Saturday, January 31, 2009


And NO, this time it's not me!!!

Today was a busy day. Todd was bringing home an industrial sized snow blower to clear our lane - and a county snow plow truck ran him into the ditch. Todd says it's a good thing actually that the driver didn't stop - he (Todd) was hopping mad! So we had to call another farm neighbor to bring his backhoe to get the tractor and snowblower back on the road.

Todd blew out the driveway with the industrial sized snow blower:

Actual video to come when my computer cooperates!

This is how wide our driveway/lane is at the moment. I think I have plenty of room to make it up to the house without getting stuck in a drift for now:

Jessie cheered between the JV & Varsity games, and she actually knew the cheers and did them correctly! She amazes me how every single year she gets better and better.

She is the one in the center of the photo in pants...

Again, video to come when my computer cooperates!

Then at 11:00 p.m. the neighbor's wife called. Her husband has both their blazer and their truck stuck in the ditch just down the road. Or maybe it was two blazers and a truck. Or both trucks and their blazer. Anyhow, she wondered if Todd could come help him get out of the ditch. So Todd loaded up his truck with chains and tow straps, and off he went to see if he could unstick him. No pictures from this escapade. It's too cold for me out there, although I did tell Todd if he needed anything, to call me. Hopefully he won't:)

We came home from the basketball game at 9:00, and there were people in the ditch all over the place. Our road is barely passable - not quite a full lane to get through. At least it is warming up some - it's 29 degrees right now.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday!

GO STEELERS!!!!!!!!!!!!


Friday, January 30, 2009

Does this look Blonde????????

Because Todd sure is wondering if I am not blonde!!!

My kind and generous boss let me off work at noon today - because the kids are home from school so I can go home to be with them. I'dve been better off to stay at work til 2:00. A friend of ours called and said "hey, want to meet us at the movie theater in Wooster at 2:25?" I thought yes, I'll run home real quick, get the gift cards the kids got to the movie theater, go get the kids and we'll take in a matinee.


I got 50 feet in the drive and got stuck. Big time stuck.

So I call Todd - he's about an hour away for work. He calls a friend of his while I try all of our neighbors that could possibly have a tractor or a truck to pull me out. A friend is driving truck and will be home in an hour, our neighbors tractor died this morning, the other neighbor will come and pull me out when he gets done working on a car for someone.

And I sit.

A nice (read sarcasm here) county worker in a big snow plow truck stopped and asked me gee, you sure are stuck! No S*#^ sherlock - put that big truck to use and pull me out please! But then he climbed back in that nice big snowplow truck and drove off.

I walk up to the house for a shovel, and start digging from underneath the truck. There is clear drive in front of the Durango and behind the durango - but I managed to straddle a ginormous drift.

I sit, call another neighbor - he's not home. Call a friend of ours - he's in Columbus.

FINALLY, 2 hours later the neighbor shows up - with what must be one of the first pickups ever made. 2 wheel drive, about the size of a Ranger. No such luck getting me out. In fact, he got stuck in our drive and we had to dig him out.

FINALLY, the calvary arrived. 2 good yanks and I was out and free to go get the kids. And get a few things at the store so I don't have to do any driving tomorrow.

I so badly wanted to take a picture of the various people who tried to get me out - but I'm sure they would not understand the whole concept of I need the pictures for my blog. And since I had to drive the Durango while they pulled.....that wouldn't have worked well. Now would it???

1 down and

1 to go:

The tops are done on both of these. I changed the pattern a little. The pattern called for 3 hearts and a border of 1/2 square triangles. My kitchen table was not big enough for all of that.

I took some white fabric and tea dyed it for the back of the first one (I wanted to make sure the tea dying would work before I did another piece of fabric).

And then I machine quilted it and finished up the binding last night.

Looks pretty spiffy on my kitchen table......

I am SO glad to be back at work and the kids are back in school. The bickering was never ending on Wednesday. Although I hear we are supposed to get another 12" of snow Monday and Tuesday of next week.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snow days

We were officially snowed in yesterday.

It fell at a steady rate until about 3:00 p.m. So I thought I'd drive down and get the mail. If I could get out, the kids and I could get out of the house and do something useful, like go get dog license tags.

I made it halfway down the driveway and got stuck in the hayfield when I slid round the corner and hit a snow drift higher than the hood on my Durango.

So I had to wait until Todd got home to dig us out. But now we have piles of snow that are anywhere from waist high to 6 foot high lining the driveway.

The fence is 5 foot high - and it's up to the fence at this corner of the drive.

If I stand on the other side of this pile, it is over my head by a good couple feet (and I'm 5'6").

Tyler can stand under the branches on this tree normally - it's like this the whole way down the drive.

I did think about walking back up to the house and getting my camera, but was to tired after walking back up the drive to think about walking down it, taking the picture and then going back to the house. Guess that will teach me that I should always have a camera with me:)

The kids are back in school today (HOOORRAY!) - they were bickering constantly yesterday. I did get lots of cleaning and sewing done yesterday, so that was a good thing.

Although I hear we are supposed to get another 12 inches this weekend - let's hope that the person I heard that from is wrong!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Is it too late?

To make a Valentine's Day table runner????

I brought this pattern a while ago, and my favorite quilt shop in Ashland had these pink/red/cream fat halves - so I thought I'd do a runner for my Mom and I today. I guess if I can get 2 of them done right away, there is still time to get it to her.

The kids are off school, I'm off work, our court hearing was canceled due to weather so life is good. I did try to run down to work this morning at 7:30 a.m. to grab some stuff so I could work from home, but when it took me 20 min. to drive the mile and a half to the end of our road, the kids and I turned around and came home.

Last night Todd was at fire practice, so I worked on this applique:

I decided I had better pin everything in place before sewing it all down to make sure it would fit. So far so good - just a few more flowers to cut out.

I shoveled the deck this morning, and it already has 2-3" of snow on it again. I think that will be an all day affair (shoveling the deck and steps off!) Stay warm everyone!


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

WISP #2 finish for January

I am so cold. It's 17 right now, and we are under a severe winter storm warning starting tonight at 5:00 p.m. and running through 4:00 p.m. Wednesday with an expected 6-10 inches of snow. Anyone else want to bet the kids don't have school tomorrow?

Anyhow, tomorrow is a court hearing with our neighbor. Honestly. I worked in a law office for 15 years, and this beats any case I'd ever seen. Todd or I do not need to be there, but I'm going. I want to hear his reasoning on why he is sueing us and just what he wants us to do.

And I did get another finish for the month of January:

I've had the runner done for some months now.....just needed to hand stitch the gold stars down. But it is done and I'm happy with it.
And this picture - last night Tyler was dancing and singing to Rodney Atkins on his walkie talkie - I had to show it just cause he's so cute.

See everyone later! Stay warm!

PS - I've received a couple awards from some wonderful blogging buddies. I'll be back later to post about them! Thanks so much ladies!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I disappeared....

Yes, I disappeared for a few days, didn't I?

But we've been busy. You may remember this summer my rant about our neighbor who is sueing us. Because he doesn't like that we bale hay, we have some cows and have a tractor. Well, Friday, we had to let his lawyer ask us the most INSANE questions ever known to man. And he asks me the questions about the farm equipment, the hay, the cows......But I think he came away looking like a moron so....alls well that ends well. For the time being anyhow.

The Saturday a.m. was the steer weigh in for 4-H. I should have taken more pictures but....I had my hands full. We sold 1 steer to a friends' step-son. And he is taking a dairy steer too. And Jessie has 2 steers. So we get to the weigh in with 4 calves in our stock trailer, and were greeted by this:

And the parking lot and drive were a sheet of ice. Waited in the heat of the truck (or the heat of the diner in the auction barn). When it comes our turn, they didn't waste any time. As Oreo was coming off the trailer - Todd hands me his halter rope and says "here take him in - I'll get the crazy one." Oreo has not been walked since last summer....but he walked along beside me calm as could be (thank the Lord for small blessings!) Todd got a broken toe from psycho red calf when he bounced on his foot.

So Jessie and Mason are planning on showing their 2 steers sometime in early March at a steer show in Wooster. Which will be fun and a good learning experience. Jessie so badly wanted to lead Oreo at the weigh in on Saturday, but I wasn't sure that I could stop him if he got it in his head to misbehave, never mind worrying about where she would be. We also had Oreo's feet trimmed (just like trimming your fingernails) as it gets painful for them to walk when their hooves get long:

Then it was home to run into work for an hour, clean up the house and cook dinner. Add in church this morning, and more cleaning (can you tell I've been letting the housework slide a little) and I'm tired.

And I've felt uneasy for a while. Nothing concrete hear more and more people who can't make ends meet, our neighbors had to sell his truck for scrap metal to make their mortgage payment for this month, and I think that is why I feel so.....uneasy. Fortunately for Todd and I, we both have pretty good job security (Todd has enough senority after just 4 years at his job, and with me being the only secretary in the office, we are both as safe as can be). But this afternoon I started cleaning closets. We are having the mother of all yard sales this spring and whatever does NOT sell, I'm donating to Goodwill or somewhere similar. I hope things turn around - by no means have we escaped unscathed, all has to end sometime, doesn't it???
See you around!

Friday, January 23, 2009


Not a whole lot noteworthy going on's 41 degrees right now - I washed about 50 pounds of road crud off my Durango after work. Somehow I always feel a whole lot better when the Durango is clean.....does that make sense? Of course, I didn't think and was out there in my work clothes (at least it wasn't the skirt I was thinking of wearing to work - it was dress pants).

Back when I joined the WISP challenge, I made myself a deal. If I finished my projects for the month (and I even made a list of which projects I wanted to do which months), I would let myself start something new.

I saw this wall haning on a blog right after January 1. I am embarrased to say, I don't remember which blog. If it was any of yours, thank you for posting the picture. I ordered the pattern, it arrived last week, so I've been cutting applique pieces out and hand stitching them to the background. I can probably count on 1 hand how many applique projects I have done over the last 15 years.......and on 1 finger how many I appliqued by hand and not machine. I still have to applique the top and the handles of the jug, the rest of the flowers, and the stems of the flowers. But I couldn't wait to I appliqued down just the bottom of the jug. And maybe I'm supposed to put the top together before appliqueing, but.....the top will be easy....the applique is what is hard for me.

But this one I want to applique by hand. And I may quilt it by hand....we shall see.

We lost a rooster this week. I don't know if they were fighting, but this Rhode Island Red roo had looked sickly from day 1. I of course went out there and found him, and had to freak out a little when I tripped over him and he didn't move.... Todd and Tyler had a good laugh about that.
Apparently 1 more cold snap tomorrow, and then we should be on the upside of temperatures. But for now, I'm going out to enjoy the warmth. Without the 50 layers of carharts and flannel shirts I've been wearing......
Enjoy the sun - I sure plan too!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Uses for Vintage Sheets

Several of you had asked about the Vintage Sheet Quilt.

I find my old sheets everywhere, second hand stores, Goodwill, yard sales, my grandmother's attic. They are out there, you just need to look very, very closely. I will typically go into our local Goodwill in Ashland and Wooster once a month, more or less. And I will buy any sheet that looks remotely like it will work for something (as you can tell by my "sheet stash"):

I picked this sheet up (double bed size) for $2 today at Goodwill:

For the quilt, I cut up 6 different sheets into 10 1/2" squares. I cut the whole sheet up. I have 71 squares left (I used 54 squares on the quilt - so I have enough cut already to do 1 more quilt). The sheets were all various sizes. I backed this quilt in a sheet, and used a lightweight poly-cotton batting. I bound it in cotton, using strips from different fat quarters. All the sheets in this quilt were either $1 or $2 from Goodwill.

As you can see, it would work perfectly on Jessie's bed right now as is. But, she is a child who is not a quiet sleeper (note her current flip flop quilt laying beside the bed. So I think I want it 1 row wider so there is hopefully more to cover her with.

I made 2 for the kids as Christmas presents, here and here. These are both backed in flannel, with cotton binding. They are lap size and already both have seen lots of use.

The sheets have an added bonus, they can be made into pj pants. Jessie suffers from horrible eczema - to the point where her legs are an oozing mess. She cannot sleep in flannel pjs, fleece pjs or anything heavy. The sheets are perfect to make lounge pants, they don't stick to her legs when she sweats and I think they are helping us through these cold winter months with her eczema.

The sheet that I picked up today, I'm going to use it to back a sheet quilt for Jessie's bed, and then hopefully it will be big enough to make matching pillowcases for her bed. I'm on the hunt now for a fitted and flat sheet in the same floral color scheme for her bedding too. Somehow, it seems to me that the sheets I buy now, she will rip and shred while she sleeps, but the older ones will stand up to her tossing and turning (all her sheets for her bed - and I have 3 sets for both her and Tyler - have rips, tears and holes in them).
And yes, Warren, old superhero sheets would make a fantastic quilt (at least in my opinion) - a great reminder of days gone by......hehehe

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Brought to you by the Letter A

I follow My Home Among the Hills. He recently participated in a fun internet meme.
It’s actually called “Brought to you by the letter…” game. I'd have done this earlier, but it took me a while to figure out what I really like that begins with an A.

Here’s how it works…

You leave a comment on this post, and I’ll assign you a letter. You write about ten things you love that begin with your assigned letter, and post it at your place. When people comment on your list, you give them a letter, and the chain continues on and on. (I copied that from him and he copied off someone else, so… feel free to rip it off again).

I got the letter “A” so here is my list:


Animals. Well, duh. This would have to be in there for us.... Any kind of animal works for me, really. Except skunks. And snakes. And some birds. And creepy crawly things (which includes spiders).

Apples. I could eat these day and night. Especially with a dip made of cream cheese, caramel and nuts.

Autumn. After Spring, this has to be my favorite season. And if we have a good autumn, it beats spring hands down. Nothing like the fresh air, falling leaves.....still warm enough to be outside and be comfortable, and not all wet and soggy like some springs.


Amish. I've always admired their simple lifestyle. I could do it...but would have issues with the taking a shower once a week part. The rest of it, I think I could handle very easily. Unless they are running me off the road with their buggies.

Acorns. Great fall decorations. Although I don't like mowing when there are any laying on the ground - we don't need missles around here.

Armagedon. I love this movie. I can watch it over and over. I really hope nothing ever happens like this, but there is always that chance. And of course, the good guys always win in the end, which helps:)

Advil. I don't like to take pain meds very often, but I tend to gravitate towards Advil. Don't know if it is because that is all that is in my cupboard right now.....

that's seven....

Advent. This year we had an Advent wreath that we lit every Sunday. What a great reminder about what Christmas is all about. And it works out perfectly that in our family of 4, we each got to light 1 candle. We didn't light the middle votive candle this year. The greenery on my wreath needs some trimming - the firefighter in the house was afraid we would burn the house down.

Aracauna hens. Our Aracauna hen is such a quiet hen. And I love her gray and brown coloring. (And that was the only way to get chickens on this list).

Arabian horses. I used to show Arabians, back in my younger days. Very pretty, spirited horses. Now we have paints, but I still love watching a good Arabian in the show ring. Too bad some of them are so dingy.

Now, feel free to leave me a comment that you would like to play along, and I'll be using Warren's random letter generator that he came up with to assign you all letters.......

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Vintage Sheet Quilt

It's done.

I made this one (which was supposed to be a Christmas present for my Mom) all out of vintage sheets. Even the back is a vintage sheet:

It's rather large - 60" x 90". I'm thinking when I get it washed and dried, I really need to try it on Jessie's bed - with an extra row to the width, it might make a great spring/summer quilt for a little girl's bed. And I have enough of these squares cut out to do at least 2 more quilts - an old sheet goes a long way.

At least I have 1 WISP finish for the month of January so far! And my Mom will get another quilt, and I'll get a pair of fingerless mitts she is knitting for me.


Can we say MORE broken bones

She hasn't broken them yet. But.....this is what I caught them doing yesterday when they were outside:

I know, I should have gotten the video from the other side so you could see the steps they were "sledding" down, but.....I didn't want to encourage them!

I'm going today to buy a gigantic roll of bubble wrap. Jessie will be wrapped in it 24/7 from now until she turns 21. Then her health insurance will be HER concern and not ours!

And Midnight thought he had to go somewhere "safe" to watch them. Although he probably remembers the sled and Tyler trying to take him sledding down the small hill behind our house....

Have a great day! I am SO GLAD they are back in school!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

9 degrees

Right now, that feels like a heat wave. Yesterday I think it got up into the 20's. High today of 14 degrees.

We had to have a friend come and plow out our driveway yesterday morning. It's about a 1/4 mile long - and had 4 to 5 foot drifts across it yesterday morning. Cold, snow and wind are not good combinations. Wish it had been that way this morning, then I wouldn't have had to drive to work:)

The chickens are wusses and will not go outside in the cold and the snow. The cat is a wus and goes out and turns around and comes right back in.

This is Midnight headed for the open back door of the house. He's turning into a real diva - does not like the snow on his paws or even on his person......Tyler might have had something to do with that trying to take him sledding with him last week......wish I had a video of that one!

I just keep saying spring is coming, spring is coming......and I am so glad I do not live out further west.......because to me, anything below 60 ish is cold!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Weekend Sewing

I've been furiously quilting a quilt that is my Mom's Christmas present. I'm just about done with the quilting - so by tonight I should have the binding on and be ready to hand stitch it down. I think I have 3 or 4 more 10" squares to quilt. I went to JoAnn's yesterday and picked out a bunch of fat quarters for the binding:

And while we were in JoAnn's, Jessie picked out a striped fabric (for $1.50 a yard - they only had 3 yards so we got all 3) and a bunch of fat quarters - she thinks she needs a new quilt already for on her bed. I'm thinking since I only paid $35 for this and 6 yards of a white on white floral print, I'll think about a new quilt for her bed sometime next winter. We'll see.

My parents came down today when they were getting wood (right up the road from our house). And as usual, we (Mom and I) can think up millions of projects. Like the birds, we are making hearts out of felt:

I have an idea for the hearts - I just need to go get some muslin. Maybe this week. I need to sew them together here shortly, and then have Jessie stuff them (she has way littler fingers than I do!!).

And she had these to do. She had brought the kits about 15 years ago at a quilt shop, but we never got around to doing them:

So of course, once she left I had to quit quilting and start in on these. They are so cute and sooooo easy. The red heart I am having trouble getting it to stand up on it's own (I think the bottom is too long for the candlestick). But maybe if I chop it off and glue gun it in it will stay? Or maybe a different candlestick......

yes, there are pins in the sides of these where I need to sew them shut. I was in too much of a hurry to take the pictures to sew them up yet!!

We hit 26 degrees this morning - it felt like a heat wave out there! But the sun is out and things are running a little smoother (water and chore wise) with the warmer temps. Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday!


Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday nights

Todd is off fighting a barn fire - they don't know when it will be done and over - they are letting it burn itself out rather than try and save it. It's way too cold at -5 degrees farenheit to be out there, but they are out there hauling water, directing traffic and making sure the farmer's house does not catch with the wind. The kids and I called Todd about an hour ago to check that we could take all the firefighters water to drink, but the road is closed (it iced over with all the water they are hauling back and forth).

So I am finishing this:

It will be my first WISP challenge finish for the month of January. Which was supposed to be a Christmas present. It will only be 28 days late if I get it done this weekend. Which is my goal.

The weigh in was canceled for tomorrow - rescheduled for next weekend. So this week we will have to do another round of vaccinations. But I have a plan. I'm hitting up our beef advisor, who also grooms our calves for us and will be helping Jessie learn to lead and show her calf. He can come over and stand out in the cold to give them vacines. And all I will have to do is cook him dinner. Which will be no big deal as I have to cook for Todd, the kids and I anyways. And I always cook way to much as it is.


-11 Farenheit

That's how cold it was when I got up this morning. And our electric had been off at some time during the night - it was down to about 60 in our house. So we got a rip roaring fire going in the woodburner and warmed the house back up. But it was hard to walk out the door to go to work. This is the second day the kids haven't had school this week. Which I'm glad really - Jessie doesn't have to stand out long to wait for a bus, but I would feel bad for all those kids who stand out there for 10 or 15 minutes.

Chores were horrible last night. Everything is frozen, everyone needed water, so we spent quite a while unthawing hydrants and water buckets to get everything filled. And of course, they will probably be froze again this afternoon when I get home:(

This is a table runner I've been working on in my spare time. I can honestly say I don't know why I've been working on it - other than I've had it for years and have been in the mood to sit and watch TV in the evenings (especially 24), but if I'm not doing something, I'll fall asleep.

And this is a quilt top I've been working on pin basting. I found it in an antique store last spring for $2.00. It's pieced by hand and I'm planning on machine quilting it and keeping it in the Durango year round for use whenever we need:

Stay warm everyone! This weekend our temps are supposed to get up into the mid 20's - it will feel like a heatwave out there!!!


Thursday, January 15, 2009


No fun pictures today. It's too darned cold. Whoo Hooo - we are up to a whopping 6 degrees. This picture is what our road looked like on my drive home last night. Before an Amish buggy sent me into the ditch. Which I was able to drive right out of because it was more of a depression on the side of the road and I do have 4 wheel drive and I'm not afraid to use it (put it in 4 wheel drive and GO is my moto now), but I felt bad for the amish man - that horse was all over the road.

The weigh-in for Jessie's 2 4-H steers is Saturday. They are doing it at the local livestock auction barn. We don't want to take her steers in there and have them get sick. So I go to the vet's office yesterday to pick up a nasalgen (sp???) pneumonia vaccine. We are out in the barn last night at 8:00 catching all 4 steers in the pen (because I certainly wouldn't want Jessie's steers to give it to the other boy's steer or the steer we are going to eat) and spray this vaccine up their noses.

Wake up this morning to -3 degrees farenheit. The kids don't have school, I had to seriously force myself to get into work (we have meetings here all day or I would have stayed home - I could have worked from home easy) and I'm checking the weather frequently.

Then Todd just calls me - better plan on geting more of the nasalgen vaccine. What hte heck for???? We vaccinated the 4 steers - we should be good to go. Well, if they cancel the weigh in due to the weather, we'll have to re-vaccinate them again right before the next weigh in. The vaccine is only good for 5 days......

I haven't done any sewing, the last couple days, between chores, homework and everything freezing outside (frost free hydrants included), there has been no time.....

Hopefully this weekend we will have the weigh in, and then I can hole up in the house and sew. And sew. And sew some more.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Running the oven

Last night, at 8:30, it was 13 degrees out. I think I NEED to move somewhere warmer....

So tonight is a good night to run the oven. Homemade maccaroni and cheese for dinner with venison sausage and then I might as well make some cookies. Or something. It all depended on what ingredients I have on hand.

Don't these look yummy?!?! They don't taste like regular chocolate chip cookies - they aren't very sweet, which is fine by me.

Of course, the batter was the best:

Amish Chocolate Chip Cookies.

2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs (I used 3 chicken eggs - since ours are still on the smaller side)
1 cup Crisco (the recipe said lard....)
6 tsp baking powder (I used 4 - seemed a little wierd to use that much)
2 tsp. baking soda
5 cups flour
2 tbsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large bag chocolate chips
1 cup milk

Mix all wet ingredients. Add flour, salt, soda and baking powder. Drop on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (I only had to bake mine for 7 - we like our cookies a little soft).

word to the wise - if you have a dough hook on your mixer, use it. I'm so glad I have a Kitchen Aid with a dough hook - this dough gets very, very stiff.

Makes 66 large cookies that fit comfortably in the palm of my hand:

Sorry for the blurriness - aparently I cannot eat a cookie and take a picture of a cookie at the same time!

And just because he is so cute, here's what Midnight has been up to:

This cat loves to play with rubber bands - of all things. I'll try and get him on video one of these nights. I spend a lot of time hunting him down and taking his rubber bands away because I'm afraid he's going to swallow them. Jessie's hairbands work for him to play with when I get all the rubber bands - from the rubberband guns that someone gave the kids a few years ago:)