Friday, August 29, 2008

What a week

I've been working like a maniac on this quilt - it will be done by Sunday!

These pictures were taken a couple days ago. I have just 1 corner left to quilt, and I'm stopping on my way home to find some binding fabric.

I've been running here and there - soccer practice, 4-H, walking calves. The camper that we borrowed to use at the County Fair next week - needed a new tongue jack. So I had to drive 40 min. away to Akron to pick one up. At least Tyler and I got to stop at my Mom's and see her for a little bit.

And we have finally gotten some rain. Not enough, but a start. So I'm sure my garden is overflowing with peppers and more tomatoes. Never fear though - I'm going to be running the dehydrator full tilt this weekend drying onions, garlic, tomatoes and the various peppers. I'm tired of canning, tired of freezing (although another batch of tomato sauce would be nice!).
See ya,

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Everyday Blessings

Monday I was bored.

So I painted my bathroom:

This isn't the greatest picture - it's got more of a gold tint to the paint. Tyler rolled the bottom half of the walls and I did the top half and the edging. Now it's put the molding and trim back up and a new floor and it will feel like I have a new bathroom.

And I worked on this quilt some more:

And I found this cute star to hang on the chicken coop (although I am thinking I need a bigger one?):

And we have had soccer practice and 4-H. I saw this morning this tree changing color:

Fall will be here before we know it. Today it's chilly and rainy - but more the annoying drizzle. Off to make dinner before soccer practice - which hopefully they cancel due to the rain!


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Quiet Weekends

This was one of those where to go on a deadline (other than soccer pictures), nothing pressing that needed to be done, just the fun stuff - like watch the girls walk the calves.

And what did I do? Spent a lot of time cleaning. 3 rooms cleaned and sorted out - 3 to go (and unfortunately, 2 of the rooms are the messiest rooms in the house- hehe)

I'm about half done with the quilting on this quilt:

I just wasn't getting into it for some reason. And, quilting it with this pattern is a pain-in-the-you-know-what!:

But I'm getting there. I'm not doing the outer border with this pattern - I'll come up with something for it that will go a little quicker!

Hopefully by Wednesday or Thursday night I'll be starting to put the binding on this quilt - I have until September 4th to finish it - so I just might be ahead of the game!

Friday, August 22, 2008

New Window

I got this book the other day at the new junk store I found:

And then I saw this post on a primitive blog.

And so I turned my kitchen window from this:

to this:

Yes, crappy window, but we want to gut and redo our kitchen one of these years, and put a new window in - so for now, I'll live with it (and do you know how hard it is to take a picture of a window???). I think I like it. The best thing was, I didn't have to buy anything to put in this window - it was all stuff I had laying around the house.

Last night I picked yet another bushel of roma tomatos - although I have a friend who said she needs some romas as hers all bit the dust. Hopefully, she still wants them, as I really don't want to do anything with them right now. We have soccer pictures this morning, so I'll see her at some point then and with any luck, she'll take them.

Life is good.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Little Bit of this....Little Bit of That

Yesterday was a good day - I found a new junk....antique.....rustic store, went home and cleaned 1 room in my house ....that took me 2 hours to clean top to bottom.

And then Tyler had soccer. And Jessie had soccer. At opposite ends of the county, and Todd was on a fire run. Plus I had to pick up a friend's little boy and take him to soccer (same time and place as Jessie's practice, just different coaches). So I drop Cole and Jessie off, let both coaches know that I would not be there, but I would be back and Tyler and I fly 15 miles south to go to his practice. Tyler is in the green shorts, grey shirt and blue socks.

This. kid. is. fast. Coach Hud had to finally tell him - slow up and take a break - make the other kids go for the ball.

This is my nephew Kelton - Tyler finally let him have the ball and make a couple goals in their practice skrimage - after Tyler made about 10 goals. Hud has to split them up on the teams when they practice - or the other team never gets the ball - they tend to feed off one another and dominate the field. And you can see Tyler at the edge of this picture - that was about the furthest away from the ball that he was the whole hour.

Kelton and Tyler are 8 months apart - but Tyler is 4 inches taller than Kelton and Kelton outweighs Tyler by about 35 lbs. They could have been in kindergarten together, but we kept Tyler back a year - April birthday, he really wasn't ready. Now I'm thinking he might have been ready to start kindergarten, but year.

Tonight the girls are coming to walk their calves - should be fun - and I'm going to finish canning peaches this afternoon when I get home. And maybe, just maybe, clean my kitchen. We'll see.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More Canning

Yesterday was peaches - have I mentioned that I LOVE being home from work by 2:30????

I started right in on the bushel of peaches that I brought, and ended up with 7 quart jars. But I still have 1/2 the peaches to go - they aren't ripe enough yet. What a pain in the butt to peel - even after dipping them in boiling water. Another day or so and the rest just may be perfect.

Todd tried out the pickles last night (I had 1 jar that didn't seal). He says they are good, better than the last time so....maybe my method of measuring really does work.

Jessie had a fantastic 1st day of school - loves her classmates, loves her is so great when your child loves to go to school. She was a little bummed though that school cuts into blog reading time (yes, she does sit down and read some of the blogs that are out there with me), but she is so thrilled that after seeing Jacquie's quilt made of vintage sheets, Jacquie sent her the remaining pieces:

Thanks so much Jacquie!!! I was told I need to quit everything else I have in progress and get this done! I also got some more pinwheels quilted - I think I have 2 to go yet. Then the sashings and borders. I hadn't told Todd yet what I was doing - guess I just didn't want anyone in Wayne County to know (if I tanked, then oh well). Well, he found the entry slip and the tickets to the fair, and got all excited. Then he starts panicking - on whether I will have it done or not.

My response - shoot - I have eons of time left - and I work best under deadlines....

This past weekend, Todd also finished up 2nd cutting on hay - until the baler died. So he rented the roundbaler and went to town. I'm just so glad it is done - until 3rd cutting that is. Now he just has to unload it all....

And my SIL - Jenna - gave me these fabulous vintage sheets. Most are pillowcases, but oh there are some pretty ones in here...

That's all for to work...


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

1st day of school

Well, she's off. And so excited - no bye, no hug, no nothing - just hop on that big yellow bus and GO. Hard to believe she is in 3rd grade already - where has the time gone???

I of course, have been up since 5:00 a.m. Not getting ready for her to go to school, but getting the cooler packed for Todd to take on a work fishing trip to Lake Erie. They left at 5:30, which left me nothing but an hour and a half to work on this:

And this:

Pincushion and Needlebook for a swap

It was nice having that little bit of time to do some little things that I really, really need to get done and sent off, however....I am SO not a morning person, so I don't see this becoming a part of my daily routine:)

I thought about attempting some knitting, but when I see projects that my Mom has started - why should I attempt it when I can make her a quilt in exchage for something knitted? ... although I am dying for some socks.. and I just keep pointing her in this direction so she sees all these wonderful sweaters I want someday....


Monday, August 18, 2008

Fend For Yourselves

When I picked up our 3rd (and final) batch of chicks this summer, I asked the gal how we go about integrating them with the 15 chickens we already had (which are already 8 and 9 weeks old). Her response - put them together when these little ones are 3-4 weeks old. If we wait much longer, the older chickens will have already established their pecking order, and things could get nasty.

Tonight is the night Todd is cutting the hole in the chicken coop so the chickens can have access to their run. He told me that I ought to put them together - it would be much easier to catch a little chick in the smaller area than trying to catch them out in their big run if there was a problem and someone wasn't getting along.

So when I got home from work, I tossed little chicks in with big chicks:

The littler chicks are content to stick their heads in the corner and ignore the world.

And the bigger chickens are pretty content to take a few pecks here and there, but stay in their corner of their pen.

Tyler is sitting out there keeping an eye on everyone to make sure there isn't too much fighting going on.

Grey Hairs

I think after yesterday morning, I acquired a few gray hairs.

My SIL is going through a rough time right now - divorce, figuring everything out, and 2 young children (4 and almost 2). Yesterday, as I'm frantically slicing cucumbers before church, my cell rings - it's Jenna. Well, not exactly, it was my 2 year old niece!

All she would say is hi and no!. I'd ask her can I talk to your mommy? NO!

Then she hung up on me (little bugger)!

So I call back to their house phone. Same routine. This went on for about 15 minutes, and I start to worry - I call Jenna's cell phone - no answer. Call the house - I get either the answering machine or Avery.

Just as I'm ready to drive the 15 minutes to get down there, Jenna finally answered the phone - she was in the shower and in the basement doing laundry. She wondered why Avery wasn't bugging her, and we figured out it's because she was bugging me.

I told Jenna - if she didn't give me gray hairs over this - she will definitely be giving you gray hairs in a couple years!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Food preservation haul #2

This weekend I froze 10 dozen ears of sweet corn.

Canned 17 jars of tomato juice and 3 jars of whole tomatoes:

1 bushel of cucumbers turned into pickles:

4 quarts of plums were frozen:

All in all - it really wasn't a lot of work, except for the pickles. The tomato juice I didn't cook at all - just heated it good and hot and canned it. The corn - I cut mine off the cob before cooking it and add water, sugar and salt to it while cooking - tastes exactly like corn on the cob would come wintertime (and somehow, it's quicker to cook it off the cob than cook it on the cob, wait for it to cool and then cut off). The plums I froze whole in baggies, and the pickles were.....let's just say we love them, but if I do a bushel of them at a time, I don't have to do them every year, which is a good thing as they are labor intensive!

Note to self: When I need to do pickles again during the next decade - don't even remotely think you need to do a whole bushel - I have pickles coming out the wazoo!!

Sweet Pickle recipe:

6 lbs. cucumbers
1 lb. onion
1 head garlic
1/3 c. salt
3 cups cider vinegar
4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. tumeric
1 1/2 tsp. mustard seed
2 Tbsp. celery seed

Slice pickles and onions - mix with salt and garlic cloves. Let sit in sink covered with 3 trays ice per side of sink and towels for 3 hours. Rinse and drain.

Mix up cider vinegar, sugar and spices - add pickles. Heat through. Place in jars and can in water bath canner 10-15 minutes for either quarts or pints.

(and if you are like me doing a bushel at a time - I'm not measuring any of this exactly, and they still come out just great:)!!)

A Little Sewing

In between canning tomato juice yesterday I did get in a little quilting:

I have about 1/2 of the stars quilted around, and hope to by the end of the week have the sashings and borders done. I picked a super easy pattern for the sashing and borders - I don't want to have to work entirely too hard at this!! And seeing as it has to be into the fair by September 3rd for judging, I don't have a whole lot of time. But I think I have enough....if I don't get too many more tomatoes out of the garden...

Oh, and we also went on a 4-H field trip to a fruit farm (where I brought my peaches and some plums) and went to my nephew's birthday party and swam all afternoon.

Tomato juice is too simple beyond words.

Today it's pickles (and church and more quilting) and Monday night or Tuesday night it will be peaches.
Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their weekends!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Chained to my Stove

Or....I hate my bushel basket!!

This will be my weekend:

These will be made into tomato juice (Todd likes it for a morning drink with something added - but I forget what), more tomato sauce and some whole tomatoes.

These I will make pickles out of - I'll post the recipe the next time I blog.

Plus the 10 dozen ears of corn I picked up from our Amish neighbor to freeze, and the bushel of peaches I need to pick up tomorrow to can.

And if all the tomatoes that are out in the garden ripen, I will have about 3 more bushels to do something with at some point. Too bad the weeds aren't putting a damper on my tomatoes.

But I'm not thinking about that just yet.


P.S. - I forgot I also have a dozen or so rather large onions to do something with - any suggestions??? (I'm thinking dry them in the dehydrator)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Soccer and Calves

Those 2 subjects really don't go together, do they? But that is what we are up to lately.

Soccer started last night. I got the calls from both coaches that practice was Wednesday night at 6:00 for both of them - at opposite ends of the county. The lady who assigned teams really wasn't paying attention, as Tyler's coach has 2 teams - and Jessie could have been on his older team. But no...she must think I'm superwoman.
So Todd took Tyler to practice and I took Jessie. Jessie will have practice 2 nights a week for 1 1/2 to 2 hours each night. I was a little worried - she moves up into the next age group and they actually play soccer - not just running around kicking the ball. She still hasn't been running very good at therapy, gets tired easily...
But what was I worried for? She ran, she kicked 100 kicks probably with her previously broken leg, came out super sweaty and so excited. Her coach was phenomonal with them - you could just tell he loves soccer and explained it in 8, 9 and 10 year old language.
Then we had to rush home as the girls were coming to walk their calves. They are doing so well. Friday night we are walking them again, with show halters on and Todd will start showing the girls how to use their show sticks and set them up.
And I asked Tyler how he liked soccer when I finally got home (Jessie's practice lasted almost 2 hours). I had fun fighting for that ball - we had a BIG FIGHT. Well then.
Seems Tyler is a lot more mature than last year at this time playing, and will probably get reprimanded by the referree for being to rough...
But I'll take him that way. For the kid who last fall would cry every practice that he didn't want to play - he's having a good old time this year...
And I'm canceling therapy after today - they want her to go until the end of September, but playing this much soccer will be much, much better for her.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's ALL Todd's fault

Sounds good....doesn't it???

Last night at 10:00 I'm looking through the fat quarters I'm going to send for the Vintage Sheet Swap - I have 20 cut, and I thought that was a good amount to send (the number you send is how many you will receive). I can send up to 50.

And he asks me if that is enough since I pretty well depleted my supply of vintage sheets...

So I had to go to Goodwill while at lunch today and get these:

I think the one above is is actually a duvet cover made of sheeting - it will work for me!

17 sheets. All for $22. And all so I can make quilts for my kids for next summer like this and this. And pajama pants. Plus put a few more fat quarters in the ones I want to swap.

See how I rationalize - the quilts I have made both of them end up on the floor for the hot summer nights - if they have quilts made out of sheets, they should be cooler and will actually keep them on their beds.....

Excellent thrifting = one happy momma. And yes, Sara, I know you will say ICK - but this is such fun..... quilts on a budget without buying quilt quality fabric....


Monday, August 11, 2008

This weekend past

This weekend must have been the kick off for my food preservation weekend.

I froze 3 dozen ears of corn (I have 10 doz. more on order from our Amish neighbor - the racoons found our patch and demolished it):

A gazillion sweet peppers were frozen:

And made tomato sauce:

And Sunday I made a batch of soap and finished up the tomato sauce (I let it cook Friday night from 6-10 p.m., Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. and today cooked it from noon until I canned it in the evening). Unfortunately, so far my soap is not looking the way it normally looks (at least the last 2 times I've made it) - but from what I'm reading on the web, I can re-melt it and it should be better than before - so that will be tried 1 night this week. Todd thinks I'm just panicking because I took it out of the mold sooner than I normally would which could be, as I do tend to obsess about things like this.....

This week I hope to get peaches canned, another batch of tomato sauce (I picked almost a half a bushel on Sunday) and next weekend will be sweet pickles.

Yummy, yum....