THE Garage

February 17, 2018

I have been cleaning THE Garage all day!  Well, except for lunch, when I ate and worked on a jigsaw puzzle.  (A puzzle, which I think will never be done now, as I believe Gunner, the yellow lab, just ate one of the pieces.)

I am dirty and pooped.  I’ve cleaned this garage before, but this time, I did the whole garage.  I also have a new theory as to why the former owners sold us this house.  It was not because we wrote a great offer, or that the timing was right or it was meant to be, I think it was because we told them that they did not have to clean out the workshop and the garage!

That corner of the garage has held storm windows and screens for windows and doors, that no longer even open.  Piles of them and we’ve never been energetic enough to dig all the way to the bottom.  Today, however, was the day.  I was on a mission.  I’d even checked Pinterest about Garage cleaning, but most of those pictures are not for real people.

This job included 20 trips to the barn to store all the old windows, that I love and need to save.  Careful placement of fresh trash.The ‘review’ pile for My Loving Spouse.  I might need to double-check Pinterest for old giant screen ideas….As I dug deep, I started to find some treasures.  Besides mounds of dust and dirt, there were 2 brown eggs from a broody hen, an old pink bed frame and a fire place screen.The bonus was getting to throw stuff away, which I love, not to mention gaining THE space.  It is this precious space.  I call this the sacred walking space of the garage.  However, ‘someone’ else who lives here, sees this space between the two garage bays as a sacred space to pile up s….stuff.  

Ah….it is currently a beautiful thing.


Knowing Stuff

February 11, 2018

Unfortunately, sometimes I know too much stuff.  (Insert eye rolls from Team Offspring).  I’ve learned more than I ever wanted to know about old plumbing, (the house’s, not mine).

Let me give you a reader’s digest version of stuff I know.  Gurgling or bubbling in the shower, when no one is showering, is not good.  You can pretend for a short while, that nothing is wrong and it is just that you might be running the dishwasher and the washing machine at the same time.  This form of denial, just buys you a few more flushes until you succumb to reality.

I also know exactly what will need to be done next.  Which is why after church today, I was attaching about 100 feet of lawn house to the stand pipe and looking for the plumbing clog bladder.  (Seriously, that is what they call it and we have a few of them, but only the big one does the job.)  I also, know which one that is.

When My Loving Spouse gets home, he will take over from here, because he is an old-fashioned kind of gentleman.  (Luckily for me!)

We are also buying a new toilet with the hopes, that it will flush like a most powerful rocket.

There are no pictures, for obvious reasons.

So, what kind of stuff do you know?


Spring Moles!

February 7, 2018

No one is saying ‘it’, because everyone wants ‘it’ to be true.  Don’t tell anyone that I am saying this, but winter was not too bad.  Hardly any snow, not that cold, in fact it has been warm enough to have/make the kids at school eat lunch outside.  After all, it was practically 55 degrees today!

The ground-hog popped out and I don’t care what he saw, it seems like spring could be here early!  However, we’ve got one more rodent to deal with, and that’s a mole with a huge appetite.  My Loving Spouse has taken to war in his determination to rid our home of this ‘bloody Bad British word’!  He bought a collection of mole traps, but so far the only thing that has gotten ‘caught’ was him.  We’ve been given all sorts of mole removal tips each more diabolical than the next.  Perfectly normal people have been advising we gas them, shoot them, bomb them, put a fire in their hole!  Everyone agrees on one thing, the moles are horrible and they’ve got to go!

If ‘it’ is really here, we’ll be playing croquet before you know it.  I’ll have my game face on and uttering those famous words…

“No crying when I clean your clock!”

Watch out Mr. Mole!



January 31, 2018

Sunshine has been sorely lacking during these gray, gloomy days of January and it had me down.  I needed some sunshine.

Off I went to Long Beach, California for a long weekend in the sun.

The sun greeted me the moment I stepped off of the plane.  It was warm.  It was clear.  It was lovely and I soaked it up.  The sun, however, was just a bonus to the visit.

It was the friends.

Their hugs, the listening ears, the hugs, the soul-searching reality check and the hugs from the precious ones who have known me through so many ‘D’s (deaths, divorce and diagnosis’), did I mention the hugs.  Pampered with food, drink and mani-pedi’s, my empty soul filled.With time to catch up on Team Offspring, discuss the merits and sadness of the empty nest and laugh at our shared history together.

We kayaked, walked, shopped and talked and even boated across the bay for dinner.

The sunshine felt divine, but it was the friendship that fed my soul.  The love and understanding from precious friends is more valuable to me than words can really say.

…and I am very blessed.



JB’s Firetruck Quilt

January 18, 2018

Our Friend The Farmer has a whole passel of big grand kids (12 to be exact), big as in, they drive tractors, pull down calves, play high school sports and go to colleges.  He also has a new little one coming next month, to which he is extremely excited about, and he has Jacob.  Jacob is three years old and the apple of his Grandpa’s eye.  Grandpa is Jake’s very favorite person.  Little Jake was even going to be Grandpa for Halloween, until he changed his mind and became a Fireman.Now he is obsessed with fire trucks as only a 3-year-old can be.

I had a farm quilt for sale in our Holiday Boutique, that Jacob’s Aunt fell in love with and thought would be perfect for the new baby coming in February.

When Our Friend The Farmer’s wife was alive, she made all of her grandchildren a quilt when they were born.   Our Friend The Farmer wanted to buy the quilt for the baby, but knew that Jake had never been given a quilt.  He wanted to fill that gap and asked me to help.  I told him, I’d be delighted to help, but that this would be my gift to him.  He couldn’t pay me for the fabric or my time.  I had to get straight to work, as there was only a few weeks until Christmas.

I scoured the internet for the right fabric.

Our very small local option was closed for 2 days and as I’d just been there, I was pretty sure that they didn’t have what I needed.

The next day right after school, My Loving Spouse and I drove 53 miles to a fabulous Quilt store to find the perfect fabric.  Except, they didn’t really have the perfect fabric.  They had this fabric, which I bought.I personally, thought it a bit ‘old’ for a 3-year-old, so I attempted to tone it down or ‘fun it up’ with colorful blocks.By the end of the week, I had the whole quilt laid out and ready to sew.  I just needed a bit more red, so I dashed off to our small local shop, which was open that day and the of course, I found the ‘right’ fabric.

I thought for about 2 seconds and bought them.I also bought some red and some black polka-dot fabric and went home to begin a brand new quilt.  I called Our Friend The Farmer.

“I have good news.  I’ve found better fabric for Jake’s quilt, but I am going to have to make it sort of simple because of time.”

‘Well, Ellen, it is for a 3-year-old, not the county fair.’

I started cutting all 4 fabrics in 6 in x 6 in blocks, because that is the size of my ruler, so the cutting goes quickly.It wasn’t quite right, so I added white blocks, which did not help at all.

I decided to try putting the red & black blocks together as triangles.  Luckily, I was taught a quick and easy method to do this.  With right sides together, draw a line across the blocks.  Then using a 1/4 inch seam allowance sew two seams on either side of the drawn line.When both seams are sewn, cut the two triangles apart.

Open, press and Ta Da!I realized I could add a bit of pizzazz by turning the double triangle squares on their sides to give the look of diagonal stripes.

Bordered with white fabric, red quilting and a tiny embroidered nod to the nickname his Grandpa calls him.The quilt was done and I was excited to give it to Our Friend, who couldn’t wait to come and get it.Our Friend the Farmer was so delighted to be able to give his daughter special quilts for her babies, his beloved Grandchildren, not quite like his wife use to, but a sweet, sweet gesture all the same…

and I was moved to be part of the blessing.



Quiz of Surprises

January 9, 2018

Life is full of surprises. I continue to be surprised by mine.

I hope to hear about your answers to my Quiz of surprises.  (My answers are in orange).

  1.  What is in your refrigerator that surprises you?  Answer – 8 way, a vaccine for cattle

2.  What tool do you use daily that surprises you?  Answer – my pock knife (possibly the fact, that I have a pocket knife) for opening bales of hay.  Answer 2- hay hooks for hauling bales of hay!

3.  If you could have a new vehicle, regardless of cost, what would it be and yes this surprises me, but even if it didn’t, it is my quiz?   Answer – A John Deere, 4 wd with a loader and PTO (extra surprise points for the fact that I know what a PTO means and does)

4.  If you could have another animal, what would it be?  Answer – Probably a…..SURPRISE…Cow!

5.  If you could live anywhere you wanted to where would you be?  Answer – Right where I am.

6.  What would you like to be better at?  Answer – Riding (horses)

7.  What do you need to do next?  Answer – Me, go put wood on the stove. 

You????  After you surprise me by answering this no-fail quiz.

Life is good.



Dear Boy

15 years ago, Santa supplied my three with a puppy for Christmas.I can still hear their giggles in the back seat of the car, as we drove him home. Most dogs are good. Some dogs are great. Snickers was the greatest of the great at loving us.…and as much as we might have given him…He […]

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I just returned from our public library with 4 books.  I am a tad nervous, because I’ve never read any of these authors and the library will not be open again for 2 days.  If I do not like them, I am in trouble!  At 58, I have decided, that I never have to read […]

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There is sawdust on my slippers, my ‘inside’ shoes.  We’ve been mixing Christmas activities such as cutting down our own tree in the forest, with work on THE bathroom. I would say, that it is the longest bathroom remodel/addition in the history of Ellensburg, but I know someone who took 8 years on theirs.  We […]

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Agnes is home and Alice is here!  Whoo and hoo!  I had been saving pumpkins to share with them as a homecoming treat.  They were very appreciative. Alice is a Black Angus Cow, that we purchased from Our Friend the Farmer.  She is from the same year as Agnes, so they are sort of sisters.  […]

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The Blue Rock Saloon

The Blue Rock Saloon.  Saloon, as in western bar, John Wayne watering hole.  Swinging doors, yep, they have those.  Door handles that let you know, this is a ‘saloon’, not a salon. I’d define the atmosphere a ‘Western Whimsical’.  Unlike Glory Farm, the Saloon has completed their Holiday decorating. Every end of the Saloon is […]

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Back To Normal

We are back to ‘normal’ after having over 300 people traipse through our home during the Homespun Holiday Boutique 3 days ago.  ‘Normal’ meaning, we haven’t managed to put very much away…We cannot find the ironing board.  (I know!  Who looses their ironing board?) The dishwasher is also missing.That’s not true, I know exactly where […]

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