Sunday, March 2, 2014

What better time to start back blogging than my birthday!

   It has been a long, long time since I did a blog post. Many things have happened since last June. LOL To Start with my laptop gave up in Jan. So I got a new one, but it has Windows 8. Boy! Have I struggled with this. After using it for about 6 weeks now, I think I am doing pretty good. Now if I can just figure out how to post pictures. LOL Actually, I just click on the desktop app and use it like Windows 7. (grin) Working so far. So bear with me as I attempt a blog post after so many months and on a new laptop.
   This year has been a very rough year. Our winter has been hideous. We just had another snow storm last night. The wind is howling right now, but it is up to 3* right now. I am so ready for spring. These frigid temps and snow, then mud is really getting to me. I am ready to play in the garden.
   Kevin's mom is in the nursing home. She started getting worse about a month ago. It is not good. We went to see her yesterday. It was rough. She is in so much pain. They called hospice in last week and they are giving her morphine and any other pain management measures that they can. It works sometimes, and not sometimes. I feel so bad for this sweet lady who has been in my life for over 37 years. Please pray for pain relief for Fern.
   We lost our old beagle, Thunder, a couple of weeks ago. She would have been 17 later this year. She lived a long and happy life here on our little farm. She was even chasing rabbits last summer. She was slowing down so much and starting to have trouble getting up and down. I am glad she passed peacefully without us having to make that call.
    I have been completely out of the sewing and quilting mood for a month or so now. I don't think I have even turned my sewing machine on since Christmas. With all that is going on, I feel like I am in limbo. I have some projects in mind, but just can't seem to start them. I have been hand quilting on my Scrappy 36 Patch quilt for a few months now. I think I have about 12 blocks out of 42 left to quilt. I would like to get this one done to put on our bed this spring.
     We have big plans for the garden this spring. I have already ordered and received my heirloom seeds from www.rareseeds,com , Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Yesterday I bought jar lids. I plan to buy some every grocery shopping day. Since they are so expensive I figured I'd buy 10 boxes every other week. We also ordered a mini-orchard, 2 apple trees, 2 pear trees, and 2 plum trees, all dwarf. I ordered some perennial flower bulbs and some flower seeds. We need a little color too. (grin) I have 3 herb books on the way to me. I want to plant and maintain a medicinal herb garden. So we have lots of plans. Just praying the neighbors will not spray their fields on a windy day. Not sure I could handle losing everything again.
    On the health front, we have mostly given up eating any processed foods. My hubby has lost over 60 lbs doing this. Me, not so much, but I am a stress eater and we have had stress a plenty this winter. It was hard for me to clean out the fridge and throw out everything that had nasty stuff in it or had GMOs in them. Even my Lipton green tea with honey was questionable. So now I drink organic green tea. Very bland, but I am getting used to it.
     Today is my birthday, so I decided what better day to restart my blog. Mom gave me money to get my hair cut for my birthday, so I did it. Although, I am sure this is not what mom had in mind. LOL I have had various versions of a pixie hair cut for about 20 years now. I wanted something different. I have been growing my hair out ever since last Sept. so it was getting pretty long, for me. LOL So I am attempting to grow my hair out to about shoulder length. I had my stylist trim things up into as close to a bob as she could get. LOL We shall see. Once the summer heat hits, I may be going back for another short pixie cut. LOL First picture is before haircut, second after.

 Ok, I decided to go ahead and post a picture of my face. I am not a makeup sort of gal, so it is what it is. This is the first time I have had bangs that I did not comb to the side in many, many years. Still trying to decide whether I kike them or not. (grin)

 Kevin asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I asked for a crock to make kraut and dill pickles in. So this is what he ordered for me. It is an Ohio Stoneware 3 gallon crock.
Now on to a bit of crafty. I have plans to make a log cabin quilt for my niece who will be getting married in late summer. These are the fabric I have picked out.
I found a picture of my fabric that is a little closer to real life but without the red.

Not a great picture I am afraid, but the light makes things washed out. It is basically browns, greens, and creams with a red for the center blocks. These are all washed and ready to go. Just need to cut and sew. Maybe this week.
    Well, I guess this is enough for my first blog of the year. I will see how things go. I hope to continue the blog. If warm weather ever gets here, it will be full of green things growing, or at least I hope so. LOL Anyone reading this, have a great day.


Saturday, June 29, 2013

June is almost gone!

Wow! Hard to believe the 4th is next week. To me once the 4th is over, summer just flies by. This summer has been just the opposite of last summer. It has been cool and wet. Last summer was a drought and about a month of over 100* temps. It was 97* one day last week, but has cooled down again. It was just in the 70s today. I am perfectly ok with a cooler summer. LOL

Kevin went on a grilling mania today. (grin) He grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, ring bologna, pork chops, pork ribs, and chicken. I have everything in the fridge right now. Tomorrow, I will divide the meat into meal size portions and freeze it. Shouldn't need to cook any meat for a while. We love our new grill. I can see us getting lots of use out of it.

I worked on a few projects last week. I decided to treat myself and sew up a small project that I have had the fabric pulled for over a year. I am sorry I can't give credit for this. When I printed it off, my printer was running out of ink and I cannot read the site address. I think it turned out cute.
I still need to machine applique around it. I fused  it on with wonder under.  So if anyone reading this recognizes this design, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due.

I also got the center done on my Trip Around the World quilt. I just need to put borders on and it will be a flimsy. I already know what I am doing for the borders. Just a matter of getting it done.
My mama hen ended up with 4 baby ducklings. They follow her everywhere. She won't even look at any of the chicks that hatched out under the other hens. She knows what her adopted babies look like and won't give them up. I snapped this today while I was choring.
If you look closely, you can see all 4 ducklings to the right of her. Funny story. Tonight when I went down to lock everything up, I noticed the hen and ducklings were not in the duck shed. She was sitting outside the hen house. Couldn't leave her out there. Something would eat them. So I chased her into the chicken house. I thought I counted all 4 ducks following her, but after I got everything situated, I only saw 3 ducks with her. I went back outside and started looking for the other little fellow. Then I decided to go back and count again. This time one of the hens with chicks stood up to move around. That crazy little duck ran out from under her. LOL See, even the ducks are confused. LOL

We have at least 20 baby chicks hatched out from 4 barred rocks. It is like a free for all in there. At first, 2 of the hens had 4 babies each and  one hen had at least 12. The last hen decided to sit on an empty nest. (eye roll here)  Now it is so cute to watch. The little chicks just flit from one mama to another. I think they think all these are their mamas. LOL Here are some of the chicks with 2 of the mamas.
 I found a picture with all 4 mamas and the babies. There were more under the one sitting. LOL

Here is the only survivor of the first barred rock that hatched out in May. She hatched out 6, but only 4 survived the first day. After that, I have no idea what happened to the other 3. I am hoping these ladies will be better mamas.  What do you think? Roo or pullet? I am sure hoping for pullet, but think it is probably a roo. What do you think Paula? It is half barred rock and half buff orpington.
I still have one duck sitting on a nest. Poor little Buddy found out the hard way to stay away from her nest. We heard a loud commotion. She nailed Bud good. I doubt that he will go near there again. LOL Poor little guy. He has learned this year to stay away from the poultry. He got nailed by the first hen who hatched out as well. (grin)

Well, that is enough for tonight. Thank you for visiting. I am having fun with the poultry this year. Never had a year quite this exciting with poultry. Now when I had goats, it was always exciting around here, especially when they had babies. I miss my goats, but that is in the past. Everyone have a great Sunday!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Some Good News

We have been in touch with the company who did the spraying that killed our garden. The boss called us this morning, early. He was very apologetic. He talked to Kevin, then me, then Kevin again. I explained how all our seeds were heirloom and we were growing things organic. I think he understood how devastated we were to have this happen. He wanted to make things right by us and offered us a very fair compensation. It will cover our costs plus buy us veggies for the year. He told us what was sprayed. It is not supposed to harm the soil, but we will not be planting in this area for at least a couple of years. We will leave it fallow and move further north to plant next year. It is protected from the southwest by a big bank and there are not weeds dying in this area, so I am satisfied that it is safe. We are fortunate to have enough land to be able to move our garden. We are even talking about making some raised beds in this area. We have been wanting to try them. Seems like a good time to do it. I am now getting excited about the possibilities for our 2014 garden. We have put the heartbreak of our 2013 garden behind us. It was an accident. They should not have been spraying in the wind, but someone mistakenly made the wrong call on that. We hold no hard feelings against them. I made sure that the man doing the spraying would not suffer any consequences. After all, he was just doing his job. His boss promised me that nothing would be held against this man. So, though we are still sad, we are no longer angry. It happened, we are being compensated, we have forgiven and are moving on. Kevin mowed the garden off this morning. We will buy our veggies from the local Farmers' Market this summer.
Now on to happier subjects.  LOL Do you remember me telling you about the battle between the barred rock hen and the rouen duck over the duck's nest? Well, I finally decided to let them fight it out. Tonight I found that the winner now has at least 2 ducklings under her. Here is the winner....
LOL Kevin was upset that she wouldn't be able to properly teach the ducklings how to survive. I then had to remind him that I raised all our ducks in the brooder house last year. I didn't teach them anything. It is instinct. LOL  I will try to check under her tomorrow. She is meaner than a rattlesnake, so I decided to leave her alone tonight. You can see one little duckling out in front and if you look closely to the right, under the edge of the hen you can just see a little bill poking out. (grin)  I feel kind of sorry for the Rouen duck. She sat on this nest for 3 weeks. Then  the barred rock chases her off, sits on the nest for a week and hatches the babies. I guess that's life. The duck doesn't seem to care any more. LOL

Our 36th anniversary is coming up in July. We decided to treat ourselves to something we have wanted for a while. We have a Weber charcoal grill, but I hate starting the charcoal. I wanted something I could turn on and cook my meat in a few minutes. LOL I am spoiled that way. (wink) So we bought this....
Kevin put it together today while I was grocery shopping. We still need to put the little feet under it, hence the boards. LOL We used it tonight and loved it. I am so glad we bought this. I can see us cooking all of our meat on it this summer and maybe even into the winter.
Ok, no one tell Kevin that I posted a picture of him on my blog. Ok? LOL Look how great these burgers and hot dogs look.
They were yummy too!

 I have the center of my Trip Around the World quilt top put together. Now I need to decide what I want to do for the borders. Probably won't ever make another one of these. It is very easy to get the blocks turned around. I had it together and noticed 2 blocks turned the wrong way. More ripping. LOL I will try to get a picture of it next week.

That is it for me tonight. Thanks for visiting. Have a great Sunday tomorrow!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Sad Garden Update!

If you read my previous blog post you could see how great our garden was doing . It was the best garden we have had in years. I worked so hard in it and was so proud of it. You will notice I am using past tense. Last Saturday the wind was blowing hard from the southwest. Our neighbor across the road hired a company to spray his beans. My thoughts, they should not have been spraying during a strong wind. Well, they did. Then we had rain twice, so I couldn't get out into the garden to work. Last night I decided to go cut some broccoli and do some  hoeing. You can imagine my shock when I found this....
And this....
And this....
And this....
And this....
And this....
And this....
And this....
I could go on and on, but you get it. Spray drift killed our entire garden. Even the sweet corn has spots on it. We contacted the company who did the spraying and their rep came out to see the damage. He said that yes it was spray drift. Well, duh!!!! He is on his way to talk to his boss to see what they will do about this. It did not kill the beans. He pointed that out to me, but I told him that was not the point. These are all heirloom seeds, grown organically. Now they have been contaminated. We will have to mow the whole garden off. We planted heirloom so we could avoid GMOs and also used no chemicals on the garden.  I am pissed. (Please excuse my language as I do not normally talk like that, but that is the best word I can think to use.) This is just so heartbreaking. We not only have lots of money wrapped up into this garden, but hours and hours of work.

We also started an asparagus bed, strawberry bed, garlic bed, and blueberries. It looks like they were hit too. I am not sure if they will come out of it or not. I think it also got our grapes and all the black walnuts are falling off the tree prematurely. All the weeds around the duck shed and chicken coop are getting speckled so I know it drifted down there too. In other words, our whole place got hit. The really scary thing is that Kevin and I were out working in and around the garden the day he was spraying. That is why I was able to get pictures. I was taking pictures of the garden. I also snapped a couple of pictures of the sprayer. I let the rep know that I had pictures taken of the garden on Saturday just prior to spraying, the guy spraying, and pictures of my poor garden on Wednesday. My camera date stamps each picture. I think that got his attention. I also told him that I posted pictures on my blog of a great looking garden. Now was going to post pictures of a ruined garden.

I am sorry for the rant. Today is my feel sorry for myself day. I am comfort eating and will do some crafting. I can't stand to be outside and look across my garden. I get teary every time I think about it. I hope this doesn't happen to anybody else, because it just breaks your heart. I had such big plans for putting up lots of organic food for our winter. I got a few messes of spinach, some lettuce, and some peas. That is it!  I thought we may be able to salvage the potatoes, but Kevin said anything that gets on the leaves will go down into the potatoes. We don't want to take the chance. (so sad) Well, I am off to sulk. Everyone have a great day. Thanks for visiting and putting up with my whining.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Garden Tour

I have decided not to worry about all the broody mamas. They can work it out themselves. I was worrying myself into a tizzy about everyone being in their own space. Nope, not going to worry any more. I will get what I get as far as babies this season.

Our garden this year looks so good compared to last year. Last year we were in severe drought. We had no rain from the first week in May through the end of summer. We also had over a month of 100* days. Our garden just dried up. We got very little from it. I supported the local Farmers' Market. LOL This year is so different. We have been getting lots of rain and it is so much cooler.  You will just have to skip over the weeds. It has been too rainy to keep up. We have had rain since I took these pictures, too. LOL I will eventually get caught up, maybe. (grin) See the area to the right of the picture? I had to go to town and I asked Kevin to till me a spot alongside the peas for one of 2 more rows. Hmmm... came home to a spot about 50 feet long and about 25 feet wide. Yep, I am letting it go back into my lawn. LOL My hubby is the overkill king! Our garden....
Our tomatoes....
Our cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower....
Do you see that nasty row of grass on the left of the cabbage. That is my carrots. I think I counted 3 carrots that came up, so that is getting tilled out and a row of flowers planted.  My okra and dry beans....
You can see the peas to the right of the okra. I am leaving what is left on them for seeds. I also have spinach , lettuce and radishes going to seed. We planted all heirloom seeds this year, so we should be able to save them.   Zucchini....
I only planted 2 hills of zucchini, but should have plenty if the squash bugs don't find them. Looks like they really need weeded.  Something new we are trying are teepee pole beans. Pole beans....

These are desperately needing weeded. Funny story about the teepee poles. I asked Kevin to help me pound them into the ground. They are bamboo that I picked up at Menards. The next thing I know, he shows up in the garden with the gas posthole digger. I know my mouth dropped open. Talk about overkill. LOL It drills an 8 inch hole. LOL Oh well, it worked and I filled the holes in and planted around the poles. LOL  The peppers and eggplant....
The white flowers you see at the top of the picture are a row of radishes that Kevin planted. I about passed out when I found out he had planted a long, long row of radishes. No way we could eat that many.  Sweet potatoes....
Our green beans....
I planted 4 different kinds of green beans and a row of lima beans. I want to see which kind we like best. Our potatoes and onions.....
The sweet corn is at the end of the potatoes. Kevin planted enough of them for all of Holt County if they amount to anything. LOL  Our melons, pumpkins, spaghetti squash, and cucumbers....
We also started an asparagus bed, strawberry bed, garlic bed, and blueberries. I just didn't get pictures of them.  (grin) I hope you enjoyed the tour of our garden. I will be out there working in the morning if we don't get more rain. Thank you for visiting. Please come again and have a great day.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Battles between the Mama Hen and Mama Duck

I am having quite a struggle this year. I have raised chickens for over 30 years and never had the problems of this year. LOL It seems like all my barred rocks have decided they want to be mamas. Ok, that is fine by me, but they all want to share the same nest.
I tried to check under them and they all bristled up and started growling. Hmmm, not sticking my hand in there. I figured it would be a group attack and I would pull back with a bloody arm. I have 6 barred rock hens and 2 buff orpingtons. Well, 5 bars and one buff are broody. That leaves me with 2 hens. One of them is a bar who already went broody and raised one chick. Of all the luck. It is another rooster. I was hoping for a pullet. Anyway, I think the hens steal all the eggs that are laid, so who knows what kind of mess they are setting on. (Big Sigh)

This isn't my only problem this year. I have a rouen duck who went broody about 3 weeks ago. I was so happy. She was so mean that I have left her alone. Yesterday when I peaked in to check, she was off her nest and a barred rock was setting on it. What?
I also have a khaki campbell setting in the corner. See her trying to protect her nest. Well, I wasn't sure what to do about this situation, so I asked Kevin. The rouen duck was mad as the dickens and being very vocal about it too, I might add.
Kevin got the bar off the nest so the rouen could go back. I chased the bar back into her coop and thought everything was ok. NOT! This morning, I decided to let the ducks out first so the rouen could get something to eat and drink and get back on her nest before I turned the chickens out. Somehow that bar figured out how to get out of her coop and dag gone it, she took over the nest again. Kevin caught her and locked her back in the chicken pen. You guessed it. About 1/2 hour later I checked. There she was again with a very upset Rouen pacing the shed. I chased her off again. (Another Big Sigh)  Of course, she is back on the nest and I have given up. I guess she wants to be a mama of ducklings. I put another nest box right beside this one with some chicken eggs in it. I hope that one of them will just decide to set in the new box. I figure I could possibly end up with a mama chicken and ducklings and a mama duck and chicks. Never dull around here. LOL

Now on to the crafting front. I think I really have my mojo back I am working away on a bunch of projects that I had started and not finished. I am thinking about dedicating the rest of the year to getting things finished.  I am on the last 2 blocks of Promises and Borders and Thoughts in Thread. I have half the blocks pieced for my TATW (trip around the world) quilt.  I am ready to finish Hello Sun. I have more projects bouncing around in my head than I have time to work on. LOL I am also hand quilting Shadowy Stars. It was a quilt along of Judy Laquidara that I did back in 2010. Time to get it done. I am loving this quilt.
This is my hoop all ready for hand quilting. I am on block 4 so far.
Here is the first set of TATW blocks. They aren't hard, but you have to be on your toes to keep the squares in the right order. LOL My ripper has become my best friend. I am  hoping my fabric choices will have enough contrast.
I quickly followed a tutorial for a sewing machine cover last week. It was so easy and made up in a couple of hours. I found the tutorial on Ros's blog. I used a charm pack that I bought on clearance from Connecting Threads a couple of years ago, left over batting and backing from mom's quilt for the lining and batting, and leftover binding from Kevin's lap quilt. So this cover probably cost me less than $2 and about 2 hours work. Doesn't get much better than that. LOL
Well, this is Monday and my normal big clean day on the house, so I need to get with it. I am going to do a bit more rearranging. Trying to utilize my space to the max. (grin) Thank you for visiting. Please come again.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Lots to Catch Up

I don't know why I can't seem to get into blog mode any more. I post and have every intention to keep posting. Then it has been over a month since I did. (big sigh) I will try to catch up with things here. I mainly keep my blog as a journal of my life.

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to the Care facility that my MIL lives in for a tea. It was really nice. I was glad to be able to go and share this with her. Since she never had any daughters, I was happy to do this for her. She will be 84 in October. She can't walk any more, and has trouble talking since the stroke, but still does pretty good for all her ailments and age. My MIL Fern...
I started cutting on mom's Carpenter's Star quilt the last week in January. I finished it the second week in May. Mom's 75th birthday was yesterday. I delivered her quilt to her on Saturday. She was so tickled. Made my day. She is showing it to all her friends at the apartment complex. Bragging her daughter up. LOL
My mom, Avalee...
The finished Carpenter's Star on Mom's bed...
Mom had me take the first quilt I made her off her bed and put it on her couch. I think it looks nice on the couch. Brightens up the living room. I made this about 7 years ago. It was one of the first quilts I made. I am glad to see I have improved. LOL
Yesterday was spent in Kansas City with the grandchildren. Maddison wasn't able to be there, but the other 4 were. It was a combined party for Izabella and Noah. They are growing up so fast. Izzie just turned 5, Noah is 7, Ava is 7, and Ashton will soon be 10. Maddison will soon be 4. Just growing so fast. I don't have any babies any more.
Oops, I need to go back a bit. We had a snowstorm on May 2nd. That is pretty much unheard of in Missouri. It didn't last long. It was all melted the next day. I was concerned about my garden that you see in the below picture, but all my veggies came through fine. It has been a really weird spring. It might be near 90* one day and a high in the 30s the next.
Hubby replaced my blender that he killed with the coconut flour disaster. He also bought me a new counter oven. I love it. I don't like to use my big oven for just the 2 of us as it heats the house up so much. This is so much nicer.
I have started working on a hexie project. I have never worked with hexies before, so this has been fun. I am still cutting them out right now, but will soon be ready for basting them, then hand stitching them. I also have finished a couple of small projects and have a lap size quilt top that I sewed a few years ago about ready for hand quilting. I hope to work on some of these projects this afternoon, since it is way too wet to think about being outside. I am glad I went to the cemetery Saturday, cause it would be a mess today.

Well, I think that about catches me up for now. Thank you for visiting. Have a great day.

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