Thursday, September 30, 2021

The End of Summer and Beginning of Autumn

 Mom and I spent a lovey week in Phoenix, Arizona with my brothers and their families.  I went the Camelback High School 50th Reunion while there.  

Our school colors were blue and orange and I was able to find a top to wear as well as a shawl I'd knit that matched the exact orange.  

Karen Deaktor and Molly Parker and Me....can NOT believe they remembered me from 50 years ago!  I always thought I was invisible during those painful teen years.

Celia Cheves, what a treasure you are!  

I met up with girls I'd known in Girl Scouts, some I'd reconnected with thru Facebook already.  I had had misgivings about going but sure did have a good time.  

Staying with my brother was so lovely.  Turns out my youngest brother has the same love of animals that my mom has.  It was a week-long lovefest between him and their pup, Charli.

It's not often we three get together. We live so far apart.

When we got home, it was time to preserve the tomatoe harvest.  John had picked all the tomatoes he could from his garden - almot 30 gallons.  My friends Fran and Nickie came up to observe and we put them to work right away.  We got 26 quarts of tomatoes!  

John had to work out of town all this week so it fell to me to let the chickens out of the barn each evening and lock them in each evening before sundown.  As I walked out of the barn this morning after opening up their area, I heard clucking really close behind me.  I turned and saw this....made me feel like the Pied Piper!  18 chicks (2 months old) and 9 adults all following me along the central alley of the barn.  

Wll, it's beginning to sprinkle outside and I need to get to my sewing machine for today.  Thank you for stoppng by.  

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

New Changes and Chickens and Children

 We have been living here for 18 years now and it's becoming time for some aesthetic changes.  First on the list is new carpet in the Great Room and down the hallway.  When we had them come out to give us the estimate, I also asked them what they would charge to restretch the carpet in the studio while they were here.  Given that it was not as much as I had thought, we agreed that should be done the same time they installed the new carpet.  We had to remove all the furniture from the Great Room (where oh where do we put it all?  Some went into our bedroom sitting room, some into the garage, and some shoved into the morning room area.  Then we needed to unload the entire studio - anything that sat on the floor needed to be removed.  Fortunately, my best friend's daughter and her family came up on Saturday and helped.  It only took 1 hour to totally clean out the room - some went into our 2nd bedroom (the one that I want to make into a real guestroom) and the rest went into the garage - poor John's truck had to be parked outside since we took over his parking spot for studio stuff.  

The empty Great Room. 
My studio - golly, it looks huge without all the Stuff!
Bins in the garage, along with furniture.
2nd bedroom...hope I don't need anything from there!

The carpet installers got here right at 8:30 this morning and set to work ripping up the old carpet and padding.  

They say it should only take today to put the new carpet and padding down and restretch the carpet in the studio....then the real work begins for me - sorting and purging the stuff from the studio so hopefully there is a bit more space in there when I'm done.  

John decided he needed more chickens for egg-laying.  He currently has 8 layers and 1 rooster. He gets about 6 eggs a day from them.  He ordered another 20 baby chicks and mom and I picked them up last Thursday - day-old baby chicks. 
They are Austra Whites and will yield almost white-shelled eggs.  The others we have are Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks and Black Australorps.  Their egg colors range from cream to lightly toasted brown.  Currently, the new chicks are living in a brooder under heat lamps until they get their feathers - that will be about 3 weeks and then they will be incorporated into the regular population of chickens.  

Late last month, we got to spend a few days with our two grandsons.  They flew out from Salt Lake City and spent 3 days with Nana and Papa.  First time flying without their parents and they did so well.  
So stinkin' proud of those two!  Flight delays and Covid just don't mix but they were amazing!  The boys got to learn to drive Papa's Mule - Eyeore. 

And they learned about raising chickens.  They even took over all the chicken chores while they were here!  I heard one of them as Papa, " Is it time for chicken chores yet?"
Giving the chickens scratch treats!

We took them to Silver Dollar City one day.  It was hot and humid and crowded but we had so much fun!

Meeting a "Prisoner" from the train ride!

We didn't get nearly enough time to spend with them but they needed to get home for some programs that had already been scheduled and school is starting so we were thrilled to get the time that we got!

It was hard to send them home but I did it!
They seemed to have fun and said they really want to come back next summer!  We are counting on it! Maybe they can bring their little sister with them as well.  

I've been working on my Cross Stitch Camp project for August.  With luck, I can finish it by the end of the month.  
So far, it's coming along fine.  It will be a small piece - probably about 8 inches square.  I may make it into a small pillow.  Will have to see what it wants to be once it's done.

I supposed I've rambled enough for now.  Thanks so much for stopping by. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Preparing for Winter - a bit Early

 Some folks might know that those of us who live in the country and have animals need to prepare for the winter well in advance of that season.  It's only July, but we are thinking of the coming winter and making sure we have enough food for the 4 cows we are raising.  Hence, the delivery of 15 rolls of hay this past weekend. 

The other 8 rolls are on the other side of the driveway. Then John needed to move them to the gravel alley where they are likely to NOT get moldy when sitting on the ground

Along with the 3 from last year and the 8 rolls we are buying from our neighbor, we will have plenty for the cows for the winter.  

I am participating in a program this summer called Cross Stitch Camp.  Each month, there are certain peramiters set forth for those of us who are taking part.  June was to stitch something that was inspired by someone or something.  I chose to do a counted cross stitch and beaded ornament kit from Mill Hill.  I'd seen several done by my friend Debbie Bailey in Alaska - her blog is one I have followed for many years.  One starts the project on the first of the month - inserting a picture of the chart, threads, and fabrics to prove you haven't started it yet.  Then you have all month to complete the project - posting a picture of the finished stitching by the end of the month.  I completed my camp project for June in justs 7 days!

Then, for July, we had to pick a project by a designer we had never stitched before.  Since I was just getting back into cross stitch after a 30+ year break, that wasn't hard to do.  I chose Stitchy Stars by Lori Holt.  Completed that project in about 2 weeks.  It will measure 16 inches by 2 inches when done. I have a wooden 'plank' that I want to stain and then mount the cross stitch to it so it can hang in the entryway.

Now to decide on August's project - using a new-to-me fabric or thread.  I think I'm going to use a 32 count linen and silk thread. The chart I want to use is a single-thread design - a sign that reads " Let's all be Kind".  

Mom recently went from a cane to a walker.  She was getting a bit frail and we thought, along with her doctor, that a walker was the next best thing for her.  I took her to a company that specializes in medical equipment and she test drove all their rollator walkers.  This is the one she chose.  Boy can she move now!  It's great for when she's out with me and gets tired from walking or standing...she can just sit down and wait for me!

Those of you who know me know that I have a morbid, debilitating fear of needles.  I have never gotten a flu shot.  I was not going to get the Covid-19 vaccination - no way, no how.  Mom decided to get it - I took her to get her vaccinations each time.  John had to get it for his work - we got him the Johnson & Johnson one since it only requires 1 shot.  I was fine not getting it since both of them were covered and we don't go a lot of places.  But the Delta variant is, for some reason, one that really bothers me.  I plucked up the courage, asked John to come with me and hold my hand (and not tease me for being such a baby), and we found a place near us who was doing the J&J vaccine.  Let's face it, it probably wasn't going to happen if I had to do it twice!  I got my vaccination last week and I didn't faint, or cry, or even hit the girl who gave it to me.  

I wouldn't do it again - the mental preparations are almost more than I can handle more than once in my lifetime - but it's done and I have the Vaccination Card to prove it! 

Our two grandsons are coming for a short, 4 day visit this weekend.  I haven't seen them in 3 years.  John and I are so darned excited about seeing them.  Hewston is 11 and William is 14.  We are planning on taking them to Silver Dollar City on Saturday and perhaps the movies on Friday or Sunday.  It will be a short visit but one that we will treasure for a long time.  

Thanks for stopping by. Be safe and have a great rest of the summer (or winter for my south-of-the-equator friends). 

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Embarrassed Beyond Belief!

I guess it's really not beyond belief if you know me....I tend to make plans to be consistent in blogging and then time gets away from me - big time!  I get fairly focused on a project and eveything else just disappears from my radar. This time around, I've finished a couple of quilts, competed in Sock Madness again (year 15!), done a mystery Gnome Knit-a-Long, had several machine embroidery workshops and classes, started teaching my best friend's granddaughter to sew, and started teaching my best friend to use my embroidery machine.  It's no wonder I forget to blog!  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! 

We are in the throes of summer here in southwest Missouri and summer doesn't officially start for another day or so.  It's hot and humid and miserable outside.  Not pleasant for me and certainly not pleasant for mom - the humidity is dangerous to her already compromised breathing.  So we stay inside a lot during the summer.  That gives me a lot of crafting time.

I recently started back to cross stitching.  I'd done a lot of that during the 70's and 80's but had put it away when I discovered quilting in the 90's.  I read a blog post one day about Floss Tubes and it got me curious.  I started watching a few and one of them mentioned Cross Stitch Camp.  I researched it and decided I'd like to do it.  So I am currently participating in Cross Stitch Camp.  For June, you choose a design inspired by someone or something else.  For July, do a chart by someone you've never used before, and August is to use either a fabric or thread you've never used before.  I've been reading a blog by a lady name Debbie Bailey in Alaska for years...she is a prolific quilter as well as making felt Christmas stockings and small cross stitch ornaments with beads.  I had gotten a few of the ornament kits but the beads intimidated me and I'd never done them.  I pulled one out and decided to make that one as my June camp project.  The way this works is, you post the chart, fabric, and thread on June 1st to the Instagram page with tags to the Camp Director...then on June 30th you post a picture of your finished project.  Now, it doesn't have to be framed or hung, just the stitching done.  I've never been a monogamous crafter - EVER - but I figured I could get that little cross stitched and beaded ornament completed in 30's only about 2.5 by 3.00 inches big.  So I started it and, well, I finished it the first week of June!  Even so much as putting the beaded hanging string and backing it.  Here is my June 1st picture.

And my June 9th finished picture.
I've picked out my July project - Lori Holt's Stitchy Stars's a bit bigger (about 2" by 14").  Will try to post it sooner rather than later.

John has started to work on the gardens....he spent a long weekend cleaning out the garden beds and installing the electric fences and planting the tomatoes and squash.  

The deer arent' vey happy - they can't get to those tasty tomato plants with the sweet green tops anymore with the electric fencing.  I see several evenings canning tomatoes in my late summer future!

My very best friend and her entire family have left California and moved to Missouri!  I hadn't seen Fran since 2008 and when she called to tell me they were moving here, I could not contain my joy!  I've missed her so much.  Her daughter and son-in-law and their 4 children got here in early Januray and got settled in Branson.  Then Fran and her husband got here just before Easter and they are mostly settled.  Their son and his wife and daughter will be moving into their new home in Branson by the end of July and then they will all be here!  Fran and her daughter and granddaughter have been coming up here to visit every Thursday and Fran is learning to use my embroidery machine. Her granddaughter is learning to sew.

We had the entire clan up for a BBQ on Memorial Day....The kids really enjoyed seeing the barn and the chickens and the cows up close and personal.  They even got to feed the cows treats!

John gets fresh eggs from his chickens just about every day.  The other day he came in and showed me his harvest for that day.

See that egg in the upper right?  It appears to be two eggs melded together.  Probably a triple yoke.  Makes me cringe to think of passing that one!

Today is Father's Day in the U.S.  We generally don't make a big day out of most holidays, except Christmas and Birthdays.  But I promised John I'd make him a Lemon Jello Cake for Father's Day.  I need to get crackin' on that!

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for stickin' with me, in spite of my lack of continuity for blogging.    

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Happy Easter 2021

 It feels as though Easter came early this year.  I don't know just does.  Thankfully we are all safe and healthy and home.  John is cooking a ham and baking some sweet potatoes.  I am making a caesar salad and deviled eggs.  And there is a choice of peach apply cobbler with ice cream or just ice cream with chocolate sauce for dessert.  We have invited our next door neighbor to join us.  Simple but still a blessing to be able to share with friends.

When John took the two cows to the vet last November to make sure they had gotten pregnant during their stay at a neighbor's property this past summer, the vet told him that Rosie was about 3 months pregnant and Belle was about 3 1/2 months along.  My calculations said that Belle should have her calf in mid-March.  Belle had a quick, uneventful delivery of a little girl calf on March 16th and Rosie presented us with her little boy calf exactly 2 weeks later, on March 30th.  Both calves are pure black with no other markings.  Since Belle belongs to our son and his family in Utah, we left the naming to them.  They chose the name the name Babette (or Babs or Baby) and I chose the name Zeke for Rosie's little boy.  Here they are this morning...

That is Belle on the far left, then Rosie, then Zeke and finally, Babette.  We have a herd! 

I have been competing in the annual speed knitting contest called Sock Madness again this year.  It's my 14th time competing and the competition is 15 years old.  I made it past the Qualifying Round.  Here is my pair.

And Round One started back on March 24th...I finished my pair yesterday and they were accepted by the moderators so I am going to go into Round 2 when it begins.  Probably sometime at the end of this next week.  

This tree was a real bugger to knit....I honestly don't think they will be very comfortable to wear.  I can't even get the socks over my heel...of course, I have a big foot anyway.  So will rest up my hands and await the release of Round 2...

Hoping you have a wonderful Easter....thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

2021 is Shaping Up to Be a Doozy, Too!

So, January started off with me getting my cast removed and a 'resting' splint put on.  I was allowed to remove it for twice daily exercise sessions and bathing and hair-washing. 
Then, on February 11th, the surgeon told me that I can take the splint off all day, except for sleeping and lifting heavy things.   The swelling is expected to go down over the next 6 months or so.  And I can begin physical therapy on the arm right away.  I have exercises to do at home and will begin the rehab next week.
I'm as weak as a baby with that wrist,  I went to the rehab place on Thursday after seeing the surgeon and they measured all kinds of things on my arm.  I can squeeze the requisite 60 pounds with my left hand but the right hand can only manage to squeeze 7 pounds...lots of room to improve there!

Over the next few days, we are expecting 2 different snow storms - both together are expected to dump our entire year's worth of snow - 18 inches!  That's all fine, but I am such a scaredy-cat with snowy roads, this news just didn't sit well with me.  Fortunately, or unfortunately - depending on one's point of view - my car is in the shop and probably won't be repaired for another 3 - 5 weeks...plenty of time for the snow to melt, don't you think? This photo taken outside the front door just an hour or so is snowy, windy, and only 3 degrees outside.  

I ran away from home in mid-January.  Only for 3 days, but it was a wonderful respite.  I met my best friend in Las Vegas - we hadn't seen each other in 12 years.  With the Plague still rampant, we didn't go to any shows, or do much shopping, or eat out a lot.  We spent almost the entire 3 days in our hotel, just talking and sharing and laughing.  We DID get up to the Bellagio Hotel in time for the fountains and music program - outside.

And we went to a quilt shop one afternoon and then to the Venetian to see the inside canals and gondolas.  We stopped for a milkshake at the Black Hat - they are huge and we didn't need to eat dinner that night at all!

Mr. Wonderful's second youngest sister is in the hospital with some health challenges.  Being as the Plague is still an issue around here, no one can get in to see her...then on Tuesday, their oldest sister suddenly passed away!  Her memorial is this next Friday  - we are hoping the weather allows us to get out to go to the memorial. I'm almost afraid to ask "What next?" cause I don't want the Universe to take that as a's almost like 2021 talking to 2020 "You think that was bad?  Here, hold my beer!" 

I will leave you with blessings and prayers for a warm and safe week. One filled with wonder and time to be with those you love. If you can't be with them, maybe you get to talk to them on the phone, or Zoom with them.  Let folks know how much they mean to you.  Find joy in the everyday things.  

Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, December 31, 2020

End of 2020- Our Annis Horribulus!

Well, today is the last day of 2020 here in the United States. It has been  Our own Annis Horribulus!  From worldwide Pandemics and the resulting isolation from the community to an accident involving a dog leash, a slight hill, and a less than graceful lady resulting in surgery for a broken  wrist, it's been quite a circus!

I will hopefully get my cast off this coming Tuesday.  It has been quite an eye-opening and humbling experience.  I had no idea how much I rely on my right hand for everyday living.  And I am eternally humbled by my darling husband and precious mother for their help for even the most simple things like combing my hair and cutting my food. Let's not talk about bathing and washing my hair (You are my hero, John!) This last 5 weeks in a cast have taught me to appreciate the little things!  

We had snow then other day - not much, not enough to interfere with driving on  the roads. But enough to make the view from the front pretty.

Sorry this is short...typing with a broken wrist is quite time-consuming and  bit painful....Wanted you all to know that we are wishing you a Most Happy New Year....May this next year be blessed beyond measure!