Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Firefighter Festival

Yes, I'm good lately at disappearing, aren't I?

But with good reason.....

This past weekend was our local firefighter's festival. It started with the parade Friday night and moved onto a kiddie tractor pull, games and fireworks Saturday night.

The kids had every intention of riding on the ladder truck from CFD where Todd is a volunteer, however, when you are called out on a house fire 3 hours before the parade starts, that sort of nixes that idea.

But the kids and I had fun at the parade. Lots of candy was caught. The entire parade was about a mile long. Lots and lots of firetrucks (from 6 different departments - all volunteer) all blowing their sirens, horns and who knows what else.

I thought for a while there I would need new eardrums, but they have sufficiently recovered.

Saturday morning found me out in the garden at 7:00 in the morning. With temperatures in the 90's, I needed to get out there and do it early. I was out there until about 9:30 - 10:00. But I can now see my tomatoes. We had to replant the green beans, beets and squash - either the weeds/grass or the torrential rains we've been having did them in. No pictures of my garden yet - I still have the peppers to weed:)

Saturday night we went up to the fireworks. Todd's pager goes off - house fire in a neighboring town calling for LOTS of help. His fire chief calls - can you go direct to the fire - they need help bad. So we head back to our house in my truck so that Todd can get his truck with lights and sirens and his fire gear. Let's put it this way - we thought my truck had something in the fuel line - it keeps hesitating and racing every once in a while. As fast as he went to get back to our house - all the carbon is blown clean out of the engine. Todd got his truck and his gear, and the kids and I turned around and headed back to the fireworks, eat ice cream and meet back up with friends. Since Mr. Lactose Intolerance was not with us - we each had the biggest cones we could get.

Off to work and to catch up later today on everyone's lives! Have a great day


Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Jessie's been at 4-H sewing camp for the last 3 days so both kids have been at a friends house (one one hand, it's great having friends for both kids that are the same age as Jessie and Tyler and are also brother and sister....on the other hand - you get 4 kids at the same time). I would drop them off at 7:30 a.m. - go to work until 2, go get Jessie and her friend at 4 at camp, swing by and pick up Tyler and drop off Blair, and rush home to dinner.

So my trusty babysitter has not been here until today. I went and picked Tyler up at 10 (both kids spent the night at a friends' house last night) and picked up the babysitter and her brother who came to play with Tyler for the day.

Somehow, when I walked in the door at 5:00, it seemed much better when she had been here for the day and vacuumed my house, dusted, cleaned the kitchen and folded the 8 loads of laundry for me.

I think I'm getting spoiled:)

Now I'm off to go sit on my swing and enjoy the breeze. Oh....she cooked dinner for us too for tonight..........

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kiss A Fish

Yes, that is my 2 1/2 year old niece kissing the fish she caught when we went fishing. Ugh.

We've been doing LOTS of fishing lately. The kids, their cousins, their cousins cousins. Good thing all these kids get along. 7 kids, 8 adults.

And Jessie caught a BIG catfish. With Daddy's help - her lightweight pole just handled it.

The first night, all the kids caught 2-3 bluegill each (and the catfish). And it's been that way every time since.

Of course, they all want to catch catfish now.

Thank you for all the birthday wishes. It was a fun day, filled with yarn shopping, fishing and a cookout. I did catch 2 fish myself. But I didn't bait the hook or take the fish off. Between Jessie, Tyler and I - we kept Todd busy baiting our hooks and removing the fish. So much so, the guys left at 10:00 that night to go catfish fishing and were out until 1:30.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Herb Garden

Is coming along rather nicely I should say. I finally got it mulched last Sunday – it does not have enough mulch to suit me but….it is a start. I need some great big rocks to put in here to liven things up, as well as a flag and a couple other decorations.

Now I need to find a good dehydrator to preserve this bounty. Cooking with homegrown herbs is so much better than the stuff you pay 2 arms and a leg for from the store.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I cannot believe another year has gone by. Or that I am 37 today. I certainly don’t feel like it. Which is probably a good thing, right? Come to think of it, I cannot believe that I have 2 kids who are 9 and 6.

I have never put a picture of myself on this space. Which Todd pointed out to me a few weeks ago. Come to think of it, there aren’t many pictures of me around the house period. Is that because I am the one that is usually taking the pictures?

But, in honor of today, here’s a picture:

Do you know how hard it is to get a good picture of yourself? Especially me, who cannot be outside without sunglasses. After having Lasik surgery 8 years ago, the light just kills my eyes.

But there you go.

Wait - here's a better one, and this is how I ALWAYS look if I am outside. Which I normally am.


Thursday, June 18, 2009


Way back when, before I even started this little space, I was the queen of lurkers. Bet you all didn’t know that, did you? I would find a blog, and it would take me months to work up the courage to post a comment. I was thinking we wouldn’t have anything in common, you know? And blah…blah…blah…. And just so you know, I still have about 150 blogs that I follow on a daily basis that I never leave a comment on.

But I envied one blogger with her knitting – Katie is a knitting machine folks. She turns out sweaters like most of us turn out dinner. And does it all with 3 young kids, chickens, a fabulous house and yard to maintain as well. And now she is on to quilts. Well, one of her recent posts – 13 months of sweaters – inspired me to start knitting a sweater. Me, who has never ever knit anything harder than a scarf or a washcloth.

One of the sweaters that she knit last summer, Flo, well, I fell in love with it and I started looking and found the deconstructed jacket from Lionbrand. Sounded easy – a rectangle with 2 armholes and sleeves. After a few emails to my Mom, who is also an experienced knitter (mainly to get her promise that when I get the 3 pieces done, she will sew them together for me), I ordered the yarn and dived right in.

After having to start over (after being 8 inches into it) because it was rolling incessantly and changing the pattern a tiny little bit, I think I have it figured out. We'll see how it goes when I get to the armholes:) We’ll see how I feel about this in a few days, but right now, this could be fun while I’m sitting out in the sun watching the kids play who knows what….

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Todd had to work late Monday night, so we had a friend of ours come and bale the hay up in great big round bales.

There is nothing better than a field of bales waiting to be moved to the barn.

I learned how to drive the skidloader on Sunday when I was mulching flowerbeds but…..I did not volunteer myself to move bales for him.

Right now, I like seeing them sit in the field. Maybe if he is working late still by Friday, I’ll move them for him. Maybe.

Then again, if I move them, will that give me one more job to do?

I’ll have to think on that one…..
Also, Thank you ladies for joining my PIF. I'll be in touch....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pay It Forward

I love Pay It Forwards.

And last week, I received my PIF from Sherri!

The colors in this are so me. The quilting is exquisite. I'm almost afraid to let it sit out, but then I wouldn't be able to enjoy it!

So who wants to play Pay It Forward with me? The first 3 people are in leave a comment here if you want to play - and I will make you something handmade within the next year. And yes, I'm giving myself the full year - although it could be next month, it could be 11 months from now that you receive something. In return, you have to "Pay It Forward" on your own blog.

Any takers?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Weekend in Revew

This weekend was a change of pace for us. My nephew graduated from high school, and Saturday was the graduation party.

With relatives coming in from PA and Michigan, Todd, the kids and I hooked up with his aunt and uncle in Berlin to do a little shopping and look at cows Saturday morning bright and early (we left our house at 7:30 a.m.). Then we headed to Todd's parents for the party in the early afternoon. It was nice being able to sit around talking to everyone....although it did get cold as the day wore on. I love Berlin. Just walking along the street, stopping in every store browsing around. Although Kathy and I had Jessie with us, and the girl can shop.

Lots of ice cream was ate, even by the littlest guest of the party, Tank, the rat terrier dog in Mark's pocket:

Yesterday Todd had to rake hay and hopefully today it will be ready to bale. While he did that, I spread mulch. I've had 5 yards sitting over at our friends house, paid for just waiting for Todd to bring it home. I quickly figured out that it is much easier to scoop it up with the skidloader bucket and then shovel it out of there rather than shovel it into the yard cart and shovel it out of the yard cart. We won't mention the ruts I left in the yard from turning in the skidloader too fast. Or the 3 flowerbeds left to mulch which I will probably need to get another couple of yards to do them.

I am a mulch fiend. I love the look of LOTS of mulch (and the more you put down the more it cuts down on weeds) so I tend to pile it on - in some places around the pond there is 8" of mulch.

Tyler figured out a new use for the remaining mulch (this was after taking about 8 skidloader buckets out of the pile - I am so glad he didn't think of this earlier in the day when it was higher):

I had to give strict instructions this morning that the remaining mulch had BETTER NOT BE spread all over the yard when I get home. We'll see if he listens.

Have a great day,


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pig Love

Yesterday it was chicken love, today it's piggy love.

Jessie's been working hard with these pigs - and I am sooooo glad we started early:) A lot of kids wait until 2 or 3 weeks before the fair to start walking their pigs - but because Jessie's are about 40 lbs. ahead of schedule, we started now so we can get them to the point of walking every day for 30 to 40 minutes to help with weight gain.

I am just thankful that we have an advisor who is willing to come over and spend time with her - he was here early yesterday afternoon to show her how to start training them, and then last night she tried it on her own. I think he's been over at our house helping her 3 or 4 times in the last week.

She is supposed to keep them away from walls and out in the open - but I think at this point it is more "fun" than "work" for her. She does better when Jason is around - what does Mom know anyway????

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A little chicken love

With the kids at home for the summer, I have been baking up a storm. They have to have snacks, and I AM NOT paying $3.99 for a little package of cookies - that will last maybe 2 days. If we are very, very lucky.

But I have issues. I don't like lots of things sitting on my kitchen counters. A crock for my spoons and spatulas and a soap dispenser is about all I can handle. And I wasn't thrilled with a tupperware container sitting there either.

Then I found this on Amazon:

And found these salt and pepper shakers to match:

Which I think will look great with my soon-to-be-yellow kitchen. Well, as soon as I go get the rest of the paint to finish painting it.

And this week, I get a break from all the baking. Seems my babysitter for this week (I have 2 sisters that are alternating weeks) loves to bake. So she made my kids chocolate chip cookies, no bake cookies and today will make zuccinni bread for them. She keeps my kids entertained and happy, she cooks and she cleans my house (vacums, dusts, and does the dishes). What more can I ask for????

Have a great day

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Well, the Durango has a cracked radiator - and with any luck I should have it back tomorrow -and be a whole lot poorer in the process ($575). Ouch. I called our insurance company - and if I knew who owned the dog, I could turn it in to insurance - but since I don't know who owned him, I can't. And I'm thinking I don't want a claim on our insurance where they will only pay about 1/2 of the bill due to our deductible.

I did go back yesterday afternoon and knocked on some more doors and drove around - no one is claiming him. I am assuming he is fine as he got up and ran off.

Pig walking is a real challenge. I'm still working on getting a good video - it is very hard to hold the camera steady when you are rolling on the ground laughing your head off. Even harder when the girl who is supposed to be driving them is running around laughing cause they follow her everywhere. Oh well - she is having a blast doing this. And we are definitely making this fun for her.

Saturday Todd had to work late (7:30 late) so the kids and I packed up and went to the in-laws for dinner and to do some swimming.

Sunday we spent helping a friend bale hay. If we both could help him move round bales around, he will come custom bale our hay at no cost to us. Of course, Tyler figured out real quick he could drive the tractor, so Jessie and I didn't have to work very hard at all.

See you later,


Monday, June 8, 2009


The morning did not start out as I intended:)

As I was driving through West Salem to pick up the babysitter, a dog ran out right in front of me. A big black lab. And I rolled it.

I stopped, followed the dog (who seems to be fine) knocked on a couple doors - no one is claiming the dog. I check out the tires on my durango and the whole front end - all are fine so I drive on my merry little way.

12 miles later, the check guages light comes on. 1 mile later, the temperature gauge is up in the EXTREMELY HOT area.

I pull over on 71, call Todd - he's at work 35 miles away in his sprayer. I call the garage right across the street from where I work. They in turn call a towing service for me.

I wait.

30 min. later - 2 tow trucks show up. 1 dispatched to tow me in, 1 who happened to be driving by. After a little finangling, I ride in in the first tow truck, the second tow truck (which was a flatbed) is behind us with my Durango.

They think I have either a hole in the radiator or a loose hose. Lovely.

I made it to work only an hour late, with a loaner vehicle to use until mine is up and running. Which will hopefully be today yet but if not....at least I can get where I'm going. Although I felt pretty funny driving the loaner up the road 500 feet and parking it for the day - maybe I should have walked - would have been good exercise except for the shoes I have on.

I would have taken pictures of the two tow trucks and my durango, but Interstate 71 was super busy, and I didn't want them thinking I was really wierd.....


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Flowers Round Here

Just a few of my favorite flowers!

This rose, Todd brought me when Jessie was 1 1/2 for mother's day. I love it - it smells so wonderful! I think this year it has finally recovered. We've moved the poor thing 5 times since we put the addition on the house in 2003, and every year up until now, it's looked pitiful by this point in the year.

This rose I brought myself for Mother's Day the year Tyler was born - we thought it had died last spring, dug most of it out but a little sprig came back. Now I take much better care of it.

I love the pink coral bells, yellow yarrow and the valerian together. Too bad the yarrow and the valerian keep multiplying faster than rabbits and try to overtake my flowerbeds.

These iris - I just love the color. In real life they are a royal purple color (think King's robes).

We've been busy here - I'll be back later!

Friday, June 5, 2009

School Trip for Andrew

A good blog buddy, Kristie, is starting an online yard sale. Her son, Andrew, has a fantastic opportunity to go on a 9 day trip to Paris (among other places) and they need to raise a significant sum of money for his trip.

If you are interested in supporting this cause - go here.

I get such a kick out of reading about her life - maybe because we are both so close in age, enjoy many of the same things.....

Anyhow, Todd may be in trouble with online yard sales starting up (although he is always telling me that he would prefer me to shop at yardsales:) I'm just following his wishes, right????


Thursday, June 4, 2009

I never thought it would come to this

Yes, we have to weigh the pig's feed morning and night. Apparently that is what happens when: a) you buy pigs that are about 20 lbs. to big for your county fair to begin with; b) the person who feeds them cannot stand to think that they may go hungry, and so for the first 3 weeks you have them feeds them constantly (guilty as charged here...); and c) I think these pigs are genetically disposed to gaining weight at alarming rates - they could probably eat dirt and gain several pounds a day.
Jessie's 4-H advisor is coming over tonight if the weather cooperates to teach her how to walk these pigs - so I'm going to be taking LOTS of pictures and videos.

And last night, the chickens got out. So they may become modified free range chickens if they keep this up. Although we have a real coyote/wild dog/hawk problem so I'm not sure how that will all work out.

1 more corner to go on my table topper - I'm having to make up mesurements as I go along (and then I forget to write them down for the next corner and have to start all over again). Pictures to come....


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Well THAT backfired on me

I have issues....with toys being left all over the house. And dirty clothes not put in the laundry baskets in everyone's bedroom closets specifically for dirty clothes.

And last Thursday I had had it.

So I gathered up all the toys, the clothes, everything laying around and stacked it all up. They can't have it back until they show me they can pick up their toys. They said they needed all those toys. Oh yea? Tell me one toy that was laying on your bedroom floor.... they couldn't tell me a single one.

This is actually 2 days worth of toys (apparently they didn't take me seriously on Thursday, and we went through the same song and dance on Friday). And yes, that is Jessie's desk chair for in her room. Hey, if it is left out in the middle of the kitchen, she must not need it. And 2 loads of laundry that I picked up off their bedroom and bathroom floors.

Tonight, I tell them if they want their stuff back, they can have it back, if they put it ALL away as they take it out of the box, clothes included.

What do they BOTH do? Pick out what they want, and tell me I can get rid of the rest. They realized they don't really need it.......

What is wrong with this picture?

Guess I really am having a garage sale on Friday and Saturday of this week:)

Make it your own

I FINALLY got some fun sewing time in last night. Never mind the kids were on a tear while I was sewing but.....by that point in time they were Todd's problem, not mine.

And wouldn't you believe - I should pay attention to the directions better. I cut my center squares the wrong size, which made the outer squares not fit right when I went to put them together.

Rather than start over, I added a border in the center. Who knows how far off the pattern I will have to go to get all my pieces to line up.
Looking at it now, the light fabric was probably not the best choice for the border but.....it's on and I am not ripping it apart.
And yes that is just a sneak peak of it. I'll show more after tonight if I get the top entirely done. It's raining cats and dogs here, so that should not be a problem.
Have a great day