Monday, January 30, 2017

Slightly Sidetracked

Sometimes I am easily sidetracked.  I start out with a goal in mind and before I know it, I am off in another direction.

My intention was to get out the fabric pieces that are ready to sew together for a quilt.  While rummaging around in the tub where they have been living since I cut them out last fall, I found two bags of partially crocheted afghans.  They are partially done because I was using yarn left over from another project, and I ran out.  And I haven't been to the store to get enough yarn to finish them.  So I sat down and figured out what colors and how many skeins of each color I need.

Back to the tub.  A little further down I found a length of fabric that will work well for sashing strips between the blocks of another quilt top waiting to be finished.  Ironed the fabric and cut out the pieces I will need.

Back to the tub.  Next I found another quilt top that was finished.  I think I remember that when I sewed this one together I made a mistake that has to be fixed.  I looked it over but couldn't find the error, so I set it aside and will press it later, when I get ready to add the batting and backing.

Back to the tub.  I finally I found the quilt pieces I was looking for to begin with.  I sat down and started sewing.  This quilt is an old pattern that has just two colors.  I'll take a picture when it is finished.

There are quilters who make fancy quilts that are the kind seen in quilt shows.  I am not one of those quilters.  Mine are of simple patterns and are made to be used as opposed to being hung on a wall and admired.  Guess that comes from my frugal ancestors.  Those other quilters have studio sewing rooms and shelf after shelf of designer fabrics that cost a lot of money.  I wait until my local Joann Fabrics store runs a sale on quilt cottons and then I stock up on enough fabric for several quilts.  My "studio" consists of my kitchen table for cutting fabric and a table in my living room for sewing.  I love the looks of all those beautiful quilts at quilt shows, but the thing is, I really love what I do and more importantly, I love making something that is useful.  And for that I don't need a studio.  My setup works just fine.

And with that, it is back to my sewing machine.  There are lots more little pieces that need to be attached to other little pieces.  Funny...I have very little patience for some things, but all the patience in the world for making useful stuff.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Prayer Request

I don't often ask for prayers from my readers, but I am asking now.

A dear, long time friend took a hard fall, hitting his head.  After spending a few days in the hospital, in the wee hours of this morning, he died from his injuries.

My request is not for him, for I know he has met his Maker.  My request is for prayers for his wife.  She not only lost her husband of many years, but she has also lost her very best friend.  Their grown children and grandchildren have lost a wonderful father and grandfather.  My family has lost one who can only be described as a true friend.

Of those of you who are of a mind to pray, I would ask that you pray for the strength and courage his family will need to get through the next few days, and for God's blessings on them as they face life without him.

He was one of the good ones.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

It's a Good Day...

to make a big pot of chicken soup  or...

to bake chocolate chip cookies  or...

to curl up in a recliner with a good book, a mug of hot chocolate (with marshmallows) and a green fuzzy blanket  or...

to spend the afternoon sewing little pieces of fabric together for a quilt top.

It began snowing late last evening, dropping a couple of inches of heavy, wet snow.  South and west of us got enough to warrant either delaying school opening times or  closing schools altogether for the day.  There are still some flakes floating down, but that should end by this evening.

The soup is already simmering in the crockpot.  I don't follow a recipe.  This time I tossed in a quart of chicken broth, a pint of canned chicken and some dehydrated vegetables - potato cubes, carrots, cabbage and onions.  I usually add a little chicken bouillon for flavor.  I'm thinking some cornbread would taste good with the soup for supper.

I don't know how much of my list will get done today.  That is one of the nice things about being retired and living alone.  I can do what I want when I want.  Right now I think my sewing machine is calling my name.  When I get enough quilt blocks together to give an idea of what the finished quilt will look like, I will post a picture.

I wonder what it is about falling snow that makes a person want to bake cookies and sew a quilt.  Whatever it is, it makes for a pleasant day in my neighborhood.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Busy Week

Last week was a busy one.  Lori picked up my new shelving unit and Duane set it up for me.  I spent a couple of days getting boxes and tubs of fabric and quilting supplies and yarn off the floor and onto the shelves, along with several cases of home canned food.  Didn't take long to fill up the shelves.

Friday morning the cleaners came in and scrubbed out my apartment.  Thanks to my kids for such a good Christmas gift. The cleaners did a great job.  It is so nice to have the dust bunnies gone and the corners that have been tough for me to get into, shiny clean again.  It will make it easier to maintain when I'm not trying to get caught up but am starting out fresh.

I had about 20 lbs. each of potatoes, carrots and onions to dehydrate, so after taking Saturday off to just rest, I got the vegetables cleaned, sliced and diced.  The potatoes are in the dehydrators.  The carrots and onions are in the fridge waiting their turn.

I watched parts of Inauguration Day and I have to admit to feeling a real sense of relief when Mr. Trump was finally sworn in as our President.  There has been so much protesting, negative rhetoric and outright threats connected to this event that I wondered if someone would actually do something to try to stop the Inauguration from happening.  Aside from the expected sign carrying, foul mouthed protesters and the few window breaking, car burning thugs, the whole thing went off without a hitch.

I have to admit that the best part was watching that helicopter carrying Obama flying away and knowing that finally there is a President now who actually wants to work for the people rather than work to destroy my beloved America.

I do fear that we who prep may become complacent just because of the changes in Washington.  Our government is far from being fixed.  And although the major threat to our well being is gone, there remain those who will do everything in their power to try to keep we the people in what they consider to be our place.  I am guessing that President Trump will have to fight hard to keep his campaign promises.  That being said, I still have much more hope today than I have had in the last several years.

So I will continue as I have been doing - preserving whatever foods I can - adding to my supplies - learning as much as I can that will help me and mine weather whatever storms come our way.  Seems like the sensible thing to do.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Yesterday's Message

I have a Facebook account.  I don't use it to post my opinions, nor do I get involved in the political arguments I have seen springing up lately.  I mainly use it to swipe grandkid photos that have been posted by their parents.

So I was pleasantly surprised yesterday when I found a message from my former sister-in-law.  We grew up close neighbors - she on her Dad's dairy and beef cattle farm and me right next door on my Dad's 20 acres that had once been part of the same farm.  She had been looking through some of her mother's things and had run across an old card that reminded her of our childhood.  She shared those memories with me.

I answered her message by telling her some of the memories I had of that time.  Like when her older sister and I decided to try smoking corn silk.  I was about 13 years old then, and all we succeeded in doing was singeing our eyebrows nearly off.  There were memories of a playhouse where she and my sister played with their baby dolls and a tire swing behind it that was used by all the kids.

I told her about the time my Dad came into our house, chuckling.  He said he had just seen the oldest boy in the family next door, running as fast as his 16 year old legs would carry him, across the barnyard, with his Dad hot on his heels.  Dad said he didn't know what the boy had done, but he kind of hoped he didn't get caught.  That Dad doing the chasing would later be the best Father-in-law anyone could hope for.  The boy doing the running grew up to be my husband and the father of my four children.

After that little meander down Memory Lane, I got to thinking about other things from that time period of the late 1950's and early 1960's.  I wonder if anyone remembers the telephone party line.  In rural America it was common for several families to share a telephone line.  I think there were nine families on ours.  There were no long chats with friends.  You said what you had to say and then hung up, because someone else might be waiting to use the phone line.  That sort of put a crimp in the teenage social life.  And you didn't dare plan any shenanigans with friends over the phone, for there was always the one busybody on the line who loved to tell your mother when you were up to no good.  Don't ask how I know this.  :)

I was thinking about TV programs back then.  Most farmers in my neighborhood didn't have a TV.  They were too busy to watch TV and they were content to get the weather forecasts and farm reports from the radio.  I was 15 years old when my family first owned a TV.   Kids living in town had more choices of programming, but the rural areas were lucky if two or three channels came in clear using the rooftop antenna.  The one kids program I remember most was "Axel and His Dog."  Axel was a goofball with sort of a Scandinavian accent who lived in a treehouse.  Axel is sort of hard to explain to those who never saw this local program, so here is a clip.

My Dad loved the ending of each show - the "Birdie with a yellow bill" part, because sometimes in the last line of that little poem, Axel would sneak in something that the kids might not understand, but the grownups would surely get the double meaning.

Dad would chuckle.  Mother, on the other hand, was not amused.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Sniffle and Snort Are Gone...

but the cough remains.  Thought I was getting better right up to the time my cold circled around and kicked me a good one in the keister.  The cough is much better now and I am finally feeling good enough to be up and about again.  Just don't bounce back as quickly as I used to.

Duane brought me a bag of those lovely, sweet little Clementines and a bucket of ice cream.  Have been doing a pretty good job of eating my way through the Clementines.  And yes, I know it is winter.  And it is miserably cold outside.  But I still love ice cream and a treat always seems to make things better.

Later this week Duane will set up my new shelving unit and I can move cases of home canned food from the floor of my bedroom to the shelves.  I'm using the two bottom shelves for my fabric, quilting supplies and yarn.  I wanted to get that done before the cleaners come on the 20th of this month.  Other than some frozen hash browns and 20 lbs. of regular potatoes to dehydrate, I have nothing planned as far as canning or dehydrating goes.  I really want to get some serious sewing on quilt tops done.

I hear about major snow storms across the country, but so far they have missed us.  One day the temperatures are in the 20's and the next day, below zero.  We have had only an inch or two of snow now and then - just enough to keep the roads a bit slippery.  Duane has a good sized hill to climb going to work and he has to navigate the curves on that road downhill coming home at night.  He tells me that hill is probably the most clear of any road in the state.  The county keeps it well sanded and salted.  If they didn't, there would be a pile-up of cars at the bottom every night.

That's about all I know.  I have pretty much let the world continue to turn without any help from me the past few days.  Hope to get caught up on reading my favorite blogs in the next day or so.  It is nice to be back in the land of the living once again.  :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Common Cold

Sniffle - cough - snort.  Yep, I caught one.  Nothing serious - just enough to be annoying.  On the bright side, I am doing my bit for the economy by keeping the cough drop people in business this week.  Same goes for the Kleenex factory.  Things should improve on Wednesday when my grocery order arrives.  I ordered a box of Little Debbie Nutty Bars.  Everything is better if one has Little Debbie Nutty Bars.  :)

Lori is out of town visiting her Dad, so I messaged Duane telling him I had this dead chicken I was going to roast, if he wanted to come over for supper.  A big bowl of potato salad and some corn rounded out the meal.  Later he showed up with a bowl of ice cream for me.  I opened a jar of home canned strawberry rhubarb sauce, poured half of it over my ice cream and sent the rest home with him.  The cold doesn't seem to have affected my appetite much.

Don't think there will be much going on here for a few days.  I've been sucking down cranberry juice and water, although I admit to running some of the water over ground coffee first.  In my world, coffee is the elixir of life.  If you want me, you will find me curled up in my recliner, covered with my green fuzzy blanket, reading a good murder mystery.  I will return when the sniffle - snort slows down.