Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm a winner!!.......

The other night while I was dealing with J.J.'s high numbers I get an e-mail saying I'm a winner. What a bright spot to a bad night!

What had happened was my absolute favorite quilt designer, Carrie Nelson over at Miss Rosie's Quilt Company started up a blog. She had a "giveaway". She was going to giveaway a quilt kit to a person who commented on her blog. Well, I happened to read the blog about 8 hours after the deadline. So I didn't comment. When she announced the winner, it ended up she gave away 15 kits....everyone who commented. Even those that commented late. MAN was I bummed. So I made a comment. And you know what happened next. She e-mailed telling me I was a winner too!! She is soooo sweet, and very generous!!

This is what I won!

I'm a WINNER!!

Can you believe it?

The only problem....when I picked out this pattern (she gave us 4 to choose from)....I didn't realize it was extremely similar to a project I just put together and bought!!!

My Own Kit....

Look at that! I must have a one track mind!!!

So now I'm somewhat wishing I had picked another kit, but also wondering if I should just make both of them since they are a little different, or return the packs of fabric to Jess's quilt shop, and start over.....hmmmmm...what to do?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Are you going to blog about that?...

Having been a blogger for less than a year, my family has come to realize that they may be the target of a blog post. Sometimes after an incident I hear, "You're not going to blog about that, are you?" OR " I can see a blog post about this."

One such incident occurred on Labor Day. Now mind you, I would not share this, but the person involved keeps asking me if I have blogged about it, which makes me wonder....."Does this person really want me to share with the world what they did?" I tend to think this person does. So here is the rest of the story....

On Labor Day we went on a nice family bike ride. As we were riding along the topic with J.J. was all about wheelies. He tries to do them all the time. So someone in our group says...."I can do"

So we all watch this person do a wheelie and hear J.J. saying over and over:

"Wow, how do you do that ______? That is soooooo cool, _______? I really want to do that. Wow!!!"

But in a matter of seconds my heart stops..... it is quite apparent that this person cannot LAND the wheelie gracefully......and ends up landing on the concrete.... shoulder and face first.

This person gets up quickly saying "I'm fine, guys, I'm fine. See, I'm fine."

But then sees blood drop from his/her forehead and quickly drops to the ground and says "I'm going to pass out." This person is extremely squeamish when it comes to blood.

The interesting part about this is that it happened about 100 yards from a group of "walkers". They didn't see the crash, but saw that we were all huddled around someone on the ground, and began walking toward us.

It was at this point the person sits up and again says, "I'm fine."

And in reality the person will be fine. Merely a few flesh small cut to the eye, an abrasion on the shoulder, possible broken thumb(said person refuses to get it checked out, says it will heal.), and a nasty cut on a finger.

After returning home, we decide to head to McDonald's for ice cream cones. It is on the way that we all ask this person to:


In my mind I replay the image of a son cheering on a father saying: " Wow!! That is so cool!!"

Then as the father crashes the son says : "NOT COOL!!"

So there you have the latest....."Oh, I can see you blogging about this........." episode.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Summer Recap......

Summer seems to be winding down with everyone talking about school starting up. I so had intentions to keep up with blogging....but with our internet on the fritz it made it hard. So here is a quick recap of what's been happening around here.....

Fair Days

Jess was the only one to put anything in the fair this year. She decided to put items in two different fairs. She won a trip to state but decided to decline it this year. She received 3 grand champions as well as a few reserves in the county fairs. WAY TO GO JESS!!!


Abundant harvestPotatoes galore
Canning beans

The garden did really well this summer. I didn't have to water once!! We've had just enough rain to keep it going. We had many pests, though....a couple of pesky gophers and a few moles, plus various insects. Overall it's doing quite well....we hope to pick corn by the end of this week. Right now there's lots of canning and preserving going on.



We spent a couple weekends in August camping at state parks in Minnesota. Thankfully we avoided any major rain and had a great time.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Finger Lickin' Good....Chicken Butchering....

Little do they know!!


Yesterday was THE day!! It was time to get rid of these meat chickens. Once they start attacking me.....that's it.....ON THE GRILL THEY GO!!!!

I came home from a trip and went to feed the chickens. Not a big deal until I was walking out of the pen and heard HIM.....the rooster was running after me and got my heal. I was freaked out!! So that's that....I don't need to deal with mean roosters.

Mean rooster...get ready to meet your maker!!

We have helped butcher chickens before, and watched a friend of ours do it. We've done it both ways.....where the chicken is put in a pot of boiling water then plucked and where the chicken is just skinned. We decided to just skin these much easier and we tend to take off the skins anyway.

We checked on the internet and found a few sites that helped us determine where to cut, etc. This is the main one we used
This site had great info!! So here we have set up our butchering station!! LAPTOP and all!!:-)

Work area set up


Head cut off!!

Having a degree in animal science I've witnessed a lot, but I've never personally witnessed the butchering of one OUR animals. So this was a first for me. After the first one was over with.....which was the MEAN ROOSTER......I was fine with the rest.

Hubby hard at Work1!

Skinned Chicken


chicken feet

Utensils & chicken feet


Chicken rinsed and ready to eat!!:-)

We ended up with 15 lbs of meat out of 5 Cornish Cross chickens----3 pullets, 2 cockerels. The males ended up giving me a ton more next time I'm buying all roos!! They are worth the few cents extra!

P.S......I have one more picture....but it's one my wonderful hubby took of the guts....or entrails for those out there that are trying to increase their vocabulary. If you're crazy....check it out here.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Quilt Surgery.....

Somehow.....someway......this grease spot magically appeared on the corner of the quilt I'm working on!!:-( Mr. NOT ME did it.....I'm sure your house has one too!!)

Thankfully I found a scrap that would work to replace the damaged piece. So.....

"Seam ripper" ....check!



"Ma'am.....the surgery was a success....thankfully the piece that needed to be replaced was in the corner....not the will have this quilt for many more years to come!!":-)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

My Coloring Purse......

I was able to finish this little coloring purse in a little over a day!!! The pattern came together easy enough, but I did make a couple putting the loop on the wrong side, and cutting on the bias (per the instructions) but should've cut with the grain to get the striping effect. Oh well, lesson learned. I did shorten the strap because my daughter wanted it shorter....but it can go at least 12 inches longer!!

One thing I would have changed on this pattern is the corners.....I think I'll round them next time instead of cutting off the corners.

Pattern: My Coloring Purse by Clothesline Quilts
Fabric: Fresh Squeezed by Sandy Gervais for Moda

Thangles revisited.....

O.K....this is what I've learned about using Thangles.

First, is that chain linking Thangles is very easy and should be done. I knew this already, but just thought I'd state it again!!

This is a NEW discovery.......don't sew exactly on the dotted line!! You want to sew a hairs length into the seem allowance so that once you've ironed them out they will be the size you want or slightly bigger so they can be squared up. I found it was hard to do this, however, so what I ended up doing was using my quarter inch foot. I used the SOLID LINE as my guide. By keeping the edge of my 1/4" foot on the solid line I was achieving the effect I needed. So if you find your Thangles not coming out quite as you'd like....this may be the trick you need!!!

You can see the scant 1/4 inch seam in this picture!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Shop Hoppin' to the Border.......

WARNING: With my older girls gone I'm feeling quite watch out.....long post....

Ever since I realized I forgot a fabric for my Lucille quilt, I've been chompin' on the bit to get to some quilt shops.

Yesterday I drove an extra 25 miles north of where I needed to drop off my 3 oldest girls to camp, just to see if a shop had it. (well, not just to do that.....I had to drop off my oldest who is a counselor 3 hours before I could drop off my other two, who are campers!!) So anyway...I check the website for this shop and it says open Sundays 'til 5 p.m. I get there at 3:20...SHOP CLOSED!!!! There was a piece of paper covering the 5 p.m. with a 3 written on it!!:-( I was so incredibly bummed.

So today we head north again.....but this time much farther north. The first stop was in St. Cloud, MN. I stopped by the sewing center there to see if they had a 1/4" foot for my Featherweight. Hubby had stopped by a store in the Cities to ask about a quilting foot, but they gave him one with a guide on it....personally I hate those....I was looking for one without a guide. The sewing center in St. Cloud knew exactly what I was saying and handed me a foot that was $7 cheaper than the other one hubby had found......I like a good deal. They were also super friendly in the store. I think I'll have to go back.

I checked Gruber's for my missing fabric.....NO LUCK!! And Gruber's is one... if not THE.... largest quilt store in MN.

Then on to two more shops in small towns in MN that I won't mention the names. I was not impressed at all. The selections in these stores were rather slim. Not much to mention about these stores. In fact I was beginning to get a little disheartened. After yesterday's experience and then walking into Gruber's.....who has a large selection, then these two small shops with no selection....bummed I was.....but we continued on......

On to Fergus Falls, MN. This is where I hit the jackpot!! Quilter's Cottage HAD MY FABRIC!!! At first I didn't see it because there was just so much good stuff to see in this shop. The fabric line was right near the cash register.....which is normally the last place I look. (Don't you find yourself doing that?.....going away from the cutting tables and/or cash register when you first walk in a shop? Well, I do...) anyway.....hubby is calling me to tell me he is done with his appointment when I rounded this corner and I let out a squeal...."THEY HAVE IT!!" He takes that as a "She's not done yet!"

I not only found my fabric I got a pattern and fabric for these cute little crayon/marker purses by Clothsline Quilts. My 7 year old loves taking markers, paper, and coloring pages with her to church, but she has a hard time keeping track of her markers......and they make a lot of noise. When I saw this sample I knew it was what she needed. I showed the sample to her, but she had a really hard time understanding that she didn't have to choose those fabrics. She kept saying she didn't like it, but what she didn't like was the fabric, she liked the purse. These are the fabrics she chose......aren't they just yummy!!?!!!

Oh, I wanted to walk out with so much more and spend more time. But I only have so much money, and with the family waiting only so much time. I did end up writing down many notes for future reference!!

We went to one more "dud" shop, but after that I was spent. No more shops!! Maybe on the way back we'll try one or two that I missed.

I really, really wanted to bring my Featherweight and sew, but I had to be realistic, who am I fooling? I would probably bring the machine along and never have time to get it out of the case to sew!! So instead I brought my knitting. I finished two washclothes along the way. Not bad considering my wrist has been bothering me.

I'll end with a crazy family photo....well, part of my's been incredibly weird having just a 7 year old and 5 year old. So this is what it's like with just two kids this age? I never had the time my two oldest were this age I had two more. So this is fun.....yet my heart is aching for my others. I wonder what they are doing, if they are sleeping o.k.....and then tonight we watch the news from back home to find out they'll be getting severe thunderstorms at their camp.:-( So yes, my heart is aching and longing to chat with my older girls, but for now I'll take the memories we're creating with my youngin's!!:-) So......on to the crazy family photo......

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Singer Featherweight 221.....

Finally, after two years I pulled out my Singer Featherweight sewing machine. I've been dreaming of this day since I first received the machine.

I didn't want to start using it until I knew it was oiled and lubricated. Since the machine was well cared for and didn't need any major repair work, I was able to use the book, Featherweight 221: The Perfect Portable by Nancy Johnson-Srebo, to help me figure out how to get it in tip top shape. Now it just purrrrrs!!!

Of course it took me all afternoon....and part of this evening.....but I knew it would....and that's why I am sooooo relieved to get it done. I want to be able to take it with me when we travel. I have a paper-piecing project I started two years ago and can't wait to finish. Now that this baby is up and running I'm sure to get it done......hey, stop laughing.....I will!!

As you can see it came in the sturdy case. I know, I know.......I can just hear the Featherweight enthusiasts snicker at the fact that it's not "original". Well actually it is in a way. If you can see in the picture the black box is encased with the wood, plus the clasps and handle appear to be original.....but not absolutely sure about that. It does have the "musty" smell as is characteristic of these machines.....or their cases!!:-)

This particular machine is dated to be manufactured between 1935 and 1938. But according to the book the type of scrollwork on the faceplate means the machine was made before mid-1937 when they changed the plate. It's kind of cool knowing the machine is 80 years old and works like a gem.

Now I can take projects with me when I travel and I won't have to worry about damaging my machine....this thing is built to last!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I was able to cut out most of my Lucille quilt last night and start sewing. There are a lot of half-square triangles in the quilt so I decided to use Thangles. They are supposed to save me time, fabric and be quite accurate. Triangles in the quilting world can sometimes cause I'm hoping they deliver as promised.

It can be quite a mess!!

Whatcha do is cut your strip 1/2 inch larger than the finished no more weird measurements using 7/8ths. Then put two strips right sides together with the lighter color on top. Then pin on the Thangles paper. Sew on the dotted can strip piece. Cut on the solid lines. Iron.... keeping the paper in keeps the fabric from pulling out of shape. Then tear off the paper!! Pretty slick!!!

Only one little dog-ear to cut off!!:-)

For full info on Thangles.....check out their website.......then buy them at your local quilt shop!!:-)

Shield of Faith....

The kids have been learning about the armor of God in VBS this year. Yesterday they made a "shield of faith."(Eph. 6:16) Today I got out of the shower to this on the living room floor....

Hmm....."No, swords yet!! We'll have to use fly swatters!!!!"

I don't even want to know what was going on while I was in the shower!!:-)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


......note to not hit enter before writing a blog post!!!:-)

Man O' Man....was I excited for tonight. I knew I'd sit down to watch KG and his team finish off the Lakers while starting on a quilt I'd been dieing to start for weeks. The good news.....the Celtics smashed the Lakers......the bad news.....I forgot to buy one of the fabrics for my project!!:-(

A month ago my grandmother in Nebraska fell and broke her neck. I spent many hours with family at the hospital waiting......and waiting.....and wondering.....and waiting. A couple of times I was able to steal away for a little breather....and where did I go? The nearest quilt shop. Quilting is a stress reliever for me so going to the quilt shop just seemed like the natural thing to do.

While I was there my eye caught a quilt pattern by one of my favorite designers.....Carrie Nelson from Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.!! I said in my head the typical quilt fanatic phrase.... "Oh, that's a cute pattern." But then I caught sight of the name of the pattern.........


Lucille is the name of my grandmother. (Or do I say it WAS her name.....she passed away that week.) I knew I wanted to make that kind of a memory quilt. The problem was the sample was made from grandma hated pink!!! And the suggested fabrics were florally....again....not so much my grandma. I decided to take my quilting whiz daughter with me back to the shop when she arrived for the funeral. I knew she could help me find something.

(As a funny side note.......I am on the floor of the shop with fabrics all around me and my daughter is across the aisle from me. So I call out to her....."HEY CHICK, come help me figure out these fabrics since you're so good with colors!!!" The moment I said that one of the employees walks right in my line of sight with my daughter. She stops and gives me this look and I burst out laughing trying to explain my "rude" behavior.)

So anyway.....this is the fabric we found. It's Hemming House by Brannock and Patek for Moda. It kind of looks florally but it's not so much!! I decided to not make a queen size, but a wall I've adjusted the pattern slightly.

The problem is I forgot to get the inner border fabric!!! I kept telling my daughter I had forgotten something. I was a mile away and said "We forgot a fabric." We looked and didn't think we had. Then I get home and look through the fabrics, and tell her again...."This doesn't seem right." It wasn't until tonight when I was making the final cutting instructions that I realized I was missing the inner boarder!!! UGH!!! This quilt shop isn't just around the corner!!! I can't just run in tomorrow and get what I need!!!! UGH!!!

Hopefully I'll be able to find this line in a quilt shop next week when I head to Canada with hubby. He's agreed to let me do some shop-hopping along the way!! He even printed out a list of shops along the route we are taking!! What a guy!!! But bumming is that....I could have this finished by the weekend!! What?? I must be joking!! Of course I can't finish it by this weekend.....but maybe pieced!! Now I'll have to hope and pray I find the missing fabric......

I'll keep you the meantime if you're a quilter (or a cat lover, or a purse lover) check out this site...she's having a contest and the winner gets a quilt... machine quilted for free!!:-) I'm going there to make my guess now!!

Ta-ta for now!!


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Home is for free expression.........


I just love that quote from the movie "Your's Mine and Ours".(the newer one!!) Although I'm not totally like the main Mom character in the movie, I am very much like her when it comes to creating things.

In the movie she designs purses and her "studio" is......a mess!!! But she loves it that way. Even though it is a mess she can find what she needs and creates much better in that atmosphere.
That is sooooo me!!! When it comes to my creative endeavors I absolutely thrive in the mess.

It seems my kids are picking up the habit. A few days ago they decided they wanted to use the sewing machines. I allowed them to get out boxes of scrap fabric and create!! Both Allison and J.J. were learning how to use the sewing machine for the first time!! Jess was off at work, but the rest of the children created all afternoon. Allison designed clothes for her doll, J.J. made "pockets" and pillows, Sarah and Hannah worked on pillows and quilting 9 patches.

The B's Sweat Shop
Hannah at the Machine...J.J. Learning 2 Use a Sewing Machine
Home is 4 Free Expression.....

It was a total disaster in the basement. BUT I LOVED IT!!! FREE EXPRESSION!!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Chickies are here......

Our chickies arrived this week!!

I've already forgotten what kind these are!! We ordered 10 different varieties!!!

How the chickies arrive
Here they are in their shipping box.....

Brooder set up
Here they are in their brooder. This will suffice for a few days. We ordered 5 meat birds this time. I mainly order layers, but wanted to try a few for meat. The meat birds will stay in the smaller brooder for a while, while the rest are put in the larger one.

Here is the full set up. Once I move the chicks to the pack-n-play, I'll take off the top brooder and add a lamp for the second brooder. I have a battery powered digital thermometer that gives me an idea of the temp. in the brooder. Chickies like it warm...95 degrees the first week!!

Holding Chickies
The first few days I clean the coop 2 times a day. The kids take the opportunity to hold the chickies!!:-)

Monday, May 5, 2008

In My Home......

Spring may actually be here!! Oh, I do hope's been a long dreary winter!!

Hoping for a few good days to get planting. Hubby has worked tirelessly to get manure spread on the garden, and it all tilled in so I can plant my tators, onions, and peas.

Spring Manure Spreading

Today I cut up the Yukon Golds!! I wish I had looked ahead at the forecast....I so want to plan these today, but I forgot to cut them ahead of time. It's a good idea to cut the tators, then let them get a "skin" on the cut part. Supposedly it helps eliminate the seed rotting in the moist Spring weather.

Yukon Golds


Although we've had horses for about 4 years now, I am not too fond of riding the beasts!! They scare me, and they know it. I do love watching them in the field, though. And seeing my girls ride...what a thrill!! Last week, however, I think we broke new ground. I decided to get on Jet, our gentle trail horse. I gained some confidence in the round pen, then took a ride with Jason. I actually galloped!!! I think I had such a better time because I was using my 10 yr. old's saddle. It's a little smaller, so the stirrups allow me to stand up which makes me feel like I have more control. I hope to ride again, since it's something my husband really enjoys doing.

Yesterday the girls went on a horseback ride with friends and neighbors. I went on a bike ride, and when I came over a hill I noticed a posse a quarter mile ahead. The scene reminded me of an old Western. I wished I had my camera...what a sight....all 6 girls lined across the road!!

We ordered another batch of chicks, due to arrive May 20th!!! We (read I) are sooooo excited. It's been 4 years since I've ordered chickies!! Our hens are getting pretty old, so it seemed like a good time to get a few fresh layers. We added 5 meat birds to the order, so we'll see how that goes. We've never raised any for meat. I'll post pic's when they arrive.....I'll be a proud Mama again!!:-)

Speaking of proud Mama.....I'll add this little bit of "seriousness" to the middle of my post, so ya'll don't focus on it!!:-) Last week hubby and I watched a movie together that ended with the lead character giving birth. It hit me hard. With J.J.'s diagnosis coming on the heels of the miscarriage I had all but forgotten about it......not entirely, but seeing that scene and knowing my due date was to be in a couple of weeks, it hit hard. I had a good cry about it, and was a little bummed the next day, but I suppose I needed the good cry......for the miscarriage anyway!!

On the way back from my bike ride yesterday I noticed a humongous turtle in a field and pointed it out to the girls who were a quarter mile back. I kept riding, but when the girls got back my oldest had stopped to pick up the turtle. It was huge!!! We took it with us to Bible study, and when we got there one of the men said it might be a blanding's turtle. We had no idea what that was, but he was saying it's endangered, and we probably did something illegal. YIKES!!! So when we got home we checked the DNR website and sure enough we were supposed to leave it alone. I had Jess release it near the pond, so hopefully it will continue on with it's journey, and still lay eggs!!

Blanding Turtle


I had to get my wheat order ready today.....the price of wheat nowadays just about made me choke!!! But I still love having the fresh baked smell in the house, and having a piece of hot bread just out of the oven!! YUM!!!!


May is shaping to be a very busy month around here. May is always busy with the plantin' and preparin', and repairin', but on top of it hubby will be gone quite a bit!!:-( Always a bummer, but we survive. Gma and Gpa are coming up for a visit....hoping to get a new swing set built. Plus we have multiple doctor's appts. Seems like every day on the calendar has something on it. I suppose that's good, keeps us always on our toes. It's definitely pushing diabetes into the background....oh, it's still there, but I have so much to do with other things, no time to really stop and think about it.....well, that's not all true....I think about it a lot, but not as much as I did before...make sense? No? Didn't think so...doesn't make much sense to me!!

Hope Spring has Sprung in your neck of the woods!! Ya you betcha!!!
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