Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What a bunch of crocks

Sometimes, I'm just so witty that I can't stand myself!

This post is about, naturally, some of my crocks. I've picked them up over the years from the farm, and from Grandma B's house. I've always liked crocks and use them all over the house. In fact, in loading these pictures, I realized I left three out! The one above, we use to store our fire starting "stuff" beside the fireplace. I think I need a bigger crock here to hide the "stuff" better, but so far, I've refrained from buying any far.
This one sits above the cabinets.

Another one...yes, I like sunflowers. Most of my crocks are 1 or 2 gallon crocks. I imagine most were used for making pickles. Mom says that Grandma W. had a fantastic pickle recipe where she set the pickles out in the sun in a crock. I imagine that recipe disappeared with Grandma.

This one is my biggest crock and I've always loved these artificial blue wildflowers. They go together!

The butter churn is technically a crock, but it's cracked and doesn't hold water. It was one of the treasures we rescued from the trailer house. The lid and the dasher were also out there, but were in different rooms. Someday, I really hope to buy a new butter churn simply because well, this one will eventually fall apart. The arrows beside this crock are simply there because I keep forgetting to put them away. They've only sat there since October... It's that camo pattern on them, makes them blend right in to the cabinet, carpet and the crock.
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A parental vent...

It's been a while since I've whined, or complained, or vented about life with Miss Kat...

And, I'm not doing it today either. Instead, I'm venting, whining, and complaining about my other child...Andy. You know, the male one, the one who graduated from High School a year ago? Yep, him.

He's almost completed his first year of college and he's still living at home. But. lord love a duck, I'm about ready to pack his bags and send him...elsewhere...

Our arrangement was that he could live at home for free, but he would still do chores and such for the family. Most of the time, he's done a good job...kinda.

Saturday, I was in a cleaning mood. You know, one of those moods you get when you get compulsive about cleaning and wind up doing those non-typical chores like wash walls and vacuum ceilings. I decided to give both kids a break, and vacuum the basement myself. Besides, no one else was at home, and I needed something to do since I wasn't nagging or yelling at anyone. So, I started picking up the basement family room and went to put Andy's laptop into his room rather than leave it lying on the floor. I opened the door and instantly heard horror music.

You know, the music you hear right as someone is getting killed? That's what I heard upon opening the door.

Andy has tan carpet in his room. But the color I saw was black. BLACK carpet. Carpet covered with so much dog hair, that it was black. Upon seeing it, I think I blacked out... When I came to, I knew I had to clean that mess up. I could not stand having any room look like that, or smell like that, in my house! So, I vacuumed, and vacuumed and then, the vacuum cleaner was full. I emptied it and started again.

By the time Andy's carpet was tan again, I had emptied the cup on the vacuum 4 times! There was enough dog hair in that room to create at least 2 more dogs. After vacuuming for an hour in that one room, I decided to leave the dusting for Andy to do himself. He was supposed to do it yesterday (because he was gone all weekend.) As of 10 p.m. last night, it wasn't done. It's still not done.

I am not a happy camper.

And then...last night, I asked Andy to get some bacon out of the freezer, to shut up the chickens and gather the eggs. At 9:30, when I went to bed, I reminded him again to:

  • get out the bacon
  • gather the eggs
  • turn off the light above the stove in the kitchen
  • shut up the chickens
  • and let out the dogs before going to bed.

This morning, I found...the kitchen light still eggs...the chickens were not shut up and I'd venture to bet that the dogs hadn't been let out.

Sadly, I know he was busy playing freecell on the computer and texting, so I know he was extremely busy... I get that, but sheesh! Do something kid! Somehow, the senior-itis I thought we might see last year didn't show up until this year. Makes me want to grab him, put him over my knee and beat his behind. Unfortunately, he's got me by a few pounds and inches.

But I promise you this, if he keeps it up, he's moving out!

He'll keep his own house clean, right?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom for today:

When driving a tractor across a pasture, make sure you are wearing a bra.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I'm looking for the pattern for the center bookmark above. I've searched my usual sources, but am coming up blank. If anyone out there knows where I can get my grubby hands on this bookmark pattern, I'll love you forever!

I've searched online, I've googled, I've searched in online stitchery stores and so far, I've come up blank. So, if any of you guys ever run into this pattern, give me a shout.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Turkey hunting 2010

Having never Turkey hunted before, I have to admit I learned quite a lot on our trip. Probably the most important thing I learned was that sometimes, it pays NOT to pack light.

I typically am a light packer. I take what I need and nothing more. I coordinate my wardrobe so that I can get buy with one or 2 pair of shoes. I do not take an extra make-up bag simply because most of the time, what I need is just a hair brush, a pony tail holder and a toothbrush. Now, sometimes I will throw in mascara and eyeliner, it just depends on what I'm doing on the trip.

So, this time, I packed both camo pants, two long sleeved shirts, a sweatshirt and my light camo coat. I took my light weight boots and one extra pair of sandals. I had a pair of jeans and sweats and a tee shirt and 3 pair of socks. That's primarily it. rained 2 inches before our arrival, and 2 inches on Thursday. Which is an insane amount for NW Kansas!

So, sandals weren't a very practical choice. And, my boots weren't waterproof and rapidly became soaked. Nothing is more uncomfortable than feet in wet, cold boots and soggy socks. And, since it kept raining, nothing could dry out. Fortunately, Lynn had brought extra boots and fortunately for me, he has little feet (for a guy) and I could wear his extra boots (since I have big feet for a girl.)

Lesson learned? No matter what the forecast, take the waterproof boots when turkey hunting!

I also learned that Turkey really rely on their sharp vision to keep them safe. Noise doesn't bother them. So, while we were sitting there, waiting for our turkeys to come in, we could talk to each other. In fact, the sound of the gun going off didn't scare off the other two Toms that came in with my Tom. And, as my Tom was dying and flopping around, the other two toms were rushing in to see if he was mounting a hen. If so, they wanted some action too!

Lesson learned? That all men have a one track mind... no, seriously, I learned that you can make noise and not bother your prey.

On Thursday afternoon, we did have a nice sunny afternoon. After lunch, the guys took a short nap while I sat outside in our camping chair, and read a book. I also texted Andy some pictures of my Turkey. When we went back out to hunt, I just left my book, a library book, sitting in my chair with my phone. Less than an hour later, it was pouring rain and thundering continuously. When we got back to camp, I found my library book and my cell phone sitting in 2 inches of water. Ugg. The phone still works (miracle of miracles!) but the book was ruined.

Lesson leaned? To always put "perishables" back in the camper when leaving camp. I now have to buy a new book for the library to replace the one I ruined.

It was a great trip. Besides seeing the turkey, Kev found the carcass of a deer with a beautiful set of antlers. He broke the spine, and brought the head home so he can have a "European" Mount. He's still a little smelly, and doesn't look very pretty, but still, it was neat to find him. And, we also saw several deer--more than a dozen. I got out my grunt tube, but they wouldn't talk to me...typical.

We also realized how much we missed hunting in that area and probably most importantly, we miss hunting with Lynn. It was a great trip, and I'm very glad that Kev asked me to spend our anniversary with him and go turkey hunting. :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The trip

Forgive me for not blogging about our trip sooner...but it was a very busy weekend here, and yesterday; I was exhausted! We arrived at the Condo-Minium about 8 p.m. Wednesday evening--just after a rainstorm dropped 2" of rain. The road up to the Condo is not maintained, and part of our way up the hill, we were driving uphill sideways. I kid you not.

This is a shot of the "condo." It's a 1962 camper. It might be 10 feet long. Inside, there's room for one person to stand and everyone else has to either sit, or be in bed. There's 2 bunks--one above the hitch, the other in the back of the camper above the table. The table will also come down and the benches can be pulled out as a bed. That's where Kev and I slept. Lynn slept in the front bunk. He mentioned that he felt like a "bean in a burrito" up there. Believe me, there wasn't room for him to roll over! Kev and I hunted together. Me with his shot gun him, with his bow. I couldn't use my shotgun because it's a trap gun and the pattern of the shot was too wide. You want a tight pattern when hunting turkeys. I got one around 11 that first morning, Thursday, our actual anniversary.
I hate having my picture taken, but Kev insisted that we keep a shot of me with the bird. I am, in all my glory. It was a 20 yard shot. I wasn't nervous at all. Probably because I've shot critters before (although a turkey is lots smaller than a deer!)

Of course I had to carry out my own bird! He weighed between 15 and 20 lbs. His beard was 8 1/4 inches long and we forgot to measure his spurs, but I'm guess-timating that they were 3/4". Now, we had probably a half mile walk back to the camper, which wasn't bad at all, but my turkey bled out on the way back...and he got rather heavy. I had to switch shoulders a couple of times...upon arrival at camp, we discovered this:

Blood all over the seat of my pants where the turkey's head bumped against my seat all the way back. They were soaked and I had to wash up once we got back to camp. After lunch, we plucked "Tom" and put him on ice, took a nap, and went back out to see if Kev and Lynn could get a turkey.
When Kev called my turkey in, two other Tom's came in as well. Kev did get a shot off at one Tom, but it was an uphill shot and Kev's arrow went right between that turkey's legs! So, he still needed a turkey. Lynn decided to sit with us because he hadn't seen anything all morning long.
We went back out around 3 p.m. About 4 p.m., a thunderstorm blew in and it rained and thundered for the next several hours. They guys did call in two more turkeys, but they were "Jakes", or young Tom turkeys. They came in to the calls, but they were really most interested in "Bubba", the Tom decoy. One Jake strutted around that decoy, the other kept walking around in circles just staring at the decoy when all at once, he threw out his wing and SMACKED the decoy! Smacked him hard enough to knock "Bubba" down! It was hilarious. Since the guys wanted mature turkeys, they didn't even shoot at the Jakes, but let them strut away, secure in the knowledge that they taught "Bubba" a lesson or two.
There's more to share about our trip, but I'll save that for another post. But I will say that I had a great time on our Anniversary trip to the Condo.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Our trip

Kev and I are going on a 15th Anniversary trip. Unlike most people, we are NOT going on a cruise. Nor will we be spending the night in a hotel. No sexy nighties, no candle lit dinners, no rose petals... We will probably have supper by lantern light and enjoy the sunset and sunrise together dressed in our finest camo.

We're spending our 15th anniversary on a Turkey Hunting trip. Kev usually spends our anniversary with Lynn Dale, hunting, but this year, he asked me to go along. Since I have to use 12 vacation days before June 30, I decided to give it a go and go along! (I usually let the guys have their "guy time" turkey hunting.)

Of course this means that our children will be home alone...but they should be old enough, right? Andy is almost 19 and Kat is 14. My greatest fear is that they might kill each other. On the other hand...Kev and I will have the shotguns and a I'm fairly confident that they will be fine...I'm not so confident that any of the animals will get fed or the eggs gathered, or even that my house will be remotely clean when I get home.

We leave tomorrow after work, which means that tonight we'll be frantically getting everything together and loaded in the pickup. Ugg...

But, it's my 15th anniversary on the 15th of April (Death & Taxes day)...and dang it, I'm going on a "romantic" trip with my husband...and Lynn Dale.

Come to think of reminds me of my honeymoon...Lynn was with us then too!

Monday, April 12, 2010

spring projects

I happen to be married to a man who always has to have a project or 2, or 3, or 10 to do. Now that it's spring, Kev's thoughts have turned from inside projects to outside projects.

The list so far includes...revamping the big pond...building a walkway from the porch around to the sitting area...the garden...the greenhouse...staining the a pond for my Mom...doing some "honey-do projects for me a deer blind...burn the house at the Hill...Clean up at the farm...plant a deer plot...move the stairs in the basement...get the boat running... rebuild my chicken pen...
I'm sure I'm forgetting one, or two. Thing is...sometimes he starts projects and then they sit there, waiting to be finished for years. And, eventually, most get completed, or revamped completely.

He did some work on his big pond last weekend. He dug the wall back and reset his rocks and added some new rocks. Then he had to work on his pump to make sure it pumped. He still needs to clean out the filter and get it running full time. Saturday, we ran to DC and picked up some lumber to build a walkway that will run from the sidewalk on the west side of the house around the little pond, over to our seating area by the big pond. We (and yes, I helped) then set the runners and started work on the walkway. It's going to be a wooden "sidewalk" with 3 nice "curves" in it. So far, we've managed to get it done about 1/2 way. But, we won't have time to work on it again for 2 weeks, so there it sits...waiting.

And, while we're working on this project, Kev is already planning on what he's doing next. I tell ya, I'm glad we had to go to work today...I needed the rest!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

My "Grandmother" quilt

This is NOT an "Old Crap" post. It might be about my Grandmas, and it might be about a quilt, but it is NOT "old".

Not when I worked on this quilt...

With my grandmas...

20 some years ago.

That does NOT make this quilt old...

Grandma Woodruff made quilts. She made each of her great grand children a baby quilt. I'm sure that when she decided to do this, she never realized that she'd make over 40 quilts before she died. But, she did. Andy has a baby quilt she made. Kat doesn't, since she was born a year after Grandma died. But, Kat's Great Grandma Berends DID make her a quilt, and it is next to Andy's quilt in my ceder chest.

Anyway, Grandma W. bought this kit to embroider these quilt squares sometime in the late '70's. She embroidered 4 squares and then asked me if I would like to finish embroidering them. I said yes, so she gave me the paper bag of floss and all 12 quilt blocks. I embroidered 4 before putting it aside.

During the early '80's, my other Grandma, Grandma B, offered to stitch up the remaining 4 blocks. So, I passed on the sack of floss and the blocks to her. She finished the remaining blocks. By this time, I had finally graduated from college. Grandma W. told me that if I would piece the quilt, she'd quilt it for me.

So, I "borrowed" my sewing machine from Mom and took it to Colby with me to piece the quilt.

I wanted to piece it with green fabric, but everyone else thought I should use pink. And, pink fabric was easier to find than green was, so we went with pink. Mom helped me figure how wide to make my strips of fabric, but I tore them and sewed them myself. (and, I hated every minute of it.) Then, I brought the finished top, and the remaining fabric to Grandma W.

She sat up her quilt stand (that Grandad had made her years before) and quilted this for me. All hand quilted. She used the leftover fabric for the binding and she decided on the design for the quilting. She traced it on the fabric with a pencil and then quilted away!
I used to have it on my bed, when I was single and had a double bed. But then I put it away. Some of the embroidery work was pulling loose (probably because I didn't tie as good of knots as either of my grandmothers did.) Now and then, I lay it out on the guest bed so that it doesn't develop permanent fold marks, and so the fabric doesn't break down as quickly. The dogs are not allowed on this quilt. Neither are the kids. For that matter, Kevin isn't allowed to use it either! I will, however, allow overnight guests to use it...if they are responsible adults.
I love this quilt because it's the only project that both of my much loved Grandma's worked on and shared with me. Both of my Grandma's quilted. But, it's one craft that I will never do. I really disliked piecing this simple quilt. I can't imagine piecing anything more complicated. I think I'd rather stick nails under my fingernails!
But, this is my quilt. My special quilt that no matter how old it is, it will never be "old crap."

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

I want that Wednesday...

I have a huge problem. You all know that I've decided to decorate my office with lots of pictures (stitched pictures) of books and reading. Well, I think I have a problem...

Look at these designs from Heaven and Earth Designs and tell me if you can guess my problem...

They are too cute!
And, very elaborate. Most of these use 70-90 different colors of floss. Imagine how often you have to change colors!
And, the recommended fabric is 25 count...but to stitch over ONE strand. Look at a ruler. See how big an inch is. Now, divide it by 25...see my problem?
Look at the detail in these designs...can you imagine? And, each chart is 30+ pages... for ONE picture!
I want to try one...I really do...but I can't decide which one to attempt...and then, do I really want to do it on 25 count fabric when I struggle stitching 18 count? Can I see something that small?
Who out there loves me enough to stitch all these up for me? Anyone? Yeah...I didn't think so...maybe next year I'll get one of these and stitch it up.

Finished--"Reading opens up my World"

It's finished! Mr. Dragon is finished. backstitching, turkey stitching, beading...all finished.

Reading opens up my World

36 Ct. Belfast Linen

I had Friday off from work (Good Friday), and spent most of the day finishing up. I backstitched everything, and sewed on the beads and charms. Still not sure if I sewed the charms on correctly because the moon won't lay flat. And I adjusted the fairy's beads in her hair, because the beads that the pattern called for seemed to be too big, so I used some of the beads from her wings. My turkey stitch on the dragon's tail isn't as full as the original photo, but the original stitcher probably used that punch needle. I did not.

While I am very happy with the finished product, The pattern and directions weren't the best. Colors were listed in the key that were never used and some of the backstitiching wasn't labeled as to what color to use, so I guessed. I now think I should have used the same floss to do the backstitching on "Fairy Tales" book as I did on the "Reading" books, but the pattern didn't say to use the same floss and by the time I decided that I should have done that...I wasn't about to rip those stitches just to change floss.

But, it's finished, washed and pressed. Next step is framing...I need to decide what I want there and get it done.

This last shot of Mr. Dragon shows what happens when you take a picture and then don't check the location of your charms...

I've already started my next project... "Mom's Kitchen".

The kit came with Aida cloth 14 count, but I don't like Aida cloth, so I'm using some 28 ct. Lugana in Antique White that I had on hand. I just like working on evenweave fabrics better than stiff Aida.

I started this on Sunday and got about 5 hours of stitching time in. I've also had to rip a few times simply because I'm an idiot. See that checkered floor? I ripped the red squares 4 times or so simply because I kept looking at the symbol for the black instead of the red, so I had to start over and over and over. It's mostly full x's, so not fractional stitches on this project. I think it will go fast--even if it's 18 inches long!

Working on this, I keep thinking that I need to find an old egg beater and some of those green jars to put in my real kitchen and near this picture...when it's finished and on the wall.

(hint hint family...Christmas ideas...hint hint...wink wink...)