Friday, December 28, 2007

Fuzzy Friday

Yep, I am fuzzy this morning, can't quite seem to kick it into gear. It is overcast and I need my sun to function, need to find my sunshine lights. Don't you think our trees are pretty, this is over in the side yard past the driveway. This is the part of the area I want to turn into gardens and then a wedding garden. I can just see benches here to sit under the trees and a nice water feature and flowers.

I hope everyone had a happy, healthy and joyous holiday and that your New Year will bring you fulfillment. Jim was able to come home the Saturday before Christmas but had to leave Christmas day. Poor guy drove right into a snow storm, we tried to get him on the road early because they predicted snow in the afternoon, yeah right. He made it safe and sound, I always worry, not so much about his driving but the idiots who think they are invincible. You would think seeing cars spun out or overturned would give them a clue.

We had a nice few days, the part came for the boiler and Jim put it together so now it is warm and cosy. I also can sleep all night and not have to keep charging down to the basement and restart ole Bessie. I put up a small artificial tree and only used 3 strings of lights and one box of ornaments, lucky tree. I have so many boxes of Christmas goodies, the poor thing would have been overwhelmed. Pulling all those things out was so much fun, some I had not seen in years, they all have memories attached. I get so much pleasure out of the holidays, the lights, the love, all the good feelings. Makes me want to sing and dance, thank goodness no one is around to hear or see. Now, if we could just stretch all those good feeling for our fellow man to all year long how neat would that be. Jim won't be home again until the 10th of January, which in some ways in not happy. I do worry about his drive especially when the weather is bad so at least I know he will be alright and with so many projects going on at work it is better for him to be there.

I did get one new project finished, I made suet blocks for the birds, seemed silly to keep paying over $2.00 for one. Got my suet, the bacon grease I had been saving, cooked it all down. I had saved a few of the plastic forms the blocks had come in, so poured the melted fat in, added some corn meal, peanut butter and bird seed, TA Da. I was able to make 5 blocks with less the $2.00 worth of ingredients, makes me feel good.

My sewing has been on hold, it had been so long since I had used a pattern and made something structured I messed up. I do not think it is a fatal flaw, but it did irritate me, being irritated and having to concentrate is not a good match for me. Since I did not want to trash $50.00 worth of material, Santa's suit is on hold. This way I am not rushed and can study closer what I am doing and get it right. The old, "haste makes waste" is so true. I did accomplish getting my things more organized ,so all in all not a bad thing.

Youngest Son James put together an ad for my pet treats and is putting it on Craig's List for me. Maybe this will be the boost I need and get some cash flow going. For the most part I like small town living, the peace and quiet, no traffic, sirens, airplanes also no jobs. I am still trying to find something to do from home so if anyone has found something lucrative please pass it on. I know several people would like to find something to do from home. Just wish all these businesses who complain about not being able to find good help would get with the times. Hello, here we are!!

Jim worked on another stall for me and put in a new gate after taking out part of a partition. Now I can get in and out more easily, he is so talented makes it look so easy. The goats are happy also, when I am out there I let them have the run of the place. I am afraid to leave them out when I am not there, they manage to get into so much. Truly live up to the name kids. I was looking through some pictures and did not realize how much they had grown, looks like I am going to get a few more. The man I got these from is getting rid of all his, too much work, guess he knows a soft touch when he sees it,lol. I know that I will appreciate them next year when the weeds start to grow, will save me hours and hours of mowing.

My friends I have babbled on long enough here, I missed you and look forward to a new year of blogging and sharing your journeys. Best to all, Barbara

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

On Monday morning and this morning I woke up to a winter wonderland. Monday I was able to take a few pictures but the cold drove me in, today was much nicer and I had so much fun wandering around and taking pictures. I was able to capture a better picture of our little woodpecker friends, trees,and anything else that captured my attention. Makes me a happy camper.
I have been keeping a close eye on the boiler, it is acting up and with temps not getting above 15 or so that is not a good thing. Jim was able to come home Saturday afternoon, his project was finished ahead of time, hooray. He took things apart and thought all was good to go, well it was. Of course, as soon as he left on Sunday it started acting up again, it will cut off and then not restart. On Tuesday he had me take some of it apart and try lubricating the fan, I carefully followed his instructions but no go. After work he drove home, took it back apart and found that I had done a fair job, one plate was just a tad off, phooey. He got it all back together and off we went again. I think I have to be one of the luckiest people around, Jim is such a good person. There are not that many people who would work all day, drive 4 hours, work on a furnace and then turn around and drive another 4 hours and get to bed at 1:30. It is still not working completely but a new fan is on order and the nice UPS guy should bring it tomorrow.

My schedule was thrown off I was going to make cookies and mail them to him for the people at work. With him home on Saturday I spent 5 hours on Sunday baking and was able to send back a decent amount of goodies. Of course since then I have been paying the price, my back is in spasms. While sitting at a traffic light many years ago, my car was slammed into by a drunk driver. Now, when I overdo tasks that require too much leaning over or small movement with my arms I get muscle spasms in my back, very annoying. I had to send out a mental apology to all those people that I doubted when they said their back hurt. I now know where they are coming from. Jim gave me good feedback, he said everyone was ooohhhing and aaahhhing. I tried a new recipe for lemon cream cheese cookies, cut them out in holiday shapes and frosted them with a meringue frosting. I sprinkled colored sugar on some of them and put scarves on the snowmen. I also made oatmeal raisin cookies, truffles and chocolate dipped pretzels. It gives me a nice feeling to be able to do a few things for people and I was glad they enjoyed.

Oprah had a good show on today, she had a guest who wrote a book, How do things work. He was on and gave some explanations about computers, telephones and microwaves. There is also a website, how do things work. com, I hope I got that right. I like shows like this that give me information that makes sense.

Well, enough for now. Thank you so much for coming to visit, hope you enjoy and come back soon. Barbara

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I sorta got a picture of one of the little woodpeckers who visit. Usually he would be on this side of roof, but no, not when I have the camera! I will keep trying.
I really appreciate those who come and visit and leave a comment. Kinda like a little chat. I am staying pretty warm, still chasing drafts with my foam and caulking gun. Getting pretty good with them. The part of the attic I am playing in is finished and fairly warm. It is not officially heated, but I leave the door open and it gets comfy. When I open the door to the storage area, that is a whole different story.
I went out today in the truck in 4 wheel low, cool, just crawled right through the mess.
Earlier in the morning I was a little bored, so I melted my keyboard for kicks. Actually, I kinda did it on accident. First I spilled a cup of tea on it. I wasn't too worried because it is the water resistant one Jim bought me after I spilled a cup of hot chocolate in my other one. I shook it off, and wiped it and used q tips and thought I was good to go. Came back later and tried to do some work, and it was being wonky. Ok, I can fix this. Grab the trusty hair dryer, watching the view on TV and drying away. Then I look down and do those keys look weird?
They do, they are melting!! Maybe I can make some funky computer jewelry out of them. Thank goodness I never throw anything out, hunt around find an old keyboard and I am back in business. After that the day was kinda calm.
Take care all and have nothing but fun with all this holiday stuff, Barbara

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tis Tuesday

I started to write some last night but I was yawning so much I thought I would swallow the
keyboard. Was great having Jim home, if even just for a couple of days. He won't be home again until almost Christmas, he can be my present.

I have gotten way behind on my projects and need to shift into overdrive. Speaking of driving Jim "locked the hubs" on the truck so I will be able to get out of the drive way. I was
not able to make much progress on the drive due to the ice. Going to save my pennies and make sure that by next winter I have either a huge snow blower or tractor or something. Jim put a new plug in my little guy, but the ice was just beyond the power of the poor little thing.
We have had record lows so the ice is not going anywhere any time soon. Yesterday lots of wind, the kind that erases your footprints as you walk.

I am pleased that I am making progress in the attic, actually having areas to do my fun things. The Santa suit is cut out and ready to be tackled, I found some leash holders I had started. They are kind of cute, have a dogs face painted on it and a peg for the leash. Now I need to finish some of those, but they are not a priority. I also need to finish the pj bottoms.

Have a wonderful day, Barbara

Friday, December 7, 2007

A Beautiful Day in My Neighborhood

Oh, what a perfect Winter day!! The sun is shining, there is no wind, just beautiful. Ok, for those of you who want snow pictures. I went out and got a few, for the birds I was on the wrong side of the fence. You are not supposed to shoot into the sun, but when do I ever do what I should. Most of the birds flew away but the woodpecker was intent on brunch. I have a whole family of these small guys, and if I could get a good picture I could figure out which ones they are. We also have some of the redheaded ones show up once and a while. Lots of Sparrows and Chickadees and some others I don't recognise. I put my small binoculars by the window and the bird book so I am trying.
I have been working on my Etsy shop, put some more pictures in and am finding out how things work. A nice discovery was that I can sell my pet treats through there also, need to get pictures and license.

Jim is on his way home, super, not seeing him for a couple of weeks leaves me at loose ends. I do not need constant attention but some is nice. Then next week he has to stay again, they have all kinds of projects they are trying to get finished. I tell him that is fine, the job needs to come first and I will be alright. I still get antsy and in truth wish something would open up closer to home.. Just keep in mind that in these times a job is a good thing.
Have the best day, enjoy all the small blessings we are given, Barbara

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


A beautiful sunrise, but after trying for two days to catch the sun on the ice, I am for inside. This picture I took the other morning so do not have to go out. At least until I have to go feed the goats and take them out some warm water. If the bank ever gets our cards straight I found a site where I can buy a heated bucket for their water.

Do you ever feel that you speak some language that no one else understands?? At the first of November I called the bank to check as to when our cards would be mailed. The girl said there was no way to check and that they would be there. Right around Thanksgiving I called again, once again don't worry they will be there. Then 2 days before the end of the month I called again, this time the girl took the trouble to look into it. The cards had been mailed in October and they would have looked like junk mail. She tried having them sent, but was given the wrong directions. On Monday she calls to tell me this and that she has the right instructions and I will have my card and Jim will have his. Yesterday morning when I go out I find a slip from UPS on the door, he tried to deliver but I did not hear him at the door. I called UPS and said tell him to honk, or pound or what ever. So yesterday afternoon, ta da he shows up, I get my envelope and I am relived. Around 6:30 I decide I will order the bucket and pay my Etsy account, open the envelope and are you ready.......................The Card is Jim's!!! I am so upset, I threw the blasted card across the room. How many times do you have to explain things to people?? So here I sit waiting until the bank opens so I can try to get the right card. Sorry, Jim found it funny, me I don't, well to be fair from a different perspective it is amusing.
With that said, the sun is shinning which is always a good thing, I am warm and have the whole day ahead of me. Probably do some more Christmas type things, I saw something on Martha the other day I want to try. I found some great cookie recipes on the Better Homes and Gardens site. I need to check and see if any more surveys are ready to be filled in and make a few pennies. So enough griping, and get my behind in gear, plus Buddy the Cockatoo is sounding off, so his dish must be empty.
A wonderful day to all, Barbara
Let me amend this, talked to the bank and this was the card ordered last week and mine should still be on the way. I guess if I had stopped to think I would have realized that was pretty fast for it to show up. Duh. I was very nice so I do not have to eat any crow.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

More Snow?? Wait

I'm not ready for more, the snow blower won't start, I already got the truck stuck twice!! Oh, Monday was one of those days, I was a grouch. It was icy and cold, Oh, wait, the sun came out! That was a good thing, there usually is one or two good things and I do try to find them. Yesterday it took a lot to find one or two, I ended up going to bed early and reading. One of the best things I bought last year was one of those heated mattress covers, the bed is all toasty when you crawl in.

I had looked out the bedroom window and the sun was shinning off the ice on the apple trees, so I bundled up and traipsed out to get some pictures. Once I got out there the sun went away, ok, I'll wait a bit. It would peek out, I would whip the camera out from under my coat and the sun would dim. Enough of that, I am freezing I think it was about 9 I am going back inside. There were also concerns for the camera, which is why I kept it under my coat between shots. Don't you know that after I take off the hat, gloves, coat, boots and go back upstairs, the sun comes back out!! No Fair, but I'm not going back out until I have to.

I also tried to cover the top of the goats sleeping area, dragged a large cardboard box over, flattened it, nailed it over the top. I even dragged a big board over to reinforce it, came out later and the stinkers had torn it off. I tell you they are like 2 year olds. Jim built this shelter within their stall so they could be warmer and I want a top on it to help keep the body heat in. He just has not gotten around to it yet, so I thought I would help. Another brilliant idea down the tubes.

I realized I was out of cat food, so have to drive to the nearest store before they gang up on me. I am trying to turn the truck around so I can go through the drifts head on, go a little too far forward and am stuck. Finally get out of there and get hung up in the drifts, stuck again. After much back and forthing I get out and down the drive. Probably would have helped if I knew how to get it into 4 wheel drive. On our other one I did, this beast, I don't. Jim put this truck together from 2 that he bought for $300.00, so I can't really complain, well, not tooo much anyway. It's big, runs great and we can haul stuff around if we need to. Jim explained later that you have to take pliers and turn something on front wheels to "lock the hubs". Ok, I'll get right one it, maybe. Success, cats happy, well glad someone is.

Now you know why I went to bed early.

Great day to all and see ya soon

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sunday smoozing

Not too much snow, but enough to make it pretty. Of course it has a coating of ice on it now, so slippery going. I am pooped, took another folding table up to my aerie plus a bunch of other things. By the time I hit that last bit of stair the heart is pumping like crazy. At least I wasn't coming up from the basement,lol. So, now I have the drawing table set up, the craft counter cleared, sewing machine set up, etc. Getting harder to walk up there. After Jim finishes the insulation and I get to paint or paper, I can put shelves up. At least I am finally getting all my toys in one spot, I have wanted that for so long. Oh, I found my snow, I have this thick, pasty goo that makes the most wonderful snow on things. I found the balls I wanted to paint, and now I have my snow. I am so easily pleased, it's sad.

Alright, it's official. The goats are not crazy about antlers, I thought I would try, never hurts. They were sweet about it they just kind of rubbed them off. Now, Elvira kept them on, but the look she gave was priceless. Along the lines of "What did I do wrong", or "Why am I being punished?". Poor old girl, she tries so hard, you have to wonder what her life was like before. She does not play, does not know what treats are and will take any crumb of affection. I think she is also missing Duchess who was her buddy for the last two years. I'm with her, I miss Duchy so much a great friend for 13 years.

Ok, enough rest, off to play in my toy room. I really need to try and prioritize some of these projects I think I must have about a dozen going right now.

I skated out to feed the goats this afternoon, there is such a crust on the snow I just knew I was going to go flying. Thank goodness that did not happen, of course with all the clothes I have on I would probably just bounce. The girls were glad to see me, they seem to be handeling the cold well. I think I have the majority of the drafts taken care of and Jim promised me he would put a top on their sleeping area.

The light was so pretty shining on the trees which are coated with ice. I tried earlier to get a picture of it, by the time I got out there, no sun. Waited for a bit and no go, came back in looked out the window, you got it, sun is back out. No go, once was enough.

Good day to all, Barbara

Friday, November 30, 2007

Snow, We have Snow

When I went to take the Elvira out last night I received a surprise, Snow!! When I was out around 5pm it was clear, by 10 there were a couple of inches. This morning I grabbed the camera so I could get some shots of the first snow of the year in our corner of the world. There was a bonus, as I am shooting from the porch there is a disturbance in the big Pine tree. Out flies a huge hawk, over to the Maple. All I was able to capture of him was the back, as I tried to creep closer off he went, phooey. Since it is calm out, the weather is nice.

When we came back inside the angle of the sun was just right to light up my Angel. I enjoy making them, but don't think I will have time this year. Our front door is the original one and has the large oval glass in it, lovely. Poor thing has taken a beating, when the house was broken into the creeps pried open the door, so it is dented on one side.

I like the snow on our pine trees, looks so Christmasy. I am glad it is only a dusting, I won't have to shovel more then the walks. The goats were funny, not quite sure what to make of it, not wanting to walk in it until I went first.
Well, off to make some pet treats, need to mail some to Nevada and some to Washington. Big business here,lol. Also run some errands while the weather looks nice.
Wonderful day to all, come back and visit soon. Barbara

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wednesday - Hump Day!!

See, Jim did a nice job with the porch, I think it looks festive. I found a box of my toys and was messing with them in the entrance. I kinda like the staircase, had fun with it after I changed it several times. I am so picky at times.

My flash decided not to work so that will be the next challenge, figuring out what is wrong. If is not one thing, then it is another.

I managed to get a few things done today, thank goodness. I have been struggling with the computer all week, trying to list somethings in my new etsy store. Very frustrating, would not take the pictures, too big. I followed all the suggestions people gave me, developed a huge headache and was ready to give the whole thing up. Well, not really I am like a dog with a bone, I will keep gnawing until I figure it out. Finally, in wandering through the XP site I found it, a download for resizing pictures. So now I am off and running. Well, crawling, there is more to learn in making the shop attractive and advertising it. As it is said, each journey starts with a single step.

Oh, I found my glasses. Moving things around again, picked up a box, moved the paper on top and TA DA, there the little rascals were. I also sewed the channel to the back of the quilt and put it on a curtain rod, so now it is blocking cold on landing window. Looks ok, if I do say so myself. So now I know my old $8.00 Singer is still humming along, I love thrift stores. I took the rest of the turkey and it is now in crock pot turning into soup. I had the salad shooter out to grate the carrot and sweet potato for Elvira's food. Just changed discs and sliced carrot, celery, used the left over brown rice from making her food and good to go. Soup is so good when it is cold, warms me all over. The whole house smells good.

So, off to the Sony site to find out what is wrong with my camera, hopefully it is something minor. Also need to go out and feed the goats, they will be looking through the fence and talking, trying to convince me they are starved.

Have a wonderful day, all problems small ones,



Speaking of Etsy, Garden Goose has a post about her shop and some new things she had added. They are paintings her Mother does, in the description she called them naive. This puzzled me, at first thought a misspelled word, but then it was repeated. Went to good ole Google and found out what it meant, it is primitive artwork. Her Mom is self taught so this fit right in, Grandma Moses was also this type of artist. They are charming paintings and would be wonderful in child's room, or a retro room. They remind me of the 40's. I saw some cute pictures and learned a new word.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Moon Rise

I need to practice more with the night pictures. When I looked out the window the moon was just coming up over the horizon.
Grabbed the camera and went out, ran back in for a coat and the tripod. You just cannot hold the camera still enough taking these pictures at night. The color was amazing, so orange. As you can see I did not quite manage to catch it. This camera has so many settings, I need to find a better book to help. The one that comes with it just does not cover everything. I could probably look on line and see what's out there.

Jim worked so hard while he was home this time, cleared one side of the garage out so I can put my little car in there. I hated her being in the machine shed getting all dusty and critters walking on her. Now she is inside and I can clean her up and maybe get around to putting her on the road. He also put up the garland and finally got lights that matched around the porch. I have come to the conclusion that I need to draw pictures or learn another language to communicate with him. Have you tried to explain about draping something to a man?? I thought I had gotten the idea across, but in actuality no. My garland is not in graceful drapes, but it does have a couple of little dips! It looks fine and I told him I was happy. I am trying very hard to put things in proper prospective, what is important and what is not. He was the one balanced on the ladder in the cold trying to please me, so I can deal with dips instead of swoops.

I think I have a few feathers sprouting, all I have eaten since Thursday is turkey. Well, that is not quite right, I did make breakfast type things. Sunday is homemade pancakes, no mixes here. Jim really loves them and it is worth the extra work to see him smile. I am also going to try the biscuits that I found in another blog. Sorry, I can remember the blog, just not the spelling, I am so bad!! I have to admit I am becoming addicted to all these blogs, it is like a window into so many different lives and places. Being overly curious as it is, I am completely at home with this.

OK, far too many projects await. My attic sanctuary is overrun with all the Christmas and craft things we have brought in, plus I have sewing stuff strewn everywhere. I want to work on my yard mice and then there is the humdrum stuff, yuck.

Have a wonderful day,

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

Today was the big sale day and I was right here, nice and warm and comfy. Watched all those people on TV out there at 3 am. Not me man!!

Jim and I had a nice Thanksgiving, roasted the one turkey and smoked the other one. So, lots of good sandwiches. It snowed most of the day, big fluffy flakes, mostly gone now. The wind picked up and blew it all away. Jim got some of the icicle lights up, just across the front this year. I found my blow up penguin, not sure where to put him so the wind doesn't blow him away. Same with my plans for garland on the porch pillars, not sure how they will survive. I still have to finish painting my wooden mice for out in the yard. Things like that are all fun, I'll put pictures of those up when they are done, I think they are going to be cute.

Half the fun is going through all the stuff and seeing what is there, and the memories of Christmas past. Some of the ornaments are ones the kids and I made back in the 70's bring those out and it's like a time warp. Same thing looking through all the old pictures, and wondering what were we thinking, that hair, those clothes. Of course , what we were thinking is that we looked pretty hot, the latest thing.

Good luck with all your holiday decorating, love to see pictures.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Good News, Jim is on his way home early, an extra day, great!!! I had one of those days where I was moving all the time, but don't feel like I got a lot done. I was trying to find some more of my craft things, I had found an unbroken package of gold balls. I paint roses and snow on them, real pretty I think. I just can't find my snow, phooey. I went digging around in the big garage, found several more buckets of Christmas things. More lights for Jim to play with, he will be soooooooooo happy.

I decided to use my lil John Deere and cart to bring the boxes, etc over to the house. Seemed like a good idea, then I took a side trip. When they harvest the corn, the machine they use takes the husk off and then takes the corn off the cob. Very cool. The down side is they blow all the husks etc. everywhere, which mostly happens to be our yard. I discovered the goats like the husks, so decided to pick up a wagon full for them.

Off I went bumping merrily along, stopping now and then to scoop up armloads of the husks. The next bright idea was to see if there might be some of the cobs that had some corn still left on them. Along the sides where I was not able to mow the weeds had gotten very tall, now they are all dry and you can knock them down. There is a fence that goes way out into the field, but it is down in a few places so I decided to go out and then cut over, good plan. Until, I drove into a hole. As I am trying to rock the mower to back up I notice the fuel line has come loose and gas is squirting out. I guess when I was playing mighty bulldozer and knocking down weeks I rubbed the hose on something. So get off and try pushing it back up, no go. Just so happens I have an old spoon I picked out of one of the fire pits and was able to use it to loosen the hose clamp. Ta Da, I fixed it, managed to back out of hole and continued on my journey. Found where the deer are bedding down back under the trees, no one was home. The goats loved their husks, and I did find a few cobs with corn on them so they were doubly happy.

I spent time in the attic sorting out some of my painting supplies, the ones that were so neatly organized. With all the bumping around everything got discombobulated. I still have not found my easels and some other of my things, surprise. The garage is piled to the ceiling, you kind of make paths through and if you are lucky you find what you are looking for. It is kind of like a treasure hunt, lots of cries of "Oh, I wondered where that was, or I love that". Fun for the feeble minded.

Best to all, Barbara

Monday, November 19, 2007

Another Monday!!

This morning I felt as if I were in an enchanted forest, fog all around. Up in my attic space and looking out I could have been the princess in her tower. My prince will be back on Wednesday, so I will have him home for a few extra days. Later the sun came out, the winds died down and it was a very nice day. Over the weekend we had some rain and a few flakes, but not many, goodie. Went shopping and got a couple of turkeys, I will brine them and probably smoke one. This will depend on the weather, if it is windy or real cold, forget it!! They both go in the oven. My pioneer spirit only goes so far.
Do anyone else have issues with inanimate objects?? You know, you put something on a shelf and it promptly falls back on your head? You have something one moment and the next you can't find it. I was attacked by one of those plastic grocery bags as I came up out of the basement with arms full of folded laundry. So here I am, going down the hall trying to shake this bag off my foot, trying not to trip or drop the clothes. Somehow the handle was around my ankle, I just know the dog and cats were laughing at me. Finally, I reached my desk, put down the wash and got the dumb bag off. Then I lost the remote for the attic TV for 2 days. I finally found it, I had set a bag of material on it. Still missing are my good glasses, which I try to be so careful with. I was so careful they have been missing for weeks, hopefully when I am searching for something else I will find them. I am sure there is some sort of gremlin that lies in wait to pull these tricks on me.
I want to wish everyone the most wonderful Thanksgiving, enjoy the day and don't sweat the small stuff!! I am meeting the greatest people through this blog so I have even more to be grateful for. I was glad to see the new feature in Garden Goose's blog, since I am starting my own etsy store this is an added bonus.
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Opinion Poll Please

I need some help here, please. I am thinking of starting an etsy store and wonder if you think these would sell?? My husband and I love taking pictures, these are some he signed and matted for a craft show I was in. I was selling my Christmas wreaths and ornaments and took some of his pictures along. As I have mentioned before I am trying to find things I can do from home.
In the store I could also put some of my handpainted shirts and ornaments and goodies I find in my trolling through auctions, yard sales and thrift shops. Any and all feedback is welcome, also what you think you would pay for these original photos.
Thank you so much, best to all
I just discovered something new!! If you click or double click on the photo you can see it close up, Cool!! Oh, Violet Lady, the pattern I have for the Santa Suit has one for Mrs. Claus and for an elf!! I plan on making them all. On another note, on my blessings list a big item we are thankful for, Jim's sister had a scare. On her neck they took off a growth and also lymph nodes, this of course was terrifying. We are thankful the biopsy came back clear!! Hooray, hooray!! This is a big wake up call, check ourselves from head to toe. Jim just had a large discoloration taken from the top of his head, sort of a mini face lift. One of the first things I tell a new Dr. is " I grew up in Fl and have been an outdoor person my whole life, please check everything". I'm sure some of you can relate, we used baby oil and iodine for sunbathing, not much sunblock there.
Off, to sewing, have a wonderful day, Barbara

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Santa Suit

I have been mentioning sewing a new Santa suit and Violet Lady noted I have not said who would wear it.

Sorry! A few years ago I "persuaded" my dear, sweet, Husband to pose as Santa for a special event. Much against his will he did it, he came home glowing. He said the look on the children's faces was beyond description, how they looked at him with awe. He was so moved, now he does it on a regular basis. I am not sure who enjoys it more, the children or Jim.


When coming in from feeding the goats tonight I noticed a couple of visitors at the edge of the field. Figured they would be gone, but ran up and got the camera any way. Surprise, surprise
they were still there. A Mom and her baby eating the left over corn. Just as long as they stay out of my plants we will be fine.

I received a new email from Mother Earth Living and it had the best idea. Window quilts as an extra barrier against the cold. Since our home is old and prone to leaks I found this to be an excellent idea for us. I am not sure quite how fancy I am going to get, will depend on my mood and energy level. I think if I use unbleached muslin and scraps I have, they should not be too expensive. You can make them and put batting in them like a regular quilt or you can put plastic or some of the silver insulation. I think since we have already installed roller shades, I will sandwich a piece of heavy plastic and then stitch through the layers. You could get very creative, I may paint designs on them or cut things out of material. If they are half way decent I will post some pictures. They even said you could wet a window and put bubble wrap on it to block heat or cold, good idea in an emergency. At this point I am not that concerned with beauty, just warmth. I do have an old quilt and believe I will sew a channel on the back for a rod and put it over the landing window, I think it will look nice. So many ideas running through my head, possibilities.

I want to wish everyone the best Thanksgiving, it is good to have a day to reflect all that we have. Some times in the chaos of our daily lives we get stressed over silly things or little things that have little value. The truly important things get shoved to the back of the shelf, so we can use Thanksgiving to drag these out and dust them off. I know I am thankful to live in our great country, having a loving and supportive husband, healthy children. There are also things like a sound mind and body, things that become more precious the older I get. So to you all I say I am also thankful for wonderful friends, old and new. Eat until you pop and enjoy all those nummy leftovers.

Best to all, Barbara

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

When I took Elvira out this morning about 6:30 this was the sky. The way the clouds were stacked up and the colors sent me back in to grab the camera. On the weather they said this was the type of sky referred to in the "Red sky at morning, Sailor take warning". It indicates changes in the weather, fronts and all that. What it brought us was lots of wind. I am learning quite a bit about wind here, sometimes it is so strong you can not even hang clothes out. I have put things on the line with lots of clothes pins and had everything ripped off the lines. My understanding Husband put a stockade type fence between the house and garage, the wind was blowing the seed out of the feeders. It was also blowing the birds off the feeders! The only time I had encountered this type of wind was in Fl during tropical storms.

My new friend Carol told me there are stories of early pioneers going crazy from the wind. Trying to imagine being out in the wilderness, no neighbors, town a days trip away and the unrelenting wind, yep, I can see it happening. Even with the modern convenience of a car to take me where I want to go, telephones,etc. the wind can still bother you. It gets to the point you wonder if it is ever going to stop. This past spring it blew most of the blossoms off the apple trees. Late Summer brought apples on only one side of the trees and not many at that. Trying to work outside becomes a real challenge. I injured my eye in May while mowing, the wind blew thistle debries back into it, something I do not reccomend. Very painful. Of course, silly me did not have my safety glasses on at the time. Live and learn.

Tomorrow I really must start on the Santa suit, time is flying. I dragged the sewing machine up to the attic and have most everything set up, just need me to complete the equation. I will let you know how this goes, I tend to have adventures when I try to sew. Make the silliest blunders.

Thank you for your visit and have a wonderful day!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday's musing

I wanted to add a picture of the sunset I took tonight but it won't let me, maybe later.
It is more of the clouds and the sun reflecting off them as it was setting, with the corn gone I have a much clearer view. Tuesday morning and it let me put the picture up. These are the trees at the back left of our property, past them are miles of fields. I love all the colors we get in the sky here.

The first part of the day was cloudy, but by about 1 I was more inspired to go out and do some mowing. The part of the yard I was working on is where I am making plans for gardens and water features. So as I bump along, I day dream and plan and re plan where and how. There is a nice slope which will lend itself to a fountain, stream and pond which I hope to artfully meander down through the gardens I will plant. I have collected a wide assortment of books and magazines to find inspiration and direction. A some day plan is to use it as a place for small weddings so I keep that in mind as I draw things out.

While mowing up near the trees I spotted violets still blooming, I guess being so low to the ground they have avoided the frost. Was a pleasant sight, I also have some violas in bloom near the house. I wish the weather guys would quit saying the s word.

Guess that is it for now, off to read more blogs and see what else I can learn!!

Best to all
I've always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific.

I was cut out to be rich, but I was sewed up wrong!

"I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver."
~ Maya Angelou

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Evening

Sunday Evening, Jim just called to say he had arrived at his apartment in one piece. I always worry about the drive, nutty drivers, deer, car problems, you name it I will worry about it. This is always a hard time, he hates to leave and I hate to see him go. What we try to concentrate on are the pluses, he has a job to go to. We actually like each other and seem to be handling this particular bump in our road fairly well. I reminded him today that if he were home full time it might mean he was out of work!! So he keeps in touch with the headhunters and hopes that something will turn up closer to home. They call and email, but the jobs are in New York, California every where except Iowa.

Today was a very nice day, warm and not too much wind. Actually it was what Saturday was supposed to be!! Silly weathermen, never seem to get it really right, even with all their new equipment. I had looked forward to Saturday, planned on mowing and working on winterizing more of my plants and flower beds. Unfortunately it was cool and very windy, not a working outside day at all. Jim helped me move the rest of the large hay roll, that extra muscle sure came in handy and saved me days of work.

I watched part of the movie "Sahara" today, and was not a happy puppy. The movie is based on the Clive Cussler book by the same name, supposedly. I do not think the person who cast the movie read the book first. The title character, Dirk Pitt is the tall, rugged, handsome devil, his side kick Al Giordino is Italian, on the short side but very strong and clever and popular with the ladies. In the movie the lead is not tall, not rugged and while attractive, is not like Dirk at all. Al is played by someone who looks more Irish then Italian, and he is not in shape, well not a muscular shape. When ever one of Clive Cussler's books come out Jim or I pick it up right away, and very much enjoy them. Having one of them come to the screen and then not be true to the book really bugs me, can you tell?? Since I enjoy reading I get into the characters and have definite ideas as to how they should look and act.

So many of the birds were out today, I need to drag out my bird book again and see if I can identify them. Mother Earth news had some receipies for making those suet cakes for the birds, I printed them out. Now I am saving my bacon grease and will get some suet from the store and make my own, cool. While I was filling the feeders, some of them were lined up on the fence talking to me, probably saying "Hurry up, we're hungry". If the weather report is at all right this next week should be fairly warm, for the season. Hopefully, I should get all the mowing done and the plants tucked in for the winter.

Best to all

Friday, November 9, 2007

Friday, Hooray!!!

Another beautiful sunrise, hopefully less clouds today. Those gloomy days really do me in I feel like I am trying to function underwater. Must be from all those years of living in Florida, I need the sun.

When I took the dog out I kept an eye out for deer, but none this morning maybe all the spraying I did yesterday worked. They did take out the two big sunflowers I had left for the birds. When Elvira and I went out yesterday morning we surprised a large doe by the new trees. So, the first part of morning was spent going to all 14 trees and spraying them with deer repellent. I told Jim if they do not leave my trees alone they just might end up as Thanksgiving dinner!! I spent all summer watering those trees and keeping them alive, so anything that messes with them is on my bad list.

The upside of the morning was getting some good pictures of the sunrise. I can stand on the front porch and have the most beautiful light show. In Spring and early Summer the sun rises to the left of one of the huge maples down front. At this time of year it rises on the right hand side of the yard, more over in the apple trees. Another thing I have learned since living here, I always thought "The sun rises in the East and sets in the West" and that's it. No, Einstein, the Earth moves so do the rises and sets. I get more pictures of the sunrises cause it is easy, to get the sunsets I have to walk to the back of the property past the trees. Right now that is not a bad walk, but when all the weeds and plants are up it's like a jungle. The eventual plan is to have nice paths with all sort of neat plants, right now it's a mess. I have found another pile of rocks, Jim will be sssoooo happy. We also found piles of barbed wire, broken farm equipment, discarded appliances. Jim had better luck, earlier in the year he found a couple of old brown bottles, one of them I believe held bleach. The name eludes me at the moment. The to do list expands, next year will be very busy.

For me one of the major things will be gutting the kitchen. It is nice size but just does not work for me, the shame is that some family puts lots of money into "upgrading" it. My goal is to take it back in time, cupboards and shelves to the ceiling so I have places to put things. Earlier in the year on Martha they had a kitchen do over, that could almost have been my kitchen. It has this weird jut out near the top that to me serves no purpose at all, the ceiling has also been dropped. I have a huge collection of kitchen items and every time I open another box it becomes clearer I have no place to put things!! No, I am not getting rid of any either!! What I have gets used at one time or another, plus most has been found at thrift shops or yard sales. I love gadgets, just do not like to pay full price. If you watch re-runs of "Murder She Wrote", the kitchen there is along the lines of what I want, those great glass front shelves.

One of my thrift shop finds has been put to use quite a lot lately, my bread maker. I found a recipe for whole wheat bread that comes out great. I love the bread with all kinds of goodies in it, you know the one that costs $3.00 a loaf, well, this gal is not spending that much. So went searching on the web and found a wonderful recipe using whole wheat flour, honey, sunflower seeds etc. I also add flax seeds to it and one time raisins all of which work, so nummy. I get a $3.00 plus loaf for probably less then a dollar, works for me and the machine does all the work.

Today I need to start on the dog bones so they will be ready for Jim to take back with him. Getting orders is also a spur to get kitchen organized as I will need to have assembly line going. Just need to sort through and put the less used items down in basement for now.

Goats await breakfast and Buddy the Cockatoo is sounding off so his bowl must be empty. The cats and dog are already fed, so they are happy, Tonka the big grey cat is sprawled across the bottom of the bed. What a life!!

Good Day to all

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Ah, Wednesday has arrived, two more days and Jim will be home. I have been working on my "Honey, Do" list for him, fix the section of fence that has come loose, the blower on the fan in the truck does not seem to be working, I can't get the storm window down on one of the windows. I did get the hay roll moved some, and am now working on flaking it off, I manage this by laying down a tarp and filling it up and dragging the hay inside. Who needs a gym,lol.
I think I may have moved around a hundred pounds before I pooped out, only 800 to go. Of course, once I get it inside the goats think they should help me by running through it. I keep forgetting to shut them in their side first. They sure keep me on my toes and amused.

Actually I have lots of company, 4 cats, 1 dog, 1 Chinchilla, and 7 birds. Some one always needs something. The majority of my critters are rescue animals and they sure bring me lots of love and a feeling of doing some good in this world. In September my German Shepherd Duchess passed away, I sure miss her. She had heart problems and I guess it just gave out, her buddy Elivra was lying beside her as were the Himalayans Sabre and Peaches. She was a rescue about 14 years ago. On one of my trips to the vet I aquired Elvira, she had been brought in to be put down, and I happened to walk in the door. Fate I guess.

Oh, good news, I got my first order for dog bones, 3 dozen!! Hopefully this will be the start of something good. Wasn't there a song by that name?? Some where along the line I need to start designing a website. Considering my location having a website will be the way to go, just have UPS pick them up and away they go.

I spent yesterday tracking down oldest son's birth certificate, so took a drive up to Albert Lea. Thank goodnesss that Minnesota has their vital records state wide, so just had to pop into office and get it printed out. I was afraid I would need to drive to Minneapolis, not a happy prospect. I am getting so very spoiled, no traffic to deal with other then a tractor now and then. Having spent the first 50+ years on the East Coast and driving in D.C., NY and Boston as well as Orlando and points in between this is heaven. Well, most of the time, there are periods when the snow is flying that I plan on just staying in. Of course, there was that time in Boston that it took 3 hours to go about 5 miles, due to an ice storm. I guess if I can make my way through that and other hair raising trips I have taken, I'll be ok.

The best in life to all

Monday, November 5, 2007

Gloomy Monday

This is the part of winter I don't care for, the gloomy. Of course, could be worse, when Hubby called he said it had snowed off and on all day. Not sticking all that much but still it is snow. He told me it would be sunny, and then get real black and start to snow, some times almost a white out. Not here yet but I know it is down the road.

A good thing, when I went out to give the goats their afternoon snack found that their area was very nice. With the wind blowing about 25 mph and the temp in the 30's I was worried it might be real chilly for them. I guess all our attempts at keeping the weather out are working. I had to unzip my jacket as it got too warm, that is until I got back outside.

Good life to all

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Tis the weekend

Another fine day, blue sky, fluffy clouds and not too much wind. Jim, my talented husband,
is under the backroom putting in insulation. He is going to seal all the cracks to keep the wind from whistling through. When you walk from the kitchen to the back room it is like going into an ice box in the winter and a sauna in the summer. When this room was added on little care was taken to insulate it, there is bare minimum in walls and does not seem to be any in roof or floor.
Our goal is to have this place be as green as possible, so insulation is a big plus. The radiant heating he put in is working very well so far. Putting up roller shades made a big difference for the heat in summer and I can tell the difference with the cold also.

When I had gone out the other day and found several of our new Maple trees were stripped of bark, I thought deer. Makes me sick, I have hauled hundreds of feet of hose all summer watering them, weeding them and they were growing so nice. Jim was talking to some of the guys who work for him and they say squirrels. Apparently when the sap starts to run the squirrels think the tress are a big treat. I have concocted what I hope is a sure fire cure that will keep those pests off them. I had a couple dozen jalapenos left in the garden so I have run those through the food processor. We are going to wrap the trunks in burlap and then paint on the pepper mixtures and then put chicken wire. I know peppers are used to repel squirrels from the bird feeders so hopefully this will keep them off our trees.

I know there are all kinds of hints out there so will research and see if there is anything else to do. I know to wipe my measuring cups with oil so the honey comes right out and all kinds of little gems like that. Repelling squirrels is pretty new!! As I have mentioned before living here is a constant learning experience. Those ramblings always bring me to the thought of how the heck did the pioneers manage to live out here.

Scratch what I said about the beautiful fall weather, it has done an abrupt about face and is now overcast and the wind has picked up a lot. Jim is still under the back room, but making progress. You can feel a big difference, no more wind pouring out into the basement. He is great.

Live, Love, Laugh

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Haloween

Hope there were many treats and no tricks. Was not sure if anyone would stop by , made some cookies just in case. Wouldn't you know with all the cookie cutters I have the only Halloween one I could find was a bat! Oh, well I frosted them, found some black sprinkles and small orange balls for eyes and they were good to go. Now Hubby will have something to munch on this weekend cause there were no takers. I was not sure how much of a deal they made of it around here. I know there are some kids, but not sure of ages.

The wind finally died down some so was a nice sunny day, chilly but nice. Next week will be another story, maybe some flakes. My project for this week is covering all my roses and putting more hay around the new trees. Hopefully I will do it right this time and everyone will make it through the winter.

I found another box of pictures, so have been rummaging through them. Isn't it funny how you can look at an old picture and you are right back there, smells, emotions. I am also trying to figure out how best to preserve the old pictures and papers from my Grandfather. I want to respect him by taking the best care I can of things. I can't wait much longer, many of the pictures are on glass plates and they are starting to deteriorate. The fact that many of them are from the 20's and earlier is a big factor. Another project, like I don't have enough going as it is. Keep me on my toes!!

Good life to all

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Almost Haloween

Hubby and I got so much done this weekend, he took a big load of things to the dump. Another thing about country living, those nice men on the big, loud truck do not show up at the door and haul off all your castoffs. I have yet to find out where to recycle all the bottles and cans I have been carefully saving. I am told there is a guy who does it, but trying to catch up with him so far has not happened. We really are trying to be green, but sometimes it is a struggle. On Extreme Makeover they did a house in New Mexico? all wind and solar power, the meter was running backwards!!! Yes, my goal, not to have to pay for heat, lights etc.
We cleaned up 3 burn barrel sites from previous owners, all kinds of stuff, lots of glass and cans plus the rusted barrels. We also burned lots of downed limbs and weeds which helps with my mowing.

My talented Hubby enclosed a corner of the goats stall so they will have a cozy place to cuddle as the temperatures drop. This coming weekend he is going to put a top on it to hold in body heat. We also tacked up an old rug over bottom part of their door to outside to keep drafts out. Our place does not have an official barn, but what I am told is an animal shed. There are 5 stalls and a concrete apron that runs around 2 sides of building, 4 of the stalls open to this area. In the past there were partitions not only for the stalls but also the outside, with neglect most of that fell into disrepair. We have closed in 2 areas so that I can shift the goats from side to side for cleaning. The goal will be to have nice wood dividers, but that is further in the future. Our task for the spring will be to fence in a pasture area for them so they can have more freedom. At present I try to take them out twice a day, weather permitting, to graze.

The temperatures have been wonderful, warm, sunny beautiful blue skies and at night that huge Hunter's moon. The last vestiges of Indian Summer, cold is coming tomorrow night.
We spent most of Sunday creating more mess, we have been trying to find the box with all the photographs and also some books that Hubby wants. Kind of like Christmas opening all the boxes, now I am trying to find places to put some of the things that were uncovered. I will be glad when we reach the point in the restoration process that allows me to paint, paper and put up shelves.

Seems strange to look out the window and see empty fields for miles, they finished clearing all the fields around us. Really amazing how quickly they are able to harvest such huge quantities of corn. The locals think nothing about it, but since the closest I was to corn before was the market seeing the process is fascinating. Break time is over, I have scrubbed the kitchen from top to bottom and am pooped, but need to bake cookies in case any "Trick or Treaters" show up. In our search I found the container with many of my cookie cutters and also sprinkles. I also found a couple of strings of lights, pumpkins and bats, oooohhhh!! so made a small display with my corn stalkes, baby gourds and the lights. Gave Hubby a chuckle as I also found some of those ghosts that you stuff paper in and hangup, hung them on the big fir tree in yard. Yeah, I'm one of those silly people!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Hubby is on his way home, he took an extra day of vacation so we can do more work on house.
Caulking windows and all that fun stuff, also building pen in stall for goats so they can be cosy.
Beautiful hunter's moon out tonight, and I am proud of myself I got a decent picture of it. I have been trying to get details and not just a big white blob.

The last several days have been beautiful fall weather and by Sunday they are predicting a
hard freeze. That is always so sad for me, I hate to see the last of my flowers die, silly I know.
The weather people keep going on about when first snow will be, I wish they would hush.

I have been working on my attic office, trying to get thing arranged so will be workable. I also need to start working on Santa suit for hubby, his nice one was ruined in our basement flood. So I am going to tackle making him a new one, I could not find the nice velour to match the old one.
Hopefully the material I got will work, if not, back to the sewing machine. I also have a couple of
new leads on work at home things.

I have been checking out some of the other blogs, they are great! I need to find out how they make them look so cool, more research. Violet Lady has been so nice and welcoming, she left me another friendly comment. Thank you so much!! I enjoy her blog also, pop over and see what she is up to.

Good life to all

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Beautiful Tuesday

What a pretty day we had today, started out chilly. At 9 am the yahoo weather said it was
30 and felt like 25, by the afternoon I had to take my sweater off. For the first time in ages
it was sunny and no clouds. When I took the dog out early there was frost on the grass, hard freeze due this week. I took the goats out this afternoon and we all enjoyed the sun. I had the bright idea to hook their chains to some old tires, in hopes they would eat and I could go clean their stall. Wrong, every time I tried to walk away they could cry and pull at their chains. So................ I stayed so they did not hurt themselves. I think they have my number,lol. The stray cat that has showed up now and then has taken up residence in stack of hay, guess it is nice and warm. I put dish out for water and bought some dry food for it.

Around 5:30 the wind started really blowing and the temp dropped like a stone. Took the dog out a little while ago and had to run back in for jacket, I guess shirt sleeve weather is over. Husband's hard work seems to be paying off, the house is nice and warm so far, of course the true test will be when it is sub zero. Still so much more to do, but it will all come together. Some times I just sit and imagine how it will all look once the stolen molding is replaced and cracks in walls fixed. New paint and paper, it will be super. I have whole stack of magazines for reference, both for house and gardens. I might just have to live to be 125 in order to finish all my projects.

Follow your dreams, but enjoy your present

Monday, October 22, 2007

Comment from Violet Lady

How very nice to see someone had left a comment.
Made me even more confident that I had done a good thing by starting this blog.
I think I am going to meet wonderful people, and perhaps learn some new things.
I went out and picked some of the few remaining violets in honor of Violet Lady,

Monday, again!

Today is a special day, my youngest son Jame's birthday, he is 26! I found a box of pictures the other day and it does not seem possible that so much time has passed. He was such a super baby, I so enjoyed those times with him. Now he is this 6 foot guy, who is still super and seems to still like me, which as a parent is an accomplishment. He lives half the country away and I sure miss him, but wish him everything wonderful on this, his day. Happy Birthday Kid, your Momma loves ya!!

Seems strange not going into work, you would think after being off since May I would get
over it. My hunt continues to find something to do from home. I need to make a trip to the
courthouse to give out samples of my pet treats. When we were down there earlier in the
summer several of the ladies said they had dogs, so will do some networking. I found the blanks to print out some cards, now if I could just find the notebook with all my other information. I know it is here somewhere, just have not hit the right box.

Yesterday was interesting, while down in the basement doing wash noticed movement, lo and behold twas a bird. Little tiny thing, first bright idea was to open window for it to fly out. Opened window and promptly got beaned with pane of glass, no damage to me just shock. Then realized, duh, there is screen so that won't work, so opened door and tried herding it that way. I think it went out, time will tell. Then heard a frog?? yep, swimming in the drain of the pump room. These are just some of the joys of living in an old country house, livens up conversations. Mentioned online in a game room about the bird and the response from one person was for me to call police and they would catch it! Well, by the time the sheriff drove over 20 miles to get to me, I don't think he would be in bird catching mode. The ladies on the farms handle much more then that. They go out and drive the tractors and combines and get up at 4 am to feed and milk cattle, no my problem would be way down the list. Since moving to the Midwest I have a much greater appreciation for the farmer and their life. You see them out in the fields until midnight trying to get their crops in. They are at the mercy of the weather, too much rain, too little rain, cold, hail, wind. I do not see how they do it and survive. My attempts at gardening have had mixed results and to do it on large scale and it be your living, wow. My hat is off to them and their families. I will stick with my little patch of vegetables and hopefully pumpkins and gourds, and my 2 little goats.

Today is overcast once again and in the 40's, I really would like some sun. The up side is there is no snow yet and the heat is working well. All my husband's hard work seems to be paying off, there is much more to do. He still has to insulate the attic and on the agenda is blowing insulation into the walls and building a fireplace. It won't be a fancy fireplace, we have checked out the inserts at the home improvement store and they are only $150.00. Jim is going to try carving the mantle to match our wood work, all in all it should only be around $300.00 to make it ourselves. We have plenty of wood with all the downed trees and branches in our little patch of woods, so will be a plus on those subzero days.

Well, off to get into more trouble. Wonderful life to you all!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Violet Lady has 105 posts

I went into the blog "Over the back yard fence" and there was a link to blog by Violet Lady so I checked her's out. She has had over 105 posts, how cool is that?? Check them out
pretty good sites. I think I am going to like this.

Oh, My gosh it is October

What has happened since August, lots and lots. Jim has finished the attic windows so that now they open, and stay open. They also no longer leak which is good news for our bedroom ceiling!! He has also stopped the leak in the roof, which is comforting. I have now been working on trying to sort things out so that I have my office set up and also craft area. In the Martha Stewart site she shows off her "attic workroom", mine pales in comparison. The plus side is that finally I will have paints, crafts and photography items in one place. So once the snows fall and I am not able to get down the driveway, much less drive any distance, I should have plenty to occupy my time.

The picture shows my stunted attempts at growing pumpkins and gourds this year, late planting and early frost gave me decorations, but no pies. I now have a somewhat clearer idea of how to proceed next planting season. My goal is to have a pumpkin patch selling the sweat of my brow and also taking pictures of all who would like to be immortalized. I found on line folders to put the pictures in for posterity. I also have designed cutouts for people to stand behind, so will also spend part of winter cutting those puppies out so will be ready for next October. Well, at least that is the plan, among many. I have also dragged out all my animal treat making supplies, found out that here in Iowa is much less costly to get licensed. So this weekend will be spent cutting out and baking all sorts of puppy treats.

Jim also tore out and replaced a window in his machine shed, playroom. It came out really well, I was impressed. He also tore part of a wall out in back of large garage and future home of Elven Catering. That project also came out wonderfully. I took many pictures to document his triumph. It is a little depressing to look inside the garage as it is piled to the hilt with all my shop things, plus so much more. Oh, well, the time will come when it will be up and running and everything in it's place. He never fails to amaze me with all his talents and skills, sure glad he likes me.

I have gentled down the goats, did I mention I acquired 2 goats?? I can now take the goats for a stroll so they can eat tree limbs and assorted weeds, they stand so nice and let me put on collars. When the weather is accommodating we spend time enjoying nature, each in our own way. Since soon there will not be any green growing I am trying to get them out as much as possible. When time and money allow we will start fencing the area around the animal shed, eventually having whole property fenced in. It will be nice to open door and let them roam and play. They are such characters, so curious and playful. Also they like to have their chins scratched and being brushed, who knew???

The weather is so, so, actually sun is out today. A treat, as we have had rain and clouds for weeks. I tote my camera around with me taking pictures of this and that. Since the humming birds and butterflies have moved on I have to find new subjects. Jim and I were standing in side yard when there was some excitement. A large Red Tailed Hawk flew over the fence and tried to catch some of the little birds at the feeders. I only caught a glimpse of a large bird going over fence and then the evergreens rustling like crazy. Soon, up he popped minus lunch and took off to sit in giant Maple tree and glare down at us. I hear him calling now and then. I always thought the noise they put in movies was fake, but no, that is how they sound. We have a large redheaded woodpecker that visits now and then, and several smaller different type of woodpeckers. I was pleased to see them at the feeders I put up for them, Jim bought me all kinds of suet cakes to put in the feeders. I will be interested to see what type of birds will show up over the winter. I heard on tv about being able to send for bird guide and some forms so that you can report who and what showed up. Just might have to do that, if I can remember to send off for it.

Bye for now, I plan on being back in less then 2 months. Of course we all know what happens to plans. Lovely life to all

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

August 2007

August has arrived and with really nice weather, the end of July was super. Last weekend we finally had some much needed rain which the crops can use. Joyfully it was a nice soaky rain without thunder, lightening or tornadoes. Today is the 8th and more rain is expected.

Last weekend the big news was the collapse of the 35W bridge in Minneaspolis. They have not recoverall all the bodies yet. makes you think how an ordinary day can change in the blink of an eye. One min you are driving home from work and the next you are struggeling to stay alive.

Jim is accomplishing so much, so far since June he has finished the radient heat in basement, put up the plates and almost finished the insulation. Installed a new hot water heater and waster softner system. Put in the filter and wiring for our new fridge and icemaker, torn out the windows in attic to get to rotten wood. He has purched table saw, work bench and router to work on those projects. He is working on taking out ceiling in front room so can start installing tubing for heat for second floor.

There is so much to do, but we know it will be years until things are done to our satisfaction. My corn and peas came up and may actually get some produce from them. My tomatoes are exceeding my expectations, now if they would just ripen so I could taste one that would be cool.
Since they are not getting mowed I am finding hollyhocks all over the place, so pretty. The roses are in riot of blooms, I was worried after the wind earlier made such a mess of them. One big project for next year will be trying to figure out how to protect them from wind.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Clark Homestead

After reading and hearing about blogs I decided this might be a way to keep in touch with friends and family, and anyone else who would be interested.

We have finally completed our move to Iowa and most of our spare time is spent preparing for the coming winter. Last winter is an experience we do not want to revisit, power outages, frozen pipes, flooded basement. I don't think you totally appreciate the power of snow until you spend from 12:00 AM to 3:00 PM stuck in a parking lot because the roads are closed. Trying to stay warm and keep two German Shepherds happy in a car is not really my idea of heaven. Of course, traveling the next day and seeing the number of cars off the road, quite a few upside down, made our stay seem much better. We were within one exit of home when they closed the interstate.

We had left Wisconsin to head home with the van and car around 12:00 noon, after leaving Waterloo the weather started turning bad, the rest of the trip was spent traveling at 35 miles per hour. This trip usually takes us 5 hours. At times we could not see the road but kept trucking until they closed the highway. The next day when we arrived at the house it was to find the driveway blocked, I did this by trying to drive through what I thought was just a little snow, wrong. As I sat there Jim went up to check the house and came back to tell me there was 3 feet of water in the basement!! Oh, joy. Through the help of friends and strangers we were dug out, they brought heaters and sump pumps and we were bailed out and warm. It took from Sunday to Tuesday to get all the water out.

Now as I sit here and look out the window at the corn fields, all green and healthy, all that snow seems like a bad dream. The fields stretch for miles in all direction and it has been a treat watching the process of planting and growing. Much of my time is spent trying to keep things mowed and planting new, also uncovering what was here before. Yesterday brought the discovery of a patch of pretty blue flowers, don't know what they are yet.

As Jim works out of town, well out of state, his weekends are full of repairing pipes, walls etc. It always amazes me how talented he is and how he can just jump in and fix all kinds of things. I try to do my part by breaking things so he will feel appreciated, I found pieces of farm equipment by driving over them with mower. This was also my method for finding the strawberry patch, which with Jim's help was rescued from oblivion. It is now thriving, no berries, but the plants look good.

With this page I am going to try and chart our progress with the house and acreage, bloopers and triumphs. I hope you enjoy this, I think I will have fun with it and maybe even get Jim to put in a note or two.