Friday, October 31, 2008

I've been BOO'ED

by LuAnn over at Loose Threads. Thanks LuAnn!!!!

And to pass it on....if you're on my links on the side bar - or a newbie who is reading my blog where either you've left a comment for me or I've left a comment for you - feel free to take it. I can't just pick a couple of you.
Hope everyone has a FUN and SAFE halloween. We are off to my parent's tonight for Jessie and Tyler to go trick or treating and draw a name for the winner of Mom's giveaway!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Jessie and I went back to Akron Children's today for a checkup for her arm.

Her surgeon is thrilled with how well this bone is healing. Arm bones must heal quicker than leg bones. 6 weeks after the accident (today), she graduated to a short waterproof cast. We were out of there by 4:20, home by 5:15 and she was in the shower by 5:20 rinsing her arm.

If you look closely, you can see all the irritated skin where her eczema flared up under the cast - that has been washed with her soap and lotion put on - hopefully in a few days it will clear up and be good as new.

She will go back on the 17th to hopefully be done with casts, and then follow up visits at 6 months and 1 year to make sure it is all healed.

She says she picked orange to go with her witch's halloween costume for trick or treating tomorrow night:)


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Baby Quilts

With 5 friends having babies between now and late next spring, I've been thinking what to give the new mothers. 3 of them this is their first baby, 2 this is the second or third. But I'm thinking baby quilts like this one I made for Tyler when he was just a few months old:

I made it for him because we had no one give him a baby quilt or afghan when he was born (and Jessie received 3 quilts and 7 afghans all handmade). So I made it for him so he would have at least 1. Everyone gave us boy clothes instead, since all we had was pink.

So leftover firetruck fabric from Tyler's quilt:

will be turned into at least 2 baby quilts;

And this John Deere fabric will turn into a quilt similar to this one (since no one in our house is a John Deere fan):

Of course, I then had to hunt through my stash for fabric for quilts for the little girls being born:

The only reason I'm thinking of this now (when I should be thinking Christmas presents and finishing up what is already started and almost done) is 1 of the showers is next weekend:)


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Repurposed Finds

We have a bull. He's not mean by any stretch of the imagination, but he likes to play. One of his favorite toys is the water trough. He pushes it from one end of the concrete to the other, out into the field, end over end. Which means they get busted quite frequently. Which means purchasing a new one at usually a little more than $100 (we've been through 3 so far this year).

Then Todd was driving by an abandoned farm, and saw this:

Friends of ours farm it, so he asked them if we could bring it home and use it for a water trough. Seal up the drain and the overflow, and we were good to go (although we've never seen one with a base like this one). It was pretty funny watching the bull hit it with his head for the first time, thinking he was going to send it going end over end. He stepped back, shook his head, tried it again, and has since left it alone.

I would love to have it in a flowerbed full of flowers, I don't have to go out into the pasture when I get home from work every day and drag the water trough back up to the shed and fill it again.

I did tell the kids - if they get covered in mud and think they are going to tramp through the house one more time - they can take a bath out with the cows. Which they thought would be fun.

The red wall has 2 more coats of paint - and looks like it's good to go.
PJ's are sewn together - I did use a pattern (McCalls) that I found at JoAnn's last year when they were on sale for 99 cents - I just need to stop and get some elastic for the waists. That has been the extent of my sewing in the last few days.
And the cat? He is now named Midnight, and I think once we make the trip to PA here in a couple weeks, he'll become an inside cat. Why not - he's been in the house with the kids every night watching TV (Tyler said he likes watching the Steelers play). It's actually rather cute to see them laying on the floor and him stretched out next to them. Every time you open the back door, he makes a mad dash for the house and tries to sneak in.

Have a good day!

Monday, October 27, 2008


I got 1 wall in Tyler's bedroom painted:

It's red - there's no question about that. And I love it. And the lady at Home Depot was right - it's going to take another quart of paint, and probably another 2 coats to get even coverage. But it will be so worth it. Next up is the royal blue wall. At least paint is cheap.

And I worked on Christmas presents over the weekend. I'm turning these:

into pj pants for Tyler. I've made 2 pairs for Jessie so far. With tshirts I found at Children's Place over the weekend for 97 cents each, they'll both have new pj's for Christmas.

We had a beautiful weekend - cooler but oh so nice. So we spent a LOT of time outside cleaning up - a friend had given us 30 pieces of industrial strength gutter 25 foot long - we put those up in the rafter of the barn:

Yes, crappy photo but I was trying to run the skidloader and lift Todd up in the air to put the gutters up in the rafters.

And other little odds and ends projects. Hope everyone had a good weekend!


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Daddy and Mommy are Softies...

.....either that or SUCKERS!

Tyler is at the babysitter's today - and there was a strange cat hanging around. The babysitter's husband would not let her keep it. Tyler knew enough to know he didn't want to let him get rid of it. Tyler and the babysitter check door to door all around the neighborhood - no one is claiming it...

So when I show up to pick him up, it's oh please mommy, can I keep him. I'll feed him and play with him and take good care of him.

I call Todd (actually, I sent him a picture message of Tyler and the cat, and asked him how he liked Tyler's new pet). 30 seconds later - Todd calls me.

What sex is this cat? and Is it fixed.

It's a male (I think - Todd will have to check for sure). And I don't think it's fixed.

Is it tame?

Seems to be.

What the heck, bring him home. If he's still around when we go to PA in a couple weeks to visit the relatives, we'll take it with us and have it fixed (his uncle is a vet).

So Tyler has a new cat, and he is one happy little boy.

And me, who is allergic to cats, is hoping I can keep this wonderfully friendly and loving animal out of the house!


It's been busy here - we've been enjoying some very nice (but very cold) weather here.

The garden is cleaned up for the winter and I'm working on my flowerbeds and finishing up the apples that I have. I still have to winterize the pond - but I'm trying to figure out a way to do it without wading in there - I'm sure that water is COLD!

Todd's getting ready to start picking corn - with only 2 acres, it shouldn't take long at all - with any luck.

And I've been working on little projects like these:

Still have to put the stem on the pumpkin and the hanger on the ornament.

I did finish quilting the last of my bloggy birthday gifts (on my new quilting frame wich worked wonderfully - again). And I have 3 tops all ready to be basted and quilted, but I think they are too big for the frame.

And Tyler wants his room painted, so I think that is what will be happening at our house this weekend.

Originally he wanted it painted blue, grey, red, black orange and green, but we've convinced him to do 1 wall blue, 1 wall red and the remaining 2 walls either light grey or a light beige color. Where he came up with his color combo, I'll never figure out (other than he said something about the blue and grey for the Huskies, the red and black for firefighter, the green for Smithies - a neighboring school - and the orange cause he likes it). And of course, we had to pick colors that would match his quilt (and I'm not painting a room black)!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


And a big THANK YOU to CozyCoops Corner for this great idea:

I don't know what I'm going to fill the sack with - maybe twigs? And I still need to attach it to the bird and a hanger to the bird, and put eyes on it but....

It's done and I love it. So much so, I think I'll keep this one for myself. Oh well - back to the drawing board! Or I'll make one in a different color to give as a Christmas gift. I have an idea (insert Todd rolling his eyes here) about a 4 foot skinny Christmas tree decorated with all country-themed looking ornaments. I'd really love a whole Christmas tree done that way but...I have too many ornaments that are precious to us to not even think of putting them all out. I'd really like a tree in each room but.....have to work on that one.

And here's another ornament I made:

This one is 4 inches square - this could become addicting!


Monday, October 20, 2008

Darn it all to Heck

I get such inspiration from blogland - ideas of things for in the garden, what to grow and how to grow it, crafts to make, quilts to do, ways to clean, organize and even shop better!

And I have an ornament swap coming up - I've started my ornaments, but saw something cuter that I think my swap partner would like. I just saw it today - and thought I'm going to try and make something similar when I get home tonight. But like an idiot, I didn't write down the blog name. And since I read faithfully (but don't always comment faithfully) over 100 blogs, do you think I can find it?????? Nope. It's nowhere to be found.

I know I still have my original idea - mostly done. And I know I have time to find it - sort of. But.... I'm 99.99999% certain I read it sometime today (see, the sometimers is kicking in here - could've been yesterday I read it) so guess I'll be going back and reading everyone's blog posts again. Which is fine - I enjoy catching up on everyone's lives time and time again. There are a couple blogs I know this doesn't belong to, but in the interest of being fair, I'll read each and every one again (at least your most recent posts).

And now I am off to put the kids in bed, find that post and turn this:

into an ornament for my swap partner!

Wonder if Todd will notice that he is missing a feed sack from the barn?????


My New Quilt Frame

For those of you who asked about my quilt frame, this post is for you:)

I've wanted a long arm quilt machine, but the cost is a little prohibitive, for Todd and I, at this point in time.

I found this website on the web, and was intrigued. According to it I could use my machine like a long arm machine, but also, the frame is lightweight, stores easily, and I could do hand quilting on it too. I really need to learn how to hand quilt (and I have a hoop stand frame and a Q snap frame). There is a link on the home page that you can watch the same DVD they send with the frame to set it up.

After checking on ebay, I found 1 for $69.99 plus s/h (which I think was around $15). I could have brought just the hardware for $49 (and brought my own rails) but to begin with, I wanted the whole set up.

It goes together ok - it took me about an hour watching the DVD and following along step by step. And that was putting it all together and loading the quilt onto it as well.

Quilting was a breeze. Once I figured out just where to put the PVC pipes that support the quilt frame on either side of my machine, and the easiest way to hold the frame - the quilting flew by.

Advancing the quilt to quilt new parts is not bad - a little tricky the first couple times but then it was fine. This frame it is easiest if you quilt from left to right and go all the way across the quilt. Then at the end you cut your threads and start at the left all over again. It mentioned (I think) in the DVD that you can stop with your needle down and advance the quilt on the frame, but I'm not co-ordinated enough to do that. And I could just see trying to explain to Todd that he needs to fix my machine again cause I bent something doing that!

I think it may waste a little more backing fabric (and I am one that likes to slide by with as little waste as possible) but I'm not sure. I did load 2 more tops onto it yesterday when I was done with this one (2 table toppers that are each about 18" square) - I loaded them side by side, the idea beingI can quilt across the first one and keep going right across the second one. We'll see how that works. The plus side is what waste you have is at least 44" wide (or however wide your backing is) and 6-8" long - so it's a good size piece of fabric.

I do not like how the machine is positioned only for 1 fact - it is extremely hard to thread the machine (and maybe that is just me). Or I just cannot thread my machine if I am not facing it head on. It does take up a lot of space to quilt (you need about 4' on each side of your machine clear) but I just set it up on my kitchen table. I have plans of putting a 6 or 8 foot folding table in my sewing room and using that.

But, I'm happy I brought it and Todd is already planning on going to the hardware store and getting me rails to do bigger quilts on it. Since most of my quilts tend to be twin or double sized quilts....


Sunday, October 19, 2008


This could possibly, hopefully not, be one of the last really nice weekends we may have - chilly (it's only 56 right now), but we got so much done - I'm glad.

We have a shed - when we moved here 10 years ago, there was this little shed and the house and that was it. So we use it to store things, since for about 5 or 6 years, we didn't have a basement. Well - junk gets thrown in there to the point you can't walk in there - so after we got home from work (yes I had to work a Saturday - hopefully this won't happen too often!) we cleaned it out. I still have to organize the shelves least we can put the patio furniture in there for winter and get in the door!

Then Sunday I put together my new quilt frame:

Notice the mini DVD player in the background? It came with an instructional DVD showing exactly how to set it up, so of course, it was easier to watch and follow along!

And quilted this table runner on it:

I think I'm going to like this quilt frame. I love the quilting process, but not the pin basting process. This works like a long arm quilt frame, but on your regular sewing machine. The rods that are with it will let me quilt up to a 44" quilt top, but I can buy bigger ones to go up to a queen size quilt. Setting it up took a while (about an hour) but I was done with the quilting in about 30 minutes. AND - no more running over safety pins (which I am extremely good at - the last time Todd had to take the needle holder off my Bernina to get the safety pin out).

And I baked more bread (the recipe can be found here). I still like my original bread recipe, but this was quick, easy and it only made 1 loaf (my normal recipe from Angie makes 2 loaves, which while we don't have a problem eating, we have to push on through to consume 2 loaves before they go bad):

Cleaned and painted the stove pipe so we can start having fires in the woodburner at night (ignore the rust - it's now a nice, flat black!):

And painted Jessie's headboard and footboard for her bed. It's only been sitting in the basement for the last 2 years waiting for me to get to it (I painted it with primer today - it will be painted white tomorrow or Tuesday, depending on the weather):

She has a soft-sided waterbed that did not come with a headboard and footboard, but the frame sticks out at the end just enough you easily bang your shins on it. So I found this in my in-laws barn and Todd says he can just bolt it to the current bed frame. We'll see how that works.

Oh and we cleaned up the garden and the chicken coop, and vaccinated all the calves this morning.

And in more exciting news, we went to the surgeons on Thursday - in 2 weeks she gets a short arm waterproof cast (so she can wash it and take a shower) and then 2 weeks after that she should be done with the cast. He said she could start gym and soccer, but we didn't let her do soccer on Saturday. It was the last game, she hasn't been to a practice in 4 weeks - so....she's anxiously awaiting the spring soccer league!


Friday, October 17, 2008

A Unanimous Success

We love pizza. Plain old pepperoni and lots (and lots) of cheese pizza. I've been making most of our own pizza since late last winter, with mixed results. Most of my issues stem from the crust. To hard, to dry, to blah...

But we have found a winner:

Although I did a major oops on this recipe (believe me, the crust will make 2 very large pizzas - not 1 like I thought:)) and the crust is thick, it's light, it's chewy it's totally yummy. And I did it in the bread machine, which will now hold a place of honor in the kitchen.

Go check out Angie's blog for the recipe for the crust - I'm not re-typing it, I've already wrote it out!
For the sauce, I used tomato sauce (canned right from the garden) and punched it up with Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, dried onions and garlic from the garden, oregano and parsley (both dried) from the garden. Can't tell you how much, I pretty much just guessed (go light on the crushed red pepper flakes and garlic!)
The kids have each ate 3-4 pieces. And Todd and I have pretty much finished the rest of it.

Corn Mazes and Pumpkin Patches

Yesterday I went with Tyler's preschool class to a corn maze/pumpkin patch right around the corner from our house (about 1 mile away). It was such fun - even in the rain.

He's got a wonderful teacher, speech therapist, and assistant who all went along - the kids had a blast.

The corn maze was done in the pattern of a pirate ship. Looking at the Map (I got to lead everyone through it) it looked huge, but really, only took about 15-20 minutes to walk our way through. And I wasn't straying from the path - there were enough twists and turns I'd have gotten us lost for sure!

Then it was take Jessie to Akron Children's to get an xray done on her arm - to make sure she has not put it out of place - its still in place and in 2 weeks, she can get a short arm waterproof cast on it! And then 2 more weeks after that and we should be DONE. WHOOOOO HOOOOOO

While we were in the waiting room, she read a book and I worked on this:

Then when we got home, I blocked my cropped cardigan that my Mom made for me. I LOVE it. So much, I wore jeans to work today just so I could wear it!

I'll have to get a better picture taken later - it's awesome. And so nice and warm!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My New Knit, a birthday, a Give-away and a Quilt Block

My new knit (which my Mom knit for me - I love it!!!). It still needs blocked (which I have to do) but I so cannot wait to wear it. Any suggestions on how to block it? It's 100% wool, I'm pretty sure. So no tossing it in the dryer on the high setting for me!:

My Mom's birthday is today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM & GRANDMA (the Grandma part is from Jessie & Tyler)!!!! Stop on over at her blog and wish her a happy birthday.

My Mom and my Sister are both having give-aways. Something knitted from my Mom, and a bag from my sister (but my sister's you actually have to think on). So go pay them a visit! I know what Mom's knitting - and it's next on my list that I want!! hehe.

And here's block #67 from the Nearly Insane Quilt:

And yes, our corn crib is looking a little thin, but we have 2 acres of corn to put into it once we get the corn picker out and get going - which will be sometime in the next couple of weeks:)

Have a good day everyone!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Nice Thing About a New to me Computer Hutch

Is that I can find all my crap when I need it (untill I forget where I put it!!)!!!

My SIL is going through a rough patch right now and is really short on cash (aren't we all?) but I've been drooling over this hutch/desk for months now, and when she offered it to me so dang cheap, I just couldn't refuse.

And never fear - Jessie has my old one in her room. Honestly, the things they want these kids to do in school (in 3rd grade) requires her to be on the internet 2-3 nights a week for a 1/2 hour. So she's got our old computer in her room, with internet connection, to hopefully help her study better.

So I set her up with what websites she can get on (I have everything else blocked so she can't stumble somewhere she shouldn't) and that way, if she wants to get on a different website, I have to go in there and change the settings. That's the wonderful thing about Verizon DSL - GREAT parental controls....And she has her math games on this computer - the deal being she has to do 15-20 minutes of Math 5 times a week.

I did get some sewing in last night - but this is the only picture I took:

Block #14 of the Nearly Insane Quilt - it's a 6" block that is all paper pieced. Kristie encouraged me to start this, and it was fun doing the first block. Of course, I made myself finish up 1 top before starting this block - that will be my motivation to get everything done!

And this morning at 6:00 we were outside moving round bales. The bales that Todd baled last week heated up and were smelling pretty bad. So Todd got up early and moved them outside so we didn't burn the barn down:

See ya,


Monday, October 13, 2008

End of Soccer

Well, fall soccer ended for Tyler on Saturday - a little bit of a let down. His coach actually kept track - Tyler scored the most goals over the 6 games with 37. The team won 5 games, lost 1. So Tyler was extremely bummed that soccer is done until next Spring.

I could not get a good video of him scoring a goal, but here's some pictures of him:

He hates playing goalie with a passion!

Saturday night we had a fire department hog roast. Of course, Todd tells me about this Friday, and there is costume judging for the kids. Tyler's costume is done. Jessie's I still need to do the dress and buy her a witch's hat. So we come home from soccer, I sew the dress, and on the way in we stop at the store and buy a witch's hat - and no other kids had costumes on, so they didn't do costume judging. At least I am ready for Halloween though.

It was a beautiful afternoon. We played cornhole:

Talked with friends:

The kids painted pumpkins:

Some adults tried to hula hoop with the kids (around their necks, no less):

And went on a chilly hayride after dark where the kids got into a hay fight:

Jessie came over to me about 9:30 (where I was sitting extremely close to the fire trying to stay warm), sat on my lap and proceeded to FALL ASLEEP. And she slept until Todd finally put her in the Durango at 10:30 to go home. While Tyler ran around with the rest of the kids like a banshee ready to roll all night long.

Our 3rd cutting of hay is baled, the barns were cleaned out and we had fun. What more could we ask for??