Friday, November 30, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
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
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
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
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
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
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.
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
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
Sunday, November 11, 2007
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
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
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
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
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