Friday, December 1, 2017

A Resolution Before The New Year

Bad habits are hard to break and all changes, even good ones, don't come easily.  I'm finding my "down time," my long, slow winter zooming past me with alarming speed.  'Tis time that I find time to be "in the moment," breathe deeply and possibly even figure out what in my life needs to be omitted, added, rearranged, moved to a higher priority, or simply changed.

No, I'm not going to stop blogging or give up reading blogs and staying in touch with all of you.  That's a good thing and not one I want to change.  However, I do need a hiatus of sorts to detach myself from this computer on my desk.  My plan is to "disappear" for the month of December which will, hopefully, give me some extra time to revamp, reorganize, take the time to find out what's really important to me and boot out the door some habits (the bad ones, of course) I've fallen into without even realizing it. 

Yeah, I know, the weeks before the holidays might not be the best time for me to spend hours each day (ha!) in a meditative position on the floor (which I actually won't be doing as I've never been able to sit cross-legged), but I've been yammering about needing these winter months for myself for a while now.  (Look out, Papa Pea, your "keep-plodding-along-in-her-same-old-rut" wife may actually be making some changes!)


No sense getting stuck in the past:  "But I've always done it this way."  Or living in the future:  "I'll make the changes when I have time."  I'm gonna do what I need to do now, busy holiday season looming on the horizon or not.

Life is short.  We only have so many hours in a day.  (No surprise there, eh?)  I am blessed with so many advantages in my life, excellent health, a loving family, friends and an enticing list of "wanna-dos."

Bottom line, I'm going to carve out time to take an objective look (wish me the strength and fortitude to do so) at my daily routines and habits with the thought of making some changes. 

We all know how quickly these weeks of December before the holidays go by.  There may be a silence (((crickets))) on my blog, but I'll be back before you know it.


May your holidays be filled with
the joy of living and the
love of giving! 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Winner of "Ugly" Table Runners!

I really appreciate all of you who entered the drawing for my I'm not so happy with holiday table runners and the very kind things you said about them!


All of your names went into a bowl on my (very messy) desk top, I closed my eyes (which wasn't hard as I wasn't quite awake then anyway), scuffled and shuffled the paper tags around and picked out . . . 


. . . Rain's name!

I'll get the two runners packaged and off to you, Rain, although it may not be until the first of next, after our Thanksgiving Day Weekend.

A couple of you have asked to see the replacement runners I made, and which I am very happy with as they turned out to be more of what I wanted.


I made two of the full-sized runners (one is shown on the bottom of the picture), a candle mat for the table and a small runner for the shelf on the back of our kitchen island.


There were machine quilted and I used the red, green and ecru pine bough fabric I ordered specifically for this project.

Gotta get myself in gear now.  A busy day ahead.  I'm roasting the Thanksgiving turkey today because if I wait until tomorrow, I won't be able to fit any of the other side dishes in  the oven along with the turkey.  And who likes cold, raw, unbaked dinner rolls or crunchy squash?  So hard to chew.  And really bad for the digestion.

Cleaning my desk top (now that you all know how bad it is) and the refrigerator (I can attest to the fact that's really needed) and taking Papa Pea to pick up our Suburban which has had some "electrical issues" but is now back in good working order . . . these are all on the agenda for the day.  And, oh yeah, house cleaning.

Hope all of you in the States are gearing up for a happy up-coming Thanksgiving Day Weekend spent with friends and family.  If you're driving, I wish you clear roads and a safe trip.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Wanted: New Home for Two Table Runners

Frugality sometimes fails.  And as a result, I'm offering these two holiday table runners as a giveaway.  That is assuming anyone wants them.  If you don't, I understand as I don't want them either.

A little back story.  Two years ago, I wanted a holiday table runner for the top of my coffee table in our living room.  I'd been on a serious kick of not buying any new fabric, but rather trying to use up what I had in my stash.  My box of Christmas/holiday fabrics was not large, but I used what I had.

Did not like the results, but used the runner during that holiday season anyway.

And then last year, because I wanted to continue my stupidity, I used many of the same fabrics to make one more holiday runner to use in another area.  Funny thing, I didn't like that one any better than the first.

A month or so ago, I saw some holiday-ish fabric advertised online on one of my favorite quilting sites . . . and bought it.  The results were two table runners that I REALLY LIKE and know I'll use for years to come.

That brings us right back to this giveaway.


These two (smallish) runners seeking a new home are pieced and machine quilted, the backs of them are a simple muslin fabric so they're not reversible.


The smaller one measures 12" x 27" . . . 


 (The above three pictures all came out a smidge "darker" than the actual fabric.  The neutral background pieces don't "stand out" quite as much as shown.)

. . . and the larger is 14-1/2" x 31-1/2".  They both go together to one name drawn.  If anyone wants to enter this giveaway.  If not, they'll be donated to our local second-hand resale store. 

Soooo, if you do want to be in the drawing for these, please say so in the comments section of this post.

I'll close down comments around 9 p.m. on this coming Tuesday night (November 21st) and draw a name Wednesday morning.

Yoo-hoo!  Anyone out there interested?  You could put one under the hamster cage and the other on a high shelf where no one will see it.  Just kidding, they're not that bad, I know.  They just didn't turn out to be what I was hoping for.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Projects from My Quilt Room

Thanksgiving decorations are out and placed around the house.


Last year I made this table runner for the coffee table in our living room.

What?  You can't see any table runner?  Understandable, as this is what the top of our coffee table normally looks like.


See?  There really was a runner under there.


I really like this turkey themed fabric and have used it to make several fun things.


Today I finished another small one using the same fabric.


It's now on the top of a small bookcase in the kitchen holding (some of) my cook books.


Last year I made an almost identical one (but a little longer in length) that goes on the shelf of our kitchen island.  (You can see this one is about as visible as the one on the coffee table.)

Fall decorations and those at Thanksgiving time are my very favorite of the year.  Yep, I enjoy them even more than the Christmas decorations.


In anticipation of the days and days (I can only hope) I'll be spending in my quilt room this winter, I made these new mug rugs to place strategically around the room to hold the mug containing my morning Hot Buttered Rum latte when I start my day happily quilting.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Shutting Down in November? Ha!

I'm not sure where our plans went awry, but so far this month has been busier than ever.

This past Tuesday, we finally made a trip to the Big City.  We hadn't been since last June!  Needless to say, it didn't take us long to fill the back of the Suburban with all the miscellaneous supplies needed.  Our list was long but we made our stops efficiently and were home before dark which takes a bit of planning since the time change this past weekend!

It's deer season here and early Wednesday our good neighbors' son shot a deer with what should have been a quick, efficient kill.  Unfortunately, the deer got up and ran across their property and headed for our woods.  We joined the search party (there were seven of us) and tromped the woods for hours, but sadly, were never able to find the buck.  The son is a very conscientious hunter and was quite upset.  Not because he didn't "get his deer" but because he had caused suffering to the animal.  He had to leave for his home near the Twin Cities that same day to be at work the next morning.

Wednesday afternoon Chicken Mama, Gilligan, Papa Pea and I loaded up our truck and flatbed trailer to go get some birch wood we were offered that was piled on a building site that had been cleared this fall.  The wood had been limbed but was still in tree lengths.  We cut and loaded long lengths of the smaller trees taking close to a third of the pile.



 Do you know how heavy that chunk of wood
 is that Chicken Mama's carrying?
We raised one strong girl!


Back home we unloaded the wood in our back yard wood working area.

Yesterday, we had company in the morning from out of the area.  We visited and had lunch before he left to go hunting at other friends' house several miles from here.



The afternoon found us back at the birch wood site to bring home another load.  This time Papa Pea cut the bigger trees up into chunks which Gilligan and I loaded onto the trailer.  Chicken Mama was unavailable as she was cleaning the rental cabin she manages.  

We think we can finish up the wood cutting and hauling in two more loads, one of which is scheduled for this afternoon.

This morning I'm getting ready to head into town to make a pick-up at the library and make a stop at our food co-op to collect a few supplies and a special order I have waiting there.

Perhaps Saturday (which seems free and clear so far) we can finish hauling the last of the wood from the building site.

Sunday we're doing our last (hallelujah!) chicken/duck butchering of the season.  Never, ever will we let the birds hatch out so many eggs again!  Granted, this year was a trial period to see which of the birds would be good setters and mothers, but now that we know that, we'll definitely limit the number of eggs we let them hatch out next year.

After that, let's hope the activity around here does slow and we can begin our winter down time.  I'm ready.

Monday, November 6, 2017

What We Do For Fun

Papa Pea and Gilligan went to pick up 30 bales of hay this morning with the truck and high-sided trailer.

When they returned home, the bales needed to go into the hay loft, which with the help of our tractor with the big bucket, was no big problem.

Chicken Mama was stationed up in the loft, Papa Pea ran the tractor, and Gilligan stacked five of the square bales in the bucket leaving just enough room for him to ride in the bucket with the bales.

The bucket was raised to just outside the hay loft door where Gilligan hefted them to Chicken Mama who took and stacked them.


After the last load, Chicken Mama hopped in the empty bucket with Gilligan and they got to go for a ride down to ground level.  (Bad picture, I know, but I had to snap it while I could.)


"Okay, kiddies, the ride's over.  Everybody out."

No, I wasn't in my quilt room (darn!) while this work was going on.  But I was finishing laundry and baking bread.  I hope I get some (a little?) credit for that.  (Although I think it would have been more fun to get a ride in the bucket!)

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Quick Post

I have been bad.

Now that the weather (very damp, wet [either rain or snow] and nasty outside) has brought an abrupt halt to all but daily outside chores, I'm finding time to spend in my quilt room.

And I'm not sure it's a good thing.  I don't want to do anything else!  Who cares about washing, eating, sleeping?  I'm definitely into the swing of things feeding my creative side, and that's all I want to do!

Well, maybe my life isn't quite that lopsided, but I sure can lose myself in there only to be roused by an occasional plea from  my husband such as, "Are we going to have any dinner tonight?"

More news and pictures about all that later.

* * * * * * * *

One of the (much appreciated) readers of my blog asked a question about my purple carrots in the comment section of my last blog post.  She was wondering if they kept their purple color after being cooked. 

I made some as a veggie side dish for our noon meal today.


Some three and a half hours later, my hands are still stained from prepping the carrots.  And, yes, they definitely do keep their color after being cooked.  When I served them (buttered, salt and peppered) on the plates today, they looked for all the world like beets.  I'm sure no one would see them and say they were anything else. 

* * * * * * * *

Now back to my quilt room.   See ya later.