Monday, March 31, 2008

Only Tyler...

...would fly through a tonsilectomy/adnoid something or other like a champ.

Initially we were told we would be at the hospital until at least 4:00 tonight - so they could make sure he was taking fluids, going to the bathroom, and not going to throw up. Surgery was at 11:00 (I got to go back to the surgery room with him, and this reinforces my belief I could never be a nurse. Actually, I tried to get Todd to go back with him - sympathetic tear ducts here - but Todd couldn't fit into the jumpsuit and booties you have to put on), he was done with surgery at 11:30, by 12:15 he was moved to the ambulatory care unit (the pediatric recovery unit was full) and by 1:00 he had run the nurses ragged asking for popsicles, ice, jello and water.

His doctor came in at 1, totally shocked at how well he was doing, and sent him home at 2:00. I think he had something like 8 popsicles at the hospital and 2 or 3 things of jello. So for now, he is recovering very well. I'm expecting the worst at some point - but we were told to keep him on a strict Tylenol schedule. We've pretty much depleted a 3 lb. jar of applesauce, I've made 3 batches of jello (just since we've been home at 2:30, and this is him in a quiet moment:

Boys. . . .what more do I need to say????

I did work on this quilt last night and for about an hour when we got home (and Tyler was supposed to be taking a nap - the nurse said the anesthesia would make him groggy - yeah right). It's a great project - it's quick, goes together easy and I am in love with it. Of course, it's not getting the other projects that I have started finished, but. . . you'll have that sometimes right?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Quiet Weekend

It's been quiet here on the farm the last couple days. Mainly because it is just to dang muddy to do anything. Just when it starts to dry out - we get an inch of rain. But right now, it's 48 degrees, so I'm not complaining because it's been in the high 40's, low 50's this weekend. I'll take it (for now) with the mud.

Of course, mud means that we have to keep the cows and calves bedded up pretty good - who would want to lay around in wet straw and mud all the time? So Todd brought home 5 big square bales yesterday that he brought off of a neighbor farmer. The kids of course thought they were fun to play on, they were up so high:

These are going to be my projects while waiting around while Tyler is in surgery tomorrow getting his tonsils and adnoids taken out:

We'll see if I can concentrate on them. I've had the star one done for a number of years, just didn't have the binding on it, and I quick made the other one for Tyler's nighstand.

I've also had pillowcases cut out for both of them, and just finished sewing them up (I'm having motivation problems lately - just not getting much totally completed):

I did make myself a new purse and wallet - I love the yellow and blue, it's just not me at the moment, and these chickens spoke to me (how bad is that, that fabric chickens are talking to me now??):

Hopefully tonight to tomorrow (after Tyler's surgery), I will finally get my seeds started - every weekend I say I'm going to do it, and then we get busy. If I'm reading the calendar right, this weekend is 7 weeks until our last frost date for this area, so I've still got time as I've never had much luck putting anything out before Memorial Day, but. . .I'm anxious to get them going.

Have a good start to the week!! I'll be back post surgery:)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

50+ & SUNNY!!!

This is more like it - the weather I am loving. It was sunny yesterday, no breeze in sight, and I had all the windows open to air out the house from the mustiness.

I walked outside, the driveway is drying out, the grass is starting to dry out, the birds are singing. The kids played outside from the moment we got home (I had to drag them in to eat).

Then I worked on this:

And I am extremely happy with it so far. It's a lot smaller (8 inches x 10 inches or so) but it fits me. And the yellow and blue is growing on me.

Today, if it doesn't rain I am going to work outside - but it's looking pretty cloudy. I have an unexpected day off - my babysitter and her son are both home with the flu, and we certainly don't want Tyler getting sick with his surgery on Monday - so I am going to enjoy my day off!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Some Days . . . .

I really amaze myself!!!

My mom emailed me today - look at all these cute bags everyone is making on their blogs. So I start looking, and I start thinking. I come home still thinking. Todd is at fire practice, the kids are playing. . . I find 4 yards of decorator weight fabric in the very bottom of my stash trunk.

I come up with this:

Yellow and blue are by no means my favorite color (or even close to it), but I brought this who knows how many years ago on sale at JoAnn's to make curtains for my kitchen which I was going to paint yellow. Todd doesn't want yellow (he likes white walls) so it has sat while we agree to disagree on what color to paint the kitchen (my response was fine - I'll paint it magenta).

But now I am onto making this as well:

The wallet did not come out as I had envisioned, it's rather thick (I put batting in between the 2 layers) so I couldn't top stitch the one corner, but there is a pocket at each end to hold receipts and money, and some credit card holders. I'm ecstatic - I didn't use a pattern, and I am rather happy with them as they are. I need to think of a way to hold the wallet shut - I am not ambitious enough to tackle a zipper on something this small - maybe a button and a ribbon - I'll have to think on it. And there is no pocket for change - again, I have zipper issues.

I took breaks to cook dinner and do chores for Todd, since it will be about 10 until he gets home, but. . . .all in all, I'm pleased with how my evening went.

Any suggestions/improvements on either?

P.S. I feel a give-away coming on - once I tweak the purse - stay tuned!!!


Monday, March 24, 2008


I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. We had a wonderful holiday - but now, it's back to work for both of us.

We spent lots of nice time with family, and my house is extremely clean (I had 17 people for dinner on Sunday - so I was a cleaning fanatic on Saturday and right before everyone showed up). Todd spent some time outside this weekend cleaning out cattle pens, horse stalls and bedding everyone up.
Hope everyone has a good week!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Garden Plans

Angie’s post earlier made me think that I ought to post about what will be going into our garden (or not going into it as the case may be)!!

So here is our hopeful garden list:

peppers-sweet, hot and paprika & chilli; Tomatoes - paste - Amish Paste Tomato, Roma Tomato, San Marzano Tomato; slicing - Beefsteak Tomato; cherry - Amish Salad Tomato; crispino lettuce; romaine lettuce; Butterhead lettuce; multiple leaf lettuces; rhubarb; onion; carrots; sweet potato; cucumber varieties; melon varieties (not sure yet); summer squash; winter squash; spaghetti squash; celery - Utah celery; cabbage; sweet & green onions; peas; beans-green, kidney and lima; sunflower; eggplant; and sweet corn (1-2 acres)
rosemary; thyme; oregano; dill; savory; parsley - Italian Flat Leaf; cilantro/coriander; basil - Spicy Globe Basil; garlic; chives.

I have all my tomato, pepper, celery, lettuce and herb seeds to start hopefully this weekend. I figured some of this stuff I will buy in plant form (having had bad luck in previous years trying to start seeds) and some I can plant seeds direct into the garden (around here squash grow really, really well).

Now at this point, if you were Todd, you would be saying I am certifiably nuts to grow all of this for our family of 4. But I keep reminding myself - it is nothing for us to go through 5 to 6 6 oz. cans of tomato sauce a week here, so my intention is that all the sauce tomatoes I will simply make into tomato sauce, and if I can process a canner full a night, awesome. I want to do some diced as well. I’m not going to make spaghetti sauce, or pizza sauce - I will do plain old tomato sauce that I can use however we see fit.

All the lettuces - to me that is fairly self explanatory. We all love salads (even with just lettuce, cheese and dressing). But I am so afraid to buy lettuce in the stores after all the eccolli scares (it also does not help to have a MIL who works for the Health Department and knows these things) that we haven’t had a good salad in months (and one little piece of brown in a bag of lettuce turns me off of the whole bag).

Brand new seed starting trays

Cucumbers - we are almost out of pickles that I processed 3 years ago - 25 quarts (and I cheated then and just brought them - this year I am growing them).

The herbs - after reading Angie’s post on drying herbs, I want to try that. Since I have started cooking from scratch, I’ve found you do need to add herbs and seasonings to food (no need to season the pre-made junk - but in getting away from that, all food needs some herbs for seasonings).

Brand new grow light for Todd to put together

I’m going to try some new things this year - which is . . . .pretty much everything. Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Almost definitely. But there is another reason I am doing this as well
. . .
We are seeing prices spike around us pretty badly, and I just hate paying good money for groceries (that aren’t even healthy for you). It’s amazing the people that think brown, mushy, veggies are perfectly acceptable to eat (as I am gagging just writing this). So while it may be a lot of work, we figure if I can get it all processed, late summer and next winter we will be reaping the rewards from having a very fully stocked pantry.

On the farm front - we had our 5th (yes 5th) bull calf last night. I pulled in at 4:45, she wasn't doing a thing (and I walked in the pen with her to check). When Todd came home at 5:55, there was a calf, trying to stand up. At least she is a good mama, and looks like she can pop out any size calf with very little effort:

Mama Cow however is very protective - she was a first calf heifer last year who wanted nothing to do with her calf - this year she didn't want me taking pictures anywhere near that calf. But that is good, I guess, until we have to process it here in a few days. hehe.

Boys - 5 Girls - 0

(As I told Todd, there is someone out there who wants to make sure Jessie has plenty of opportunity to show a quiet, calm steer at the County Fair in 2009 - otherwise we would be getting heifers right and left).
Hope everyone enjoys their Easter weekend,

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Signs of Spring

It was 40 degrees out when we got done eating dinner, and the sun was out - so we went out and did a little bit of picking up around the farm. I hauled several empty boxes and other junk out of the basement to hopefully burn this weekend, and then took a little walk, looking for some signs of spring:




Tulip - that little red spike

Guess I had better think about cleaning out all the dead stuff from my flowerbeds this spring, once it warms up a little more:) Proof that most of the snow has melted, even if we now have little rivers running everywhere:

This is part of our yard, and our horse pasture/cow overflow pasture. There are maybe 5-6 acres in this pasture (the fence is on the far side, by that line of pine trees, which is 1 edge of our property), and when the horses cannot keep up, we run the cows over here and let them eat it down. There's not much shade over here, so we try and time it when it's not really hot out for the cows to be over here.

The kids had fun helping - getting muddy - playing. Tyler thought it would be fun to "feed" the cows hay. Never mind that right there is the round bale feeder, where they have access to half a bale of hay. He must've thought they would starve if he didn't hand feed them:

This is our bargin corn crib - we brought it off of a friend 2 or 3 years ago - we only plant 2 acres of corn -just enough for us to grind into feed for our cows (and in the center of the 2 acres - we plant 8 rows of sweet corn trying to hide it from the racoons with limited success) - it was filled up to that 2x4 going across the bin last fall - this is how much we have used. This is a favorite place of Tyler's to play - when it's relatively empty, that is.

So now after tonight, I am really hopeful that spring is on the way. Or at least, some sunshine and warmer temperatures!! Angie - I'm doing my garden post tomorrow - YIKES - it's rather long!!:)


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Garden Plans & more soccer

I was going to do a post on my garden plans for the year, but don't have any pretty pictures to add (and it is to late to even take pictures of all of my seed packets and the seed starting supplies I have accumulated in the last couple of weeks), so instead, here are some soccer pictures from Tyler's practice tonight:

His coach had practice in the elementary school gym, rather than out in the snow and freezing rain (typical Ohio - 50 degrees one day, 30's and snow the next). Tyler was rather "on the fence" last year if he wanted to even play soccer, but we made him at least finish out the season, and tonight he told me he wants to go to soccer practice every night. Go figure.

Then tonight when we got home, I made this tator tot casserole for dinner:

Hopefully tomorrow night I will be more motivated, and will do a post on the veggies and fruits we want to have in our garden. This weekend I am hoping to clean out my basement and organize my freezers (2 chest freezers and a refrigerator freezer) in preparation for all of the yummy foods we will have. And, I am having Easter dinner at our house, so that will involve some cleaning and cooking.

Here's also a little pillow I did for Jessie's bed - I got her and Tyler's new pillowcases done, and made this quick little pillow out of the leftovers. I want to put a button in the center on each side, and it is a little small (10 inches square) but it was quick.

Have a good day everyone,


Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring Soccer is Here

Well, it started tonight - Jessie had soccer practice. So spring has to be close. They didn't have to play in the snow tonight, but it was close. Of course, it was so freaking freezing (40 degrees). Tyler thought - insisted - that all of us go - so we all went. Then Todd and I sat in the Durango while Jessie ran around, and Tyler played off to the side kicking his soccer ball. He's coming down with a cold - no wonder with the weather changes - but we are babying him along - he is getting his tonsils out on the 31st, and I want him healthy for that.

So tonight, I'm not very motivated. I did a block for my Mom's Trail to Kansas Quilt - it's getting there. Then I played with pillowcases for the kids - they are all cut out, just need sewn together. I was going to do pj's for the kids out of my vintage sheets, but if I make them now, the kids will want to wear them, and I want Tyler to be warm at night yet - especially until his tonsils come out.

Jessie's will be wild looking (to go with her wild flip flops and her hot pink bed sheets):

And Tyler's will be - what else but Firetrucks:

I just love the vintage fire truck print. I had to order it (and the helmets and one with fire hoses). Not sure where I will use them in his room, but. . . I want to be prepared. I would really like to find some firetruck/fire station pictures that I could frame to hang on his walls of various stations from throughout the country. Guess I will have to get thinking on that - as his birthday is coming up here on April 5th.

No baby calf yet - but as I stood there tonight helping do chores (by filling water troughs) you could just see the calf bouncing around inside her. Reminds me of when I was pregnant with both kids, and how it always felt like they were being trapeze artists off of my rib cage.
We also spent some time online looking at the McMurray Hatchery website. I want chickens, Todd is thinking on this. I of course, want the fancy breeds, and he wants plain old boring ones. Who knows what we will end up with though - maybe not for this year yet, but at least he is thinking. . . .

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Quick sewing project

There are sewing nights. . . .

that I really need to listen to that inner voice. I made these in under an hour - but. . . I should have listened to myself. I looked at the pattern (Butterick 5153 - I was to impatient to wait for the book that everyone else is making their's from). According to the sizing chart, I should have made one size, but I made them a size larger (figuring they would be roomier). The smaller size would have been much better. But I took them in some (which is what took part of the time to make them - could've made them in 30 minutes tops)

But I love them already....
Todd thinks they are pretty funny (why in the heck would you want to wear a flowered sheet from someone else to bed????)

Next is the kids' summer pjs (and I will listen to my inner voice)

Fruit Pie

Let's just say, there are some weekends that your plans for the weekend go totally out window. This was one of those weekends. Friday night, Tyler was on a kick - he wanted to cook something. He kept saying he wanted to cook fruit pie. I asked him what the ingredients were. This is the response I get - peach juice from a quart of peaches, apple juice and water. Mix it up mommy, we bake it for a while, and we'll have fruit pie. I convinced him instead to make brownies and rasberry jellow (from mixes from our local bulk food store) and put sprinkles on the brownies (again from our local bulk food store):

Saturday morning, we went to the pancake breakfast that the local Ruritans put on at our local high school with some friends, then it was off to Lowe's to buy a water heater and water softner. Then all day was spent installing these items. My parents came down to help install the water softener, and Mom left with several quilts that need the bindings handsewn down. So I didn't get anything done on Saturday (amazing how many things you need hot water for, which we didn't have for a while putting the heater in).

Sunday I spent the morning cleaning, and then we did a quick run to the outlet mall not 10 minutes away to try and find the kids green shirts for St. Patrick's day tomorrow - no such luck, but Jessie found the cutest green and white camo pants (at Children's Place for 99 cents). Tyler has a green polo shirt from Gap that I got at Goodwill on Friday during lunch for $1, so they will both be set.

And now I'm off to finally get a little sewing done. We also penned up a heifer this weekend and cleaned out the cow shed and barns - we have lots, and lots and lots of mud (comes with 45 degree temps and melting snow) and she is so close to calving.. . I'd rather pen her up for a few days to make sure there are no problems, than have to be wading through mud up to you know where to help her out.

Hope everyone had a good weekend.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Thanks Lynsey!!!!

Thanks Lynsey!! Now I have had to really think, and come up with some answers. . . .

Where was I 10 years ago?:
10 years ago at this point in time Todd and I were renting a house about 20 miles from our current farm, and this summer (July 11th to be exact) marks 10 years that we have been living on the farm. I was showing horses competitively throughout the State of Ohio, and not thinking that in 10 years I’d be a wife, running a small farm, working full time, and mother to 2 wonderful active children.
Things on my to-do list today. . . :
Today - just work until 4, get the kids, make dinner (baked spaghetti casserole), clean up after dinner, make my kids some pj’s after they go to bed and vacuum the house (the plug got pulled out and I haven’t vacuumed since Saturday - this is really killing me).

Since today is not a real full day (because I have to work until 4) this is my to-do list for Saturday: Clean the house (an ongoing battle), start my seeds for my garden, watch Todd and my Dad install a new water heater and a new water softener this afternoon (the heater which died Monday night and is temporarily fixed, and the softener which died last fall), cook dinner, help with chores, read blogs:), try and get some sewing in, and do some laundry.
What would I do if I suddenly became a billionaire?:
That is easy - I would give some to charity and local churches, pay off the farm, give some money to various family members, buy both of us more environmentally friendly cars, give a huge donation to our local 4-h, Central Fire District (where Todd is a volunteer) and Town & Country Fire Dept. (where we live), buy more land in our school district, buy more cows, buy another horse that is kid safe so Tyler, Jessie and I could ride horses together, fund college funds for our children, retirement funds for us, and definitely quit my job.
What are 3 of my bad habits?:
I don’t exercise - ever. In the summer I get plenty of exercise working in my gardens, riding horses, walking with the kids while they ride their bikes in town and swimming, but in the winter - nothing.
I don’t keep a good list of what I need at the store, and forever running at lunch or stopping after work to pick up little things (I’ve been forgetting shaving gel for Todd for 3 weeks now - I will stop tonight - if I remember:)).
I cook enough to feed a third world country when I get motivated to cook, but then I have a hard time eating leftovers (I don't like a lot of food in it's leftover form), and end up throwing away tons of food. I am trying to get better, but. . .
5 jobs I have had:
my current job - legal secretary
horse trainer/riding instructor
assembly line in a factory
vet assistant
short order cook
I really had to think on that one - I’ve been a secretary for so long - 14 years. . . .
5 things you don’t know about me:
I hate tomatoes, but love spaghetti, pizza sauce and chilli. I just can’t handle tomatoes in their natural state (although I am starting 60 tomato plants Saturday for our families’ consumption).
The older I get the lighter my gag reflex gets. I’ve been gagging at stuff that never used to bother me (some involving kids’ bodily functions - sorry about that, but it’s getting funny the older they get). Dirt (and other substances) on the kitchen floor, or any floor in the house really, freaks me out and also makes me gag, and I am forever mopping, sweeping and vacuuming.

I am obsessive compulsive about certain things (like the way our bed is made, and how clean my kitchen floor is). When I had Jessie, our house was trashed after a week of running non-stop, and Todd thought he would help me out by hiring my sister-in-law to clean it up before I came home. Little did he know (or understand) that I like our bed made a certain way, and the first night I was home it was major meltdown time when I went to bed and dissolved into tears because it wasn’t made the right way, and we had to take the sheets off and remake it - they were all on there, just not the way I like to have it made to climb into bed. And other things housecleaning wise I could care less about.

I am learning to enjoy thrifting/remaking/redoing for various decorations/needs in our house. I think groceries (brought at a grocery store) are the biggest waste of money there is - hence the rather large garden this summer. I am rethinking our spending habits, and trying to be more thrifty due to the economy (or lack thereof)

I drive entirely too fast and rely constantly on cruise control to keep me at the speed limit (or a couple above) even going through town at 35.

And now, I tag: Kellie, Lynn, Angie, Christina and Jacquie - hope you 5 enjoy this!! And if you are reading this and I didn't specifically tag you - feel free to consider yourself tagged!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Goodwill Score

I scored big time at Goodwill today. Jessie needs jeans - she is growing out of hers so fast and they are all so tight. So I run in there at lunch, didn't see any jeans for her but I found:

Vintage sheets for $1 and $2 a hanger (some were the complete sheet sets). I've been wanting to find some just like these to make: myself and my Mom a pair of lounge pants, and Jessie and Tyler summer pjs. I get so depressed when trying to buy sleepwear for the kiddos. Everything has characters on them - which I am not a fan of at all, and is that super stiff material that shrinks horribly the first time you wash them (and neither of my kids like tight fitting clothing). I'm thinking I can make a cute little tank top and boxer style shorts with an elastic waist for Jessie, and then make boxer style shorts for Tyler that he can wear with some plain white tshirts. Being sheets, they shouldn't shrink - although some of the flowered ones may be slightly ugly.

And the lounge pants for me, I think I just need because. As I tell Todd, if I have these, then I won't be laying around in my flannel pajama pants all the time (and yes, I have been known to run to the store in them - but only if absolutely necessary).

It was up in the 40's again today - a lot of the snow is melted away. We spent about an hour outside tonight cleaning off the cow lot and filling water troughs.

Enjoy the sun,

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Quiet Home Front

It's been quiet here on the home front since being snowed in. The last 2 days have seen temperatures in the low 40's, so the snow is melting in a hurry - meaning MUD - but I'll take the 40's and sun, for now.

The cows are all behaving themselves, as much as they can. We are expecting a rush on calves during the next 2 -3 weeks, which will shake things up a little bit, which is good as I want them all done before Todd gets busy at work (hopefully next weekend - not that I don't like having him around on the weekends, but we eat way too well when he is home). I'm not showing pics right now - way too much mud out there. . . .

Here are closeups of my pinwheel blocks (sorry about the flash on some of the pics - after 2 years of owning this camera, I still haven't figured out all the nifty features - like turning the flash off)- I am very pleased with how this one is coming out. I'm not going to finish it right away, I have some other things I really need to get done first, but it's one of those projects that I can put away, and come back to in a couple weeks (or months) and pick up right where I left off:

I'm finishing up my Trail to Kansas Quilt (see my first ever post for a photo of it). 10 years in the making, and it should be done within the next month, at the very most. I love the simpler quilts, patchwork quilts, and really liked making that one. I have a second one that I am working on for my mom as well - I know she will be glad to see them completed:)

I've also been cleaning like made. Thanks to Lynsey's recipes for homemade cleaners, I've made them all, and am scouring every surface I can just to smell the cleaners. I think the all purpose cleaner is my favorite - it does a fantastic job on my kitchen counters and the top of my washer and dryer (the dryer is the catch all in our house as it sits right inside our back door - in our combination mudroom/laundry room) - and I don't have to do a lot of scrubbing - it is literally spray and wipe and DONE. That is my kind of cleaning - the lazy way.

Soccer practice starts next week for both kids - Monday and Wednesday evening - and their first game is on April 5th. I can't believe it won't be too muddy to practice, but the kids desperately need to get out of the house and get moving. Just playing outside in the snow for 45 min. after we all get home is not cutting it anymore.

Yippee - spring will be here before we know it,