Sunday, December 27, 2009

This is what we awoke to find on Christmas morning. Not a whole lot considering the standards set by the rest of the country, but enough to convince John's family NOT to risk the roads. We were having his sisters here for dinner. They decided to stay home where it was safe. A neighbor was planning on a trip to Nebraska for the holiday but the weather kept them home and since the worst they'd have to do is drive across the road to our house, they came to dinner with John and me. We spent a lovely several hours with our friends...couldn't ask for a nicer holiday than to be safe and warm and with friends, now could we?

Yesterday, John called me into the morning room to look out the back. Way back toward our grove of trees, there was a lone hawk up in the high branches. I got the best shot possible with my little digital camera...he looked so cold up there in the branches. Poor little hawk!

Today is laundry day at Pieceful Harbor, as it is every Sunday...the first load was in the dryer and there were several left to do. Evidently today is the day the dryer decided to die - again! Mr. Wonderful is taking the carcass apart again to decide if he can repair it - again. Hopefully he can. I simply do NOT want to buy another appliance right now. Of course, we have a practically brand new gas dryer in the barn that we bought just before we left California. But it would need to be re-worked for propane gas if we decided to use it. No, let's just hope John can get this thing working again. Until he does, I've got to finish 2 more loads of laundry and then haul all 5 loads to the laundromat in town....yeah (said with a weak voice!)

One very cool thing we got this year for Christmas - a webcam. Now we can call the Utah Knotwells and see them all...and I called my Mom in northern Arizona and we got to visit for almost an hour. That's not to say that we don't call regularly anyway...only now we can see each other, too. If any of you have webcams, send me a private email with your skype address and we can talk in person!

Thanks for stopping by.

ETA: Dryer fixed...that's why I call him Mr. Wonderful!!!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Major Stop on the Starling Express

Yesterday, while baking the rest of the sugar cookie dough, I heard a strange noise from outside...kind of a fluttering noise. My mind immediately went to the movie "The Birds" - it was that kind of noise. I looked out the back window to the field behind the dog run...this is what I saw. Thousands of starlings. Maybe millions. This is only a small portion of the can't see them all. I kid you not...there were so many that I had a momentary fear for the cows out there! Evidently, they're are migrating and Pieceful Harbor is one of the stops on the Starling Express!

We had a dusting of snow yesterday. Nothing that stuck, nothing that inhibited traffic in town. Just slight flurries. Peaceful flurries that didn't make me nervous at all. It's hard to believe that I've been here 6 years and when we first came here even flurries would make me nervous! Maybe I AM growing up a bit.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Only One Week

Oh, my goodness....where did the time go? There is only one week till Christmas. Are you ready? I did all the Christmas cards last night...they went in the mail today. All the gifts that needed to be mailed are already posted and some have even been received. The tree is up - lights but no decorations. (We're letting the cat get used to having the tree up before we commit to decorations). I've got all the rest of the gifts purchased - not wrapped yet. And this weekend I plan to finish making those gifts that need construction and making some more Christmas cookies. When we girls did our Annual Cookie Day right after Thanksgiving, we made a batch of dough, divided it 4 ways, and each took some home to freeze. I'm taking mine out of the freezer tonight and finishing the cookies tomorrow. I think if Christmas were to come today, I'd be ready! Bring it on!

Hoping you and yours have a Blessed Holiday Season. We really miss all our friends and wish we could see you more often.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pink Glove Dance - Breast Cancer Awareness

A friend of mine sent me the link to this is guaranteed to make you smile.

Please enjoy!

Have a great weekend.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I can't believe I'm writing this...a blog is supposed to be uplifting and lighthearted and not cranky. But today I am cranky. And here's why -

Why do retailers always put out the Christmas decorations right after Labor Day? Why are Columbus Day, Halloween, Veterans" Day, and Thanksgiving given such short shrift? I realize, especially given the economy right now, that the retailers are looking for any way to increase (or at least match the year before) their income, but, HEY FOLKS! Let's not rush into the season before we've even gotten 'fed-up' with the Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.

We have traditionally taken the decorations out of the attic and put them up all around the house the 2nd week in December and taken then down on January 1st. I've seen some houses with their holiday decorations already up before Halloween. And they'll probably stay up till Little Christmas or later.

I'm making a concession to the season at the bottom of this post. We haven't taken the decorations down from the attic yet...and we probably won't till next week sometime. I'm not going to wear my Christmas vest till the week of December 21st. Nor will I answer my phone with a cheery, "Merry Christmas" till that week. I'll be diligently working on getting the cards done before the 15th...maybe before the 22nd (?) And I hope no one takes offense. I'm not anti-Christmas - I'm anti-decorating-before-Thanksgiving!

On that note, I leave you with the following:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Does This Look Like Fall to You?

I was driving home from work the other day, and it began to dawn on me that this isn't even the middle of November. All the trees should still have leaves on them and some might even have color left. But NO! The majority of the landscape around here, in the middle of the Ozarks, looks like this!
This is the view out my back deck. Yes, there are a few cedar trees, those are evergreens and don't lose their leaves. But most of the trees are barren of leaves....just naked!

I suppose with the plethora of fabric I own, I could probably make muumuus for all the trees and still have some quilters out there know what I'm talking about. But that takes time, especially with the number of trees that populate the woods on our property. Time that I simply do not have - Christmas is coming, you know! And I've not stated on my sewing, knitting, quilting projects for this year.

I guess I could maybe learn PhotoShop really quickly and paint leaves back on the picture so at least I might be the only one to know my trees are buck-naked...since rarely do we have visitors from California, Rhode Island, Arizona, etc. , (You know who you are!) and you'd never know if we had leaves on the trees or not.

Or, I could just ignore those poor naked trees and get on with Thanksgiving and will be spring soon enough, I suppose!

Have a great weekend, folks. It's supposed to rain on Sunday here so we are driving to Fort Leonard Wood to shop for groceries - our once every 8 weeks date!
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Return to Reality, Part Deux

See that little 'x' on the left side of the dark circle? And there's another little 'x' below it. That distance is only 1.19 cm in length. That, folks, is our newest grandchild! He or she is 9 weeks old as of today, due to embark on his or her journey on earth approximately May 31, 2010. Lily Mae Knotwell or Hewston Matthew Knotwell is a much-anticipated and already very-much loved child. Jill and John as so excited about this newest addition to their family. And so are we! Nana is already planning on going out to Utah to help for a week once the wee one is born - work has already ok'd my vacation! And Jill and I have already talked about the quilt for this one, too. They don't want to know the gender but will have an ultrasound done at 20 weeks. They plan on taking an already addressed and stamped envelope with them, have the technician write down the gender and slip the note inside the envelope and seal it. It will be mailed to me so I can start on the quilt for this child. Dragonflies and lady bugs or trucks.... your guess is as good as mine at this point. I've got the batting and backing ready so far!

There, now, wasn't that worth the wait?

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Return to Reality!

John and I left a week ago last Friday and drove to Tupelo, Mississippi where we spent the night. No, folks, we didn't spot Elvis wandering the streets...he had evidently left the building!

The next morning, early, we left Tupelo and began the second leg of our journey to Hilton Head, South Carolina. We were spending a week with our son and his wonderful family at a resort there. The nine hours it took to drive from Mississippi to Hilton Head went so fast! This was a wonderful sight to behold, nonetheless.

We parked the car and went up to the suite the kids has reserved...they were already there, having arrived the day before. We walked in the door and there was a rush of little feet running and little voices yelling, "NANA...PAPA..." and little precious arms wrapped themselves around our knees and wouldn't let go! Oh, my goodness, that just about melted our hearts altogether! It had been 8 months since we'd seen the kids and the grands and we were so looking forward to spending a week with them all. We were NOT disappointed. There were bike rides with Daddy and Papa....(Mommy and Nana used the car - we're no dummies!)

There was painting ceramic pieces to remember the trip.

After all that painting, it was good to rest a bit!

There was some beach to run on and collect shells - Oh, my, did they collect shells!

There were lovely tree-lined street to drive upon...we followed them that day!

Finally, Friday came and we all departed for our respective homes. They went to the airport and flew to Salt Lake City. We got in the car and drove straight thru to home - 16 hours. What a beautiful drive it was, too. Of course, I failed to take any pictures. But driving across the bottom end of the Cumberland Gap in Tennessee, along Interstate 24 to Paducah, Kentucky was absolutely spellbinding. The colours rivaled those of my beloved New England. No we didn't stop in Paducah so I could shop at Hancock's of Paducah - sadly, they closed at 8 P.M. and we got there right at 8 P.M.! It was straight on to home! Gilligan was sure glad to see us - he wanted to play when we got home and we only wanted to crawl into bed and sleep. Saturday was spent unpacking the car and getting the house back to normal.

Tomorrow is back to the old work grind...but here is one more reminder of our lovely vacation with the Utah Knotwells.....Miranda, Emily, Jill, John, Charlotte and William (Weewum). We love you so and we can't thank you enough for inviting us to share in your vacation!

Oh! There's one more thing to tell you about our trip.....tune in tomorrow to find out what it is...

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Silver Dollar City

One of the highlights of our autumn is the Festival of Craftsmen at Silver Dollar City. The festival has been renamed several times - I think it's called The Harvest Festival - but we call it by the name John always knew it by. They bring in all kinds of craftsmen - silversmiths, blacksmiths, coopers, quilters, basket makers, candle makers, saddle makers, sorghum-makers, jewelry makers, potters. And I'm sure I'm forgetting more but my brain can't recall them. John and I spent yesterday at the festival. What a wonderful time we had! We wandered thru the park and picked up a few Christmas presents, dreamed a few dreams about times gone by, and before we left, went back to the cooperage and picked up this little darling. It's a bucket made from woods indigenous to the Ozarks. Each stay is a different wood. The cooper wrote on the bottom what each stay is...I think there are 3 repeats of each wood. It's waterproof and quite substantial. John asked me what I was going to use it for and I told him I honestly don't know...but I really wanted it and he indulged me, as usual!
John had charge of the camera this time and he took a mountain of photos of me...I deleted most of them since they were pretty awful - not because of the photographer, because the sun kept creeping in and out from behind the clouds and the shadows made me look quite ill. I'm not ill, just pale!

And then we went over by the lumberjack camp and saw John's favorite waterfall...he began snapping photos of me and frankly, they were all just hideous (my opinion, not his). I took one of him and then a nice couple came over to us and asked us if we wanted our picture taken together - and then would we take one of them? Here we are with the waterfall behind us through the of my favorite photos of the two of us!

We are off on vacation next week. A week in Hilton Head, South Carolina. John III and his wonderful family are flying there on Friday, we will drive there and meet them on Saturday for a week . It's been 10 months since we've seen them and we are so homesick for them all. We can hardly wait. John III has some great day trips planned for us - I'm hitting a quilt shop and a yarn shop and Paula Deen's restaurant for sure! I'm hoping to be able to blog while we're gone...keep your fingers crossed!
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

40 Years ago....

John graduated from Hollister High School in Hollister, Missouri. We attended his 40th reunion this past Saturday. There were a total of 25 students who graduated that year...and since then, 4 of them have passed away, leaving 21 still kickin'. 10 of those students gathered on Saturday nite at a lovely little establishment on the lake called Shorty Small's. I can not recommend them enough! They had a room available for us, overlooking the lake. They didn't charge a deposit, they provided us with nachos - gratis!. They have the most perfect waitstaff! The food was great and the company was outstanding. John was able to reconnect with some of the guys he went to high school with...and I got to hear some great stories!

It's fall here in the Ozarks...the weather has cooled down, the breezes are blowing, and the trees are beginning to turn colours. I love Autumn!

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Labor Day Visit

I spent Labor Day Weekend in northern Arizona, visiting my mom. It's been almost a year since I've seen her and my Mommy-meter was seriously low! I took a late flight from Springfield to Phoenix-Mesa airport. I'd not flown to that particular airport since it didn't exist when I lived there (100 years ago, at least). When Williams Air Force Base was closed, the airport portion was taken over and made into a public airport. To the best of my knowledge, only Allegiant Airways flies into that location. I got there at 10:30 at night, too late to get a rental car and they were charging a mighty premium for rental cars on the holiday weekend. My youngest brother picked me up and very graciously drove me the 2 hours north to Mom's house. He spent the night and then drove on home.

Mom and I spent the entire weekend talking..I don't think we turned the TV on the whole time. On Saturday we drove to the quilt shop in town. I picked up a couple pieces of fabric but nothing too expensive or heavy (I was not checking my bag since they charge a fortune to do so).

On Monday, we drove down to my other brother's house. Randy, Mercy, and their son, Scott, along with Mom, drove me down to Phoenix to catch my plane home. Scott is almost 5 and a real kick in the pants. He's not seen me since he was 2 and was very shy at first...then his exuberance for life kicked in. What a doll! I asked him if he would be willing to let me take his picture to show Uncle John. He dashed upstairs to get his hat! And then result is this:Is he not the cutest little cowboy you ever saw? And here he is on his horse.

And here is the whole family, plus Mom.
I totally forgot to get a picture of Bill...sorry!

It was good to spend so much uninterrupted time with my Mom. I miss her so terribly. And it was totally a bonus to get to see both of my's probably been 4 years since I'd seen Bill and we had breakfast with Randy and his family 2 years ago when we went from here to Utah via Prescott, Arizona cause the weather forced us to use the south route.

I love you guys! Hope it's not so long between visits next time.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hot Poppy and the Sleeping Cat

I read a lot of blogs each day. Recently, one of the girls described herself as an "episodic blogger". That struck a chord with me and I am unashamedly stealing her term. I AM AN EPISODIC BLOGGER! That almost sounds as though there should be a 12 step program, doesn't it? Ah well, those of you who know me well, you love me despite my being an episodic blogger, right?

Last week, we finally took the plunge and sold the Explorer! We got a great deal on a 2008 Ford Edge SEL SUV. It had a few more miles on it than John wanted but the deal was too good to pass up and we jumped at it. It is copper-colored. Now, if you ask John, he will tell you it's copper; me? I say it's orange. It's the same color as the poppies that grow along the freeway in California - added to a mettalic paint - and you have Poppy! My friend, Terri, called it Hot Poppy! Yesterday was a particularly sunny day, no clouds to speak of, and I decided to take advantage of the daylight to get a picture of my Hot Poppy. The first picture is a bit off - not as bright as she really is. The next picture shows her other side, and the fact that we live down a dirt/gravel road! And finally, my license plate - folks have commented on the license plate, especially when John is driving.

I took a workshop a couple of weeks ago and came home to unpack my bag. Never turn your back on the cat once you've unpacked a totebag, folks! This is what happens at our house. Gilligan loves to be in any bag or box that he can fit inside. Nothing is safe when he's around. I swear, I turned to put something on the counter and when I turned back, there he was, sound asleep already! He slept in there for over an hour!
Well, time for me to get some spaghetti sauce cooking. John came in the other day and told me there was NO spaghetti sauce in the freezer...time to make more.
I promise to try to do better at blogging on a regular basis. I know you've heard that before...but really, I will try!
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Good Day for a Mow, Gilligan's Island, and Death by Socks!

John loves to sit on his Grasshopper and mow the dog run and the meadows around the barn and the house. Since he got his new hat, he loves it even more! And the noise doesn't seem to bother the cows anymore...Dolly is just munching away. I'm so glad he talked me into letting him have the Grasshopper. Where it took him over 8 hours on Saturday AND Sunday to mow before, now it only takes him about 4 hours to mow the same area. And he then he has time to work on other stuff around the property as well.
Gilligan has grown so much in the 2 years we've had him. The vet says he's not fat...but he sure does look it in this picture. That's my sewing table he has appropriated as his own private "island". He hates it when I am working at the table, or reading on the computer, or watching TV...He wants to be held and petted. So he sprawls out at big as he can get to get my attention! Silly cat!
I have finally been killed off in Sock Wars IV. Death came earlier this week in the form of slime green and black Air Raid Socks from Evee in England. These socks have made quite a journey to get to me. They started out in New York on May 15th of this year. When that lady was killed off, she sent them to her assassin in California, who sent them off to Michigan, then on to Florida, followed by a trip to England, forwarded on to North Carolina, back to England where they were finished and dispatched to me. So 7 people had a hand in knitting a pair of socks for little old me. I lasted until there were only 11 of us still alive in the competition and then the post office delivered my demise! I never expected to last as long as I did. I was the the last person standing in the Team Competition - very cool! And I've got a lovely pair of slime and black socks to remember the competition by. The picture above does NOT show the true colors...they are truly slime green and black. And there isn't any pink or purple in the sock at all! I can hardly wait for the start of Sock Wars V - January 15, 2010! And then Sock Madness will begin in mid-March of 2010. Those are the only 2 worldwide competitions I enter. There's a small local competition that might happen in February of 2010 and I want to enter that one, too. So, the winter will be taken up with socks again...a nice way to keep hands and brains active!
Well, off to finish the laundry and work on a sewing project.
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

We Have a Winner

This past weekend was our County Fair. I had totally forgotten about it's arrival until the day before. Fortunately, I had enough time to ready a couple of entries. I entered a pair of the socks I knit for Sock Madness 3. "Tokena", designed by Tricia Weatherston is a variation on the basketweave pattern. I used two different colours of bamboo yarn and made them fraternal twins. That pair took 1st place in its division!

I also entered Storybook Farm in the quilt division. Silly me, I entered it in the applique division instead of the wallhanging division. I think it probably would have gotten a blue ribbon if I'd done that. Instead, I won a 2nd place ribbon for Storybook Farm.
Not too shabby!

I went on a quilters' Shop Hop this past weekend with 2 of John's sisters. There were 4 stores in the Hop and they held it on a Sunday from noon to 7:00 p.m. We drove to the farthest one first and worked our way back closer to home. At the second shop, I was waiting for the sisters to finish checking out and decided to go outside to wait - turned around and started walking and hit my pinkie toe on a table leg -broke the toe! Once I got home from the Hop, John straightened it out and taped it for me. My hero! As to the Hop? We had a ton of fun! I bought way more fabric than I intended - isn't that the way it always is? - and have several projects in mind for my purchases.

Tuesday was our 36th wedding anniversary. I simply do not know how the time has passed. John had a class that night and I was laid low with an aching jaw from a crown prep that morning so we will probably do something this weekend to celebrate.

I'm not sure how, but I'm still alive in Sock Wars IV. I understand that my death socks are on their way but so far have not shown themselves in the mailbox. I made my 4th kill last week so I'm pretty jazzed at the progress I made this year compared to last year. I think the end is near for me...I hear the tick tock of the death clock!

Thanks for stopping by...I don't know how many of you actually come to the blog or read it in email. However you do, thanks!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


John would be the first one to tell you that he just doesn't DO hats. He doesn't have a head that was designed for hats. For 30 years he wore hats in the Navy and I must say, except for the hat that went with his Choker Whites, most others did nothing for him. Our son recently posted a picture taken when he and his family were on vacation and he was wearing a cool hat. John saw it and said he really liked it and would wear one like that. I mentioned this to our son and, dutiful son that he is, he bought a hat for his dad for Father's Day. I must admit, he looks dashing in that hat! Don't you agree?

John got up this morning and was sad to see that it was raining. He had planned to sit on his grasshopper and mow - and wear his hat while doing so. Hopefully, it will not be raining tomorrow - then he can wear his new hat and mow!

Garnet still hasn't had her calf. That's her in the background...very miffed cause she's been separated from the rest of the 'herd' (Ruby, Jack , and Dolly) till she produces that calf. I keep telling her it's all up to her- drop the calf and get back to the herd. Simple. She ignores me and just keeps bellowing. Whiner!

I'm off to knit some more death socks....more next time. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

4th of July Weekend

We had some of John's sisters' families over for a barbecue for the 4th of July. This was the first time I didn't tell anyone what to bring. I told them that we were bbq-ing (not sure what we would cook but it was coming from the freezer since we are trying to clean out the freezer - more on that later). I told them we would eat whatever they brought. EVERYONE brought salads - including me! We had pasta salad, cucumber salad, and two kinds of fruit salad. With the barbecued steaks John cooked, it was a scrumptious feast! One of John's sisters, Kay, brought me this lovely bouquet of flowers from her yard..a simple canning jar with flowers, tied with a red bandanna bow! Perfect!

On Sunday, John decided that, since there was no wind, he would light the burn pile behind the barn. He'd been saving a bunch of the leftover panel pieces from when we built the house - he finally decided he wasn't going to need/use them so it was time to light 'em up! Being a former 'firefighter' in the Navy, he spent most of 2 hours just standing out there, watching the blaze to make sure it didn't spread. The fire didn't seem to bother any of the cows...they even stopped to watch for a short while.

I spent the rest of the weekend sewing...Jill had asked me to make her another apron like the one I'd recently sent they both are.

This pattern is a cinch to sew up. I might adapt it to Miss Emily...and maybe one for Miss Charlotte. Will have to see.
I'm still alive in Sock Wars IV! I have no idea how this happened. But I keep on knitting and killing and I'm still kicking it! I made my 3rd kill last week and my then-assassin was killed off the same day. She mailed my death socks to North Carolina but that person was killed off last week. Once she gets those death socks, she has to mail them to another lady in England. But she is expecting her own death socks anytime and will probably be dead by the time she gets mine. And then they were supposed to go to New York but New York was killed today, too. So who knows where my still-unfinished death socks will land? I'm just knitting away and killing away till mine show up! I started another pair of death socks today - these will be done by the end of the weekend, I hope, and then will wing their way to Washington state! Will keep you posted!
Ok, I know you are all jonesing to know why we are cooking everything from the freezer in such a frenzy. Well, John took our Huevo to the butcher on Monday and we need the space in the freezer in about 10 days! We told Huevo he was going for a ride to be re-purposed and since cows don't understand really big words like that, he didn't get stressed about the trip and the meat won't be stressed, either. Anyway, Huevo weighed in at 1175 pounds - live weight. Hanging weight turned out to be 664 pounds. I'm told by the butcher that this comes out to 57% and that's great for home-grown meat. But now we need to find space in the big freezer and the smaller freezer for 664 pounds of prime home-grown beef!
Ok...enough of an update for us. I'll update soon. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, July 3, 2009


John and I want to wish everyone a safe and happy 4th of July. While this is a time for family, barbecues, and fireworks, let us not forget what we're really celebrating here - Independence. A free and independent country that celebrates the uniqueness of its citizens. And the men and women who fought so valiently to guarantee all our freedoms.

Today is the anniversary of Picket's Charge in Gettysburg. I grabbed this picture from another blog...if you ever get a chance to go to Gettysburg, do it! I've been a number of times and it never fails to move me! The atmosphere of that place is still filled with the feeling of fear and hate and revenge and death and more fear. You can almost smell the smoke and blood.

Enough, about blood and death!

John and I are having his family over for barbecue tomorrow. We are not sure what we're serving - the only thing I'm sure of is that it's from the freezer! I don't say the work butcher around the animals - makes 'em stressed! And you don't want stressed meat! I say re-purposed cause they don't understand that word - haha! Anyway, Huevo is taking a little trip on Monday morning and we need room in the freezer for his return. Since he is over 1000 pounds, that means we need a lot of room in the freezer!

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

Friday, June 19, 2009

I've spent the last couple of evenings working on the pile of quilts that are just awaiting bindings. The green and red one I started in 2002 when I lived in Rhode Island. I loved how it went together and it languished in the Flimsy Bin till only recently when I made a pledge to finish more this year than last year. This one came back from the quilter in February and then it went into the binding pile. Since the knitting seems to have taken over my 'handwork' area, I simply do not find time to sit and sew on binding. I recently read about putting bindings on by machine on another blog I follow. Her philosophy has always been the same as mine - sew the binding on by machine and then tack it be hand. She changed her mind when her pile awaiting bindings got to a total of over 30! She experimented with sewing the entire binding with her machine and then posted a video on her blog. I watched it and decided to try it myself. I'm not perfect and this quilt binding is never going to be shown to the public so it works for me. And with more practice, I'll get better. So I've finished this quilt, Christmas Wreath.

And the next one is a BOM that I did with a shop near here a couple of years ago. Most of you know that I don't do pastels - it's quite difficult for me to pick pastels over brights. But, for some reason, this BOM grabbed me and wouldn't let go. So I did it and it sat in the Flimsy Bin for about 6 months. I sent it off to be quilted and then it sat in the Binding Bin. I hauled it out yesterday and sewed the binding on by machine...again, it won't win any prizes but it is certainly good enough for using at our house during the holidays. Here is - Victorian Christmas. And a closeup of my favorite block - I think I might use this as my avatar during the holidays.

This weekend promises to be warm and sunny - and probably humid. What can I say, this is the Ozarks, darlings! Humidity is part of the package! I have plans to work on a couple more sewing projects (quilts and maybe an apron or two) and maybe throw in some knitting to break it up. Hope you and yours have a lovely weekend.
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Storybook Farm

I've long been a fan of McKenna Ryan, the quilt designer. She does some pretty amazing quilts. My LQS will sometimes do one as a BOM (Block of the Month) with the pattern and fabrics already chosen, oftentimes using the exact same fabrics the designer used. One such pattern was Storybook Farm. I love this quilt. It's only about 54" by 57" but I loved doing it. It came back from the quilter last week and I finished the binding over the weekend.

My friend, Shelly, and I are doing another one of her designs, again thru my LQS, called Once Upon a Star. It's a holiday quilt with mannatees, baby seals, penguins, puffins, polar bears, and a walrus. Will show it off once it's done. And then last year we also did her In Full Bloom BOM...actually, I think we neither actually finished it, rather we bought it! Shelly, I believe has started it at least. I'm hoping to get started on that one soon, too.

For Mother's Day, John got me a bunch of plants for the front garden and planted them. Of course, we had a horrendous hail and rain storm (several over the course of a week) and some of the plants were destroyed. But here is what it looked like when he first planted it.

There are snapdragons, vincas, petunias, and impatiens in there. As well as a lonely lavender plant in that front right corner. I'm hoping it will grow enough that I can make some lavender wands for the linen closet. My friend Julie put a tutorial up on how to do these...they look fairly easy and I want to try them.

Today is a bit muggy but the sun is out and John just got home from work. He changed into his 'mowin' clothes' and went out to tidy the circle drive.

On the Sock Wars IV knitting front, I'm still alive. I have no earthly idea how this has come to be...have heard nothing from the girl I 'killed' last week - I believe she is on vacation and has no clue she is dead yet - and have heard nothing from my current assasin in Florida...I live in fear of opening the mailbox each day! Will keep you posted.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Just a Tuesday Update

Sock Wars IV is still going on and the really amazing thing is - I'm still alive! I've got one 'kill' under my belt so far and just received the SIP's (socks-in-progress) from my target on Sunday. Actually, they arrived on Saturday but I didn't get the mail till Sunday. The sock on the right was only half done. I've finished that sock and gotten the second one started. Hopefully, I can get it done before the end of the week and sent off before I get killed. My socks of death are nowhere to be found as of this writing - not that I'm complaining. There were 282 folks who started out in this battle and there are less than 1/2 of them left, me included. I have no hope whatsoever of winning this one...but it''s nice to be in the top half of the list at just a bit more than 2 weeks into the battle.

These socks are pure joy to knit. They are called Air Raid by Emily Miller. The socks are knit in a lovely lace pattern and I can certainly see me knitting them up again for either myself or someone else. The yarn is delightful to use - Pagewood Farms Alyeska in Spring Meadow colorway. YUM!

We are heating up here in the Ozarks....temps in the mid to high 80's with humidity rising. June is our wettest month of the year and we've already had some sprinkles today, along with some clouds and thunder this afternoon. John got my front garden planted with the vincas, primroses, impatiens, snapdragons, lavender, dahlia bulbs (for late summer blooms) and even 2 tomoto plants (he plans on moving them to a vegetable garden once he gets that dug and ready but needed to get them planted temporarily - hence the front garden). I'll try to get a picture next time I post.

Sorry this doesn't include any working on a large project and no pictures of the progress would do any justice to it. Maybe soon.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Carson and the Cows

The past couple of weeks have been a bit unusual, especially for Carson. He wants to get in there with the cows so badly! He spends hours just sitting at the end of the dog run...watching the cows on the other side of the fence. He has never been a patient sort so the pictures are a bit unusual...he's sitting there, hardly moving...the anticipation and need to be with them is almost palpable. The cows? They totally ignore him...

I've been knitting some the past couple of weeks....Sock Wars IV started last week. I've mailed off my weapons of death to my target...and she should have them by Tuesday. I'll post a picture once she's 'dead' - in case she's lurking I don't want her to see them yet...

I've also been doing some test knitting for a girl in Canada. She altered a crochet pattern for this little bag shaped like an acorn so folks could knit it. As some of you know, I adore acorns - don't have a clue why they intrigue me, they just do. What was it that I told my friend, Sonya one day - oh yeah, "acorns are my signature nut!" Anyway, this little bag is just big enough to put a small knitting project in - like socks. It is fast, fun, really easy to make, and way-too-cute.

I used the buttons from John's old Navy peacoat. It was kinda spooky when I had it turned about 1/4 of the way to the right, it looked like a cricket head staring me in the face! I've never been a test-knitter before and it was kinda fun!
Expecting more storms this week - today we are experiencing rain and thunderstorms (I LOVE thunderstorms!)
I worked on 4 quilts the bindings sewn on and will get some pictures up as soon as it stops raining and I can get them outside for pictures.
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Walking in the Tall Grass

John and our neighbor finished all the fencing this past weekend. They had to do some complicated rigging of fence on the far east side of our property where there is a wash. The ground is very uneven and it was hard to set T-posts and string barbed wire with the dipping of the wash and the running water that resulted from the recent rains. Thankfully, they are both prior military so they are used to rigging whatever they require for the job and the result is what you see below.

The only thing they had left to do was install a small 'man' gate on the south side of the pasture, just west of our bedroom window. That went in right quick! And at 8:10 p.m. on Sunday nite, John opened up the gates to allow the cows access to the north pasture and the tall grasses!

Sorry for the bleary view...can't get a really good picture that late at night with no flash that will go out that far.

On Monday morning, this is what I saw out the back door, from the deck:

They had all managed to find their way into the north pasture and were grazing in the tall grasses. Who said California was the only home of happy cows?
Just wanted to share our little piece of heaven with our family and friends.
Thanks for stopping by.