Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Look at the Swedish post – she has pictures that were taken in “my” house. The curtains on the windows are some that I wove several years ago. The warp on the loom is the one that I left when we left in 2005. The tablecloth is one that I had purchased and donated to the house – I have fond memories of that tablecloth! It made me homesick to see the pictures of the house and remember good times I had there. However, not homesick enough to go BACK. I am enjoying being here and doing my crafts in a modern environment, warm and cozy.
And also Dream River Farm. I discovered this blog while looking at Jody’s blog. The Dream River Farm is about two hours from us, to the east. We have been down there occasionally, and it is a beautiful area! The farm carries Babydoll Sheep (so cute) and Dexter cattle. Before Norm injured his neck, we had plans for Dexter cattle here.
It’s enjoyable to see the pictures and read the stories about someone else who is trying to live greenly and with animals around her.
On the same note (but different), have you stopped over to Good Shepherd Farm? There are new puppies to see!
And Bill Fisher has some llama pictures up for you to enjoy.
It will be a beautiful day today – you have a beautiful day!
Monday, December 29, 2008
Joy and family arrived about 1:00 in the morning on “Boxing Day.” Norm took a nap while waiting, but I worked on the Australian loom, “Matilda.” (Yes, Jody, your spinning wheel is Matilda, but I had my loom named before you even saw your wheel! So THERE!) I am making a blue table runner (or table cloth, depending on what I decide when the runner is done) with “Wall of Troy” for a pattern. I made some mistakes but decided to keep them so I would remember the time I was waiting for the family to arrive.
Boxing Day is a holiday that is celebrated in the Great British countries, for the most part. It is usually the day after Christmas and is a bank holiday (in these modern times – well, since 1871). It is also considered St Stephen’s Day in other countries.
We were babysitting Buttons, niece Cookie’s wire-haired mini-doxie and the 2 were spending a lot of time wrestling and having races in the living room, much to the dismay of the rugs on the floor. There were way too many people and dogs at Candy’s for the comfort of all, so we took Buttons here. (At Candy’s, there were 3 dogs and 6 people.)
So, anyway, the family arrived, and when they drove up, Buttons ran down to the basement and jumped on Norm’s stomach to wake him up!
Grand-puppy Tasha came with (sorry, no pictures of her – don’t know why!), so for a while we had great excitement and noise with 3 dogs, 2 excited grand-girls and 4 excited adults.
We finally got settled and in to bed about 2:30 and slept a short night.
The next morning (or was it later in the morning?) we had breakfast and then opened presents. I got more socks (thank you, Joy!) and Norm got a lovely pair of suspenders!
Mom and Dad as well as Cookie and Binni came over to spend time with Joy and family. And a great time was had by all!
After Mom and Dad headed back to Candy’s, where they were sleeping, it seemed to quiet down. Cookie and Binni spent the night; Ken set up the girls’ new Christmas present, the Wii, and everyone trucked downstairs to play or watch someone else play.
The next morning (after another late night), we had a late breakfast and Cookie, Binni and Buttons headed home. Okay, it was “quiet” now!!! The girls went with Norm to the Farm as he was doing chores this weekend, and the rest of us took naps.
We had leftovers and played on the Wii, again. Then fell into bed. Sunday morning was another late breakfast; the girls went to the Farm with Norm, again, and Ken started watching “THE” game – the Vikings were playing for the chance to be in the finals so it was very, very important (to some people, anyway!).
A late lunch, with the requisite macaroni and cheese, which has to be at 1 meal, at least and more leftovers. After the victorious game, then everyone started packing. Since Ken and Joy were in the Kia, there was limited space.
The discussion was to leave Tasha or 1 of the girls to make more room but that fell through when Ken said that NO ONE would stay here – he couldn’t get on without any of them!
However, Bubba had to leave her most precious gift of the year – her new loom; we will mail it to Florida in the next few days so she can continue to weave. As you will see in the pictures, she was rarely without it and had already done about 18” on her first project. This loom is a small 12” demonstration model that I felt I didn’t need any more. She has been begging for a loom for over a year and was so excited when she finally got one. I am the “best grandma ever!!” As I am the only living grandma she has, there isn’t much competition, but I took the compliment anyway!
The only things missing were Jill and Eric, at home in Washington. Jill had to work the day after Christmas!! If they had been here, my joy would have been complete! They were missed! And, yes, Jill, we DID talk about you! Were your ears burning?
So, here are the pictures – enjoy them! We enjoyed making them!!! It is a beautiful day today – you have a beautiful day!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Cookie and Binni and my folks will come over tomorrow to spend the day. Candy and Wayne will pop in for a short while but need the break from all the company.
So, here are the pictures from the last two days.
I hope your Christmas was beautiful.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
So, from our house to yours, whether you have snow or no, we wish you a blessed Christmas, a Happy Hanukah, Blessed Solstice or whatever holiday you celebrate at this time.
May you enjoy a time with loved ones and friends, safe and warm surrounded by love and peace.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
When I had Kari and her mother here the other weekend, I was bragging about my treadle sewing machine. “You can't break them!” I said; “The only thing needed for these machines is oil and a new belt!”
Well, the other day I was trying to put a patch on one of Norm's most very favorite shirts and broke a needle on a snap. I switched to a new needle and it won't WORK!!! It won't pick up the threads from the bobbin. Nada! I have tried another needle (I only have 2 intact needles in the house) and switched back and forth. But nothing works. So I have given up and will have Norm look at it sometime, when he has time.
And then …....... the other day I was laughing with (not at) Yarn Harlot and her husband's problem with getting his pickup stuck.
Now, Norm is a fantastic driver in snow, careful and sure and he knows how to keep out of trouble.
Well, yesterday morning the snow was coming pretty steady and it was getting pretty deep. Norm put water in the trunk of the Buick, which helped give it weight. He was going over to Jody's to water the animals while Jody and Don were gone to the Cities for their family Christmas. However, the wind picked up about the time he set out, which made visibility pretty nasty. The window fogged up, so he stopped to clean the window off and when he started again, he drove right into the ditch!
The snow is so deep in the ditches that unless there are tracks, you can't tell where the road is and where the ditch is. The snowplow had not gone through, yet, so he was stucker than stuck.
He called me to see if I would drive over in the Van to pull him out. Nu-uh!!! No way, hosay! But as he thought about it, he realized it was a foolish idea. If HE got stuck, think of what I would do?
He dumped the water out and put the buckets in the toboggan (he has a box built to attach to the toboggan in which he can put water or wood – a throw-back from when we lived at Historic Murphy's Landing) to pull home. But on his way home, he stopped at our closest neighbor, Arnie, to catch his breath. Arnie insisted on starting up his 4xdrive truck and driving Norm home.
By then the snowplow had gone part way down our road (but not all the way to the highway), so Arnie could see the road / ditch division.
So, now, on a snowy Sunday, Norm was outside in -35° chill factor weather, driving the tractor around. He cleared the lane up to the county road (which still has not gotten plowed since the wind closed the road again). The wind was very nasty and cold, but was letting up a little bit so that the visibility had gotten a little better. We could see about half a mile this afternoon!
We were hoping that the snow plow would come through this afternoon so that Norm could drive the van over to Jody's to water the animals. They have plenty of feed but they are probably pretty thirsty – there are no tank heaters to keep water from freezing for the animals. However, it never happened.
Jody and Don will be home tonight or tomorrow, but if not, we hopefully will have the plow do the road so that Norm can get over there in the morning.
Despite the cold and wind, it was a beautiful day. First day of winter, Solstice – you all have a beautiful day!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Well, another year has flown by! And flown it certainly has! As everyone is probably saying, "I can’t believe it’s that time of year, again!"
This January saw Norm and I in Brookings for the Living History Fair. The Fair is planned around education, so we had children come on Friday to learn from everyone who was there. I demonstrate spinning and weaving, Norm demonstrates carving spoons, as well as sells the spoons and spatulas he makes.
March found us in New Ulm, as always. I call it the "Great Minnesota Sleepover." This is a Trade Fair, not an educational fair, where we meet a lot of our friends, do a lot of visiting and hopefully do some selling, as well.
In April, we drove down to Los Alamos to spend a week with Joy and family. Ken was working as an advisor to a construction company on "The Hill," as Los Alamos is called. We spent a lot of time traveling to different places and seeing as much as we could within that time.
In June we went out to South Dakota for a Peterson family reunion. We saw cousins of Norm’s that we have not seen for years. As most reunions are, it was a lot of fun. We have Norm’s sister, Eileen, to thank for the organizing - and a great job she did, so!
Norm and I keep saying we are going to cut down on our demonstration events, but in June we were invited to attend the Sons of Norway convention in Mankato. That was a great place to make new friends.
As July came around, things started to "heat up." We went to Walnut Grove to demonstrate for two weekends for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Days. Then on to Decorah, Iowa, the last weekend for the Nordic Fest at the Vesterheim museum.
We were even busier in August as we went to Wisconsin for a sesquicentennial celebration and spent the weekend with friends in Pepin, just up the road from the celebrating town.
Then was the State Fair. I worked with friend Katie for the twelve days of the fair without him around, and Norm came the last weekend to demonstrate, play and help tear down. We were fortunate to have Joy and family come out for a day, which also happened to be her birthday.
After the State Fair, we were into September and went to Pepin, Wisconsin, for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Days. This is a "family" event. We have become very close to those who are regulars there. We have a section that is only "period" craftspeople; we all (mostly) camp in our "period" tents. Others stayed at friends’ homes or in the motel just across the road.
October had only one event, our last event of the year – "Big Island" in Albert Lea. This is a four-day event that is educational for two days and is open to the public for the other two days.
We enjoy visiting friends and having some come for supper. Because it is in October, the chances of warm weather are slight, so we prepare for cold weather and have the wood stove in the tent for the cold nights. When we returned home, we took a deep breath to consider if we wanted to continue for another year.
I was "bee free" for the entire year, and so hope springs eternal that I will not have to end up in the emergency room next year, as well. Two years in a row are enough, thank you very much!
Other than working demonstrations and educational days, Norm has been busy at Shalom Hill Farm, the church retreat farm just three miles east of us. He works four afternoons a week, doing maintenance and farm chores. They have cut down on the amount of sheep and goats this year, due to Norm’s insistence; they also have rented a ram (male sheep) and a buck (male goat) so that timing for lambing and kidding season will be much better this next year. Last winter, we had lambs and kids popping out in the most horrendous weather; I ended up fostering several babies because mommas couldn’t or wouldn’t care for them.
I have been staying home, as usual. Just a trip a month to Mankato to do Sam’s Club shopping with sister Candy or going to Westbrook, ten miles away, to exercise. My knee has really gone caput this year and I will need knee replacement. So I quite often used the mobility scooter that I purchased last year. I am waiting for Medicare to "kick in" this next year so that the operation will (hopefully) be covered.
Family-wise, the family has spread out all over the nation.
Joy and Ken returned home from Port St. Lucie, Florida but did not spend much time in the Cities before moving to Los Alamos, New Mexico for about seven months. Ken got a job as a construction trouble-shooter and the plan was to send him to trouble spots around the country. But his boss likes him so much that he has been transferred to the main office to train other troubleshooters. And the main office? Miami, Florida!!!! However, Norm and I got a chance to drive down to Los Alamos for a week before they left – that is an awesome place to go, visit, live. I want to go back someday and spend more time! Ken, Joy and the girls spent every weekend doing something really neat.
Jill and Eric are still in Federal Way, Washington, very close to Seattle. We went by Amtrak out to see them in November. The trip, itself, was worth the time and money. But the time spent with Jill and Eric was wonderful. It was full of surprises and wonderful views.
So, a wonderful year has passed again. Full of fun and new experiences, full of "busy-ness," full of love.
May you have a wonderful, love-filled, experience-filled year next year!
For instance, she can take a picture on her camera and send it directly to her blog. Handy, that. Someday I will get a photo-phone and flood you with MY pictures.
But until then, here is one that is very dear to my heart!
It is a beautifully sunny day - it may be only +7 in the shade, but in the sun, it's a balmy +15. Very little wind (in fact, almost NO wind!) and lovely, lovely snow. You have a beautiful day!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
When they came, they brought Kari’s great-grandmother’s spinning wheel. This was built in 1906, I believe, in Norway. Her great-grandmother then brought it over when she moved here.
They got here in time for supper and a chat before bedtime.
On Saturday (was it only yesterday?) we had a great time!
Kari remembers great-grandmother spinning on the before she died in 1950 (or so). It has not been used, since. Grace told me that her mother got the wheel when great-grandmother died and then gave it to Grace to “store.” It’s been sitting in Grace’s living room since the middle 1970s. There was even yarn left on two bobbins. Kari and I took off the yarn, which she is going to display in a safe archival way.
Correction! Grace remembers her grandmother spinning. Great-Grandma died before Kari was born! Kari has seen her great-grandmother in 8 mm. film spinning on the wheel.
I oiled the wheel, and then showed Grace that the oil would make the wheel shine, so she spent a part of the day shining the whole wheel, underneath as well as above. Then I spun on it, had Kari spin (she has learned how to spin on a spindle, so had little problem), and had Grace spin, as well. Grace had done some spinning under great-grandma’s tutelage so sort-of knew how. Once she gets a chance to spin at home, alone, with no pressures, I’m sure she will do well.
The wheel itself was made by a master craftsman and is still in excellent condition. I have never seen such a beautiful wheel that spins so smoothly.
Jody came over to join us for lunch (turkey sandwiches) and meet Kari and Grace. Candy came over later, as she was running late, but got in at the tail end of lunch, so was able to join us eating.
Candy sat in front of the wheel, but was not sure that she could spin on a single treadle, as she has taught herself to spin most excellently on her double treadle Fiona. However, this wheel is so fantastic and she was able to spin most excellently on it, matching the yarn that great-grandma had spun (that we had all drooled over).
After the fiber fix, Kari sang for us. She gave Jody and Candy a history / mythology lesson about the Nordic gods and goddess (and gave me a refresher), then read the runes for all of us.
All too soon, everyone had to head home. Kari and Grace insisted on taking the wheel, even though I promised I’d give her a good home. However, it was wonderful to watch Grace’s face when she realized that her wheel was something special and it was in still great working order after 102 years!
Kari is a very special friend – I am honored to have her come here and enjoy herself. We hope to have her come again.
It was a beautiful day, yesterday! The weather was in the 30s, the sun was shining and snow was melting. Today is a different story. It's about 5 degrees out right now with nasty winds and fog, sleet and snow. Things have been cancelled everywhere! But it still is a beautiful day, despite the weather. You have a beautiful day.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Leslie has been one of my oldest blog friends. She lives in a wonderful area in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in Virginia. Leslie raises Angora bunnies and spins their fiber. She is involved with many craft happenings in the Mountain area that she lives. She is a very active, very special person.
Leslie, I’m sorry I “lost” you – thank you for commenting so that I was reminded about you.
The rest of you, go visit her blogs (yes, she has many) and see her crafty things. And enjoy a beautiful day in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
The day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, President Roosevelt appeared before a joint session of Congress and declared, "Yesterday, December 7, 1941--a date which will live in infamy--the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan." After a brief and forceful speech, he asked Congress to approve a resolution recognizing the state of war between the United States and Japan. The Senate voted for war against Japan by 82 to 0, and the House of Representatives approved the resolution by a vote of 388 to 1. The sole dissenter was Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana, a devout pacifist who had also cast a dissenting vote against the U.S. entrance into World War I. Three days later, Germany and Italy declared war against the United States, and the U.S. government responded in kind.The American contribution to the successful Allied war effort spanned four long years and cost more than 400,000 American lives.
Of course, I can’t remember the day, because I was not here, but my parents do. My Dad joined the Army (soon to be transferred to the Army / Air Corp – which was later turned into the Air Force) in 1940, and his training was speeded up after Pearl Harbor was attacked.
Because of the war, Dad was sent down to Florida for training. Mom followed him down and they married the day after he got his wings. That was July 4th, 1942. Then Dad was in the war. I have a book that he wrote about being in the war. If you are interested, email me and I will send you a PDF copy of that book. He flew bombers in Europe while Mom and I waited at home.
Back to Pear Harbor! How many remember the reason that this day is so “special” and so remembered by the older generation. Is this being taught in the schools? I wonder. For the modern generation, “history” is something that happened yesterday or last year!
Let’s all take a few minutes today to think of the happenings 67 years ago today. Japan’s actions brought the United States into a terrible war. But because of “us” entering the war, Britain was more than likely saved from being over-run by the Nazis and Germany (as well as the rest of Europe) was rescued from a dictator that was evil incarnate.
I hate war, but sometimes it is necessary. Let’s remember the men and women that died in that war to keep the world safe from evil. But let us continue to pray for peace throughout the world.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
She is an antique buff - and has many for sale, as well. Also, she writes poetry. How wonderful to find another new friend. What a wonderful blessing the Internet can be if you use it to the good!
She has a picture on her blog, today, that looks like my place. But I'm too chicken to go outside - it's -9 for a chill factor and I'm a wimp when it comes to cold like that.
But the sun is shining so it's beautiful to LOOK at. You have a beautiful day!
Candy’s house is so “cool” – she is so artistic with her decorating and is so tidy in her cleaning. Now, my house is a helter-skelter house – I have waaaay too much stuff, haven’t found (even after three years) places to store that stuff and don’t clean like I should anyway.
But if (IF, I say!) my house was tidy and clean, it would never look as coolly decorated as Candy’s. She just has that FLAIR!!
But the greatest, coolest, most beautiful part of the day was that the three of us sat upstairs in Candy’s workroom, doing THINGS and talking. I took my new spinning wheel, “Bonnie.” Candy came out, all bundled up, to help carry her to the house and then carried her upstairs. She has “Fiona,” Bonnie’s big sister, so we sat spinning and comparing wheels. Jody brought crocheting, as she has a Christmas project that needs to be done.
Candy had a very yummy, warm lunch and offered several cups of tea. We listened to lovely music – seems we all prefer the same type of music! The dogs were in and out, up and down the stairs, but spent most of their time with us. It led to sleight of hand to spin with little Cricket on my lap, but she is not a ‘cuddler’ so she didn’t stay, just popped on and off. Ren tried to get tangled in my wool and Noah wanted to sit with his head in my lap. Thankfully, I was not the only one to get attention, as the dogs wandered from person to person until finally settling down and sleeping in corners.
Candy has this picture on her wall. I LOVE it!
We plan on doing this craft day thing again – next time at my house. I will enjoy being here, as I won’t have to move, but it certainly won’t be as “cool” as at Candy’s!!!
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
This evening he went out to the barn to do chores – his choice, as he wanted some fresh air. He also went to church with neighbor Jody tonight.
His shoulder is SOMEWHAT better. He can raise his arm up to the level of his shoulder with less pain than even yesterday and it doesn’t hurt as much to breath deeply. (The doctor told him to make sure he took deep breaths, as it’s easy to get pneumonia when the chest or ribs hurt badly.)
If he can lift his arm about his shoulder by Monday, he won’t have to go back to the doctor. If not, he will have to go to a specialist to see if he has done BIG damage to it. But at this time, it looks like it’s “just” muscle and tendon damage.
Norm has read all of your good wishes and wishes to thank you for your prayers and good thoughts. I will keep you updated with his progress. Right now he’s in the kitchen, dishing up some ice cream ….. that’s the best medicine in the world, he says.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Yesterday afternoon, Norm was working at the Farm and putting hay bales on the little automated ramp that carries them up to the barn loft. He was doing this all by himself, as usual, and as he is NOT supposed to do. He is supposed to ask the office manager to help him. He was standing on the hay bales in the hay wagon and stepped on the edge of one of the bales that was on the edge of the wagon. The bale flipped off and so did Norm. (He said, later, that he found he cannot fly and cannot bounce anymore!)
He called me from the Farm to ask me to pick him up, and scared the living daylights out of me because of the way he was sounding and talking. He handed the phone to one of the office girls who told me what happened.
I drove down, picked him up with a worker's comp slip with the Farm's information on it and took him to Westbrook. The boss / owner wanted to take him to Windom, but it's closer to Westbrook and I've gotten a nice relationship with people there. It's smaller and friendlier, too, than the Windom hospital / clinic.
Norm saw Dr. Cassle, who is an "old farm boy" like Norm and they discussed the pleasures of horses over goats ("Horses don't climb on your car," quotes the good doctor!). After x-rays and more poking than Norm wanted, the decision was that no bones broken. He will be recliner bound for a while with good STRONG pain pills that I had to fight him to take two of, rather than just one, and we will wait and see.
If (IF) he can raise his left arm up to and above his shoulder by Monday, he will be fine, eventually. If he can NOT raise that arm, then he will see a shoulder specialist. He could have "just" torn tendons and bruised muscles or he could have torn the rotor cuff in that left shoulder.
Two good things – it's his left arm and workers' comp will pay for it! Oh! A third ---- he did NOT hurt that sensitive neck!!! Just left his brains in his hat on the ground! Or left his brains at home yesterday!
So all projects are on a hold. I was up two times for pills last night. Peanut spent most of the night with Norm, keeping his lap warm and making him feel loved. I told him I would forgive him for being stupid if I didn't have to fight him to take the pills.
Now Norm is sitting by the picture window, watching the birds and bundled up, taking naps most of the day. Peanut, again, is keeping his lap warmed (she loves it when someone sits in a recliner for a very long time). I am working on chili and corn bread for supper, as Candy and Wayne are coming for their weekly get-together. Jody is coming, as well. She’s going to go out to the barn with me and help me collect the egg that our “Hawk” chicken keeps insisting on laying way UP in the haystack where I can’t reach it! She is also bringing me some chili powder as I found I was out of it and had forgotten to put it on the grocery list (duh!).
It’s a beautiful day – warmish – the wind has dropped considerably and the sun is shining part-time. Norm is well, thank all the good gods, and we are both warm and comfortable (within reason). You have a beautiful day!