Sunday, November 24, 2013

halloween, Dazzle, books

I suppose I should get my Halloween blog posted before Thanksgiving arrives, don't you think.  Well anyway, we had pumpkin carving at Ryan's house again this year, along with a delicious brunch.  The weather was nice enough for us to carve in the backyard in the glorious sunshine. 
Lily went as a Indian princess, and little Katy was little Red Riding Hood. No pictures of the little ones, as Ryan did not send them to me.  But who are these people????? That is right, Tera and Brady sure know how to do it up right. Boo!
There comes a time in every dogs life that they need to put aside the urge to raise a family twice yearly.  And that is what we did.  Here is a picture of Dazzle with accessories.  She was spayed 10 days ago.  Actually she did not have to wear the Elizabethan collar, as she was a good little dog and did not excessively lick.  But I had purchased one anyway, just in case. 
She has recovered nicely, and we are back to our 1 3/4 mile walks, weather and wind permitting. Here is one of her walking outfits.  If it is particularly cold, a sweater goes underneath.  She just loves her walks, both mentally and physically.  It probably is good for me also.
I have decided to put a red border on the quilt I previewed last blog, but not finished with it yet.  I have been knitting up a storm however.  Here is a poncho and stocking cap that I just finished.  I also crocheted a scarf for Lily to wear to preschool.


Just finished reading "Reconstructing Amelia"  by Kimberly McCreight, a murder mystery about school bullying, and the death of a 15 year old girl  as the result.  I am sure glad that I am not back in HS. Once I started this book I could not put it down, it was that good.
Also read "Life After Life" by Kate Atkinson, a very good book, but hard to get into, but once you figure it out, it is great.  Can't wait until I get my next months books.

Well, that about covers my exciting life for awhile.  This upcoming week my parents will be flying up from Tucson to spend Thanksgiving with us.  So I am hosting and cooking on Thursday. 

I wish you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving! Must go, the goats are in the milk stand waiting for me!

 More later.................................................................................................................................


Friday, October 18, 2013

Fall 2013, Sewing, and books!

5 days ago I took some pictures of my garden flowers and plants.  This first one is of a hollyhock bush.  It is a perennial.
Currants turning fall colors.
This is what my garden looks like today.  We had 6 inches of snow during the night, but with highs predicted to reach 48-50 degrees today, the snow won't last long.  Just long enough to make morning chores more cumbersome.  The sun is out now and shining with all its glory.
The young guineas still perched, not yet daring to walk in the white stuff.
Well, with the change of weather, I guess that we will be dreaming of finishing the painting of the house all winter long.  We were so close to finishing it too!  Hopefully we will have Indian summer coming like we used to have in Minnesota, usually this happens the end of October.  We can only hope. 
This is the new quilt that I have been working on for almost a year now with my quilt club.  All I have left now is  to add borders.  Have not decided if I will go for brown or red borders.
I have also been working on crocheting a little girl, or two, ponchos.  With help from my friend Sue, since I have not crocheted for about 30 years.  But I guess it is like riding a bike.  You never really forget.
The circle in the middle will be single crocheted at the end to form the neck band, I have not done this part yet.  Also, there will be a ruffled trim on the edges.  Hope mine turn out as nice as Sues.  I had to take it out 3 times already.
Oh my gosh!  I just read a book about the history of diamonds, rings for that matter.  The book chosen by my book club titled, "The Engagements"  written by  J. Courtney Sullivan, 4 stars on Amazon.    I was really skeptical about reading this book, but I am glad that I stuck with it.  All the lives were intertwined at the end, and the history of the diamond trade was very interesting. According to the author, the most famous add of all time is "Diamonds are forever" and she tells how this add line came about. If you can stick with this book, you won't be sorry.
 My reading list is getting so long, I don't know when I am going to be able to read all the books that I want to.  So  many talented writers on this planet.  My friend Debbie is writing her first book, can't wait to get my hands on that one.
My raspberry liqueur all set up. In a few weeks, sugar is added, and  it will take 3 months after this stage before it is ready.  Maybe for Easter.
My little Dazzle enjoying her winter day by basking in a little sliver of sunlight.
Honey sauce????? Really????? read the ingredients.  This is not like the honey we are used to.  I wonder if this is the result of demise of the honey bees, from farm chemicals or what ever.
  7% honey is added to this.  I need to plant more flowers, and bee habit!

Oh well, more later......................................................................................................................
                                                  cat nip on a warm fall day.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My new Dazzle, painting, and dogs.

All righty then.  Where should I began.  Once again a very busy summer at the Radi ranch.  With record numbers of days over 90 degrees, and record amounts of rain, we have been trying to keep up with our "to-do" list.  We had started painting the house in May, and guess what, we are still painting the house.  We did have to take some time off for the above reasons, but are in the full swing of painting now, and hope to get done before fall is over.  Really do not want to have house painting on our minds all winter.  Here is our painting in progress.  We went for a darker tan color, and an off white trim, and painting the peaks a sage green color.  Keeping with the color of the high plains desert where we live. 

I painted all that I can get to with a ladder, now Dennis is perched precariously, painting what he can reach.  We do have a "man lift" lined up that we can rent for the higher peaks.  The garage is totally done, as are the east and west sides of the house.  All that is left is the front and back of the house peaks. 

I acquired a little black and tan silver dapple dachshund the first part of September by the name of Dazzle.  She is going to be 5 in November and is just the most delightful little dog to have around. She has really added some life back into our empty nesters home.   She goes everywhere with us, has been Walmart shopping several times, Home Depot and of course babysitting at the Grandchildrens house.  All the other dogs like her also.  Her favorite is Bear however.  The two of them can really get each other barking, when something is amiss around the property. They really get each other going, and support each other.  It is a sight to see with this huge Livestock Guard Dog running up to the fence, being shadowed by a little 10# wiener dog!
Dazzle always has her nose to the ground, looking for an adventure.  I think she really loves being a farm dog.  She stays away from the guineas, and is mindful of most of the livestock.  But is still learning the things to watch out for on a farm.
Bear had his day with the mobile dog groomer.  This is his second time out here.  Does a really nice job on Bear.  The only trouble that we have is getting Bear into his mobile unit. It usually takes Dennis and I begging, pleading, and oh yes, pulling. It is an athletic event none the less, and we have to keep the door open once he is in.  The groomer, Les,  can also wash, and blow dry dogs in there, has an AC unit also, does nails, ears,  and cleans out hair between toes, which Bear has trouble with snow balls collecting there..  I appreciate Les's patience with Bear, and he always loves him up after.
Bear is always grateful for the grooming, and is especially happy to get out of the trailer when finished, but he is a patient good dog during the administrations of the groomer.
The raspberries have been in full production for about a month now.  We are having to pick every 2-3 days, and get allot of berries.  We have two 40 foot rows of June bearers, fall bearers, red, and yellow raspberries. I have to dodge yellow jackets and honey bees while picking as they love the ripened fruit also.  I have not been stung yet, but Dennis was  while he was giving me a tutorial on the correct way to get all the berries off the bush.  I am more careful where I place my fingers when looking under the bush. The yellow jackets particularly are just sitting on the leaves, waiting for the sun to warm them up.  I try to get out in the early morning before it gets too warm.
 I think it is time for me to check with my friend Janelle for her raspberry liqueur recipe.  I made this once before whilst living in Minnesota.  So nice for Thanksgiving or Christmas to share with family.  If it can last that long that is!
The fruits of my labor from this morning.
Alas, not much time spent in the sewing room, or time to read for that matter, but will update you on those areas with my next writing. Also, it is predicted that we may get snow on Thursday night, then there will be more time indoors to do my "girlie" things that I so love to do.
More later.........................................................................................................................

Monday, August 12, 2013

Caution!! Cheyenne zoo, Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival.

This is a kitchen magnet that my sister Sandy sent to me.  I love it, it describes me to a tee!  I told one of my friends that  I generate enough heat to incubate an entire clutch of guinea eggs, or enough power to light up the town of Nunn!  I need a surge protector!  But I guess you have to be a woman to understand this.  Well anyway, just had to share for a bit of humor today.........

Where is summer going to???We have been so busy this summer, with gardening, animals, family etc.  There does not seem to be enough hours of daylight for us to get everything done.
Both my ponds sprung leaks.  I decided to fill them in with dirt and have more flower garden space instead of purchasing new pond liners.  Where we live, due to the winds, I was always having to fish out debris out of the water, so I guess this will be a better use of the space.  Wait till next year when you see what they are planted with. Above is a butterfly bush from the zoo.  This will be an addition to my new garden area.

At the Cheyenne zoo in Colorado Springs Colorado.  The weather was beautiful, blue skies, 83degrees.  We were at 6900 ft in elevation which is almost 2000ft above what we are used to, so the old folks got tired out easily, since the zoo is on the side of a mountain and there was allot of up and down walking.  Colorado Springs view from the zoo.

  But we all had a great time.  Here are some pictures highlighting the event.
Katie and momma.
Lily.  And below, Lily holding a budgerigar.
Julie and Ryan.
Tera and Lily.
Mom and Dad below!                 Brady, Dennis and Tera above. 

We acquired a little Red Pyle Bantam rooster to add to our flock.  I saw him when we were at the fair, my friend Sue and I.  Our old standard size rooster has 3 inch spurs, and knows how to use them.  He has started attacking me, the sheep and the goats, oh and just recently Dennis.  Jumps up and tries to spur us.  So it is time for him to move on.
Here is a picture of the little Banty.  You can see a standard size Americana hen behind the fence near him.  I had forgotten how small these little banty's are.
I am down to four goats again, as I placed all my kids from this year.  I have 1Katahdin  ewe lamb  to find a home for yet. 
I finished my Grandmother's flower garden quilt, only took me about 6 years to do it.  It is all hand pieced and about 90% hand quilting and 10% machine quilted.  I am quite proud of this.  I saw one years ago at an antique market for $300, which was allot of money at the time, but was very worth it after all the work that I put into mine. 

Will start working on hand quilting a Dresdan Plate baby quilt next.  While at the quilt show last week, I visited the booth that makes quilts for children in need.  I think that I have found my calling.  I love quilting, and especially love making baby quilts.  They are the Colorado Chapter of Quilts for Kids.  Making quilts to comfort children in need,  children who are fighting a life battle with cancer, serious illnesses, or abusive situations.
My Dresdan Plate baby quilt.  It is shown here pinned, but ready to be quilted.

I took a day for myself, which is few and far between these days, to go to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival.  Included were the 2013 winning entries of the Hoffman Fabric Challenge.  The quilts were phenomenal.  I have pictured only a few of my favorites, as I took 217 pictures while there. 
Seems like  quilts are more "works of art" these days, than for comfort or warmth.  All the quilts were either hand or machine quilted very heavily.

These weren't from my book club, but a must read never the less if you like history, especially history of  American Indians.  My sister-in-law was reading this when I went to MN in June. Historical non-fiction.
  "Empire of The Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and The Rise and Fall of the Comanches" by S.C. Gwynne.
I could not put this down, and learned so much from reading it.  It is about Cynthia Ann Parker who was kidnapped by the Comanches when she was 9 years old,  became the wife of a chief and had three children, Quanah her oldest son, was the last Comanche chief.  She was captured by whites when she was 39 and returned to white society.  That they say was the greatest tragedy in her life, as she loved the Comanches and for the rest of her life, tried to escape and return back to them.

More later............................................................................................................

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Back from Minnesota...Greeley Gardens, and quilting

 I left on June 6th for my nephew Seth's wedding.  What a beautiful wedding, the arrangement above is one of the bouquets from the wedding.  The bride was stunning.  They are two of the nicest young people you would ever want to meet.
After the wedding my sister invited us to her new lake home up in mid Minnesota.  We stayed for almost a week.  My sister and her husband are the best hosts!
It was so nice to be with family again, as we are so scattered about the country.  This is their lake home where I had the pleasure of staying for a week of rest and relaxation, and allot of visiting!
Some of the highlights of the week, reading down by the lake. My favorite spot to read or enjoy the birds, and watching the jumping fish, whilst sipping a  glass of wine, and sometimes just listening to nature and the silence. 
Fishing, of course!  My nephew, a very funny individual, and a great fisherman to boot!
My sister and I went kayaking, but I did not get a picture of that.  Sandy has one, and if she sends it my way, I will add it to this post. We also played board games, sat around the fire, the mosquito hatch was not yet in full bloom, some swam and boated, tubed  and I don't know what else, as the younger folks stayed up to midnight almost every night.  I was dead tired around 9pm, which is later than I usually stay up.  I did brave it two nights however and stayed up to midnight. It took me two weeks when I returned home to recuperate.
Also, the neighbors had an estate sale!!!!Several of us walked over and bought a few treasures.  I will show you what I bought later on in this post.
We did a whole lot of sittin and rockin, with coffee in hand on the front porch.! Some had stayed up too late the night before.
Thank you Sandy and Kevin for the wonderful time at your lake home!!!!!! You will build many memories in this new house.
Dennis and I went to the garden tour in Greeley, which is 22miles south of where we live.  Some of the gardens had local artists, painting a scene from the various gardens, that they then sold to the public.  They also had band members from the area high school, playing their string instruments.  What a peaceful way to enjoy the labors of the gardeners.  I will include some of the highlights of our garden tour. This first picture is of the artist through an old door that this gardener used to add architectural detail to the garden.

The gardens were all so spectacular, too many pictures to show.  But we had a great day, and we walked away with many good ideas for our garden at home.  This was us at the end of the tour.  The temperature was 100 degrees, might even had been 103 that day.  We are sitting in the shade, on the wooden back porch with the people who own this garden.  Well, I am ready for the next one! Not much life left in the old boy after temps like that!
OK, now I will tell you all what I bought at that estate sale!  Another featherweight.  What a find.  It was born in the 1930's and is in mint condition.  Had the case  and accessories with it.  I had it mailed to my home in Nunn and it came in the same condition.  My dear brother Mike, bless his heart, mailed it for me as I could not due to having to be at the airport before the Fed Ex opened.  Well anyway, there is a story to this, Mike put the sewing machine in the back of his vehicle, and it was locked up tight.  In hot humid Minnesota.  When we opened up his car, it was like a blast of mildew smell.   I went on line to study what could be causing this smell.  Back in the 30's, the cases these sewing machines came in were made of, a black vinyl type material, but the glue they used was animal based, hence the smell.  I also read that the original wool felt pads underneath the sewing machines can also cause this odor.  I did find out that mine was the case.  The sewing machine is fine, I took it all apart and cleaned it up.  That's what is so much fun about these featherweights, is they are so interesting to dismantle, and put back together.  The case is in the garage, and a few days of UV light from the sun is supposed to take care of the odor. 
The machine on the left is the 1930's model, and the one on the right is the 1950's model. I guess I am going to have to get busy and sew another hoodie for my new machine.

Well, anyway, I have been working on a quilt as you go quilt.  You quilt each block as you make it, then assemble.  This way you have less bulk to work through your machine.  If you are not a quilter, you probably do not know what I am talking about. I used a wash out marker to mark where I was going to be doing my quilting, you can see some of it below.
More later.....................................................................................................