Sunday, December 23, 2012

At Long Last I'm Finished

Alix's quilt
    Finally, at long last, I have finished the five Christmas quilts I made for the five grand kids. I thought they turned out really well for my first quilting attempt.
   I made the backing in their favorite colors, except for Nathan who didn't have one yet, so multicolored stripes was his. Nathan has since decided his favorite color is green Luckily, there are green stripes in the backing.
   I should have smoothed them out before I took the pictures, especially Ashlynn's, but I didn't notice it until after I took the pictures.

Michaela's quilt

   I intend to make more quilts eventually, but now I have to make those promised bear clothes for the bears I made for the kids last Christmas.
   I've worked on the quilts for so long, it feels kind of funny not having to work on them anymore. Four of the quilts were mailed to Arizona, but I'm pretty sure they will be after Christmas quilts. One day, I just might get things mailed in time. I really try, it just never works out that way.

Nathan's quilt
Micheal's quilt
Ashlynn's quilt.

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Quilting I Will Go

   I have been very, very busy working on the quilts I'm making for our grand kids for Christmas. I think I started in May, took a break and did other things and now I'm back at it again. I am making 5 quilts and I finished the second one last night.
   Since this is the first time I have ever quited, it is also a learning experience for the next quilts I'm going to make. I've learned not to sew the batting to the top and then sew the back to it all. It sounded like a good idea, but as I'm top stitching it with the sewing machine, the top spreads out more. I've also learned it's probably not a good idea to sew it all together until it's top stitched. The quilts have turned out nice for my first attempt. I did try to sew them all together, with right sides facing leaving a hole and then turning everything inside out, but that really didn't work. I have made very nice borders  by folding the backing over it all. I like them better this way, too. I had to take apart the first quilt which was loads of fun and then it took me 3 tries to get the thing all pined together nice and neat. I didn't want to do it on the floor because I'd never get up again and I'd have a lot of help with the dogs and Michaela, so I use the kitchen island and just shift the whole thing as I go.
   Micheal is very worried and anxiously waiting for clothes for the bears I made them last year. He even asked my mom if she knew if I was working on the clothes when they went to their house for Thanksgiving. So, after quilts, it's bear clothes. I'm also crocheting slippers for my parents and still need to make the pants for Amy and Alyssa that they have requested. I'm now positive my list is never ending. It does give me something to do and snow will be here soon so I'll be stuck in the house except for my big outing to collect the eggs.
   We (Tim) finally caught a mouse and so far, it looks like it was the only one.
   It's been raining for days now and walking outside reminds me of walking on a sponge, not that I've ever walked on a sponge.
   I guess I'd better get busy and start working on the quilts again. I'll take pictures of them all when I have finished. I hope it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to mail them. Four of them go to Arizona and the fifth one stays here.
   I wonder whet brilliant ideas I'll get for next years Christmas gifts for the grand kids? Gift cards?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

First Snow Of The Year

   Late Thursday afternoon/evening and into Friday, we had our first snow of the year. I know it's just me, but it seems colder this year. I know it actually has been colder, but that's not the reason. Maybe my old bones and healed broken bones just don't like cold this year.
   Yes, I know, we chose to live up here where it snows. I still like looking at it through the windows. It's so pretty and you have that kind of hush you only get from snow. I'm pretty sure as the fall progresses into winter I should, hopefully, warm up.
   Poor Jake says snow is for the birds and Chip thinks it's great as long as it doesn't fall off of the trees or some other object and scare him. The chickens are doing fine so far. Michaela is really impressed with all the white out side and the snow on the floor the dogs bring in. Michaela has reached the take your clothes off stage in life, so she runs around in blanket sleepers with a snap over the zipper pull at the neck because she hasn't figured out how to get out of those, yet.
   I'm almost done dehydrating potatoes and then it's freeze and dehydrate all the carrots in the refrigerator.
   I've decided we have an invisible mouse that just leaves droppings behind. You'd think it would step on and stick to a sticky mouse trap eventually, wouldn't you?
   I have all 5 quilt tops sewn together and names and dates embroidered on them and I'll start the filling and back part tomorrow. I'm just going to tie them together because it sounds the fastest and easiest and since they are my first quilts, I'll take the easy way and work up to harder.
   Micheal says the bears I made for the grand kids last year still need clothes. My list of things to make just gets longer and wouldn't you know it? I have towels to fold. I'm still waiting for the magic clothes folding dryer. My excuse now is I've been sick and just don't feel like it and we all know where to find them if one is needed.
   I made powdered laundry detergent a couple of weeks ago and it seems to work very well. The clothes are cleaner and softer and once again I am using white vinegar for fabric softener. I've used it before, but I think I will all the time now.
   You should all prepare yourselves because eventually there will be snow pictures up here again.
Also pictures of these tiny, tiny red bugs that should up after one of the last rains. Oh well, that's it for now. Goodnight.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Just Great!! We Have Mice

   When Tim was rototilling the garden in, he noticed he went over a few mouse nests. Wouldn't you know it, they have moved into the house. We haven't found where they have come in, just the signs of them.
   The first place they were noticed were in Tim's spare room. Next it was the drawer under the oven where I keep my cookie sheets. Then it was the pantry and in the bathroom cabinet, under the sinks in our bathroom. Today, it was under the cabinet under the kitchen sink where we keep the trash can.
   Tim put sticky mouse traps where the mice signs were, but no mice on the traps. Maybe we need to put some peanut butter in the middle of them. He did notice last night that there were little foot prints in a trap and it was a few feet away from where he put it. I think they are little field mice instead of your usual house mouse. More traps will be put out.
   The pantry was taken apart and everything taken out of boxes. It's a good thing I like glass jars and collect decorative cans. When we lived in California, we had a mouse that ate a chunk of the concrete floor in the pantry trying to make a hole.
   We don't want to put poison out because of Michaela and pets. I can't convince Tim we need a cat. I have been trying to repel the little critters with peppermint oil in containers where the mice have been. I read that peppermint oil and lavender are suppose to repel mice. I have some lavender potpourri I'll put under our sink.
   I know most people get mice in the house at one time or another, but I'd be really happy if they skipped us. Since we live in the country and have been here for 4 years, I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later, but I really wish it hadn't.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Daniel Amy, Amy Daniel, So Very Confusing

   A few weeks ago our son Daniel, and his girlfriend Amy, came for a visit. It can get pretty confusing when there are 2 Daniels and 2 Amys in the same house (our daughter Amy and her fiance Daniel are still living with us).
   We had a really nice, but short, visit, only 3 1/2 days. We did a lot in those 3 1/2 days, but we never did go in search of moose for them to see. I don't think Daniel having a deer pop out of nowhere while he was driving counts. At least the rental car's breaks worked.
   We went to see Daniel's grandmother and then off to Walmart. Yes, everyone needs to check out Walmarts where ever they are. Actually, we went to get one day fishing licenses for Daniel and Amy so we could go fishing the next day. That night we played with the Wii. Us old folks had sore arms after playing. My arm wouldn't have been so sore if my boxing opponent, Steve, would have just stay down.

   Wednesday, not as bright and early as Tim would have liked it, we were off to go out for breakfast and a day of fishing. Wouldn't you know it, we didn't get Amy's fishing license because we were off getting munchies. Stopped at Bi-Mart for her license and then to Subway. We got to Fan Lake and ate. Since it was a week day, it was practically deserted.
   Daniel and Tim went in the canoe first and Amy and I stood on the boat loading ramp. Amy doesn't touch worms, so her hook was baited before the guys left. Wouldn't you know it, as soon as the guys left, Amy caught a fish. It was HUGE!! I didn't know how I'd hold onto it to take it off of the hook. Luckily, the huge fish feel off of the worm and hook as I reeled it in. The huge fish might have been a whole 3 inches, if that big. Me, I just had fish eat my worms and caught seaweed. I was really good at catching seaweed.
   We left Fan Lake and stopped by Eloika Lake on the way home. I still only caught seaweed, while everyone else caught fish. Boy, was it smokey from all the fires. We finally left because of all the smoke and because Amy and I were tired of standing up. We did see a freshwater otter in all the water plants. It was either that, or a lake monster. We know it wasn't a beaver. That evening, it was more Wii. Yes, we do really exciting things at our house.
   Thursday, we went to see the new Resident Evil movie. Tim and I must be getting old because the movie was sooo loud. There were only 7 people in the theater, did they really need it so loud? We had dinner at Five Guys hamburgers. They were really good. Dessert at Baskin Robbins, which is always good. We were going to go bowling after the movie, but it was about time for the leagues to play, so we were out of luck. We eventually bowled at the bowling alley in Deer Park. It was a fun night, and we stayed out way past our bedtime.
   Before Daniel and Amy left, Daniel wanted to try riding Tim's motorcycle because he's thinking of getting one. As he was riding, I thought too bad he's on our rough driveway to practice on, but he did fine.
   Amy gave me one of her big, adult size hula hoops because I have decided this winter, I'm really going to work on getting in shape and losing a lot of weight. I was looking at hula hoop exercise on youtube and once I get the hang of keeping the hoop up, I should be able to do the exercise, plus they are low impact so I should be OK. It was so much easier hula hooping when I was a kid than it is now. I was really good at it as a kid. I will get the hang of it though. If kids can do it, how hard can it be?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blue Potatoes Are Different

Blue potatoes that grew purple
      Tonight with our chicken, we had some of our homegrown blue potatoes. Ours turned out purple. Because of all the rain we had right after we planted our potatoes, some didn't grow very big and were ready to harvest early. We still have more to harvest, hopefully they will be bigger.

Peeled blue potatoes

   Since I was making mashed potatoes, I peeled them. We had some cut in chunks and boiled and I thought the skin was kind of bitter. It was also tough.

Peeled and cut in half

   Here is what our peeled and cut in half blue potatoes looked like. Weird. The potatoes seemed harder to cut than other potatoes.

Better picture of cut blue potatoes


Cut and ready to boil

   The potatoes are interesting with the different colors inside.

Mashed blue potatoes

   I cut the potatoes and treated them just like any other potatoes I intended to mash, so here they are cut and read to boil.
   They boiled just fine, so I drained them and made them into mashed potatoes the same way I have made mashed potatoes in all my years of making them. According to the blue potato people, the mashed potatoes were supposed to be a nice sky blue. These weren't.

   The mashed potatoes turned out gray, almost like concrete. They mashed up to a nice, light, fluffy concrete.
   We did notice that if they set for even the shortest time, they really did turn out to be concrete like. You could pick up your whole serving of mashed potatoes with your hands and they'd stay in the same shape.
   The texture was grainier than other potatoes and left your tongue feeling kind of fuzzy.

Blue and white mashed potatoes
   We had some left over mashed potatoes made from russet potatoes and you can see the color difference. Once again, weird.
   I won't be making mashed blue potatoes anymore, but they were just fine when I mixed them with white and purple skinned potatoes and just boiled, drained and buttered them.
   The blue potatoes might be alright as potato salad and I did read they made great french fries. I'm going to give them a shot as french fries, so I'll let you know how they turn out.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's That Time Of Year Again

   Yes, I know, it's been a long time since I've written anything. I've been busy. We had company for a little over a week and once again, it's that time of year again. Yup, harvesting time. I haven't even finished the last quilt top and Christmas is coming way too fast.
   I dehydrate most of what we grow, and my trusty old dehydrator died in the middle of dehydrating last year. Amy did find a replacement for me at a garage sale, but after using it once, I know why it was being sold. It didn't dehydrate food, it cooked it. It had no temperature adjustment, neither did my old one, but I had that one figured out.
dehydrating red onion slices
   This year, we bought the 80 liter commercial food dehydrator from Cabela's, and so far, it's great. I get so much done much faster than before. The down side is, it takes so much longer to fill it up, but I can live with that.
   The first thing I dehydrated was about 20 pounds of zucchini and it took about 6 hours. I probably could have dehydrated it on a higher temperature and been done faster, but I was happy with 6 hours. I got it all done in one shot instead of days.
   Now, I am onto mass quantities of onions. It's a perfect time to do it now because it's cooler and I can leave all the windows open. One day, we will have a back porch, hopefully and enclosed back porch so I can dehydrate out there. So far, I have 3 3/4 quart jars full of dehydrated onion rings that I have vacuumed sealed with my vac and seal. Later, when I need them, I chop a jar up and have chopped onions. I'll make my own onion powder this year.
   Our potatoes are being harvested, too. So much rain early in the season didn't help. We are getting small potatoes, but that's better than no potatoes. The all blue potatoes are interesting. Next time I use some, I'll take a picture of them.
   I've alos been busy picking, shelling, blanching and freezing tons of peas. There are so many more to be picked. The green beans are next. I don't even like green beans, but Tim does. These will also be frozen and divided up into 2-3 person servings and vaccuum sealed in bags and then frozen.
   It hasn't been all work and no fun. For our 32nd wedding anniversary, Tim bought me an ocarina.
It's a hand painted seedpod tenor G ocarina . It has a nice deep tone. It's from Songbird Ocarinas. I'm still learning the Native American flute and the tin whistle. The nice thing about this is it only uses your first 2 fingers and thumbs on each hand. I have arthritis in my hands and my ring fingers tend to lock up, making it hard to get them to cooperate when I want to lift them off of the holes.
Close up of the ocarina

You can see the neck strap here
   The first song I learned to play was Popeye the Sailor Man. Yes, I learn culturally important music. I also learned Beethoven's 9th (Ode To Joy).
   I need to relearn how to read music. I used to know how because I took violin lessons and guitar lessons in school. It shouldn't be that hard to relearn it. I hope.
   So much to do, so little time. I guess I'd better get back to the onions while it's still cool. But I'd really like to be playing some musical instrument. I haven't even been making bread or cookies lately. I'm really falling down on the job.

Monday, July 30, 2012

I Had A Very Nice Time

   I visited my parents in Pahrump, NV a couple of weeks ago, and I had a really nice time. Nice and relaxing. I was able to read and play my flute so much I probably drove them crazy, but I made a lot of progress. Boy was it hot and humid. In Las Vegas, the closest air port, it was 116. Waaaay to hot.
   At the Spokane airport, I was told to leave my leg brace on, so I was sent through the metal detector and since I didn't beep, I just had my leg, shoes and hands swabbed for gun powder. If I had beeped or security felt like it, I could have been patted down. One of the men telling everyone what to do in line wanted to know how I managed to get such a colorful AFO (ankle, foot orthotic) and I told him was was getting old and didn't want boring white.
   I had wheel chair assistance taking me to my gate and through the airport because it was a long way to walk. When I arrived I was dumped outside in the underground parking in the passenger loading area. I had to call my folks to see where they were at. In side at the info booth. We found each other.
   At the Las Vegas airport, no one could come in and see me off. It was just throw the people leaving out at the curb and go up to the airline booth out front. There, I was stared at suspiciously and my drivers license really scrutinized for a long time. I guess it probably didn't help that I told the guy that someday I wanted to be somebody else only richer. Everyone within ear shot chuckled and the security guy just glared. I finally made it through that part and had to go through the x-ray thing. I hope they enjoyed the sight. Once again, my brace was swabbed and I told the woman she'd just find dog hair on it. She said I was so funny, but I think I got through that part faster, because she said she was going to do more than she did. No one would tell me if they could see all the metal in my leg.
   As I was up in the air coming and going, I just wondered how airplanes manage to stay in the sky with so much weight. Once again, I decided I really don't like flying.
   I finally met met my sister-in-law, Myrna. I like her. I saw my brother, Gary. It had been about 6 1/2 -7 years since I last saw him. It was nice seeing the two of them, also.
   I heard  Michaela and Chip missed me. Chip just camped out on my pillow and wouldn't let anyone near the room. He was happy to see me, but Michaela gave me the cold shoulder for a few days.
   I started harvesting peas. Just like last year, I complain that it's really hard on the back, but fresh peas are good. We are starting to get zucchini.
   I bought 5 pounds of Rainier cherries yesterday. I'm going to try freezer jam this year. I'm going to buy a few apricots so Tim can have apricot jam. We do have cherry and apricot trees, but no cherries and the apricots are not ready yet.
   Albert has turned into a nasty rooster. He was nice when I left, but he sure is mean now. Yesterday, I noticed he can fluff up his neck feathers to look bigger. Besides pecking hands, he jumps in the air with all those nice claws ready to do great bodily harm. If he's going to be that way, he just might have to go, since we really don't need a rooster. Maybe once he's in the coop, he'll be better. I know roosters tend to be nasty.
   Phylis is the last hold out on the egg laying, but I knew she wasn't a plentiful egg layer. I told Tim we needed a sign over the coop door that says "Those Damn Chickens" since 3 out of 5 people here call them that. Can you guess who?
   Oh well, lots to do, so I guess I'd better get to it.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

OK, It's Hot

   OK, it's hot now, can we go back to the way it was minus the endless rain? Yes, I know, there is just no pleasing some people. The garden now needs watered. It gets so dry so fast up here.
   I've been busy sewing lately, making those summer clothes I should have made before I actually needed them. The cargo shorts I've made look as good as any you can buy in a store. I have made 4 quilt tops, 3 pairs of shorts and 2 pairs of carpi's and 1 shirt. I need to make at least one more quilt top and more shirts. I have decided that the clothes I am sewing are much cheaper than if I were to buy already made clothes.
   Albert is crowing more like a rooster should, and Michaela has to stop everything and throw her head back and crow when Albert crows. One of the chickens has started to lay eggs and the 3rd egg she laid was a double yolked egg. They are gradually getting bigger, too.
   On Wed., I am leaving on a jet plane and going to visit my parents in Pahrump, NV. The closet airport is in Las Vegas. I'm looking forward to going. It would be nice if Tim was able to go too, but it's not possible. I'll be gone a week. It's suppose to be 110 in Pahrump this Wed.
   I got on the computer this morning to get the recipe for radish pickles, but I haven't managed to get that far yet. Tim's radishes need something done with them, so I thought quick refrigerator pickles sounded interesting, and I won't have to heat up the house canning them. Too bad I don't like radishes or pickles.
   Our sparkly new riding lawn mower has a flat. There is a piece of wire in the sidewall. Of course, the tire probably can't be repaired and will need to be replaced. There is so much buried barbed wire here. You think you have it all, and find you don't. The wire could have come from the fence behind us or beside us, since barbed wire fences are the norm up here.
   I guess I'll go find that recipe before I get sidetracked some more. I'll let you know how the pickled radishes turn out.

Monday, June 18, 2012

I'm Still Waiting

   Well, summer is almost here, but spring hasn't made it yet. Today, we had a high temperature of 57, and, of course, it rained. Enough with the rain, already. At the rate the weather is going, we won't get the rest of our garden planted. We did find where the carrot seeds washed away to. Some are where they were planted and most are in the path between two rows.
Native American Style  Flute in the key of A.
   On June 1st I started to play the Native American style flute. Well, I tried playing the flute anyway. With much practice and any screechy notes, I think I've got it. Today, I was able to play Amazing Grace. It wasn't perfect, but you could tell what it was.
   My flute is made by Odell Borg from High Spirits Flutes and it's called a Sparrow Hawk. It's in the key of A, 19" long and made from Spanish cedar with an ebonized walnut fetish (the black part). It's a 6 holed flute but can be played as a 5 hole flute by having the 3rd hole covered like it is in the picture.
Sparrow Hawk made from ebonized walnut.
   Sunday, I slid the leather strip down and started playing it as a 6 hole flute. My fingers and brain are getting the hang of things. Eventually, I will play whatever tune comes out, but right now, I'm still learning how to get the notes and fingering. I have a tune in my head, but I don't know how to make it come out yet. I'm getting closer.
   Chip thinks I should be playing with him and not playing the flute, but then again, he also thinks I shouldn't be sewing, I should be playing with him.
   Michaela is my little echo. I blow a note and she says "whoo". As I play higher, her "whoos" get higher.
   Michaela can finally blow in her recorder and make noise, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. Shame on me teaching her that. I also taught her how to say "sorry Charlie" but you'd never know what she's saying if you didn't know it. Amy isn't impressed with that one. She figured out all by herself when to say it.
   Not much else is really exciting unless you count our brand new, sparkly riding lawn mower. Oh, and one of the bucks from behind us in the yard, tromping through the garden. The fence will go up if it ever stops raining. At least we aren't having a drought and terrible, terrible fires. Our normal rainfall for this time of year is about 8 1/2 " and we are up to about 12". Too bad with all the rain comes all the biting bugs. Ouch!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Here A Moose, There A Moose, Everywhere A Moose Moose

 Yesterday, we all went for a drive. Up by Cataldo, ID, we came across some moose enjoying the sun and the north fork of the Coeur d'Alene River.
 This moose was getting a little annoyed with everyone stopping and bothering his swim. He is just a young moose, you can see his antlers just starting to grow.
He had enough, so he left.

This moose was just munching along on plants. They go in the water to escape the bugs, too.

He was just didn't want to hold still for his photo op.

If we didn't know he was there, he would have been very happy. We weren't really that close to the moose, because they aren't the friendliest of critters. The zoom on my camera worked well.
 We had a visiting bee a couple of weekends ago. I was able to get pretty close to it without it flying away, but I also used zoom. I was surprised that you can see his/her hairy legs and the details on the wings. The Pear blossoms it was on are pretty, too.
 I also made a couple of pin cushions using 4 oz. canning jars. I made this one for me. I haven't decided if I'll make any more. They weren't hard to make.
Amy thought it was nice I had pins that went well with the fabric, which wasn't intentional.

I have 2 quilt tops finished and need to get busy on the other three. Christmas is not that far away since I decided to make the quilts. If I hadn't decided to make them, Christmas would be much later. I know, it's the same amount of time, but the projects make it seem closer. I have only made 1 shirt and 1 pair of shorts. I need to get busy and work on more, but since the weather is now 70 if we're lucky, it's ok. It was warmer for a couple of days not too long ago, just teasing us for what might come.
I ordered a Native American flute Monday. It should be here Friday, according to the FedEx tracking number. I'm looking forward to learning how to play it. I'm sure it will drive the dogs, and some people, crazy. I'll let you know how the playing goes.
The garden isn't completely planted yet, thanks to the rain. Who knows where our carrot seeds went. The deer ate my spaghetti squash. They must really like the plants, because every time I plant it, they eat it. We have the rest of the 6 foot posts now, so the garden can be fenced in.
The chickens haven't started laying yet, but since I really don't know how old they are suppose to be when they start, I guess I'll just be surprised. The places I have looked on the internet say about 15 weeks for the Golden Comets and they are about that old. I read the White Crested Black Polish chickens don't start laying until they are 7-9 months old. They are about the same age as the Golden girls. It doesn't really matter about Phyllis' egg laying since I just bought her and Albert because they were weird.
Other that all the above excitement, life is still pretty darned dull.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

   It's Mother's Day again, and we did the usual. Nothing. I'm not cooking dinner, though. Tim is not a happy camper. Our brand new spiffy rototiller we bought April 7th died. It's going back to where we bought it from tomorrow after Tim gets home from work and they had better fix it.
   Somethings were planted yesterday and it was the plan to plant the rest of the root crops today, but that's not happening.
   Poor Albert had to be separated from the girls. They were pecking the back of the poor guys head. Now, he has his own bachelor pad. We did put Phyllis in there with him, but she started pecking at the back of his head, so she's back with the rest of the chickens. Tim wasn't really thrilled about having to whip up a home for Albert. This just hasn't been Tim's weekend. Sorry Tim.
   I haven't gotten around to cutting out my shorts pattern. There's always tomorrow. It's suppose to be 85 tomorrow. Way to hot.
   We bought our tomato plants yesterday. They are sitting all over the kitchen counters. We forgot to get cherry tomatoes, so I guess we'll do that later. One year, we really should start the seeds nice and early in the house and just use them instead of buying them.
   Since it's Mother's Day, I'm taking the rest of the day off. I hope all you mothers out there have a nice day.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Are You Sure It's Really Spring?

   Well, it's May 11, and our low this morning was 25. It is suppose to be our last really cold morning with lows from now on in the 40's and above. We plan on planting the garden this weekend like so many other people up here, so hopefully this is true. Monday is suppose to be 85 which is really much hotter than normal, so I guess I'll get started on sewing my summer clothes. We're normally in the mid to upper 60's this time of year.
   Finally, after years of cracked sore fingers, my fingers are healed. I really hope it lasts. I will be able to spin again. I have missed spinning and my spinning wheels are suffering from neglect, and I've heard them calling me for a while now. The only down side to not having cracked fingers is all the new skin, and thinner layers of skin, make them really heat sensitive. I can live with that.
   Albert, Phyllis and the gang keep getting bigger. They are funny. If they hear or see me, they come running, but don't do this for anyone else. I guess they know who feeds them. I gave them their first of apple peelings  the other day. They were funny. All 6 of them look at the peelings and then turn and all look up at me like  "what are we suppose to do with this". I just have to remember, I have chickens to feed scraps to now and not put everything into the compost pile. I have read they aren't suppose to eat raw potato parts because they could get sick. Also onions and garlic unless you want off tasting eggs. I'm not really sure about the potatoes, though, because I'm pretty sure a friend of mine fed her chickens potato skins and her chickens did just fine. If anyone out there knows, could you let me know. I'm new to chickens.
   We haven't had anymore visiting livestock from behind us for a couple of weeks now. The calves are fun to watch. One was just running around yesterday afternoon, having a high old time. I haven't been close enough to cows before to know the calves played. It only makes sense that they do.
   The deer keep eating our rhubarb. I guess the rhubarb leaves aren't poisonous to deer. We're going to have to move them into the fenced garden, we think. Since they have never gotten really big, thanks to the deer, it will be an easy thing to do.
   I'm thinking about making more yogurt again. My yogurt tasted very good, and was thick until I stirred it and then it was like a milkshake. I can live with milkshake yogurt. I did make vanilla yogurt because I just don't like plain yogurt. Now, for fun, I guess I'll get up and do something exciting, like eat lunch.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Just Kidding

   Well, spring is finally in the air, every once in a while for an hour or 2 anyway. The last couple of years we have had visiting sheep in the yard, but this year is different. All those cute little kids, the 4 legged kind from behind us, have visited. It's a really good thing we haven't planted the garden yet and they didn't find the berries or the fruit trees. The 6 little visitors really liked eating the pine trees. I still am a goat person, but they are more work than I want to do right now in my midlife old age.
   I have been busy sewing, finally. I have made one shirt, 2 pin cushions made with 4 oz canning jars and 2 quilt tops. Once I can get the computer to cooperate and let me do something with my photos, I'll but them up here. I'm still trying to figure out this new computer. Yup, I'm technology challenged. Anyway, I'm making all the quilts patchwork quilts. I remember being a kid, and having kids, and there is, was and always the same whine of "How come theirs is different", so, except for the placement of the squares, they are all pretty much the same. I am going to make the backs different and I'm going to embroider their names and the dates and that the quilts are from me on each one. I haven't decided if I'm going to close my eyes and pick a quilt for each grandchild or some other way. Two will maybe be a little girlier than the other 3. The sizes of the quilts are 50 something by 60 something. How do you like those exact measurements?
   I definitely have a Phyllis and an Albert White Crested Black Polish chicken. I had hoped I did. I guess I just was lucky to get one of each and not 2 roosters. Five chickens and one rooster is good.
   Spring maybe in the air, but it snowed yesterday morning and this morning. It's a good thing it didn't stick!
   Tim and I bought 4 grape plants and another blueberry, 2 concord and 2 black seedless grapes and a giant blueberry. If everything we already have and the new fruit trees and berries we bought earlier grow, I'm going to be very, very busy. Our veggie garden this year is suppose to be about 45'x90'. Last years garden didn't do all that well, and that seems to be how most peoples gardens grew last year.
   The hummingbirds are back and we told Amy if she's outside and hears a buzzing close to her head, don't swat at it, since more than likely it will be a hummingbird.
   Monday, I went to the dermatologist about my hands. For lack of a better thing to call it, the diagnosis is hand dermatitis. I got a huge steroid shot and some cream that's suppose to work wonders. The Dr. said my hands should be better, but still not great by the end of the week. The cream I use twice a day and I'm suppose to wait at least 5 minutes before touching my face. Wouldn't you know it, as soon as I finish rubbing it in, my face itches. I'm really hopping the shot and the cream really do the trick. I have things I want to do, besides my fingers are painful.
   My excitement for today is make some cookies. I just really don't know what kind I want to make. I guess I'd better get to it. Can you read the enthusiasm.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Nice Weather Equals A New Rototiller

   The weather has been nice the last few days for a change so it was time to start tilling up the garden. Unfortunately, the engine on our trusty 25 year old Troy Bilt Econo horse tiller went out with a big, loud bang last year. We really like having a garden, so a new tiller it was. We did debate about renting one, but decided in the long run, we'd just rather have our own.
   Before we bought the new tiller, Tim had ordered an engine that was suppose to fit the old tiller. Well, guess what? It didn't, and it seems there isn't replacement engines for it. That's not what the internet said, but I guess you shouldn't believe everything you read.
   My chicks are 5 weeks old now, and it would be really nice if they were outside. We are still getting night time temperatures below freezing. Three of the Golden Comet chicks just don't get that you don't peck the hand that feeds you. The smaller one we call Penny, is still friendly. She is in with the White Crested Black Polish chicks. They are also still nice. I can tell them apart because one has black on the top of it's beak. I still don't know if one is a rooster yet, but I'm leaning toward no.
   I have been very busy cutting out 6 inch squares for 5 quilts to start with and more to follow after I finish those. I'm just going to tie those quilts and the next quilts I will try the quilting attachments on my sewing machine.
   Poor Chip was neutered a couple of weeks ago and my mother-in-law said he has a higher pitched bark than he used to. Chip had some problems after his surgery. He could only walk a couple of steps and the sat down in a hurry. There was no way he would wear the E collar, so he had stronger pain pills and a strong sedative to take to knock him out. Then, because he licked the incesion, it got a little infected. He's back to his old self now. Even Jake was worried about him.
   Michaela has learned how to turn in circles so right now, she's turning and turning and turning, making herself dizzy, falling over and saying "Uh Oh", her favorite words lately. The other day, there were some deer outside and the dogs saw them and ran up to the window, barking at them. Michaela ran up to the window and barked at them, too. She also now howls like the dogs. You'd think she was being raised by wolves. I don't know what she'll do when she goes to daycare when Amy is going back to college.
   I finally have an appointment to see a dermatologist about my hands. I sure hope the doctor can figure out why my fingers crack and what to do for them. I have so many things I need and want to get done. Well, the dryer is calling me and it's not even towels calling me to fold them, it's shirts that need hung up, so I'd better not ignore them.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Punxsutawney Phil Must Have Been Right

   Well, spring is here and it snowed 6 inches over night. I guess the groundhog was right., 6 more weeks of winter. The wind is blowing and the snow is still falling, off and on. According to weather maps, places where it's usually still cold are warmer than we are up here.
   The chicks out grew their box and are now in a bigger box. Actually, they are in a big plastic box because I have smart chickens. They were working on a jail break. I guess it was really a cardboard box break. It seems they aren't really chicks at all, they are chucks. They danced in their water like ducks, got the cardboard nice and soggy and then started to peck and scratch a hole in the bottom. At least it was the bottom and not the side. At the rate the chicks are growing and the way the weather is cooperating, on day I'll wake up and find eggs in their box. I kind of feel like a Ma and Pa Kettle movie.
   Spending this much time with the chicks, I see they have personalities. The 15 chickens we had before seemed unusually stupid, but then, that could have been because we started out with too many chickens. One of the Golden chicks is much bigger than the other 3. I'm still assuming it's a female, but what do I know? It stands up big and tall and acts like it's in charge. Another of the Goldens is much smaller than the rest and is everybody's friend. We call this one Penny.
   The Polish chicks are starting to look really deranged with their feathers coming in on their cone heads. They seem to be trouble makers and I'm pretty sure they were the ones that started the jail break. I've named them Phyllis and Albert after Phyllis Diller and Albert Einstein because of their hair.
Since I still don't know if they are male or female, I have Phillip and Alberta as back up names. I'm kind of leaning toward them both being little roosters. I really hope they are out of the house before then.
   Tim's grandfather raised roosters, the really pretty kind with the bright colors and nice long tail feathers. One winter, his grandmother found a hurt dove and nursed it back to health. It lived in the basement most of the time. Tim and I went to visit his grandparents one time and we slept in the basement. It was a good place to have the guest/everything else room since it was in Kansas. Anyway, one morning this terrible noise woke us up. We just couldn't figure out what it was. We knew it wasn't one of the roosters because we knew what they sound like. We ask Tim's grandma what it was and she said it was the dove. It stopped making dove noise a long time ago and now, it just did it imitation of a rooster crowing.
   I've started cutting up old and outgrown jeans for the quilts I'm making for the grand kids. I've decided straight denim quilts would be too heavy for the kids, since I really don't want to squish them, so I need to go and buy some heavyish bright and kiddish material to go with the denim. Why not start another project when I haven't finished all the others? I do have the towels folded, so I'm good. I'll take pictures of the many crafts as I finish them.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A New Computer And I still Can't Hit The Right Keys Or Spell

    I bought a new laptop last weekend. It's pretty nice and I'm positive it's more computer than I need. Tim has inherited my old 6 year old one. Do you remember the old days when you actually got a paper owners manual? I miss those days. I haven't even found an owners manual for this computer on the computer. I guess since it's 2012, everyone figures you should know what you're doing by now. Guess again. I guess I just have to waste more time on it trying to figure it out. Maybe, Adobe Digital Editions will work on this computer. Maybe, a newer program didn't like an older computer.
   I've started playing Words With Friends with Daniel, Alyssa and Daniel's girlfriend Amy. Except for Amy, Alyssa was right when she said we really suck at playing Scrabble. I think it would really help if we got some vowels. And a brain.
   The birds are busy making nests, so I guess spring is on it's way, even if we are suppose to get more snow and a lot more rain. Once again, it's not bluebirds building their nest in the bluebird house. Oh well, as long as some bird uses it, it's OK.
   On our trip into town for our Walmart tip, we passed the Big R Farm and Ranch store and noticed they had some fruit trees, so of course, we just had to stop. We bought 2 peach trees, 2 apricot trees, 2 pear trees and 1 apple tree. no partridge, though. We would have bought another apple tree, but they didn't have Honeycrisps in yet. We also bought more ruhbarb to replace ours that didn'tt survive the soggy spring last year.
    Then, we went in to pay for the trees and started looking around. Big mistake, and yes, it was my mistake, but Tim said I could. Seems along with spring comes chicks. There were these really neat looking White Crested Black Polish chicks. Well, I talked Tim into getting a couple. He said as long as I was getting chicks, get some layers, so I got 4 Golden Comet chicks. I hope they're not all roosters, since they were all sold as straight run. The girl who helped with the chicks said the Golden Comets were females. Who knows about the White Crested.
   Now, this wouldn't have been so bad, but we have no chicken coop. Tim was planning on making one this year, now he just gets to build one sooner. Right now, since they are tiny chicks, they are in a box with a heat lamp heating it up on the dryer. (Do you think this will get me out of folding towels?) By next weekend, they will need a bigger box. I know for a fact, they will lay more eggs than we will use. Maybe, I can sell some or give some to a food bank if there is one out here that takes fresh eggs. When we lived in CA and I had all my ducks, I gave the local food bank my surplus duck eggs. I guess it's a good thing all the goslings were in last week, because I miss having geese. The ducklings will be in in a couple of weeks. I miss them, too.
   A long time ago, when I got my first goat, we didn't have a place for him, either. We seem to do things backwards. I noticed yesterday that the people behind us have had a lot of kids born. They were having such a good time playing on their big cable spool. I miss goats, too. I'll just watch the neighbors goats since it's cheaper if I just watch them.
   I guess I'll get up and do the dishes and then see if I can come up with some words playing scrabble. It's a rough life I lead. Oh!! The ice is pretty much melted, so I can start going outside again as long as I don't sink in the mud.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Winter Finally Came

   Yes, winter finally made it. It has snowed off and on since Saturday and we have about 13 inches of snow with last nights snow added to it. I know, 13 inches isn't really all that much, but it's the most we've had on the ground at one time this winter. We had a low of 7 yesterday morning which is the coldest we've been this winter, as well.
   With the snow, comes less mud right now. We still have all that mud under the snow, but it's frozen for most of the day. It's so muddy here, it's not even funny. Twice the traffic up the driveway has made a much, much bigger mess. All the rain hasn't helped, either, and all this snow when it melts won't help matters any. I was going to go out and take mud pictures, but it seems to be under snow right now. I know, you've all seen mud before, but you haven't seen our driveway muddy.
   We all seem to be over what ever ailment we had, except Tim and I still have the cough that won't go away. Daniel didn't get it as bad as Tim and I and so far, Amy and Michaela haven't managed to get it. Tim told me last night that round 2 is going around work now. I hope it just passes us right on by. I've had my yearly bout of who knows what.
   I'm not moving very fast on all my projects. I did decide I'm leaving the top of the heads open for stuffing future Dammit Dolls and then just sew them up with the sewing machine. I'm hand sewing the openings together on the dolls I have now. I did consider resewing the dolls and unstitching the top of the heads, but I sewed them really well and I figure it's more trouble than it's worth. I'm suppose to make a box full and send them to Daniel and Amy since Amy has friends who would like one.
   My fingers are in an almost healed phase right now, so I will eventually start crocheting the Roly Polies for them, too.
   I'm waiting for the weather to warm up to wash all the llama hair, but am thinking about washing it now anyway. I even thought about sending it off to be commercially processed, but have no idea of where to send it these days. It's cheaper if I do it myself, anyway and I do have the time to do it, just not the place to scatter it around to dry.
   I'm thinking about getting a new laptop, but have no idea what is a good, yet inexpensive kind. I was considering a tablet and I had decided on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 32gb 10.1, but I was told I'd have a monthly bill for the wifi and I don't want that. I already have wifi and I don't want to pay for it twice. I think I really need to go and talk to someone who knows more about laptops and tablets than I do, which is just about anyone.
   I am very annoyed with Adobe Digital Editions. One reason I bought the Nook Color last year was because I could download library books onto it. I have only been able to twice. That is the worst program. Now, if I could just figure out how to unregister form ADE and start over again, it would be nice. I have uninstalled the program and done everything else the "helpful" hints say to do, but no luck. I have managed to use the program before, so I know how it's done, but now it comes up with some error message on my computer, so I have uninstalled it again and am frustrated enough, I just might not use it again. Sometimes technology is a real pain in the ass.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

You Know It's A Bad Sign When...

   You know it's a bad sign when you go to Walmart and as soon as you're in the store, there a many, many displays of cold and flu medicines. That's what we went to Walmart for, and so did every other sick person in Spokane and the surrounding areas. Let's all just spread more germs.
   When we made it to the cough and cold/flu isle, people were so rude and pushy. They just had to get in the way and grab their medicine, while I stood there and tried to figure out what exactly I could take. I chose my generic Vicks Vapo Rub, Vicks inhaler and 2 different kids of Coricidin medicine. One for coughs and one for no coughs. I stared and read many packages of cough drops and decided I'd just get lemon drops or peppermint candy.
   We got the dog food and and other dog stuff we needed so it was on to the grocery department. We bumped into those same sick, pushy rude people on the Kleenex isle, which was just about picked clean. I found a 3 pack of non lotion, non medicated Puffs and we were on our merry way.
   We bought cookies and bread because I sure don't feel like standing around making any, and the all important Hot Chocolate Mix and my Chocolate Nesquick. Nesquick will cure all that ails me and life will be good again.
   We paid for our few items that totaled $147 and were headed home when I remembered we didn't get the no cough pills, lemon drops or peppermint candy.
   We took the stuff we had home, because some of it needed to be refrigerated and then went to BiMart in Deer Park to spread our sick germs around and to collect someone else's sick germs at the same time. A quick stop at the fast foods drive up window for dinner, because I didn't feel like fixing dinner, and then we went home.
   I hate being sick. I know, no one likes being sick, so It's a good thing I only get sick once a year, but the cough seems to hang on forever. I hope this years latest virus passes you by, it's no fun.

Monday, January 30, 2012

From This, To This

We have finally had snow. It comes and it goes, but at least it's snow. It was snowing really hard in this picture.
After the heavy snowfall, we had this. It was really pretty. We had about 10" of fine, powdery snow on top of a sheet of ice from the last snow then rain. The weather can't seem to make up it's mind. Hmm snow, rain, snow, I wonder what I'll do today?

Well, it's rained again and this is what our front yard looks like. A nice sheet of ice with standing water on it. Needless to say, I'm not supposed to go outside.

This is the backyard. You can still see the ruts where the UPS driver thought he'd drive. The ice is surrounding the house and id continues down the driveway. I'm sure the driveway is a real mess, but since I'm not going out until this weekend, I can only imagine from past winters. Our backyard slants some, but I kept tilting the camera for the backyard shot. I guess that happens as you hang out the door. We have more rain and snow in the forecast this week. I really feel sorry for poor Jake. He hates icky feet and there is just no way for him to avoid all this mess.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Oh, The Joys Of Homeownership

   Yesterday, we had a plumbing problem and I hope not to have it again. Backed up sewage in the walk in shower. Yuck!!! Our septic tank is either full, or it's just not draining because the ground happens to frozen rock hard. It's much cheaper if the ground is frozen than if the tank is full because it will cost $300.00 to get it pumped.
   We have had rain, snow and frozen rain lately. The yard is a slippery mess. I think it's a good thing I can't go out now.
   The bears still don't have any clothes and I haven't started the others yet. I have been busy but have nothing to show for it. I did make a cute elephant I named Nelli Funt. Now, I need to make a lot more to send to Daniel to try and sell. Other critters besides Nelli Funt.

   Michaela has new toys. Small cans of Mighty Dog dog food. I have them stacked in the pantry, all 5 of them, and she likes to take them and put them in a line by the front door. Once they are all there, she carries them all back to the pantry and leaves them in front of the door. See, she didn't need toys bought for her. She also likes hot pads, egg separators and measuring spoons an cups. Oven mitts are also good.
   If it wasn't for the antics of a 13 month old, it would be really dull around here.

Friday, January 6, 2012

"Our Bears Need Clothes" Said The Grand Kids

   Well, I'm not done with bears after all. Besides making 3 19" bears for Amy, Alyssa and I, I have been informed the bears I made for the grand kids for Christmas need clothes. Ashlynn is going to ask her dad if he needs a bear, too. I don't know if the 19" bears will have clothes. I think they will probably end up with some clothes since kids will think they need some.
   Anyway, Micheal was very specific about the clothes his bear needs. A striped shirt and red and white shorts. I ask him if I could just make them any color and he told me that he really wants a striped shirt. I guess any color will do as long as it has stripes. He's still thinking of a name for his bear.
   Alix named his bear Arm Pit Bear. Don't ask me why. Probably because he's 4 almost 5. His bear needs shoes and socks.
   Ashlynn named her bear Purple bear because it's purple and it's a girl bear, so it needs girl clothes. Ashlynn also told me I made Nathan's bear a sad mouth and hers a straight face. At least all the bears were a success.
   I'm also going to make some little roly polie ball critters to send to Daniel to sell since he says he could. They are quick and easy to make. If he can sell them it will be nice. I have always planned to make things and try to sell them, but gifty type crafts take over.
   I have been cutting up jeans for the denim quilts, but that's hard on my thumb. I have only started cutting the jeans apart and not into squares. I did decide on 6" squares. My projects keep on coming.
   Seed catalogs are starting to come in, so Tim and I have been drooling over them. Our snow is still no where to be seen. If we don't get any, it's going to be a terrible wildfire year.