Sunday, January 31, 2010

Okay, really, really fast

I will post pictures and stories about Brookings later.  But I have two "new" friends to put on my link. 

First is Bethany.  She is a trucker and has a lovely blog about women truckers (herself in particular).  Go to One Girl Trucking to read her interesting and entertaining blog.


The next is Kelly She lives in Arizona, has some land and has goats.  She now has a cow, freshly calved and is a first milker.  I met her when she read my post about milking cows on Lehman's.  Go read her adventures in Arizona (and don't I wish I were there on a +1 degree day).

It's a beautiful sunny day.  You have a beautiful day!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cold again!

After the January "thaw" and rain, it has turned cold again.  Our last blizzard, on Monday, closed the entire western, southern and northern parts of the state.  Only around the Cities was it safe to travel.  And now it's back to sub-zero weather.  We, right now, have -6 degrees with a wind chill of about -18 degrees!  Brrrr.


This afternoon, we are bundling up and heading to Brookings, which isn't any warmer.  This is the weekend of the Living History Fair.  I will post pictures after the event.


Until then, enjoy some pictures that were taken around the house on Tuesday morning.  At least we have sunshine!

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Can you see the clothes line pole on the left of the left tree?  And the frame behind that tree is my swinging bench

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The drift that was made beside the Buick

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Behind the house



It will be a beautiful day today, you have a beautiful day.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Oh , well .....

The Vikings got close … not close enough, but closer than they’ve been for a long time. I enjoyed the game, though; it was good to see the score so close and to go into overtime rather than having a horrible score. I don’t think we Minnesotans need to hang our heads in shame. It was a tough game and the other guy won.


We are now back into winter … a heck of a blizzard and it’s the worst, I think, of the bunch we’ve had this winter. I just heard on the news that the snowplows were called off the roads about 3:00 this afternoon because of the whiteout conditions. Interstate 90 is closed clear across the Minnesota strip, from Albert Lea to the South Dakota border. Interstate 35 is closed from Minneapolis to the Iowa border.


Norm is out in the shop working, but he has to really bundle up to get there and get back. He had to shove the shop door open and then shovel it open, and he had only been in there about an hour.


We hear that the wind is blowing about 30 MPH and gusting to around 50 MPH. The wind is seeping and shoving itself in through all the cracks and crannies of the house so it’s chilly even though we have the heat going. 

I have one picture to share with you of the blizzard.  I could fill your screen with many, many pictures, but will confine my efforts to just this one.


I have a little electric heater close to my looms so that I can actually be comfortable while working. I have just finished the second marriage stole for my friend and need to steam the two and package them up to mail. No hurry today – the mailman didn’t come today and might not even come tomorrow, depending on the weather in the morning!




 


(On a side note, we didn’t get mail in Saturday because our mail from Mankato was about two hours late and Mailman Rick evidentially figured he couldn’t get through to here that late in the afternoon. We had rain on Saturday and the road was impassible with ruts and mud!)


I finished dressing the demonstration loom with wool – I’m going to make some scarves of handspun yarn. We have a Living History Fair on Friday in Brookings (weather “looks” to be stable for that time).


I have also started working on a wedding present for my brother on my 15” “Cherry.” I will take pictures and show them after I send it to him (we are not going to the wedding – in Oklahoma – because of chances of bad weather and because we need to be here for Ken’s surgery later on in February). I am also weaving a wide table runner in dark blue on my 36” “Matilda.” And, in my head (and on paper), I have plans for some hand towels / dish towels for the near future.





I have not been doing much weaving lately. All last winter and this spring / summer / fall, I haven’t been in the mood. But all of a sudden, I’m raring to go again and don’t have enough looms (or time) for all the things I want to make.


It’s a great day to be sitting either beside a fire (or electric heater) and doing some kind of craft thing. It’s a beautiful day (inside). You have a beautiful day

Friday, January 22, 2010

Date for Ken's surgery

The date has been set for February 26th.  He will have the operation at the U of M (University of Minnesota, for non-Minnesotans out there).


Thank all of you, so far, who have sent prayers and circles of light.  We are all confident that the surgery will go well and Ken will heal quickly and totally.


On another note, it has been foggy and cold and nasty since Monday morning.  Norm and I went to Sioux Falls on Monday and the visibility was horrible on the way over and worse than horrible on the way back.  We then went to Westbrook on Tuesday and the visibility was sort-of horrible.


We took Joe (our borrowed ram) back home on Wednesday during a sleet / blowing snow storm and THAT was horrible.


Brother-in-law Wayne is supposed to come over for dinner and cribbage and has not come for over a week.  The roads get closed easily with this wind, no matter how warm it's been.  We keep hoping the 28 + degrees every day will melt some of the snow, but no ... the wind whips it around like crazy nearly every day.  And when the wind isn't whipping the snow, it's so foggy that we are lucky if we can see a quarter of a mile on the roads.

View from the windshield on the county road





Our grove in the fog





One of the pines in the heavy frost / snow
 

It DOES make for beautiful views, even if we can't travel easily.  And it is a beautifully foggy day today.  You have a a beautiful day.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ken's surgery

As I mentioned earlier, son-in-law Ken has an “Acoustic Neuroma” (a brain tumor) and will be going in for surgery in February. He will be in the hospital for about 10 days, and off work for 3- 6 months.


We appreciate your thoughts and prayers during this trying time.  I have put a donation button on the side of my blog.  Insurance will pay for the surgery, but will not pay for extras; plus, as he will be out of work, household expenses will surely mount.  If you feel the desire (or need) to help, all will be appreciated.  We understand if you cannot donate, so do not feel an obligation.  If you click on the button, you will arrive at a PayPal account set up for this cause.

I will let everyone know when the date is set for the operation.
Thank you all for your concern.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Anniversaries and such

I have two daughters (I’ve spoken of them often). They are both married; hence I also have two sons-in-law. Now, I raised only daughters, so I have not had much contact with boys, except my brother, who (as most sisters know) has been a mixed blessing in my life. (Now he is only a blessing, but that’s another story.)


Today is the anniversary of my oldest daughter, Joy, and oldest son-in-law, Ken. If I am figuring right, it’s their 15th. 

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Beautiful couple
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Taken this summer, discussing wool and tools


So, Happy Anniversary kids. We love you and hope you have many, many more anniversaries in the future.


Today is another special day, and I am asking you that you all say prayers for Ken. He is going to some University doctors to discuss his acoustic neuroma that was discovered this month. This is a tumor (non-cancerous) that is pressing on the hearing nerves of his brain. They feel that surgery is necessary (at least so far they do) to remove it before it gets larger.


I think (think) that Ken thinks it’s due to cell phone usage. That’s a discussion for another time – the fact is that he has it and it needs to be dealt with. So, again, your prayers are asked for – for the doctors to make the right decision and for the family to keep their strength up in these trying times.


It was a beautiful day yesterday – lots of sunshine, very little wind and the snow melted, making us hope that the melted snow would hold when the wind started again. Not so! We have NORTH winds today (instead of the south winds we’ve had for a few days). Brother-in-law Wayne was going to come over to help Norm with some house updates (another story in the future) but canceled. He can’t get down the township road, again!! Blown shut, again!! So he needs to wait for the snowplow to come by, again!! We are wondering about our road, but Norm saw a vehicle go by just a little while ago, so – at least for now – OUR road is open.


But it is a beautiful day, non-the-less. The temperature is around 30º and the wind chill is only 17º. No sun, but we’ll take what we can get. You have a beautiful day.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'm published (again)

I try not to brag very often (but do, anyway) ... however, if you pop over to Lehman's blog site, you will be able to read an article that I wrote.  This one I am proud of because it has to do with my cow, Ginger, that I owned and milked before we moved to Minnesota.  My "cow plan" is an article I wrote for the Lehman's editor, Sarah.  She asked me to write articles several years ago, so every once in a while I get some crazy idea and send it to her.  She has never turned down an article yet!  (Thank you, Sarah!)


If you want to pop over there, spend some time reading the other articles that are there ... the contributors have plenty of wise things to say and I enjoy reading their work.

Winter frost

I love snowy / cold winter-time (well, when I'm inside, looking out).  It has the most awesome scenes --- probably more than any other season.  Friend Jody said I should put my sunset picture on as my header, so I have.  And I have frosty pictures to share with you, now.  Hope you don't get bored.  I never do!

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Sunrise through a frosty window

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On another note, today is the anniversary of the deadlist blizzard in American history - 1888 - this is the same year as Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Long Winter" -- and also the same year as my relatives moved to Big Stone County in South Dakota and lived as a large extended family in a home because they were afraid, rightly so, that the sod houses they were in would be covered with snow.


It is a beautiful sunny day with little wind.  You have a beautiful day.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Friday, January 08, 2010

Snow!

Again, snow! We got seven inches of fresh white stuff yesterday! And this morning? It’s blowing, as “promised.”


You know … I’m tired of talking about the weather and it isn’t even the middle of January. So, let’s talk about something else, okay?


Fiber … one of my favorite things to talk about and do with. I finished (and am able to post, now) a Christmas present.


When Norm and I went out to see Jill and Eric last year, I saw their beautiful glass dining room table … square, like a card table but with chrome legs and edges and black glass top. I saw in my head (among other things in my head) the perfect gift for that table. And actually got it done before Christmas, despite my knee “problem.”

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The table runners can be single on the table, as runners - the long one can be placemats as well as runners

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Or ... you can use them cross-wise, again the long one being placemats as well as a table runner

Actually my problem was not my knee, although it hurt and I had to have mega-therapy. I just didn’t have energy to do ANY fiber thing … so I lost almost a whole year.


I was then asked to do a tablecloth and ran into mental as well as physical problems so the “buyer” switched to a pastor’s stole – she performs weddings so wanted one of those. It worked out rather well, I’m a thinkin’ … and I have a second one on the loom right now, since I enjoyed the first one so well. I’m going to send them both to her and let her decide which one she likes.

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This blurry picture shows the brilliant, gaudy warp

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 But with a thickish weft, the gaudiness disappears and is just a subtle background.  It is now ready to hem.


I ordered some more yarn from Cotton Clouds. This is a six-pound package called “Rainbow Ends” – you pick the color scheme and they send you mill ends of different cotton yarns. This time I chose chenille and got some lovely, lovely colors.


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Can you see the shimmer in some of the colors?

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Again, blurry, but you can see the green chenille muting the bright warp.


Next I am going to do a table runner (for someone un-named) and will show you that as it goes along.


On another note, it still IS snowy and cold out – roads are difficult to traverse so I am pleased that I am staying home. Sister Candy is now working in Marshall with her daughter Cookie and living in her apartment with her. She plans / hopes to come home on weekends. But not tonight … her road is still not plowed open!


And on another note, sixty-six years ago last night, a young soldier was doing guard duty in Florida, keeping his eyes open for possible submarines. When he got off duty about four in the morning, he was told that his wife was in the hospital; he headed over quickly and got there just about the time that I was born. Sixty-six years~ oofta! Can’t believe I’m that old (on paper, not in my heart).


I was not going to show you any snow pictures but there are some awesome ones, if I don't say so myself!

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You could hardly see the shop in the wind / drifting yesterday

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Can you see the clothespin on the clothesline? The clothesline is about my height!


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 Norm is six feet tall and this drift that he needs to clear is waist high


It was a beautiful sunny day today, despite the cold and wind; the snowdrifts are really pretty if you don’t have to plow through them! You have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

OOOOOPS

Joy told me that I have been negligent!  When we were in the Cities for an early Christmas, I took some pictures of gifts, but I have forgotten to post them.  So here they are now.  Better late than never, correct?






One picture would not be accepted by Slide Show, so here it is ... a very important one!!  Bubba got her white belt!  We didn't get to see it, but she showed us the board that she broke for her test.


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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Happy New Year!

We had a great time here for New Year’s… Joy and family came down on Thursday and just left today (Sunday). It was too cold and blow-y for Candy and Wayne to come over for the evening, so they came over on Friday the 1st.


The only things missing were the rest of the family, but I am trying to train myself not to whine about missing some family and be grateful for the few times I do see them and make the most of that.


Ken brought his snowmobile down and unloaded it that afternoon. He then did some driving around before dark (which is still pretty early). 

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 Unloading the snowmobile


We had a nice “traditional” (not) dinner of pizza and salad. Joy had brought down a bunch of Papa Murphy’s pizzas, which we have not had for a while, so that was a real treat. I mixed up some grape juice and ginger ale and called it “Cold Duck.” Bubba does not like her drinks fizzy, so she drank plain grape juice and called it “Chilly Duck.” Ken had brought down some homemade apple wine, nice and sweet, to toast the New Year in.


After dinner, the girls washed dishes and started the hot cribbage tournament that went on all weekend. In fact I was afraid the cribbage board would burst into spontaneous combustion, it was used so much!

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Cards, always cards!

Around 10:00, we went outside to see the blue moon and Norm started a bonfire. 

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Last New Year's blue moon for 28 years!

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Bonfire was warm if you sat in it

Bubba got snow in her boots and I got cold, so we went in after about a half hour, but Ken gave snowmobile rides to brave souls and the others stayed out for about an hour. Pretty tough cookies … it was -5º by the time they came in.


We stayed up and watched the New Year’s celebration in New York, toasted the New Year, hugged and kissed each other then sent the kids to bed. We stayed up for a little longer then went to bed ourselves. It’s the longest I’ve stayed up for New Year’s for a very long time.

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New Year's Morning

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Doesn't look that cold, does it?

Next day, we fixed treats, sliced ham and had a buffet meal with ham sandwiches and fixin’s. Everyone but Candy and Joy and I played cards. We went into the studio and worked. Joy showed Candy some more tricks with needles and I wove and listened to them talk.

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The kids went outside to play in the sun for a while and went to the barn to do chores (I didn’t have to do any at all while they were here).


Norm went to the Farm to do chores and took the kids with him. Joy and Ken bundled up and followed on the snowmobile; Joy rode home in the pickup and Ken went off exploring. But it was even pretty cold for him!


They brought their Wii with them and the fitness program that they got for Christmas; they showed Wayne and Candy how it worked and tried to get me to use it. I did so after everyone went back upstairs to play cards (after C&W headed home).


More food, more fun that evening, then off to bed, knowing it would be cold that night. Saturday the 2nd was very cold. We were -21º when we woke up and it didn’t get much warmer all day!


Ken got some more snowmobiling in but not as much as he wanted … even HE got cold, and he loves the cold and the snow.


Saturday night was my early birthday party. I was allowed to open my present, which is an MP3 player!!!! I have one, but it’s pretty “little” and this one has 2 gigs of memory. That’s a lot of songs and music and stories!


Bubba wanted to do some cooking – I showed the girls the Laura Ingalls Wilder cookbook that I dug out and she was remembering something that really sounded good …. Sourdough Biscuits! We found the recipe, made a quick batch of starter on Friday then mixed up the batch on Saturday. I gave her a few hints, but she did all the work, even to the rolling of the dough and the frying of the biscuits on the griddle. They were a HIT!!! They were popular enough so that the rest of the biscuits went home today along with the rest of the starter so she can make some more when she gets home. My little homemaker she is!!

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Everyone went home this morning so that they could make it to a meeting in the Cities tonight. It warmed up to about -4º today with lots of sunshine and very little wind. I think our severe cold spell is done (for a while, anyway).


It was a beautiful weekend; it’s been a beautiful day (quiet though). You have a beautiful day.