Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm Back

Sort of.

It was a wonderful weekend - and of course, I spent it sick.

Thursday was fantastic with our families. The bird was good (deep fried), everything was scrumptious, and I don't believe anyone ate way to much.

Jessie and our niece, Avery, had a good time with Jessie's makeup. Jessie did Avery, and then Avery did Jessie. I have a really, really cute video of them dancing, but I will have to get to a different computer. Mine doesn't want to upload video.

Of course, I spent all morning and most of the afternoon cleaning like a maniac.

Then I went to Wal-Mart (?!?!?!) Friday morning. Early. Friday. Morning. See, they had a printer on sale, which is what Jessie wants for Christmas. And my grandmother (80 years young) wanted a Wii. So I left the house at 4:20. To get both of those things, run across the street to Home Depot and get a tool set for Tyler. And be back home by 6:30 and back in bed.

Then Todd left for PA at 10:00, I crawled to the recliner and slept until about 3:00. Did chores and crashed again. Dizzy, headachey, chills, hot, cold, get the idea.

Then Saturday the kids and I were at JoAnn Fabrics by 7:30, at Burger King for breakfast by 9, and then home for a few hours, to take them to my parents for the rest of the day and overnight by noon. And I headed for Target, finished most all of my Christmas shopping, visited with a friend for an hour, to go home and clean Tyler's room (6 trash bags of junk later) and collapse again.

Today we decorated for Christmas, and this is what my living room looks like:

At least I feel human now and ready to tackle the rest of it tonight so the rest of my vacation can be spent on fun stuff (like putting up the outside decorations, sewing, baking, quilting, ....).

Todd comes back late Wednesday night, and he darn well better be bringing some venison with him. I am sick of beef.....


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

This will be short and sweet as I'm madly cleaning and baking in preparation for overstuffing myself later on this afternoon!

Jessie, Tyler and the cousins

I hope everyone has a wonderful day and remembers to count our blessings! We are so grateful for our family, our friends, our health, our way of life, our land and our animals....



Todd, Kris, Jessie and Tyler

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Another Finish

A Christmas tree skirt, sort-of using this tutorial:

I used this tutorial for the flying geese - pretty simple. I think all together (piecing, quilting, and binding) it took me about 4 hours tops. And actually, I hand sewed the binding on during our weekend in PA, but I had run out of thread to quilt the top, so I had to go to JoAnn's to get more thread and finish quilting it.

I'm thinking more of these could make the cut next year for Christmas gifts for close family and friends.

It measures 48 inches square. And this was my first attempt at bias binding - which I sewed on completely by hand in the truck on the way home from PA.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008


The snow is pretty...but the rain yesterday sure wasn't. Especially since it is just warm enough to turn everything to mud. Fortunately, we are back to snow here in Wayne County, Ohio today, and while I don't like the cold, I will take snow over rain any day.

We've finally gotten up around 2 doz. eggs - and Tyler so badly wants to sell a dozen, so I think Todd took a dozen to work today - he has people asking every day when "Tyler's eggs" will be ready - I think he figured it out - he could sell 5-7 dozen eggs a week just at his work. They are giving us about 2-3 eggs a day now. I spent some time out there after work yesterday putting a timer on the heat lamp to give them enough "light." And also to keep it warm for them out there. The chicken coop was made out of rough cut lumber, so it's not exactly "wind tight."

And the chickens think it's fun to swing on the hanging feeder:

And I never showed a picture of the new bull. This is David:

He got his head stuck in the headgates the first night we had him when we went to feed the cows. He's got a rather large head. At least he was calm while we took the headgates apart to free him.

And this is what I've been keeping going. We've figured it out - and if we load it up right before going to bed, and I get out of bed when my alarm clock goes off and start it up again....we can keep it running 24/7 and our furnace won't kick on:

Doesn't look like it's doing much, but it was rip-roaring in here last night. In the room where this woodburner is, it was 87 degrees last night. It's taken a couple years, but we've finally figured out how to run the fans in the house, what size wood to put in it, what kind of wood to put in it and all that fun stuff.
See ya,

Monday, November 24, 2008


Well, we survived the weekend, although I didn't get as much done as I would have liked.

I did get a bunch of Christmas gifts done on Saturday. Still to do….something for my Mom, my grandmother's fabric basket, something for the kids' teachers and a few odds and ends for the kids.

Yesterday was spent at the In-laws. It was fun but…..if you tell us we are eating at 1 – 1:30, don't wait until 5:30 to finally get around to eating. Grrr…. So the day was wasted insofar as getting things done at home but….at least I didn't have to cook! One fun thing we did though was make advent calendars. I don't have a good picture of the finished calendar – but you attach little charms/ornaments to it for each day. I'll try and take one in the next couple of days.

And Midnight is certainly a cat who enjoys his creature comforts. He's been inside since visiting the vet last Monday, although he does NOT use the litter box. He acts just like a dog in that regard – that he goes to the back door and waits to be let out, and then waits to be let back in. So far my allergies aren't too bad – but we are very careful to keep him out of our bedroom. And I try to remember to wash my hands if I've picked him up. I've only had 1 day that my allergies acted up, and that was one of the first days he was in the house.

The great news – I feel like I made some real headway on Christmas gifts. And I am off of work this Thursday and Friday, and all next week so I will be on a roll next week with the cleaning, decorating, crafting and possibly baking. Todd leaves for PA on Friday a.m. to go deer hunting so the kids and I will be rattling around by ourselves.

And what does that top picture have to do with my post? Well, nothing, other than it's one of the first quilts that I made out of flannel. Actually, my Mom, sister and I each have one that we made oh…..must've been 7 or 8 years ago….I think Jessie was just a baby…

Have a good day!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'm color blind

Jessie and I went to JoAnn's last night - to get a bunch of little stuff to finish up some Christmas presents (web strapping, snaps, zippers, know, the boring stuff)

I needed black double fold bias binding - I grab 2 packs. As I'm working on the gift today (can't show a full picture - the person will know what it is) I realize - I grabbed a pack of black, and a pack of grey. DUH! So back to JoAnn's I'll go at some point.

But, I've gotten lots done today in addition to the gift above:

Jessie's Messenger Bag - except for the snaps. I'm not sure where to put them/if this needs snaps....

2 hot/cold therapy bags. I still need to fill the muslin liners with rice - but at the moment, I don't have enough rice in the house. And I need to make a fabric basket to store these in....

Next up is more quilted pillows, and Tyler's Messenger bag out of these fabrics:

Oh, and here's a picture of Jessie and Blair dressed up as little pilgrim girls:

And yes, you are seeing correctly - one of their little friends is making rabbit ears behind their heads.......

Stay warm!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Revised Christmas List

I've been busy. Between chores, a firefighter appreciation dinner put on by a local church for the fire department, planing the Fire Department Christmas party, church play practice for the kids, and finishing up some pj pants sold on Etsy, I've tried to squeeze in some time for working on Christmas gifts.
I thought I had a list and a pretty good idea of what I was making for everyone. I've got most of the fabric pulled, and except for some odds and ends I won't have to buy too much.
Then I got this book in the mail yesterday, and now I have to totally revise my Christmas gift giving list:
And of course, I thought Great - I'll try making the sun visor organizer before I give it as a gift. Wouldn't want it to look like crap or anything.
Then Jessie's little friend calls. They are doing a Thanksgiving lunch at school and the kids can dress up as Pilgrims or Indians. Could I make her and Jessie 2 dresses, aprons and hats. I say of course, and then think about it - and at 7:00 realized the Thanksgiving lunch is today! So the other Mom went and picked up 2 dresses from a friend and 1 apron, and I quick made each girl a mob cap and Jessie an apron. No pictures - I finished all this up at 10:00 last night. I am going to the school to help out with this lunch, so I'll get some pictures then.
So at 10:00 I started on this:

Love it. I didn't have the bias binding (and wasn't into making some at 10:30 at night), so I just did straight grain binding, I didn't have the grosgrain ribbon, but used some fabric, and it doesn't have the snaps on the large pocket yet's a lifesaver. My Durango has no where to put sunglasses, pens, etc. so either they fall to the floor or I am forever sitting on them. Todd helped me out by fitting it to the visor in HIS TRUCK (I asked him when he went out late to check on the chickens and the dogs if he could quick see if this was the right size, and eyeball where the elastic should go). DUH. But it fits in my Durango and once I figure out what snaps to get for the pocket, I'll be set.

And now I'm off to revise my Christmas gift giving list.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Snow and Eggs

We woke up this morning to 2-3" of snow. Pretty - but I like it much better when I don't have to drive in it. And of course, school was put on a 2 hour delay, which meant dropping the kids off somewhere else before school.

These are our eggs (minus 2 days worth from when we were gone over the weekend). Jason said between Friday night and Sunday morning they collected 5 eggs. When we got home Sunday, we got 2 more, none yesterday and 1 so far this morning. I've been plugging in their light in the afternoons about 4:00 and leaving it on until 7:30 or 8 (or a little later) and I think the 2 days of them having more darkness didn't help.

And the chickens probably got the daylights scared out of them when Tyler left the door to the chicken coop open when we got home on Sunday, and when Todd and I went out to feed, they were all wandering around lost in front of the coop. They went right back in but.....they were a little nervous.
And here is Jessie on Gambler. She had to really kick to get him to move.

Jessie FINALLY got her cast of yesterday morning. Now she has a brace on it for 2-3 weeks. The surgeon/doctor at Akron Children's said it could take upwards of 1 1/2 to 2 years to totally heal. So she's in a brace for 3 weeks but still.....much, much better than a cast. Her wrist is really stiff but she'll get better quick (hopefully).

And (not to be left out) - here is Tyler on Gambler. He couldn't get him to trot unless someone helped him a little.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Jessie's Tulip Surprise

While traveling in the car, and sitting around talking and eating over the course of the weekend, I managed to finish Jessie's quilt for Christmas.

But really, all I had to do yet was sew the binding on.

The top is made from vintage sheets sent to me by Jacquie, and it is backed in nice, warm flannel. It measures about 48" square.

And the silly girl tells me, as I am sewing on the binding - that's so pretty Mommy - can you make one just like it for me? hehe - I told her it was for a friend's babyshower for after the 1st of the year.

Then last night, I started on this for her for Christmas:

We'll see how this Messenger Bag holds up. I still have to finish the edges, put a strap on it, and some sort of closure. Complete with 2 compartments and 5 pockets. I lined this one in cotton, with fusible interfacing. I'm thinking I should have used 2 layers of home decorator fabric (which is what the stripe is) but oh well. For Tyler's, I'll try using home decorator fabric for both the outside and the lining. Since this one is from fabric found in my stash, if it only lasts to the end of the school year, I'm happy with it.


Sunday, November 16, 2008


We made it. And we didn't have to stop on the way out to shoot that stupid bull.....although it was close.

4 hours with a truck, trailer, a nervous bull who COULD NOT stop pacing, and 2 kids. The bull wouldn't stand still - so the truck and trailer swayed side to side and back and forth - for 190 miles at 65 mph. I wanted to tear out my hair the rocking was so bad. The kids were great - other than stopping every hour or so because they "HAD TO GO." But really, it wasn't bad.

A day and a half really wasn't long enough. All of Todd's family is back there. We got there about 7:30 (left our drive at 3:45), and it was go nonstop.

From riding and driving horses - I don't have pics of them driving the cart and horse:(:

I'd love to buy this horse for Jessie and Tyler, but we already have 3, one of which is just as good as this horse, if I'd work her a little bit and she went on a diet:). He's for sale, so maybe next spring he'll still be around and we can think again.

Tyler wanted this horse, but she's only 6 and isn't finished off yet in her training:

To playing in the pig barn:

To looking at the million calves they raise every year (this is a very small portion of them).

Then this morning we loaded up the new bull, put the truck in the wind and headed home. There was a steer calf back there that Todd's uncle kept telling us to load up and bring back home for Jessie to show next year at the fair. We should have. Really should have. But we were afraid the bull would be a moron (which he wasn't) and we pulled in about 2:45 (left out there around 11 or so).

Videos of the kids riding to follow.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bye Bye Mr. Bull

He is loaded. He is ready to go home.

We are off for a weekend trip to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Of course, we aren't coming home empty - we are bringing a new bull home to use for the next couple years.

I'm sure Mr. Bull will miss his harem, but really, he'll have a whole new harem next year totalling throughout the year about 100 cows.....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Death of a Quilt

If you haven't figured it out by now, I LOVE quilts. Old, new, big, small.

But what I really love are the vintage ones.

And I had this quilt. It has special meaning to me (having been in the family for umpteen million years), but it was so shredded. It's been in an attic for who knows how long, it's probably 90 years old, well used, well worn, well loved. I tried fixing it, but I think there are some things that should never be attempted, and fixing this quilt was one of them. I came up with an idea to make pillows out of it like these.

It took me 3 months to get up the nerve to cut into this quilt with a pair of scissors. And I had to call my Mom for moral support while I made the first cut. You would not belive how many times I picked up the scissors only to put them down because I could not make that first cut. Interestingly enough, the basket blocks are in great shape, it's the sashings and borders that shredded.

So now I have 12 pillows to make, and a million little basket squares that I think I'm going to frame.

More Christmas presents down. YES!!!!!!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Monday night Todd came home from work and picked a load of corn in the dark.

Tuesday night he came home and finished:

And we unloaded it into the corn crib using our hay elevator. Works for the most part.

Tyler had fun pushing the corn down. Gives me a start to see him climbing around in the wagon but....

The best part is, this should be enough to feed our animals for the next year (should easily last that long - last year we fed 11 full size head and 3 younger ones through the winter - this year we will be feeding 5 full size head and 5 younger ones).

Me - I'm just glad it's not me sitting out there on the tractor - it's 38 degrees right now.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

20 - 21 weeks

Some of the chickens (the Barred Rocks and Silver Laced Wyandots) were 21 weeks old yesterday. The Rhode Island Reds were 20 weeks old yesterday. And the Jersey Giants and Astralorp were 16 weeks old.
And we FINALLY got our first egg today:

A little small, but....some "biddy" out there is stepping up to the plate! I don't know which hen laid this (for obvious reasons) but I'm pretty sure it wasn't a Jersey Giant or the Aracana. The hatchery told me the Jersey Giants it could take them 30 weeks to start laying.
Hopefully the rest will kick into egg production within the next few weeks. We've got a lamp out there on a timer (at the hatchery's suggestion) to trick them into thinking there is more daylight than there really is.
Now as long as I can convince Tyler he cannot sell just his one egg......

Donkey Party

For those of you wondering what a donkey party is.....

My MIL thought this up 3 or 4 years ago. In addition to celebrating the birth of Jesus at Christmas, she thought the donkey ought to be celebrated for carrying a pregnant Mary around (yes, warped sense of things, but they have miniature donkeys, and I think this is an excuse for her to have a party with a bunch of little kids...really though it is a lot of fun).

We play donkey games (pin the tail on the donkey, donkey bingo, break a donkey pinata), string donkey beads, and drive their miniature donkeys around in the cart.

And of course, eat and stand around a fire and talk.....

Since I was working this year, I don't have pictures from this year's party. I told Todd to take the camera, but....he is a man. I should have let Jessie take the camera but....she is 8.