Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!!!!!

Merry Christmas to all our family and friends, and a special "thank you" to all who sent us Christmas cards and letters keeping us updated with your lives.
We spent Christmas Eve day with Tera and our Grandson Brady down in Denver.  Good thing, as it started snowing about 7pm that night. But we made it home before the roads were bad.  The drive to and from Denver, is always white knuckle time for me.  People drive fast, and tail gait/cut you off.  No blinkers, one hand holding the cell phone kind of driving.  Always makes me nervous, and I get a little car sick. I am always grateful for surviving the trip.

 Tera served us a lovely ham dinner with all the fixings.  I made a red velvet cake from scratch, and homemade frosting.  We read a bit from the bible, and then opened presents.  I was unable to get Brady to lead us in Christmas carols.  Maybe next Christmas, or when we get together with Ryan's family on the 5th of January for our second Christmas of the season.

 Ryan, Julie and the two little granddaughters are spending Christmas in South Dakota with the other grandparents.  Dennis and Liz at Tera's place.

As for Christmas Day, we woke up to a winter wonderland.  Received about 4 inches of snow, no wind to speak of, and a balmy 9 degrees.  The expected high to day will reach 19.   We will be spending the day with our 4 legged family.  Some pictures of chores this morning.

Some exceptional books that I would like to recommend this month are
"An Invisible Thread" by Laura Schroff.
"Kitchen House" by Kathleen Grissom.  And last but not least,
"The Midwife of Hope River" by Patricia Harmon.  This book was so good that I ordered and read her book "A blue Cotton Gown:A Midwife's Memoir" and I am on the waiting list for her 2011 book "Arms Wide Open: A Midwife's Journey".

I have been making allot of special gifts for my loved ones in the sewing room.  The aspen leaf coasters above have 12 different fabrics in each leaf.  The middle of them is a product called insul-bright, that is heat resistant.  It looks like two layers of batting with tin foil between them.  I heavily sewed the veins of each leaf, to keep everything tstiff and together.  I made 2 lap quilts for nursing home residents and also one for my Mother -in-law pictured below.

Not forgetting the pillows, curtains, and knitted items I made.  However, I wish that I would have started earlier, as I procrastinate until the final hour, and get a tad stressed out.  That is just me I guess.

More Later.....................................................................................................................

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Thanksgiving that almost wasn't!

I thought first off I should post a picture of our turkey, Peeping Tom!  He was the father of our turkey for Thanksgiving this year.  Tom is going on three years old and still going strong.  He has curtailed his peeping activities and roosting, peering  into our bedroom window, and has succumbed to the warmth of the chicken coop with our other poultry.    He is such a delight having around the homestead.  His only bad habit is when ever Dennis wears bluejeans, he will slap at him with his wing.  We figured it out that the blue of the jeans, makes Tom think of another tom turkey, as their heads are blue.  I never have problems as I wear brown pants when out to do chores. Thank you Tom!

Well anyway, back to my story.  I got up early Thanksgiving day to ready the turkey for the oven.  One hour into my cooking, Dennis came downstairs into the kitchen.  Since he had been upstairs working on his computer stuff, I asked him if it smelled good in the kitchen.  He said it smelled like smoke.  I went and checked the turkey and it was OK.  Then Dennis went into the laundry room and found the washer with smoke pouring out of it.   I had been washing a load, that had my black pants in that I was going to wear that day.  The laundry room quickly filled with smoke, I unplugged the washer and we ended up having to shut the laundry room door and open the garage doors to air out the laundry room for several hours.  Now, how many times I have put in a load of laundry, and left the house to go shopping or what ever.  If we would have been gone, the house would have burned down.
We have had the washer fixed once before, and it is 8 years old, so we decided to go out on Black Friday and purchase a new washer and dryer.  Boy, did we have sticker shock.  Cost almost as much as our brand new Ford Pinto we bought back in 1974!  I told the salesperson, that I would pay more to get a cherry red colored one, as I said that this would probably  be my last washer/dryer purchase, in my lifetime.  He looked at me and said  " you don't look to be 80 or 90 years old!"  I looked at him and said What???? Then he asked me how long I think that a washer/ dryer last these days.  I told him that our first purchased washer/dryer, we bought used and was three years old and lasted us 20 more years.  We left the set in Big Lake, MN when we moved to Arizona.  He said that since everything is made in China, that these days I could expect appliances to last 8-10 years, 11-13 if I was really lucky.  Well, I did not pay the extra $200 for a cherry red set, since I will probably have to purchase another set in 10 years or so.   A throw away society to say the least.  So we had to brave all the holiday shoppers on the dreaded Black Friday.  My mind was busy calculating the age of all my other appliances.  Better save up my money.

So back to Thanksgiving, we had a wonderful time, with both Tera and Ryan's family in attendance. Tera and Brady stayed and visited for a few hours after Ryan's family left, which was nice for us.Here are a few pictures of that day.  Lily chilling out and watching cartoons.
Brady and Tera at the dinner table.
And little Katy looking particularly festive.

Thanksgiving prayer that I saw when reading Dear Abby that I thought was thought provoking for all the folks that have plenty.

 Oh, Heavenly Father/ We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry./  We thank Thee for health and remember the sick./ We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved./   May these remembrances stir us to service, That Thy gifts may be used for others.  Amen.

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

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sunsets, pumpkin carving, and First snowfall.


We have had some really breath taking sunsets here in Colorado lately. Would make beautiful quilts!  Just had to share.


We had our annual pumpkin carving at Ryan's house last Saturday.  I must say that we are all getting pretty good in the art of carving. Katy was occupied with inspecting her feet, and watching the activities of the adults and her sister Lily.
Now the front of Ryan's house is all ready for Halloween as we have it decorated really Spooktacular!

The first snowfall was met with icy roads and plummeting temperatures in the low 20's.  We now have a winter wonderland greeting us every morning as we go out to do the chores.

Two of this past springs turkeys stayed perched atop a dog house, weary of taking those first steps in the strange white stuff.
We ended up with 4 inches the first night, and then another 3 inches the following night.
Everyday it melts a bit, just enough to make the road wet and sloppy making my Blazer look like I have been out mudding.

I have been up to allot of sewing.  This quilt I broke almost every rule, putting plaid, polka dots and flowers together in one quilt.  It turned out nicer than I thought it would.  I wish that I would have made two twin size(perfect for 2 little girls) vs a queen size.

I have not posted for awhile.  Having a senior moment and using the wrong password to log into my blog, but I finally figured it out.  So I am back. 

Two of my best friends.

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

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My sisters visit, Harvest, and road trip


My sister, Sandy came for a visit the end of August. This is the first time that she has been to our place. She said "Liz, I thought you had a great view of the mountains". Which we do, but for her entire stay, smoke from the wildfires up north hindered the views. On clear days we can even see Longs Peak from our front window. But nothing during her visit!
Well anyway, we had a great time visiting with a cousin and his son that we have not seen for years, and my children and grandchildren were over. We also went to about 10-12 thrift and antique stores and found a few "treasures."
Here is my sister with my two dogs.

So, anyway, it was 46 degrees this am, and with the windows open last night we got to 55 degrees in the house. Think it is time to start closing our windows. Harvest time in the garden, and here is a picture of the largest beet that I have ever seen. We don't use fertilizer, just composted manure and hay/straw.

  Despite the drought here in Colorado, we have had a bumper crop of edible pod peas, Swiss Chard, zucchini and yellow summer squash. The squash is to the point that I want to leave a bag of it on every ones porch, ring the bell and run!!!The tomatoes are just starting, and the beans are poor. Only a few watermelon and cantaloupes are seen along with winter squash. The flower gardens are winding down also.
Momma Guinea fowl is hiding in a squash plant, thinking that she is incubating eggs.  One thing about Guinea's, the hens all seem to lay their eggs in a few nests, and occasionally you will see two hens incubating.  There are probably over 100 eggs in this nest.  Impossible for one hen to keep all of them warm.   So they never seem to hatch.

We have been on the lookout for another ram to breed to our young females, they are like chips, you can't just have one!  We built this "goat tote" to haul him in.  He was too big for a dog kennel, and we did not want to hitch up the trailer for just one sheep.  Here is our finished tote. We added straw for bedding, and hung an eye hook in the corner to carry a water bucket, should we run into car trouble. I could not help but add the Katahdin Sheep and our phone # to bring about awareness for this wonderful breed of sheep.   Tote in the back of our pick-up.  We can haul a few goats, sheep or even our two dogs in here if needed.

Our new ram lamb, Chester.  He was very comfortable with his ride to our place.

On our trip to pick up Chester, we decided to fore go all the speedsters on I25 and opted to take the back roads.  We ended up taking 14 out of Ault to hiway 71.  It was a 256 mile one way trip, so took us all day to get there and back.  Near Limon we went by a Correctional Institution with signs along the road to not pick up hitch hikers.  Good tip.  South of there we came to the little town of Last Chance.  What a name. But for a good reason. We quickly found out why that name.  Now in Colorado, some areas are rather arid and we are encouraged to drink allot of water.  I had two cups of coffee, and a full thermos of water on our trip.  The nearest gas station is somewhat like 87 miles, and not a tree in sight.  But we made it. 
That stretch of hiway is so desolate, hundreds of wind turbines and plenty of wind and curving roads, and all grass.
Learning about Colorado by the back roads, proved to be an adventure.  When we finally did make it to our destination, the ram that we had decided to get, had been bit by a rattlesnake on the neck that morning, so we had to choose an alternate.

Haven't had much time to satisfy my urge to sew, but did manage to put together this lap sized quilt for a family member, and just a little more quilting to go!

I read the book Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.  I have really lead a sheltered life and had no idea what POWs went through.  This is a true story.  I hope that you will all pick it up and read it.  It has been a real life changer for me.

See Sandy, we do have mountain views.

More later........................................................................I will be cooking beets all day!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

fair again!

We ended up attending the Larimer County fair again this year. Dennis was also asked by the 4H club to be the pigeon judge, he ended up judging 45 pigeons of differing breeds.
 Beautiful quilts galore, got me really motivated, probably a bad thing.

Dennis also wanted to attend as they were having a beer festival.  No, we did not drink beer, instead we went and talked to the participants about the art of brewing.  Dennis has started a new hobby.
these are hops which act as a preservative in beer making and give it a tart taste. 

The plant arrangements were just gorgeous around the well tended grounds.

Aside from fair going, we have been busy tending to the animals, the garden, and weekly watering of the trees. Three times per week we go into town and babysit our little grandchildren for a few hours.
And the never ending sewing of quilts and things, knitting and reading my books for book club.
Things that make the world go around I guess, and give one a reason to get up in the morning!

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

Monday, July 30, 2012

AGDA, and fair time!!!!

Well Dennis and I started out our July by attending the National Dairy Goat show here in Loveland Colorado.  This is an annual event, with the best of the best goats being showed.  It is held at a different location every year, and we were lucky enough to be able to attend it in our own back yard so to speak.  The black and white banded doe in the front of the picture ended up being the best Nubian, which is my favorite goat.

This is a picture of a boy feeding his Jr Doe .  A tender moment between man and animal.

Also starting last weekend was the annual Weld County fair.  The fair is getting smaller each year, which is really too bad, but we had a great time never the less.

These are Boer goats, they are bred primarily for meat.  Not like the graceful dairy Nubians.
The highlight of the fair for me, was watching these kids, running around and playing with their goat kids. All of them were having a great time.
And of course, I had to take pictures of all the quilt exhibits.  These were down from last year also.
This is what well dressed sheep are wearing to the fair.

My lilies in my pond are looking better despite our record breaking high temps that we have been having all summer.

I have been listening to the audio book by Jodie Picoult titled "Lone Wolf". It is a fascinating story, and I learned so much about wolves. Of course there is an ethical theme to her novel. But do listen to it on audio book, it will be worth your while. As I listened, I got allot done in my sewing room. I took all my scraps and put together this baby quilt. I don't have anyone in mind yet for the quilt, but I am sure it will find a good home.
I also did another table runner for the wild at heart. 
Knit up a few hats, what better time to do this as when it is 90+ degrees outside. Got to get ready for winter, don't ya know!  I don't know if you can see it in this picture, but the hat is perched atop a dishcloth that I knit.  When Julie's mother was here after the baby was born, she gave me a really easy pattern for these.  I have been knitting them up at least one per week.  They are addicting when I am watching TV.
Well, enough for now.  July was busy for us, as the summer usually is.  We just unloaded 20000 # of alfafla, yes that was not a typo, that is 10 tons.  My brother asked me if we had any tools to help us unload, and my responce to him was "Yes we do.  Our hands and our backs!"  But we both decided that this will be the last year we do this, next year we will hire someone to do this.

A sunflower from our garden.More later......................................................................................................................................