Wednesday, January 31, 2007

And the winner is ...............


There were guesses of horse hair, human hair, a tumbleweed as well as other things. Actually, to be honest, I had to ask and had to be told. I thought it was horse hair, too, cause it felt that scratchy.

However, the answer is .................

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A hair ball from a cow. If you have seen a hair ball from a cat, it's not too large and is not round. However, if a cow gets a hairball (and it is COW hair, from licking itself and other cows), it stays in one of the three stomachs and churns round and round and round, making it round (of course).

It is only discovered after butchering when the stomach is opened (for what reason, I'll never know).
Can you imagine?

Let’s talk about costumes

On this cold, cold, windy, windy day, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about clothes that (for me) are warmer than what I’m wearing right now (Jammies and slippers, too lazy to go get a bathrobe on).

The prairie dress is very well known in the general public. Some people think that it’s the ONLY dress style that women wore. They are wrong. But I am one of those causing this thought, because prairie dresses are my favorite style.

I have others, of course. I have fitted waist dresses, skirts and tops that were popular from the 1850s to the 1880s and 812 costume for the earlier years.

However, my tops have loose sleeves and my arms get cold. I COULD make a white fake sleeve that goes under the sleeve and it would help warm me. But, again, I’m pretty lazy and don’t ever get around to it.

My fitted-waist dress is worn out and the waist has shrunk so it doesn’t fit me as well as it did when I first made it (imagine that!).

I only wear my 1812 outfit at New Ulm, which insists on that time period for costumes.

But my prairie dresses!! Ah, those are divine!! One of the reasons they were popular was the idea that you could change sizes and not have to change dresses. There is ample room for growth or shrinkage in the dress. There is an apron to cinch in or release out the waist as it changes in size. You get pregnant, ease up on the apron strings. You have the baby, tighten the strings up. You gain weight, ease up on the apron strings. You lose weight, tighten up the strings.

I have two prairie dresses in my ‘stash’ of costumes. These are what I wear the most. My most favorite is a soft brown check “homespun” material. I have worn it so often that I have shredded the hem – hence putting a black strip around the hem for protection and added length. I have worn the cuffs to practically bare threads, so the black edging was put on there, as well. My collar is starting to become thread bare, so that will get an edge, soon. I have a couple of holes, due to burns or tears; they have been patched. This brown dress is about 7 years old and is still going strong.

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Worn, faded, patched prairie dress

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Cinched in as far as my waist allows with a stained pin apron

My other one is a lavender print that is only about 3 years old, so it has many miles to go before I have to do any patching, the gods willing!

I have another dress (top and skirt) cut out and need to put it together before the State Fair ... there needs to be at least 4 dresses for the 12 days. However, once that one is sewn, I think I’ll look for some more homespun material and make another prairie dress. One can never have too many, correct?

Well, now ............ this is the last day of January, 2007. How time flies!! We are marching quickly into February; the winter is nearly done and spring is just around the corner! You have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I've been tagged

Greenwoman (Greenfingers, aka Michelle) and Happy Owl (aka Heb / Heather) have tagged me and insist I write down 6 things that are weird about me.

You want 6? There truly is only 1 .... I'm weird!! That's it!

I'll try, though. Let's see.

1. If I wake up about 5:00, I normally can't go back to sleep, so become an early riser for that day (normally I sleep until 7:00 or 8:00)

2. I am addicted to card games on the computer ... if I have one up, I cannot stop playing.

3. I like hot dogs for breakfast - grilled in a frying pan, not boiled. No buns, normally, just mustard and sweet pickle relish on a plate.

4. I don't mind washing dishes (too much) once I get started ... I hate to put the clean ones away. Come to think of it, I hate to put clean clothes away, too.

5. (Getting closer!!! What else?) Okay, I don't like to GO anywhere! If I have a chance, I will decline an invitation and have to be practically forced to go. Once I'm there, I am happy to BE there.. it's just the getting ready and GOING that is hard. Leaving home is the hardest.

6. (Isn't 5 enough? Aren't I weird enough?) I like to sleep with my feet (or at least one foot) outside the covers,like others have mentioned, unless it it horribly cold (like this weekend in the camper trailer). The weirdest part of this is that I just found out that my sister, Candy and my mother are also that way and my middle sister, Cara, used to like to sleep that way too. Give your feet a chance to breath, you know.

Whew!!! I made it!!! I won't tag anyone .. most of you have been tagged already - I think I'm the last one on the list.

You have a beautiful day!

New sites

I have some sites to post this evening.

One is Greenfingers ... she has moved and renamed herself Greenwoman. I have changed my link so that you can pop over and see her at her new site.

Another one is from Marie and Kelly - the Natural Colored Wool Studio - my friends I mentioned this weekend. They are the ones with the scrumptious wool that I showed you. If you are interested in finding lovely wools, they are the place. You may think the wool is expensive but it is worth every penny. It's the nicest spinning wool I have held in my hands for many a year!

Sister Candy came over today and worked on the 36" loom (Matilda) - she is threading the heddles now, and will come back on Thursday to finish, then take it home to weave a decorative rug. She's getting excited about weaving on a large loom. She finished her place mats that she was making on one of my small looms and thinks she needs a small, 2 harness loom as well as a large 4 harness one. Ain't I good at spreading my obsessions around??

It was a beautiful, cold, brisk day today - 12 eggs from the happy hens who love the sunshine. You have a beautiful day!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Lots of pictures, as promised

Here you are, children .... mega pictures of the weekend. As I said in yesterday’s post, I cannot tell you where we were in fear of having to shoot you. But it was a good Trade Fair and the children enjoyed the day of demonstrations. The building was a large, long one with three main rooms and many side rooms that were classrooms. We had “Doc” – who does coffee, tea, breakfasts and lunches at a minimal fee. We had brought cooked turkey for sandwiches (along with bread and the fixings, of course), pre-cooked bacon and mini-hot dogs for breakfast meats, a package of rolls (I didn’t have energy enough to bake rolls) and coffee packets and tea bags for hot drinks. I also made some French bread and cream cheese with olives for a spread for snacks. So food was never an issue but we went to KFC for supper on Thursday night as a treat and had enough for lunch on Friday and even the leftovers today for lunch.

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Here is our bed, with 3 wool blankets and Norm's mother's quilt - made with polyester pieces, a heavy wool bat and a heavy flannel back. It's so heavy it's hard to carry around, and gives a might weight and warmth to most cold nights. However, with the cold seeping, oozing and blowing and gusting through the holes in the canvas walls, even Grandma's heavy quilt wasn't totally helping. Again I say, thank you to those who allowed us to sleep inside the last night.

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This is the opposite side of the camper - we had the curtains pulled over the bed in that side to help stop cold from seeping, oozing and blowing and gusting in. I put the computer on the table, a logical place, but the wireless wouldn't pick up unless it was on the fridge, next to the radio antenna.

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Vern is a flint napper. He does very good work and it is fascinating to watch him. Norm picked up a couple of his arrow heads.

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The chuck wagon drew large crowds. It was originally a base with wheels that was restored and the rest was built slowly by hand. A marvelous display and demonstration.

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"Cowboyology" is what these people call themselves. They have several children who are very talented in roping. They sing, play guitar and fiddle and demonstrate cowboy living.

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Marie (to the left) and daughter Kelly (to the right) have a store in a small town in the great state of ????. Two of their guild are helping demonstrate. They spin, weave, knit, crotchet, you name it. They sell wool (homegrown), yarns (hand knit or machine knit with their own yarn), sock yarn (Joy uses it for socks) and have a guild and travel to many different shows to demonstrate and sell. Kelly loves to spin with a drop spindle; I love to watch her, as I CAN do it, but don't like doing it.

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One night we had a piper playing the bags, marching around the area. He was very pleasant to listen to.

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I yielded to temptation and got some wool from Kelly. She mixed sheep, Angora goat (mohair), llama and silk. She washes the wool, dyes it, sends it off to carded and mixed. I had ordered some for Candy, but I'm not sure if the color is what she wants. However, I bought 1 pound, 13 oz (and there are 9 pounds more, if I want). I am going to spin and Joy is going to knit or crotchet me a shawl. Then I will spin more for her to use, to pay for her spinning. Then I think I'll have to get some purple material to make a new dress to wear the shawl with. After all, I'm old enough to wear purple, right?

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Our trusty security guard. I can't tell you his name or show you his face or I'd have to shoot you! He was very kind (although he really and truly DOES carry a gun at night). He was a policeman for many years before retiring and becoming a trader.

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Ole Oleson gave a great talk on immigration. He is a wonderful person and a great character. Because I was not in character as Caroline, we didn't bicker as much as normal.

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Now, gather around and someone tell me what this large ball is!! First prize for guessing is a free trip for your whole family to the wonderful state of ???? in a camper in the middle of winter. Come on, now!! Don't you want to experience REAL LIFE??? Leave your comments as to what it is and I'll post an answer in a few days.

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The President of These United States visited and gave a talk on his life. It was very interesting and very moving. He gave his talk to a packed audience.

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One important piece of advice he gave was 'NEVER GIVE UP." He mentioned that he ran in 12 elections and lost 9. He lost his mother, his sister, 2 sons and led the nation in the most heartbreaking, tragic war that has ever been fought in our country. And because of his perseverance and strength of character, he is remembered as one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) presidents in history.

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We had a gypsy visit us on Sunday. I stopped to see her lovely rose quartz pendulum and had my palms read (both of them); she used the pendulum to answer a question that has been in my heart and mind for a long time. Her answer was very illuminating. I am thinking about the answer - if I follow through, you will know about it; if I don't, it won't matter. This gypsy was "playing" at fortune telling (she told A. Lincoln's fortune and then went to the talk to see if her reading was "true") but she actually has amazing talent. Her reading of my palms told her of my past which was amazingly on track. We will see if she is right about the future. She told me of character traits that I have that were right on the money!!

All in all, it was a good trip, a good weekend and fun was had by all. We are glad to be home in our own home, our own beds. Peanut is willing to let me be more than 1 foot away from her, now. She is back to napping in her favorite spot in the studio, where she can see me but not have to touch me. I am comfortable in sweat pants and shirt - not that the costume isn't comfortable, but I am a little bit warmer. Norm is outside cutting wood - he has promised for years to make another folding table for our camping and has decided that TODAY is the DAY to do so.

Our chickens did well while we were gone, thanks to the loving care of my sister and brother-in-law. They are staying inside in this cold weather, but are comfy and cozy in the barn and laying their wonderful eggs.

It looks to be a beautiful, if chilly day again. You have a beautiful day!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Winter Camping

What have I learned from winter “camping?” Carla Lynne, take note!!

First of all, everyone was right – even with a furnace, a pop-up (or fold-down, depending on who you talk to) trailer does NOT hold heat! When the temperatures are ranging from +4 º to -4 º, the only place that is actually heated is right in front of the furnace, which Peanut found out about, quickly. The air above it and around it is mildly warm. Get away from there and the air ranges from chilly to down-right frigid!

No matter how warm or cozy you can get in a bed, it takes TIME for the bed to warm up because the air UNDER the bed is frigid. So you either have an electric mattress pad, a ‘space blanket’ (un-found to date), or an electric blanket. A heating pad for your feet does not warm up your shoulder area. We had none of these!

No matter how warm and cozy you are in bed, it takes courage to get OUT of bed!

A 20 gallon propane tank lasts around 24 hours if the furnace is running non-stop, which it will, as the thermostat is set away from the furnace area.

A refrigerator keeps things cold, but does not keep things from freezing.

Little puppy feet get cold and not even a furnace will warm them sufficiently, so says the little puppy – a blanket on a lap or way under the covers of the bed is MUCH better!

People are kind, no matter what the world says. When a stoic husband says “enough,” people will bend rules to allow you to sleep in a building that has a “no sleeping inside” rule.

Toothpaste DOES freeze, but will thaw out under hot running water (inside a building, not inside a trailer that has no hot running anything!).

It is not against the law to wear sweat pants under a period-correct dress ... well, at least until you are done futzing and putting down a trailer.

On a non-winter camping note, it bodes well to bring some reading material! Or a movie to play on the lap-top. Or some music CDs to play during the slow times when we are in the trailer!! None of that was thought of ... duh!!!

Now, enough said about what is learned! On to the details! We got to the building where the Winter Trade Fair was being held and were early enough to park right next to the building and plug the trailer’s electricity in. The first night was fine – it was only about 20 º that night. The second night was cold, as it got down to 10 º. But within an hour, it dropped to 4 degrees. The wind was something fierce and it was -20 º chill factor.

The rules were: no sleeping within the building, no dogs. We had brought Peanut and planned on leaving her in the trailer, in a warm crate with a blanket over it, during the day. That way we could have her after hours and she could be with me. (This was a decision that sister Candy and I came up with – Candy said Peanut would be too unhappy staying at her house without me.)

I brought Peanut in with me while we were setting up. Julie, the head of the organization, met and cuddled with Peanut and said “after school children are gone, she can come in.” The head maintenance man met her and said “if maintenance, tomorrow, fusses, tell them *I* said she could stay." We put her little basket next to me and many times she was asleep with her blanket over her head and no-one knew she was there.

When Norm said “enough!” because of the cold weather - he was tired of getting out of bed and freezing - Julie said it was fine with her that we could sleep inside if security didn’t mind. Security, in the form of one of the trades people who slept inside as guard at night, said we could if we waited until after everyone was gone and got the bed put away before people came in the morning. (I can’t tell you the name of the town, the name of the building or the name of the security guard or I would have to shoot you!)

As far at the Trade Show and School Kid’s day, things have been going very well. It’s been great to see people we know from other events and meet new people (like Julie and un-named security guard). I will send pictures later on. Right now I don’t have internet service. I am writing this at 7:30 am (yes, THAT early!) on Sunday. I will send it when we get home. I have had internet service if I have my computer sitting on the fridge in the trailer. Not on the table, on the fridge! But I ain’t a goin’ there to send this! Not no-how, not no-way! You’ll just have to be patient until I get home tonight!

As I don’t have cell phone service in South Dakota (oops, shouldn’t have told you the state!), so I’ve been communicating with family over the internet. I have heard that home has gotten some snow and much blowing and is almost as cold as we are, here in the un-named city. There is supposed to be snow again tomorrow, so sister Candy wants me home TONIGHT so she doesn’t have to care for slow-laying chickens any longer.

Florida was 68 degrees on Friday night, poor babies!!! Other than that, that side of the family is doing well. Seattle is NOT flooding, NOT having ice, NOT having hurricane winds, and new grand-puppy Remy (have I mentioned him?) is doing well.

Rapid City was 53 º on Thursday afternoon and not a drop of snow in sight.

So now the sun is up, I think Norm wants me to bundle up again and we’ll put the trailer down. We have freezable things inside the building, under our table (if they haven’t frozen, already), and many things in the truck. Norm says we will NOT put the trailer up again until warmer weather, so anything we will want or need will have to be put in the truck for the trip home.

We will be done about 4:00 today and it’s about a 2 ½ hour trip home – make it 3... I’m sure we will stop for a warm bite to eat on the way home... or maybe not ... I don’t want to leave Peanut in a cold truck!

Like I said, pictures later – probably tomorrow. I will not have much energy tonight to do much more than bring in freezable items (and the laptop), post this and head for a WARM bed!!!

It will be a beautiful, crisp, cold day. You have a beautiful, warm day!

ps ... Just found out that it was -13º this morning. Thank GOODNESS for caring friends!!!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Toodle-loo, kiddies!

We’re off to another event. There is one in Watertown, SD, that we will be attending.

The trailer is packed and re-folded down. The food is planned and / or packed. We have just about everything non-freezable in the trailer or truck, the rest sitting waiting to be put in.

We will be leaving later this morning and making the 2 ½ hour trip so we get to the building in time to be one of the first ones there. We need to be able to park close to the building so we can run an electric cord in and be hooked up.

We have plenty of blankets, a furnace in the trailer and an extra electric heater. I am sure we will have no problem keeping warm in our “winter camping.”

I am taking my computer along in the hopes that there will be some wireless connection available somewhere. If so, I will try to post a little bit along the way. I am also going to take a lot of pictures (yes, children, Heb!) ... so you can see what the Watertown Trade Show is all about.

I am also taking money ($$$$$)!!! I have some sitting in my stash drawer, waiting for something special to buy and it just MIGHT be at the trade show.

So, until I return, have a beautiful day, a beautiful weekend.

Monday, January 22, 2007

We spent too much (of course!)

The auction was fun, as usual, but also very, very hard work! Think about it ... I have to wander around looking at the things and deciding what to buy (if I can afford it) and how high I am willing to go. At the same time, I have the voice of John (auctioneer) behind me, and I am listening to what he’s saying and watching what he’s selling, just in case he has something I NEED that I had missed.

Also, when I am close by to make sure I get bids in on what I NEED, I have to fight with John. He knows what I like and he knows how I bid (good auctioneer, there – knows his customers). He gets eye contact and almost forces you with the power of persuasion that you really NEED this and are willing to pay any amount to get it.

So, the mental work is exhausting!

However, I did get about half of what I wanted and more than I had planned, as well.

List, everyone? Okay, you asked for it ... (disclaimer ... if you don’t want to see what I got, just click out, now and read someone else’s blog!)

I got a late birthday present from Norm...He had taken our number card and moved closer to the front while I was still in the back. All of a sudden, I noticed a neat star and thought ... should I bid without my number (John hadn’t learned it, yet) or miss it? And saw that Norm was bidding. He turned to look at me and I nodded, so he got it!! Three cheers! Then I moved up with him (better seating and better chairs) but nothing important came up.

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We moved to the furniture. Candy and I each wanted an antique ribbon cabinet, but it STARTED higher than we were willing to go and went for $250!! (Sorry, no picture .. didn’t think to take a picture of what we lost.)

I had my eye on some night stands or small dressers for the studio and actually got the dresser which has more room for storage! Scissors, needles, pins, bobbins, shuttles, material, etc., can go in there.

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I also wanted something for between the chairs in the living room. I had been using a TV tray but got a miniature dry sink – more money than I had planned, but because I missed on the ribbon cabinet, I felt I could go a little higher than my original price.

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I got a lovely egg crate and decided to store my egg cartons in it, rather than helter-skelter on top of the freezer, where they are hard to reach (freezer is 15 feet tall, you know!).

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A doll came up and I normally try NOT to buy dolls, but it was the right price ($8) and Norm was loading stuff in the car and couldn’t stop me (hehehehehe).

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Norm got a two-man saw; I got a pretty depression glass cake stand; also two Roy Rogers photographs in frames ... I got one, Norm encouraged me to get the others. Guess I’ll have to hang them in the grandgirls’ room and introduce them to Roy (I have some of his movies). He’s been my idol since I was a little girl.

So, all-in-all, a good auction. We enjoyed watching the Precious Moments figurines going for over $50 a piece .. there were several people that were either dealers or collectors ... Although why ANYONE would collect Precious Moments is beyond me! I have never been attracted to them. But give me Hummel, any day!

We got another 4” yesterday morning – and very little wind. A lovely day and will be another lovely one today. You have a beautiful day!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A beautiful snowy day

The wind has stopped blowing (have I mentioned how I HATE wind?), the snow is coming down like a Christmas snow and it’s 22º out! What a beautiful winter morning!

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I have been out to fill up the bird feeders and top off the water in the bird bath. My cousin Kathy “promised” me if I had water, I’d have goldfinches all winter. We counted over 28 of them the other day – and 20 of them yesterday, even in the horrible south wind!

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It’s been pretty busy this past week ... Candy, Katie and I went to Mankato to go shopping and look for some furniture. I need a night stand / end table with drawers to help store some of the stuff I have in the studio.

We found a second hand store that had mostly beds and mattresses. There were a few pieces that I was interested in, but they were almost new in price, no matter how old they were – and some were more than new in price! The lady that was there gave me cooties (not real ones – just my term for bad vibes – she made me shiver!), so I wanted to leave quickly. Actually, Candy and Katie agreed and we decided we would not go back THERE again!

We found a really cool pet store – “Pet Expo” – that has a wooded walk to see bird feeders in place, lots of bird stuff, a fish corner, rabbits and guinea pigs and such in the middle and scads and scads of toys, food and supplies for dogs, cats, horses and goats, to mention a few. We WILL go back there when we have time to spend.

The shopping actually was pretty speedy, considering us. The snow started soon after we got to the city and looked like it would really amount to something, so we did a speedy trip, but spent a lot of time over lunch in Panera’s ... a bread / cafe place with yummy food.

We drove home in blowing snow but not too bad – only took us 30 minutes longer than normal to get home.

Friday I spent most of the day getting my tablecloth warp ready to put on the loom so that Candy could use the warping mill and the ‘reed loading’ table for her rug she’s going to make.

Yesterday was filled with Wayne and Norm playing cribbage while Candy and I worked on her rug project (and I started threading heddles for the tablecloth). Then lunch, then more work until they went home.

This morning, the beautiful snow and an auction this afternoon. I have my eye on some storage cabinets of some sort for the studio. Candy and I BOTH have our eye on an antique ribbon cabinet. Guess we’ll have to flip a coin or duke it out for who gets it (if it is even affordable!!).

This next week we will be getting ready to go to Watertown, SD. There is a trade fair and school demonstration there this weekend. Tomorrow, Katie an I will go collect the camper trailer. Those who were reading my blog this summer might remember that we broke the crank to crank the top up. We finally got it fixed; Norm and I will be ‘winter camping’ in it. Well, not actually winter camping! We will have electricity and heat!

We are going to camp next to the building that the trade show is in and hook up to electricity through the building. I have a set of flannel drawers ready to cut out and sew together and am deciding what to take along. Since we will have the camper, I can take cold weather clothes, in case the building is cold inside, and other ones in case it’s warm in there. Normally we are limited to the amount of clothes to take, because we are normally limited to space. But the clothes can lay on the beds before we put the top down.

Norm’s shave horse and my spinning wheel and chair can go into the cavity of the trailer or in the back of the pickup.

Food is the next to decide. We CAN purchase meals and one meal is served, free, to demonstrators. But I want something easy for breakfast (taking a microwave as well as using the stove) and sandwich stuff for lunches ....

Peanut is also going. Goldie will go over to Candy’s, but we decided Peanut would be happier in the heated trailer because she’d be with me at night. That will be nice – she will be a foot warmer in case the bed is cold. (We will also have electric heating pads to help start the warmth of the beds.)

So, now, it’s time to get ready for the auction. I hope the ribbon cabinet is not desirable to anyone else but Candy or I (yeah, dream on, girl!).

It’s beautiful out here. You have a beautiful day!

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wednesday Whim

Thank you again, Carla, for your wonderful ideas!On a whimsical note, do you like winter or hate it? If you could pick 'the perfect temperature', what would it be? I love winter – I love snow – I love being INSIDE when the snow is snowing and the wind is winding (sorry, blowing!) ... I like being outside when the cold is not too bad and there is NO WIND.

This morning, it’s warmed up to +12º but the south wind is nasty. I would give my eye teeth for a wood cook stove! Norm says the insurance would be too great.
Perfect temperature: depending on the time of the year –

Winter’s perfect temperature is about 25º, at least 10” of fresh snow on the ground and no WIND. (Have I mentioned that I hate wind?) Night time temperatures can go down to maybe +15 if the wind stays away.

Summer’s perfect temperature is between 70º and 80º, no WIND, but a light breeze is acceptable. Night time temperature can go down to about 60º.

Rain only at night – when most people are sleeping (does this sound like Camelot?).

Today, however, even though the daytime temperature is about 12º, we have severe south winds and it’s dropped the wind chill to about -10º, and is very uncomfortable in the kitchen, as the south winds seem to come right through the walls.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Posted in Tuesday Two

Good things come in pairs... and so do fun memes! Carla Lynne has another fun one!

Answer the questions below on your blog, and leave a comment telling us yours is up so we can come see what you picked. If you don't have a blog, you are welcome to leave your list in the comments.

Name your two favorite animals. Farm ones ... cows and goats. Pets ... dogs and cats.

Name your two favorite drinks. Bad for you drinks, Dr Pepper and coke. Good for you drinks, ice tea and real lemonade.

Name your two favorite colors. Green and yellow (not particularly together).

Name your two favorite pairs of shoes. Shoes? A necessary evil! Favorite of necessary evils? Tennies and some kind of “hush-puppie” loafter.

Name your two favorite books you read last year. Can’t really think of any from last year – too long ago. I just finished “The Red Tent” and loved it – and also Mary Kay Andrews’ “Blue Savannah” – I love fiction more than “thinking” books.

Name your two favorite instruments. Harp; wish I could play better, but never practice enough to do so. French Horn – it’s so mellow!

Name your two favorite seasons of the year. Spring and Fall

Name your two favorite ice cream flavors. Cherry Nut and Pineapple Sherbert (is that considered “ice cream” ???)

Name your two favorite T.V. shows. Still “StarGate SG1” and also “Who’s Line is it, Anway?” A stupid show, but I love to see the guys think so quickly and come up with such clever stuff.

Name your two favorite magazines. Countryside, of course. Handwoven, another “of course.” I also enjoy Country for the pictures.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Yes, children, we have snow!!!

And thanks to Norm’s eagle eye, I have a picture that is worth a thousand words.

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You have a beautiful day!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

My new grandpuppy!

Our youngest daughter, Jill, and her hubby went today to get a dog. They have wanted a dog ever since they got married. They have never been in the situation to have one until now.

Their first choice has always been a Bulldog, but their new apartment has size limitations for any dogs., so they had to revise their choice.

This past week they found a dog on (that’s where I found Peanut!) and went out today to get him. His name is “Remy;” he looks like a sweetheart!

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I can’t wait until they bring him home to show us!!

On a birding note, I saw 26 Goldfinches this morning, all together in 1 flying, swooping, feeding bunch! We are feeding finch food and thistle at two stations and have a dog bowl with heater (like in the chicken house) for a bird bath / waterer .. I have two rocks in so they can perch and drink without drowning. When we started putting finch food out as well as the thistle, the Goldfinches started coming and I was thrilled to count 6. Now, with the waterer, these guys showed up!!! My cousin, Kathy, told me if we had water they would come and stay all winter. (If you water them, they will come?) I am so excited!!

We were toasting at 9:00 pm last night with a balmy 10º - it was not very windy yesterday, so the chill factor was very tolerable. Now, this morning, it is already 14º and looks like it’s going up!! However, we have snow warnings (yippee!) but I will celebrate when the snow actually hits!! You have a beautiful day!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Oh, my!!

As you can see by my new weather patch on the left, we are mighty chilly here in southwest Minnesota! Thanks, Candy D, for giving me the link!

Now, admittedly, that is not severely cold for us. I can remember one year where January had over two weeks of no sun, much snow and the highest temperature for those two weeks was -15º!!!

However, Minnesota has been going through some heat waves recently. December was one of the warmest on records and January looked like it was going to join the previous month in all it’s warm glory.

This past week has been running around 35º or 40º but we had been warned!! Yesterday I watched the thermometer plunge from an early morning 32º to last night’s -1º when we went to bed. Getting up this morning, I read -4º!! Our “lovely” wind makes it feel like ---25º. (Sorry, Heb, I don’t have the Celsius readings for you – you’ll just have to venture out to your thermometer to figure out how cold it would be for you, up in Canada.

Time to put slippers on and a bathrobe over my jammies!! Fortunately, I have the chickens running in the east end during the day, with the east door shut from the wind and cold. So I don’t need to go out until around 10:00 to check on water and feed. I don’t need to go out at daybreak to let them out of their smaller pen so they can run outside. It would be too cold and windy for them to be outside, anyway.

Our corn stove is unable to quickly bring heat up to comfort levels, so we have turned it off and have the propane furnace on. I hate to use the propane, but when we wake up to 59º in the house and Norm is chilly, it’s time for drastic action. We COULD wait until about 2:00 and have the temperature maybe hit 65º by then, or we can hit the propane and have it hit 70º in less than 30 minutes, then shut it off and let the corn stove continue to keep it at that temperature for the rest of the day. (Reminder to self --- keep the corn stove on level 2 or 3 overnight when it’s this cold!)

So, now it’s 61º in the house and rising! Soon I’ll be able to take off my robe – actually, maybe I should get dressed???

The severe cold looks like it’s running all over the country! Seattle (where daughter Jill is) is hitting lows again and people panicked at chill factors of +25º, but the actual temperature this morning is +21º!!!. I need to write to Jill and have her tell her co-workers what OUR temperatures are! My brother in Oklahoma is expecting ice storms!! My mother, in South Dakota, is -2º, after being in the 50s just two days ago!

The only place that I can see that is even normally warm is the deep south! Joy, in Florida, is enjoying warm temperatures and probably has her air conditioner on, as usual!!

It’s going to be a cold week, but the sun is shining and it’s beautiful, if windy and cold out! You have a beautiful day!

Foodie Friday

What are your favorite comfort foods when you are sick?

Thanks, Carla Lynne .... I hope YOUR comfort foods make you feel better, quickly!

I was raised on Campbell's chicken noodle soup, and nothing (NOTHING) makes me feel better. My mother would melt American sliced cheese on saltine crackers and we'd soak them in the soup.

I have to have this combination when I am sick. When I came home from hand operations (and others), this would be what I would have to eat as soon as I was awake enough to eat! (Well, that is, besides the Dairy Queen pineapple milkshake on the way home from the hospital.)

There is nothing like having chicken noodle soup noodles dropped down the front of your shirt by your mother (thanks, Mom!). Being right-handed and the operations on my right hand, Mom would feed me and between the two of us, we'd always lose my mouth at one time or another.

Oh! And jello! I always made sure that Strawberry jello was made and ready for when I got home from the hospital! And, again, nothing like cold red jello sliding down your front when it misses your mouth!

Macaroni and cheese is another comfort food, but not when I'm sick - this is when I'm blue. "Grandma's Macaroni and Cheese" is the grandgirls' favorite meal at our house - we make it better here than their mom does, I guess! It's the first meal they have when they come. So, when I'm blue and missing them, I make some Mac and Cheese to think of them by.

It's a beautiful but chilly day. You have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Well, let’s see! What have I been doing?

First of all, the washing machine is WORKING!!!! I have done thousands of loads of wash (well, maybe not thousands) and have thrown them all in the dryer, one load at a time. This time, I’ve decided that I need to use the dryer to catch up with about two weeks worth of clothes. Once I am caught up, I will then hang them outside or on the clothes rack inside, depending on weather. But since there were so many loads, it was easier and faster to use the dryer.

What else? Well, I’ve been doing some informal weaving lessons. I am helping Takara thread her new ridged heddle loom and get it ready to weave. As she was threading that, I had Katie try weaving (for the first time) on my table runner that is now finished. Sister Candy did some weaving on my newest table runner; first time she’s done four harness and fine cotton. She was a little nervous and a little confused because of the color changes, but did fine.

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Katie weaving, Takara threading

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Table runner that is just finished
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Table runner that Candy helped with

Yesterday was my birthday --- sixty-three years old, can you believe it??? Sometimes I feel one hundred, sometimes twenty! Many gifts were given me yesterday.

The first one was that Carla Lynne finally has returned to her blog and wrote me an email, explaining her long absence.

Then we had a Downy Woodpecker come to my suet feeder and spend most of the morning there, so I was able to get a picture (not very good, as it is through the window, but at least a picture to prove I saw him). We had about eight finches at our feeders all morning, as well.

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My sweet little Downy Woodpecker

Phone calls from my mother, my brother, my two girls and my two grandgirls!

Norm took me out to lunch yesterday in our favorite little Drive-In.

Tonight, Candy, Wayne, Norm and I went to our favorite steak place for yummy teriyaki steaks. We were celebrating their twenty-sixth anniversary, my birthday and Wayne’s birthday next week. We also got a phone call from Norm’s older brother and sister-in-law and chatted for over an hour to catch up.

I have been reading some neat books that I got from the library. Candy and I FINALLY got there last week, after promising each other we would go for over six months.

I watched “Ladies in Lavender” last night and again tonight – such a wonderfully, gentle love story about two English ladies in England between the two “great” wars.

So that’s been my week – how has yours been? We are going to head to the single digits for temperatures in the next couple of days and be near to January’s normal temperatures. No snow, as of yet, but there still is hope! It was a beautiful day today. You have a beautiful day!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Of course!!!

Norm and Wayne got the washing machine in yesterday, ready to hook up when they discovered that the belts are bad! So what else is new? Things do NOT go according to clockwork around here!!! Figure on two hours for a job and it’s two days!!

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Last hookups!

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Bringing the machine inside

Norm bought this used washing machine at an auction two years ago – it’s been sitting, waiting to come in and be used for that long.

Fortunately, our local appliance center has the proper belts (they come in a set of two) and I can get them this morning when I got to town.

So, if things go WELL, I might (MIGHT) have a washing machine running by tomorrow night. Earlier, if I’m really, really lucky!

On another note, anyone heard from Carla Lynne, lately? She hasn’t answered the phone or my emails and I am starting to get concerned!!! If anyone has heard from her since the blog break she took, I’d appreciate knowing if she is still in the country, on this planet. Thanks!

It’s sunny, crisp and not very windy out – a beautiful day. You have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Amazing animals!

Now, I KNOW my chickens are happy and love me and are giving me bunches of eggs every day, but THIS is ridiculous!!!

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Oh, I love my pretty little eggs!

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You leave my eggs ALONE

To be honest, I KNOW that “Little Boy” isn’t laying eggs, but it is amazing, all the same. He has taken up residency in the hen house – this fall he was sleeping under the nest boxes, climbing the fence to get the cat food in the hay ‘loft’ and drinking fresh water from the unfrozen chicken bowl.

He pays little attention to the hens, they pay little attention to him; they walk around him but don’t really look at him!

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Soaking up sunshine!

Now that it has gotten colder, “Little Boy” sleeps in a nest box and sometimes even crawls in on top of a bunch of eggs. He has never broken one and has not figured out that eggs COULD be a meal, thank goodness!

It makes it warmer for him, fun for me!

It looks to be a beautiful day – you have a beautiful day!!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year, everyone!

And what does it look like at your house today? We got about two to three inches of snow (Mankato, just an hour from us got eight inches – sigh) but lots of wind!

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Last night we braved the blizzard (well, it WAS pretty dicey at times) to go to Candy and Wayne’s for the beginning of our ‘traditional’ weeknight together. We have decided to put one night a week aside to get together at either house. Wayne and Norm love to play cribbage – Candy and I don’t, really. So the boys can play to their hearts’ content and we girls can do crafty things or watch a movie or just talk. Last night, Candy started ‘Brides and Prejudice’ but we stopped it too soon, so I brought it home to watch. By the time we headed home (9:00 for us early birds), the stars were out and the moon was glistening on the snow and there were only ground blizzards.

This past week has been a busy one for both Norm and I. He is starting to work on the washing machine – well, actually, getting the area ready to move the machine into the house and use. Our wringer works well, for washing, but the drain doesn’t, so we need to drain the water outside with a long hose running out the door. Then the lovely laundry sink I have doesn’t have a drain (see above) so we rinse our clothes in a five-gallon bucket and Norm dumps that outside. And, now, the wringer is broken so Norm wrings the clothes out by hand. Now this may all be well and good for youngsters with energy, but for old fogies with weak hands and sensitive necks, it ain’t so hot!! I am really looking forward to the modern automatic so I can wash just one load of clothes, if desired, and at midnight, if desired! We can still hang outside or use the rack in the kitchen (or bathtub – as we do since the clothes drip too much when hand wrung) or we can use the dryer when desired. I can’t wait!

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While Norm was moving the laundry sink over to the other side of the room (where there was a hand sink with a working drain), he took the faucets off the sink and put them on the bathroom sink – those were worn and leaking and ucky!!

Norm got the stain out and I stained my new spinning wheel; Norm helped me put it together so I can now spin on it. (Aurora got a wheel for Christmas! Now she has joined us obsessers!)

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I started a new warp for the forty-four inch loom (the Buffalo) – I’m going to make a tablecloth for ME! This is a picture of my lovely warping mill that Norm made.

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And I am half done with a Christmas table runner I am also making for ME! This is very much like friend Katie’s that I made her, but it has a fancy border on each end and is longer – hers is only four feet long – mine will be five and a half feet long, to fit on the bench in front of my living room window.

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So now I need to get some clothes popped into the dryer to freshen up – when they hang on the racks in the bathroom, they don’t get that wind-whipped freshness and the wind was gusty to thirty-eight yesterday. Norm promises to work on the hook up and see what else is needed for a town run tomorrow.

It is a beautiful sunny day today – you have a beautiful day!