fix! Me? Well, I plan on spending the entire 3 day holiday in my jammies, knitting and quilting and sewing pillow shams and window seat covers for our oldest granddaughter, Emily. Yep, I might not even get out of jammies - or maybe I'll shower and put on clean jammies - who knows? It's a holiday!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer Reading Program

Each year, a lot of libraries promote a summer reading program, oftentimes they are using the same program, or at least the same title. Our library's summer reading program runs from June 1st to July 31st each summer. This year's theme is "Catch the Reading Bug @ your library". Yep, the theme is bugs! We have a presenter each Wednesday for an hour's program and it is really well received. Ronald McDonald comes each year, Marty Hahne ( a truly gifted magician!), Libby's Lizards, and some others. This year, we are also having a representative from Weird Science, a Puppet show, a rep from NASA!, a storyteller, and an interactive musician. And the very last Wednesday of the program we do a movie day - one in the morning for the smaller children and one in the afternoon for the older ones. And it's the only time during the year that we can dress 'casual'. That means we all wear our Summer Reading Program T-shirts. This year we get antennae, too. See?

Our tech guy took the picture and photoshopped it....By the way, I'm the only one in the library whose head is small enough that the antennae fit! Everyone else has to pin theirs on so it doesn't pop off their heads.

Happy Wednesday. Read a book!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Make Hay While the Sun Shines

As a city girl, I never really connected the dots between the saying and the actual process. I know that we paid a fortune for hay this past winter for the cows. And John had said he wanted to make hay from the fields this year. Now, I'm a pretty smart girl so I paid attention when the menfolks was a talkin'. Here's what I learnt! Hay needs to be cut when it's at least 2.5 feet high. Then it needs to lay for about 2 days to dry. Then it's raked (twice - once one way and then the other way). And finally it is scooped up in the haybaler and made into either those small squarish bales we see in the movies where they're sittin' and talkin' or into one of two sizes of rolls. Our friend Terry has a baler that makes the smaller rolls. John asked him if he would bring his equipment over and we would pay him the fuel charges. Terry, my John, and our neighbor John trucked all the equipment, including Terry's large tractor over to our house a couple of weeks ago. But they couldn't make hay cause it was raining so much. Well, last Tuesday, the outlook for dry weather suggested they cut hay that night, leave it for the next 2 days, and then make hay before the rains came the next day. This is our neighbor John in the foreground with his tractor, dragging the hay rake. Behind him is Terry and his tractor collecting hay and making....well, Hay. The second picture shows the birth of a hay roll.

The next day, it rained...I mean it poured! We had over 5 inches of rain during the day on Friday. That made some pretty wet rolls so they needed to dry out a bit. On Sunday, it was dry enough that the 10 1/2 rolls of hay could be taken over to our neighbor's for storing till we need it this winter. This picture was taken just before I took them each a nice cold beer!

And now you see why they needed to get the hay sheltered...this was a mere 1 hour later.

Now I know why they say to make hay while the sun shines....hay needs to be dry to be raked and baled and the best way to do that is to use the sun...Enough agri-education for now, children. Recess!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Go, Grasshopper, Go

While I was in California, eating and talking and eating some more, John was at home, taking care of the animals and mowing. It takes him 8 hours on Saturday and 8 hours on Sunday to mow the parts of the property that he wants kept cut. Well, after 4+ years of using a mower that was meant for residential use (ie, much smaller than the 5 acres he usually cuts), his mower broke - broke big time - really, really broke!!! So once I got home, he bought a new, commercial mower. A Grasshopper!

Now he can mow the same amount of grass in under 4 hours - TOTAL! He is one happy boy - can you see the smile? Go, Grasshopper, Go!

On another note, I recently participated in a quilted postcard exchange. If any of you have never seen or received or made a quilted postcard, you have missed a lot of fun. I mailed mine off on Monday and have already received some responses to them. These are the ones I made for my swap partners. I've only received one so far, but it's only the day after the mailing deadline so I'm sure the rest will be coming in shortly.

Quilted postcards can be anything - pieced, appliqued, crazy pieced, embroidered. Anything! I did quite a few different ones. Even used my embroidery machine to make several special ones. It's a great way to use those test blocks and stitchouts from the embroidery machine. The top two and the butterfly and the sandcasle were test stitchouts. The embroidered flower was made special. I had some 4 patches and added another strip to the side and then used a fancy stitch from my sewing machine (an anchor border stitch) along that strip. I practiced my free-hand quiting on the fish and the larger fish one at the top right. You can't see the very bottom one but it's simply a pieced pineapple block with strips along each side. Use fusible web or double sided Peltex for the middle and plain muslin for the back. Fuse together and zigzag around the edges. Put the address and any message you want on the other side, keeping in mind to put a line down the center to separate the address side from the message side - just like a real postcard. If you use peltex for the center, your card will need to use a 42¢ stamp. Voila! I'll try to post the ones that I receive once they are all in.
Until next time!

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Book Tout

I work in a library. That alone, means I have access to tons of books and usuallly get to see and read them before the public does. So I was ecstatic when one of my most favorite authors' newest books came in with the book order recently. Debbie Macomber has been writing for over 25 years and I've been a fan for about the same number of years. Her books are delightful and fun. She saw me through many a deployment when John was on active duty. Her newest book is called Twenty Wishes. The basic premise is devoted to writing a list of the things we want to accomplish in life. And then to accomplish those things. Your list doesn't have to be grand (become the President of the United States or star in a major motion picture). It can be as simple as "dance in the rain with a loved one" or "buy a pair of red cowboy boots" - these are some of the things the heroine of Debbie's book has on her list. The heroine found a pair of red cowboy boots at a thrift store and bought them. And she danced in the rain with her foster child. See? Simple!
I recommend this book to anyone! That's right - ANYONE! After reading this book, see if you don't feel inspired to write your own 20 wishes list. I did!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

Cinnamongirl93 tagged me! Some of you may know these things, some of you may not. Bear with me.

The Rules:

Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1. What I was doing 10 years ago: I was living in California, a military wife. Our son, John, was away at college so I was on my own for a lot of the time. I had only recently discovered the joys of quilting and was actively pursuing the acquisition of a stash!

2. What 5 things are on on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order): Catalogue children's books on my cart, work on a quilt for my son and his wife, pay bills, order some summer clothes, update my blog.

3. Snacks I enjoy: I like nachos. And ice tea, not sweetened. And Goldfish crackers.

4. Things I would do if I was a billionaire: Pay off all our debts...and those of our son and his family. Arrange college education funds for our grandchildren. Travel - a lot.

5. Places I have lived: California, Arizona, Illinois (for a short time during my husband's military training), Rhode Island, Missouri.

I think I'll tag Jo, Chris, Dawn, Judy, and Jill.